Mumbai: After a lukewarm response to the first two days of the ongoing third Test between India and the West Indies, cricket fans made a beeline for entry into the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday in anticipation of Sachin Tendulkar coming out to bat and scoring his 100th international hundred.
Tendulkar has not added to his list of international hundreds, that stands at an incredible 99, since making 111 against South Africa in a World Cup league game at Nagpur on March 12 earlier this year, his 48th ODI hundred. Since the World Cup victory in Mumbai, Sachin has played only Test matches, but has failed to notch the coveted 100th ton in four Tests in England and in the first two matches of the current series against the West Indies.
Long queues of fans were seen outside the ticket counters of the Mumbai Cricket Association at the adjacent Mumbai Hockey Association premises more than an hour before the start of play on Day Three of the match.
Police personnel and private security guards employed by the MCA, after two days' of lull, had to swing into action to control the crowd and allow for smooth entry into the 33,000-capacity stadium that had been revamped ahead of the World Cup held earlier this year.
On the first two days of action, when the West Indies batted first to post a mammoth first-innings total of 590, the crowd were only to the tune of 10,000 in the afternoons, but on Thursday, at least double that number is expected to turn up to watch India bat, with the possibility of Tendulkar coming out in the middle and reaching the coveted milestone.
Though Tendulkar has previously scored only one Test hundred (148) at his home ground, that too 14 years ago against Sri Lanka when he led the team, his overall accumulation of runs is impressive - 734 at just over 52 per innings in eight matches.