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Tendulkar gets a roaring reception at Wankhede
Mumbai, Nov 14 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar got a standing ovation from the fans at the Wankhede Stadium where he came out to bat during India's first innings in his farewell Test here Thursday.
It was exactly at 3.30 p.m. that the master blaster walked down the stairs of the dressing room after the fall of Murali Vijay's wicket, which left India at 77 for two in reply to the West Indies's 182 all out on day one of the second Test.
Tendulkar gave a customary look towards the sky as he entered the ground amidst huge roar from the Wankhede crowd.
As he was given a guard of honour by the West Indies team, the giant screen flickered old images of the cricketing legend's childhood.
The Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) claims of a sold-out match, however, were punctured as only 23,000 turned up at the 33,000-seater stadium.
An MCA spokesperson said they had expected a packed crowd but since India won the toss and elected to field, the turnout was lower than expected.
“We expected a packed crowd right from the start. But fans started pouring in as the day progressed. After West Indies were all out early before tea, there was a heavy rush in anticipation that they would get to see Tendulkar bat,” the official said.
Tendulkar fans would be hoping their hero would break a 15-year jinx and score his second hundred on his home ground, to end his fairytale career on a high. But Tendulkar needs to be cautious on a ground where he twice got out in the 70s, once in the 80s and on a couple of occasions in the nervous 90s.
But it's not been all bad, as the batting great lifted the 2011 World Cup here.
The batting legend enjoys a great first class record here – 3,534 runs with a highest of unbeaten 233. But in 10 Tests here, Tendulkar has got 847 runs, highest being 148 (against Sri Lanka in 1996-97), at an average of 47.05, a far cry from his impressive record at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, or Chennai's M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.