Taunton: Jul 16 , 2011
Andrew Strauss is a huge admirer of Sachin Tendulkar but the England skipper has warned the Indian champion man to expect some tough time in the middle when he is in pursuit of his 100th international century during the first cricket Test, starting July 21 at the Lord's.
In the run up to the series opener, the focus is completely on Tendulkar as he eyes yet another landmark in his glorious international career and that too in the 2,000 Test match in the history of the game and the 100th between India and England.
"Clearly he (Tendulkar) deserves a lot of praise for what he has achieved in the game. But out there in the middle we will be even more determined to get him out cheaply, because of what he has achieved," Strauss said of Tendulkar who has never scored more than 37 at the Lord's.
"I know our bowlers will look upon it as a fantastic challenge for them and it is a challenge they are definitely up for," he added.
Strauss said the home team's determination to deny Tendulkar the magical feat at Lord's can be gauged from the fact that his bowlers will do whatever it takes to make life miserable for Indian batsmen.
"I don't like the word sledging but what I would say is we will be trying as hard as possible to make all their batsmen feel as uncomfortable as possible in the middle - and he is no exception to that," the England captain said.
"His record at dealing with pressure situations has been pretty good in the past. But if he is five percent off his game, we need to exploit that. He is a hard man to get inside his head. He bats with a lot of calmness, but I'm sure in his mind he would love to get a hundred at Lord's."
Strauss feels it would a fairytale for Tendulkar if he gets to achieve his 100th international ton at the mecca of cricket but hopes the Indian star batsman falters.
"It would be a fantastic way for him to reach 100 hundreds. It would be a fairytale for him. But I'm not a big fan of those sort of fairytales, to be honest. We prefer to create our own fairytales," he said.
"I've had a few chats with him over the years and he is the ultimate ambassador for the game, very humble, very polite, and enjoys talking about the game.
"He is genuinely still in love with the game, and that is what drives him on," Strauss added.
Strauss skipper said they will do their homework against Tendulkar, who fell to two members of the current England team -- James Anderson and Chris Tremlett during India'a last tour to England.
"Jimmy got him out a couple of times lbw and Tremlett made life uncomfortable for a few of their batsman," he said.
"Obviously we will be looking at footage of that series - while we are aware a lot changes in four years.