Even for a country obsessed with records, rarely has such anticipation preceded a landmark. The possibility of his hundredth international ton sat on Tendulkar’s shoulders like Betaal on Vikram, shackling the great man under its burden for an inordinately long period. Several ‘suitable’ opportunities were missed, chances strewn and the knock finally arrived at Mirpur against Bangladesh, on March 16, 2012 in the Asia Cup.
Tendulkar’s reaction was strange: “It's been a tough phase for me ... I was not thinking about the milestone, the media started all this, wherever I went, the restaurant, room service, everyone was talking about the 100th hundred. Nobody talked about my 99 hundreds. It became mentally tough for me because nobody talked about my 99 hundreds." Oh yes, and India lost that match to Bangladesh.