"I hope he doesn't get it here in this game," smiled Ricky Ponting, when asked about Sachin Tendulkar eclipsing Brian Lara's world record on the eve of the Mohali Test.
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But, perhaps, the Australian captain also realised the futility of his statement and the impending eventuality. The fact that he smiled while answering explains the realization. Fifteen runs were never going to take much sweat.
In fact, to put it a tad bluntly, it indeed took a long time coming. And with every passing day the anticipation of the impending milestone became more of an obsession among cricket aficionados.
If one delves into details, it becomes when Lara quit international cricket (after the 2007 World Cup in April), Tendulkar was aggregating 10, 668 in 135 Tests (as opposed to Lara's 11, 953 in 131 Tests). The manner in which Kapil Dev (432 wickets in 130 Tests) broke Sir Richard Hadlee's record (431 in just 86) is a perfect analogy in this regard.
Image: Tendulkar acknowledges the crowd after becoming the leading run-scorer in Test cricket.
Photographs: AFP/Getty Images