Sport on TV: Little Master is stuck on 99 and looking a bit flaky

Come on Aussies, play the game. As if it wasn't bad enough that the old cricketing enemy seem to be in the process of becoming a half-decent team again, they are also refusing to let Sachin Tendulkar get his 100th international century.

It is turning into a long wait. He scored his 99th at the World Cup in March and after a lean summer in England he has been getting closer and closer. Now the "Little Master" is banging on the door with his big bat.

The strain is starting to tell on the neutral cricket fan, let alone a billion Indians. When he finally gets there, the outpouring of joy could lead to half a billion more. Or will he be like Don Bradman, who is forever stuck on a Test average of 99?

During the Second Test in Sydney (Sky Sports 1), Sachin spoke of his admiration for the Don but even that didn't stop the Aussie pundits from having a go at him. "That's where Sachin gets into trouble," growled Ian Chappell, complaining that Tendulkar tends to go "from fifth gear to first" as he approaches an interval in play or a century. "Tendulkar's a bit sporadic with his thinking," added the ever-thoughtful Ian Healy.

Even Mark Nicholas stashed away his book of superlatives and goshes and gee-whizzes to put the knife in. "He reminds me of a golfer who gets older and forgets how to putt. It's like a fear of failure." Suddenly everyone knows what's wrong with Tendulkar. Racing to a transcendent 80 is simply not good enough any more.

Only Bill Lawry remains in awe, and Tendulkar is not even from the state of Victoria. "Ah! Absolutely superb! Any juniors watching... seniors as well... Glorious stroke! Soft hands! The Little Master! Don't leave your chairs!" Unlike the man himself, there's no stopping Lawry when he's in full flow. Even the funereal tones of Tony Greig can't keep him down. When Tendulkar finally gets to the elusive three figures, there will be bits of Lawry splattered all over the walls of the commentary box.

Greig's deadpan, meanwhile, is causing the okkers and larrikins in the box plenty of amusement. "You're the man, Tony," exclaimed Mark Taylor. "You're the kiss of death for him." And sure enough, Greig took the mic, the lads took the mickey and Sachin stuttered, slowed, then ground to a halt.

Sadly the same could not be said for the commentators. If there's one thing worse than the Australians winning, it's Australians gloating.

* As if a new year fitness regime isnot a frightening enough prospect already... The new series of Fat Fighters (Channel 4, Tuesday) introduced four personal trainers of bizarre proportions. If Miss Red Hot Dalia, 6ft 2in with a rasping Eastern European accent, doesn't get you with her whips and leather, then Matt Miller the Pillar, three-times super-heavyweight bodybuilding champion from Venice Beach, probably will.

"You look nervous, Sharon," Miller said to one of the new clients. "We're not going to bite you." But Sharon was looking like she had some excess fat to chew on.

Then Dan Corbett, complete with bleached mohican, said: "If I was gonna sum myself up in five words I'd say I was a 'bad animal'." So he can't count. At least if he tells you to do 20 press-ups you could probably get away with only doing 15.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer / Front-End Designer - City of London

£27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Junior PHP Web Developer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Guru Careers: Front End Web Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: Our client help leading creative agencies ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage