They didn’t get to see a fairy-tale end to what is likely to be Sachin Tendulkar’s last occupation of the crease, but he was soon on the receiving end of the fans’ adoration as he trudged toward the pavilion, having been caught off Narsingh Deonarine for 74.
For a while the crescendo of cheers did not seem to register, but when he got near the boundary the noise grew even louder as he took off his helmet and wiped his brow.
“He has crossed boundaries, meant something to everyone, which is why you see such outpouring of emotion,” Rahul Dravid, the former India captain, said while commentating on television. “He has touched the lives of so many people over the years.”
All-rounder Yuvraj Singh, a guest pundit, added: “When he walked in, how everyone cheered for him, well that was just amazing to see – the love of people for him.”
Such was the clamour to witness the “Little Master” attempting to mark his 200th and final Test match with a century that the public was still pouring into the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai when he resumed his innings on 38 this morning.
He had earlier looked calm warming up before the day’s play began, interrupting his practice session to speak to Australian Shane Warne.