Sydney, Jan 2: Australian media today pointed out that the stage may be set at the SCG for Sachin Tendulkar's finest hour, but it is also the place of his "deepest shame".
Herald Sun reported; "While the cricket world is abuzz with anticipation that the Little Master will score his 100th international century during the second Test in Sydney, beginning tomorrow, some recent Australian players have not forgiven Tendulkar's role in the Andrew Symonds Monkeygate scandal in 2008.
"And the Australian side is determined that Tendulkar doesn't achieve the milestone at the scene of monkeygate.
"Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of his generation and possibly second only to Australia's Sir Don Bradman.
"He is the most prolific batsman of all time, with 51 Test hundreds and 48 one-day centuries in a 22-year career.
"And with an average of 221 at the ground, the symmetry of Tendulkar scoring his 100th hundred during the 100th Test held at the SCG could not be greater.
"But despite the unparalleled greatness of his achievements, some Australians lost respect for him when he gave completely different accounts of what took place as a key witness in the Harbhajan Singh- Symonds racism meltdown.
"Harbhajan was suspended for three matches by match referee Mike Procter after the second Test in Sydney four years ago but the penalty was reduced to a fine on appeal.
"Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who retired at the end of that 2007-08 season, was furious with Tendulkar and later described the appeal as a "joke".
"Tendulkar, who'd said at the first hearing that he hadn't been able to hear what Harbhajan had said - and he was a fair way away, up the other end, so I'm certain he was telling the truth - now supported Harbhajan's version that he hadn't called Symo a 'monkey' but instead a Hindi term of abuse that might sound like 'monkey' to Australian ears," Gilchrist wrote in his book True Colours.
"The Indians got him off the hook when they, of all people, should have been treating the matter of racial vilification with the utmost seriousness."
"Mike Hussey is confident such a furore will not erupt again.
"That was a long time ago and obviously the personnel in the teams have changed quite a lot, particularly in our team, maybe not so much in the Indian team," Hussey said before training at the SCG yesterday.
"The players that were involved in all the controversy have moved on.
"They've even played together, with Harbhajan and Andrew (Symonds) having played together in Mumbai."
Captains Michael Clarke and M.S. Dhoni also made it clear recently they did not want a repeat of that ugly Test.
"The IPL has helped reduce tension between the two teams and ... our relationship with Indian players is stronger than ever before," Clarke said last week in his Herald Sun column.
"Both teams love to play tough cricket and we have had some wonderful matches over the years."