Melbourne, Dec 24: Australia captain Michael Clarke enjoys watching Sachin Tendulkar bat but hoped that the Indian icon doesn't score his much-awaited 100th international century during the upcoming four-match Test series, starting here on December 26.
“That's (Tendulkar scoring his 100th international ton) certainly a prospect. I hope that doesn't happen. I hope he scores it in his next series,” said Clarke ahead of their first Test.
“He's been an unbelievable player for such a long period of time. I really enjoy watching him bat. If he does score his 100th century, he deserves every bit of credit and applause.
“I think it's going to be a great crowd at this Test match, watching him and supporting him. I wish him well but in a perfect world, I'd like Sachin to score his 100th century in the next series India play,” he added.
Clarke has showed that he is all ready for the Indians by announcing his playing XI for the first Test 48 hours in advance.
Opener Ed Cowan has been named in the final XI and is all to make his Test debut, while Ben Hilfenhaus' experience was preferred over Mitchell Starc's raw promise. The out-of-form duo of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey have also been retained in the side.
“I'm confident we've got the best eleven to help us win this first Test in these conditions. I can use Hussey, Ponting and myself to bowl a few overs. David Warner can bowl leg-spinners too. We've got the right XI to give ourselves a chance to win this Test,” insisted Clarke.
The captain, meanwhile, warned his teammates that aggression on the field should be within a limit and not result in ugly behaviour or controversy.
“I don't think we need to (meet MS beforehand in order to ensure relations don't break down during the series). I think both teams understand where we're at. The relationship between the Aussie and Indian team couldn't be stronger.”