Home ground. Series won. You could be forgiven for wondering whether the Wankhede pitch has been tailored for one man’s benefit – one man and his legion of fans, that is.
We could say that placing so much emphasis on one man’s achievement is disrespectful towards the 21 marionettes who will also be gracing the pitch during this Test, but it’s also disrespectful towards the beneficiary. Devalue the run and you devalue run-making achievements too. Tendulkar is good enough to deserve better.
Besides, sport is about naturally occurring tales. Steer the narrative and you diminish the story. A 20-over run chase in a Test match is infinitely more alluring than that in a manipulated 20-over format. It has greater context.
Similarly, all Test hundreds should have context. Matches are played to see which team will win, not as run-scoring exercises. Runs are a means to an end.
Or maybe it’s not deliberate. Maybe it’s just a crappy pitch.