The hype is back as Sachin Tendulkar once again seeks to record an unprecedented 100th international century, when a near full-strength India take on West Indies in the first cricket Test beginning here on Sunday.
The spotlight will be firmly on Tendulkar who missed the milestone by a whisker when he was trapped in front by Tim Bresnan nine runs short of the elusive landmark during the fifth day of the fourth and final Test against England at the Oval earlier this year.
The senior batsman has been stuck on 99 since the ODI World Cup when he hit two centuries, against England and South Africa.
As for the Indian team, the three-match series gains significance as it will not only give them an opportunity to erase the painful memories of the 0-4 debacle at the Old Blighty, where they meekly surrendered the number one status to England, but will also give the players a chance to prepare for the tough upcoming tour of Australia.
However, it will not be a cakewalk for the hosts as the West Indies are coming off a series win in Bangladesh, a much-needed one after a series of disappointing outings, and one that seems to have raised the confidence of the visiting players.
The hosts, on the other hand, will be bolstered by the return of stalwarts Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Tendulkar and all of them would look to get into some kind of form ahead of the trip Down Under.
Sehwag has been consistent over the past few seasons while Gambhir and VVS Laxman have already scored two double tons at the Feroz Shah Kotla, hosting its first Test after a 12-month ban.(PTI)