Melbourne: Australian spin legend Shane Warne has little doubt that Sachin Tendulkar would get his 100th international century on the present tour Down Under, but he wished the iconic Indian batsman to reach the feat in the first cricket Test starting December 26 here.
"I feel Sachin would get his 100th century (in Australia) but I wish he does so in Melbourne," Warne said on the sidelines of a function at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where his 300kg bronze statue was unveiled this morning.
Warne, who in his entire career could claim Tendulkar`s wicket only thrice in Test matches, has enormous respect for the champion Indian batsman whom he rates as the best willow-yielder of his time.
The first match against Australia would be Tendulkar`s 185th Test. He has so far made 15,183 runs from 303 innings with 51 centuries at an average of 56.03 in five-day games.
Tendulkar also has 18,111 runs from 453 ODIs with 48 centuries under his belt at an average of 45.16.
Tendulkar, though, has struggled to add to his tally of 99 international centuries this year - his last ton being 111 against South Africa at Nagpur in March during the World Cup.
His last Test century was also against South Africa – 146 at the Newlands, Cape Town in January and has been without a ton in the longest format of the game in his last 14 innings.
On the present tour, India revisits Melbourne again in February, though it would be for a 50-over match against Australia on February 3.
Meanwhile, Warne also expects the famed Indian batting line up to do well in the upcoming series.
"I think their batters, especially Rahul Dravid, will make big runs. He`s a quality person, a quality act, a quality player.”
"India has a quality team. In Test cricket we`ve seen them, against the West Indies. Their batsmen will do pretty well," said Warne, who ended his career with 708 wickets from 145 Tests at a staggering average of 25.42.
The former leg-spinner, however, did not boast of an impressive record against India. In his 14 Tests against India, Warne captured only 43 wickets at an average of 47.19.
If Warne is confident about India`s good showing in the batting department in Australia, he has serious doubts over the visitors` bowling abilities.
"Their bowlers will have to stay fit. If Zaheer Khan or Ishant Sharma get injured, then I think their bowling attack could be quite weak. The Australian batsmen could perform pretty well. I think it`s going to come down to how India are going to take 20 wickets with their bowling," he said.