LONDON, July 24 (AP/UNB) - The stage was set for Sachin Tendulkar to make his 100th international century at Lord's on Saturday, but instead the show was stolen by Rahul Dravid, whose unbeaten 103 spared India from following on against England on day three of the first test.
Both men are 38 years old and this match arguably represents their last chance to make a century at Lord's.
Dravid seized his, with an imperious innings that lasted 220 balls and included 15 fours, but Tendulkar lost a fascinating duel with a revitalized Stuart Broad, who had him caught by Graeme Swann for 34.
Far from envying the attention lavished on Tendulkar, Dravid said he was fine with staying out of the spotlight.
"In some ways it suits me because all the pressure's on him (Tendulkar)," Dravid said. "I can sit by quietly and do the business."
Dravid was out for 96 when he made his test debut on this ground in 1996 and said the memory had played on his mind.
"To miss out on a hundred in my first test 15 years ago was something that stayed with me for a little bit," he said.
"It was there in my mind but I had one more game and it was fantastic to come here and score a hundred like this, because it is special. There are some great names on that honors board."
With India trying to overhaul England's first innings of 474-8 declared, a century seemed to be there for the taking for Tendulkar, but instead he fell to a buoyant Broad for 34, caught in the slips by Swann.
When Tendulkar walked to the crease, an hour into the morning session, it was to warm applause from a capacity crowd at Lord's.
The first delivery Tendulkar faced, from a revitalized Broad, reared up at him and flew down the leg side for four byes.
Broad's next ball smashed into Tendulkar's ribs, but the batsman didn't flinch and got off the mark with the first ball of Broad's next over, an elegant cover drive for two.
Tendulkar's first boundary shot was a glorious punch through the covers, though both he and Rahul Dravid had to survive a hostile spell from Broad and Chris Tremlett before lunch.
Dravid was unwilling to be upstaged and the two veterans put on a masterclass at the start of the afternoon session, putting on a stand of 81 before Broad set his trap.
The revitalized England bowler produced an outswinger that Tendulkar chased and edged to Graeme Swann in the slips for 32.
"I think after 170-odd tests we've seen enough footage of him," Broad said when asked if they'd identified any weaknesses in Tendulkar's game. "He played fantastically well for his 34 today but we were delighted to see the back of him."
Tendulkar has never made more than 37 at Lord's. He will likely have one last chance to join Dravid on the honors board in India's second innings.