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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar 'Player of the Year' at sahara sports awards 2010 Photos.






















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Team India to focus on upcoming series against New Zealand: Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday said the upcoming Test series against New Zealand is very important for the team from momentum building perspective before the 2011 World Cup.

Tendulkar said after the recent win against Australia, it is now time to focus on the New Zealand series.

"I would like to think about the next three test matches that we play, and when we go to South Africa or just before that. Once we are through with New Zealand, then we can think about South Africa and that is the case with the World Cup as well," said Tendulkar, while addressing media persons on the sidelines of endorsing Real Estate Company Amit Enterprises here.

"But before we start playing the World Cup tournament, there is a lot of cricket left and that is what we would want to focus on, because I believe in momentum, and that momentum to keep with us, is really important. So, right now it is time to focus on New Zealand," he added.

Tendulkar also revealed the logic behind choosing a particular brand for endorsement.

"Whenever we think of associating with any brand, then obviously we check the reputation and the value, and whether I want to endorse that brand or not. And similarly, they want to take me or not is very important," he said.

Tendulkar also described the win against Australia as 'unbelievable' and praised the match-winning knock of VVS. Laxman in the Mohali Test as 'terrific' sportsmanship.

New Zealand is scheduled to play three Tests followed by five One-Day Internationals (ODI) matches against India beginning on November 4.


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Adjusting to formats not a problem - Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar has said his decision to skip India's last three one-day assignments was not predetermined, and that he had no difficulty in switching across the three versions of the game.
It has been eight months since Tendulkar's last ODI, in which he scored the format's first double-century.
Since then, he has missed the Asia Cup and the tri-series in Sri Lanka, as well as the home one-day series against Australia.
In the meantime, he has been in top form in Test cricket, where he is currently ranked No.
1 in the world, and in non-international Twenty20s for the Mumbai Indians franchise.
"The decision to skip the last two ODI series was taken at the last moment and was not pre-decided.
My kit always contained coloured pads," Tendulkar said.
"I have been playing cricket for some time now.
If I was not playing cricket there would be something to think about.
Having been around for some time, I know how to adjust to the formats.
I know my body.
I would do whatever is needed for the World Cup and it won't be pre-decided." Tendulkar was guarded against losing sight of the upcoming New Zealand series by focusing on the potentially bigger challenges that lie ahead.
"It's tough to talk now about the South Africa series and the World Cup.
The focus is on the Test series against New Zealand.
We have got three Tests to play before South Africa.
When we go there the focus would be on that.
Before the World Cup, there's lot of cricket to be played." Tendulkar's form in Test cricket has coincided with India's rise to the top of the world rankings, and he cherished being a part of it.
However, he was keen to keep improving as a batsman.
"What we have been able to achieve as a team in the last few years is remarkable.
We want to continue doing this.
It feels good to be No.
1, but we want to continue playing well to stay there.
"I would like to do better, would like to work harder.
I don't like to count the numbers.
The closer I look at the ball is more important than the numbers." Tendulkar will seek to score his 50th Test century during the series against New Zealand, which begins in Ahmedabad on November 4.
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Adjusting to formats not a problem - Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar has said his decision to skip India's last three one-day assignments was not predetermined, and that he had no difficulty in switching across the three versions of the game.
It has been eight months since Tendulkar's last ODI, in which he scored the format's first double-century.
Since then, he has missed the Asia Cup and the tri-series in Sri Lanka, as well as the home one-day series against Australia.
In the meantime, he has been in top form in Test cricket, where he is currently ranked No.
1 in the world, and in non-international Twenty20s for the Mumbai Indians franchise.
"The decision to skip the last two ODI series was taken at the last moment and was not pre-decided.
My kit always contained coloured pads," Tendulkar said.
"I have been playing cricket for some time now.
If I was not playing cricket there would be something to think about.
Having been around for some time, I know how to adjust to the formats.
I know my body.
I would do whatever is needed for the World Cup and it won't be pre-decided." Tendulkar was guarded against losing sight of the upcoming New Zealand series by focusing on the potentially bigger challenges that lie ahead.
"It's tough to talk now about the South Africa series and the World Cup.
The focus is on the Test series against New Zealand.
We have got three Tests to play before South Africa.
When we go there the focus would be on that.
Before the World Cup, there's lot of cricket to be played." Tendulkar's form in Test cricket has coincided with India's rise to the top of the world rankings, and he cherished being a part of it.
However, he was keen to keep improving as a batsman.
"What we have been able to achieve as a team in the last few years is remarkable.
We want to continue doing this.
It feels good to be No.
1, but we want to continue playing well to stay there.
"I would like to do better, would like to work harder.
I don't like to count the numbers.
The closer I look at the ball is more important than the numbers." Tendulkar will seek to score his 50th Test century during the series against New Zealand, which begins in Ahmedabad on November 4.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar interview: 'I favour England to win the Ashes'


The Indian legend believes Australia are in decline and so backs the tourists, and Eoin Morgan in particular, to shine this winterOn a rainy afternoon in London, with wintry gloom creeping across the city, it does not take long for Sachin Tendulkar to light up a drab hotel room. Tendulkar is shy and quietly-spoken but he soon turns a routine encounter into an illuminating experience. His balance and patience at the crease are again evident as he offers insight into the attributes which make him not only the world's best batsman but, after an epic year, arguably the greatest in cricket history.

Tendulkar steps away from these sweeping generalisations and deals, instead, in the specifics of his voracious mentality at 37. Amid widespread belief that he is the only batsman who could transcend Don Bradman in any dreamy comparison of cricket across the centuries, Tendulkar makes a remarkable statement: "I'm really focusing now on how I can get to the next level as a batsman. How can I get even more competitive? How can I get even more consistent? How can I get better?"

He could be an earnest young cricketer aspiring to improve himself – rather than the little master who, after 21 years of Tests, has completed another monumental achievement. Less than three weeks ago, against Australia in Bangalore, he cracked a ball from Nathan Hauritz through the covers. It would have been an ordinary boundary but for the fact it meant Tendulkar became the first man to score 14,000 Test runs.

"It was a big moment," Tendulkar says, "but I was most aware of the match situation." He had arrived at the wicket with India 38 for two in answer to Australia's first innings of 478. He and Murali Vijay added 64: "And then it flashed on the big screen that I needed eight runs to reach 14,000. Every run I scored was cheered. But when I needed two I hit a boundary. I was happy but I thought, 'right, now we can get back to focusing on cricket', because everyone had become too worried about those eight runs. It had taken away my focus."

That same restraint shaped his low-key acknowledgment of the milestone. As bedlam broke out, Tendulkar finally looked skywards and thought of his late father and his Test debut in November 1989 against a Pakistan attack led by Imran Khan and Wasim Akram. He pauses when asked if he felt more emotional than he had done in 2008, when becoming the highest run-scorer in Test cricket. "Yes. Obviously, going past Brian Lara was something special. But I'm even happier now and hopefully it continues."

That steadiness of ambition was obvious in Bangalore as Tendulkar compiled an unforgettable double hundred. He followed his 214 with an unbeaten 53 in the second innings to complete India's 2-0 victory. Tendulkar scored 403 runs in the two-match series, at an average of 134.5. Now, stressing his desire to become more "consistent" and "competitive", should that be possible, Tendulkar sounds briefly poetic. "Life would be flat without dreams. It's really important to dream – and then to chase those dreams. I really believe it's this dreaming that makes me work so hard. I want to continue doing that because I've worked very hard the last couple of years on my batting. Gary Kirsten [the former South Africa batsman who now coaches India] has been instrumental in this. He's given me the freedom to express myself, and to pace my innings as I see fit. Gary is more a friend than a coach."

He laughs when it is pointed out that Kirsten's empathy is different to India's former abrasive coach, Greg Chappell, whose brother, Ian, suggested a few years ago that Tendulkar was ready only for retirement. "There was a little dip for me, around 2005 and 2006. I had a lot of injuries – finger and elbow injuries and then a back injury. All these upper-body injuries may have altered my back-swing a little. But that is behind me now and I've been able to put in the hours of practice I need."

Lara might have been a more sublime batsman, and Viv Richards more majestic, but Tendulkar surpasses them both. It now seems appropriate to celebrate him alongside Bradman. In February he scored successive Test centuries against South Africa before, against the same opponents, becoming the first man to reach 200 in a one-day international. He then hit a double-hundred against Sri Lanka, and two half-centuries, before his performance against Australia confirmed his return to the top of the world batting ratings for the first time since 2002. Tendulkar won the ICC's Player of the Year, and earlier this week he was feted at London's inaugural Asian Awards. In front of a mix of celebrities defined by a surreal trio of Didier Drogba, Christian Louboutin and Nick Clegg, Tendulkar received awards for Outstanding Sporting Achievement and as the Lebara People's Choice.

"It's been the sweetest year. If you look at the one-day double-hundred, being the highest run-getter in the IPL and the series against Sri Lanka and Australia, it's been very good. We now play New Zealand [the first Test starts on Thursday] and I'm looking forward to the series in South Africa in December."

He argues that beating South Africa, away, is India's toughest assignment; as a clash between the two top teams in the world should produce better cricket than the eagerly-anticipated Ashes. England, after all, are ranked fourth while Australia are a lowly fifth. Are Australia in serious decline? "Yes. To not have [Matthew] Hayden, [Justin] Langer, [Adam] Gilchrist, [Glenn] McGrath, [Shane] Warne – it's a big loss. They still have some world-class players but their batting revolves around Ponting. When you want to create a vacuum in their batting you need to get Ponting."

Tendulkar expects a more balanced England to edge the Ashes. "I think England have a better chance. I favour them slightly. I would say [Eoin] Morgan could be the key performer in the Ashes. Morgan and [Graeme] Swann." Suggesting that Kevin Pietersen's poor form lies in his head, Tendulkar pinpoints Morgan as England's best batsman. "He's a very solid player who can control the pace of his innings. He can become a really good Test batsman even though he has only played a few Tests so far. After Morgan you've got the experience of [Andrew] Strauss, [Paul] Collingwood and Pietersen. They're a really well-balanced side and this is a great opportunity for England."

Australia, especially at home, remain cussed opponents. Surely they inspired Tendulkar to his greatest feats? "No, I think it's just a coincidence that many of my milestones happened against them." Yet Merv Hughes typified Australia's blunt admiration when he said to Allan Border, after Tendulkar had spoilt Shane Warne's debut in 1992: "This little prick's going to end up with more runs than you, AB."

Tendulkar attributes his poise to his father, Ramesh, a poet and novelist rather than a cricket fan: "I grew up looking at my father as to how to behave. In watching him I grasped so many things. His own temperament was of a calm person. He was very composed and I never saw anger in him. To me, that was fascinating."

His brother, Ajit, now influences him most. "If there is any problem in my batting I always speak to him. Ajit is absolutely the person I trust most when it comes to batting. Our understanding at home was always that we focus on the next game – let everyone else talk about the last game. I scored a triple hundred when I was 14 in the semi-final of a tournament. But there was a school match at the same time and my team only played with 10 fielders because I was batting in this other game. I still batted for my school and scored 178 not out. I then went to the final of the tournament and hit 346 not out. I have this same mentality now."

Tendulkar first played for India at 16. In the intervening 21 years he has become an idol in a country of over a billion people. There has been little peace for an essentially private man and a rare crack emerges in Tendulkar's grateful persona when he mentions the need to sometimes drive around Mumbai on his own at five in the morning: "I do that sometimes because I need the privacy. I drive around at 30 mph and I listen to music or the sound of the engine. I don't think about cricket. I am just myself."

India will co-host the 2011 World Cup – with the final to be played on 2 April in Mumbai. The pressure on Tendulkar will be immense. "It's going to be massive. Everyone in India is looking forward to a mega tournament and although people haven't started talking yet about 1983 [the last time India won the World Cup] it will happen soon. But, given our recent form, people have a right to be excited and have extremely high hopes."

Already, as his eyes glitter with anticipation, Tendulkar is moving forward. But he is most engaging when looking back. "As a kid I loved John McEnroe. They called me Mac because, while everyone else liked [Bjorn] Borg, I was crazy about McEnroe. I tried wearing headbands and sweatbands, and whooping at people. It didn't quite work."

Asked to name the bowler who tested him most, Tendulkar smiles at a bizarre selection: "Hansie Cronje. Honestly. I got out to Hansie more than anyone. When we played South Africa he always got me out more than Allan Donald or Shaun Pollock. It wasn't that I couldn't pick him – it's just that the ball seemed to go straight to a fielder. I was going great guns in Durban one year and played some big shots against Donald and Pollock. Hansie came on and I flicked his first ball straight to leg-slip. I never knew what to do with him."

Tendulkar shrugs in amusement before naming McGrath as the best fast bowler he faced. Warne has admitted to nightmares about bowling to Tendulkar – a feeling that was never reciprocated. "I did OK against him. But, among the spinners, Warne at his best was still something special."

Finally, to lighten his Bradman-esque aura, Tendulkar tells a lovely story about him and Warne visiting the old master. He neglects to mention he was the only modern player Bradman included in his best-ever XI and chooses, instead, to highlight the warmth of their meeting. "We went to see him on his 90th birthday. It was very special. We were talking about averages and I said, 'Sir Don, if you were playing today, what would you have averaged?' And he said, '70 – probably.' I asked, 'Why 70 and not your actual average of 99?' Bradman said, 'Come on, an average of 70 is not bad for a 90-year-old man.'"

Tendulkar rocks back in his chair and laughs. In this humorous moment, as one cricketing giant thinks of another, it's easy to admire the same qualities in Tendulkar. "This is what I tell my son. Whether you're an 11-year-old boy or Don Bradman we should never forget it's just a game we can all enjoy."


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Friday, October 29, 2010

Would like to take one series at a time: Tendulkar Read more: Would like to take one series at a time: Tendulkar

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar said on Friday that he would like to focus on one series at a time rather than thinking too far ahead including the World Cup that will be held in the sub-continent, next year.

"I am not yet thinking about the tour of South Africa and the 2011 Cricket World Cup. My immediate focus is on the upcoming New Zealand series and only when that is over, I will start talking about South Africa," Tendulkar said on the sidelines of a function that marked his association as a brand ambassador with a high-end watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet.

However, Tendulkar admitted that he would be happy if India can maintain the winning momentum in the coming series.

"The momentum is with us right now and we should not let it go. We are not taking anything for granted and want to be on our toes. We would be looking to keep on producing competitive cricket and stick to the basics."

When asked whether he is currently enjoying the form of his life, the iconic batsman who recently completed 14,000 Test runs said that although he is happy but he is still not satisfied.

"There is always room for improvement. I am happy with my current performance but not satisfied. I want to get better. In fact, in any profession one must strive to get better and better," said Tendulkar, adding, "I always want to remain a student of the game because that is when you grasp more and is always keen to improve."

The 37-year-old, who had one of the most fruitful years of his career in 2010 as he won his first ICC's Player of the Year Award and returned to the top of the world batting rankings for the first time since 2002.

In February, he scored centuries in successive Tests against South Africa before becoming the first man to reach 200 in an ODI against the same opponents.

When asked what all has remained in his wish list which he still want to achieve, Tendulkar said, "There is no wish list. I play because I always love playing cricket. The only thing I ever wanted to do was to play for my country.

"Now, my track is only cricket, where a lot of stations come and I cherish arriving at all of them. But I personally just want to do something for my country and go on playing. In this journey I want to achieve whatever I can till the time remains," said the man, who remains just one short of scoring 50 Test centuries.

"It was a fantastic win the Test series against Australia. In fact, it was great to see some guys produced special cricket. (VVS) Laxman is definitely one such special guy, who snatched the victory for us. He was struggling to even jog as he was injured but he went out there and produced such a brilliant innings.

"Even Ishant Sharma, who shared a valuable partnership with him must get a lot of credit. I am extremely glad that we stuck to our No 1 position in Tests."

Talking about the ICC award that he finally bagged this year by beating South African Hashim Amla, England's Graeme Swann and teammate Virender Sehwag, the Mumbaikar said, "Whenever an award comes it always feels good."

He further added, "But no one plays for awards. You always set goals and want to achieve those goals as individuals. And in cricket you always want to achieve goals as an individual and as a team.

"And when you succeed in achieving your goal and get appreciated for your efforts it always feels good."

The cricketer, who was conferred with the Indian Air Force's honorary rank of Group Captain to honour his sporting achievements and contribution to the nation last month, said that "it was a great honour."

"Becoming the group captain with the Indian Air Force was a great honour. It is extremely special because I am associated with a force who protect us. I salute them."


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Sachin Tendulkar as a brand ambassador with a high-end watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet.









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Harsha Bhogle on Sachin Tendulkar


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Top Indian cricketers want Kirsten retained as coach


India's leading cricketers are keen to have Gary Kirsten as their coach beyond 2011 World Cup following news from South Africa that they want to have him as their national team coach.

It is understood that some of the top cricketers, led by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, have informally asked the BCCI to have the contract with Kirsten renewed even before the World Cup.

Strong contender

Kirsten has emerged as a strong contender to be South Africa's next coach after the present coach Corrie van Zyl's decision to retire after the 2011 World Cup. However, Kirsten has gained in popularity after India's triumph over Australia in the recent series and has also been able to strengthen India's position as the No 1 Test playing nation.

Though BCCI are tightlipped over renewing Kirsten's contract even before the World Cup, it is understood that they may relent to popular demand. Some members in the BCCI want to wait and see India's performance in the World Cup before extending his contract. The players feel that Kirsten is the best among the coaches and hence rather than wait and lose him to some other nation, it would be better to make him sign up for a longer term.

After the Bengaluru Test against Australia, Tendulkar even attributed his recent form to Kirsten's guidance: "Gary (Kirsten) has helped me and he throws millions of balls at the whole team. The bowling machine and Gary are competing about who gets tired. He doesn't seem to get tired. He has been instrumental in my consistency."

It is likely that if India wins the World Cup under Kirsten then his remuneration too may have to be increased. Kirsten took over as India's coach in March 2008 after most of the senior players found Greg Chappell hard to get along with.


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    Unreal, extraordinary to be named with Bradman: Tendulkar


    The only current cricketer to be named in ESPNcricinfo's all-time World XI, Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar says he finds it "unreal and extraordinary" to be placed alongside legends such as Don Bradman with whom he would have loved to play.

    Tendulkar is the only Indian in the team which features four Australians, three West Indians, two Englishmen and a Pakistani.

    "It would have been great to play in this dream team, to walk out with Bradman after lunch, or build a partnership with Viv Richards, and talk to Sobers about cricket," Tendulkar told ESPNcricinfo.

    "Just playing and having a conversation with them about cricket. I would have liked to have asked (Jack) Hobbs and (Len) Hutton what it was like to play on uncovered wickets, who were the best bowlers they had faced, and of course, the mental aspect of the game," the 37-year-old, who has been in international cricket for over two decades, added.

    Tendulkar said he is glad that he played with or watched live nearly 60 per cent of the selected side.

    "I played with Malcolm Marshall in county cricket, I played against Viv Richards in an exhibition game, and Lillee bowled to me at the nets at the MRF Pace Academy, when I was 15," he said.

    "It was such a thrill. I remember I called my brother and said to him that Dennis Lillee had bowled to me. So to now find myself in this company is unreal. I first met him when I was 12.

    Pace legend Wasim Akram, the only Pakistani to have made the elite XI, said it was one of his biggest achievements to be named in the star-studded line-up.

    "I never thought I would play for Pakistan, let alone be picked for an all-time World XI like this. It is a very special thing, to be picked by these judges and even more of an honour to be in the same team as guys like Sir Don Bradman, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garry Sobers, Sachin and the others," he said.

    "A lot of people ask me who was the best bowler I ever saw. Imran was great, no doubt, very hardworking and shrewd. Dennis Lillee I never really saw, but people tell you obviously about how good he was. But when I rate a bowler, I look at how he did around the world, on different pitches in England, the subcontinent and Australia, and Malcolm Marshall, I feel, was the best of the lot," he added.

    Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who currently plays in the Indian Premier League, said, "to be one of only four Australian players to be chosen is an absolute honour, although I do think there were several other wicketkeepers, like Rod Marsh, Ian Healy, Mark Boucher or Alan Knott, who could have easily been picked ahead of me in this team."



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    Sachin honoured at Asian awards Photos.



    Awards and accolades continue to follow Sachin Tendulkar who added the ‘Lebara People’s Choice’ honour at the inaugural Asian Awards to his trophy cabinet.

    Presenting the award to the iconic batsman, Ratheesan Yoganathan, CEO Lebara, said, “Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Sachin is a hero and a role model to many young Indians.”

    “His skill on the pitch is remarkable, but his influence goes beyond just cricket — he has become an inspiration for future generations,” he added.

    Tendulkar said getting popular choice awards is the ultimate honour. “To receive an accolade from your peers is one thing, but to receive acknowledgment from the public is the ultimate honour. Thank you to all those who voted for me,” he said.

    The Asian Awards 2010, presented by Lord Sebastian Coe, saw leaders in business, sports and the arts in attendance, including Yash Chopra, A R Rahman and Vijay Mallya alongside guests Jermaine Jackson, Nasser Hussain OBE, Gurinder Chadha, Christian Louboutin and singer Sonu Nigam.

    Rahman won the award for outstanding achievement in music, while Yash Chopra received the outstanding achievement award in cinema. Vijay Mallya was chosen as the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ while telecom giant Bharti-Airtel owner Sunil Mittal was named the ‘Philanthropist of the Year’. Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan got the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

    Other recipients of the awards were: Ratan Tata (Business Leader of the Year), Zarin Patel (Public Servant of the Year), Prof. Muhammad Yunus (Social Entrepreneur of the Year), Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla (outstanding achievement in arts and design), George Alagiah OBE (outstanding achievement in television).

    Created to honour excellence and achievement among in the South Asian community, the inaugural Asian Awards in partnership with Lebara, saw South Asians gather at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Tuesday night.











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    Sachin Tendulkar: 'Life would be flat without dreams'


    Sachin Tendulkar, who made history earlier this month by becoming the first batsman to score 14,000 runs in Test cricket, has stressed that his desire to improve remains as intense as it has ever been. In a rare interview, to be published in full in Saturday's newspaper, Tendulkar says: "I'm really focusing now on how I can get to the next level as a batsman. How can I get even more competitive? How can I get even more consistent? How can I get better?"

    Tendulkar has had the most prolific year of his Test career, which began in November 1989 when he was just 16, and he has returned to the top of the world batting rankings for the first time since 2002. In February he scored centuries in successive Tests against South Africa before, against the same opponents, becoming the first man to reach 200 in a one-day international. He was the highest run scorer in the IPL and also made a Test double-hundred against Sri Lanka, and two half-centuries, before his remarkable performances against Australia – which saw him reach the 14,000 landmark in the second Test at Bangalore while scoring 214 and an unbeaten 53 to complete India's 2-0 series victory.

    Describing 2010 as his "sweetest year", Tendulkar has also won the ICC's Player of the Year and earlier this week in London he was feted with two more prizes at the inaugural Asian Awards. But he insists that, rather than considering retirement at the age of 37, he has many more goals to fulfil. According to Tendulkar: "Life would be flat without dreams. I think it's really important to dream – and then to chase those dreams. I really believe in this because it's this dreaming that makes me work so hard. I want to continue doing that because I've worked very hard the last couple of years on my batting. Gary Kirsten [the former Test opener for South Africa who now coaches India] has been instrumental in this. Together we've worked hard in the last couple of years to improve my batting. He's given me the freedom to express myself, and to pace my innings as I see fit. I can slow down occasionally. Gary has helped me do this and it's because he's more a friend than a coach."

    Conceding that his form subsided a few years ago, prompting critics like Australia's Ian Chappell to call for his retirement, Tendulkar says: "There was a little dip for me, around 2005 and 2006. But I had a lot of injuries then. I had finger and elbow injuries, and then a back injury. All these upper-body injuries may have altered my back-swing a little. But, fortunately, all that is behind me now and I've been able to put in the hours of practice that I need."

    In a wide-ranging interview, Tendulkar reflects on the influence of his late father, a novelist and poet, as well as his brother, Ajit, who remains his closest cricketing confidante. He relives the "big moment" when he passed the 14,000-run milestone and considers the difficulties of the life he leads as the idol of over a billion people.

    India will co-host the 2011 cricket World Cup – with the final to be played on 2 April in Tendulkar's home city of Mumbai. "It's going to be massive," he says. "Everyone in India is already looking forward to hosting a mega tournament and although people haven't started talking yet about 1983 [the last time India won the World Cup] it will happen soon. But, given our recent form, people have a right to be excited and have extremely high hopes for us. There are going to be big expectations."

    Tendulkar explains why he favours England over Australia in the Ashes – and identifies Eoin Morgan as potentially the key man of the series. He also reveals the surprise identity of the bowler who has troubled him most in Test cricket and reflects on the day he and Shane Warne visited Don Bradman on his 90th birthday.

    Read Donald McRae's full, exclusive interview with Sachin Tendulkar in Saturday's Guardian and on guardian.co.uk/sport


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    Monday, October 25, 2010

    India pick 15-man squad for New Zealand Tests

    The selections for the New Zealand cricket Test series did not throw up any surprises with Mahendra Singh Dhoni leading a 15-member Indian team for the three-match series beginning November 4 in Ahmedabad. Seamer Ishant Sharma and opening batsman Gambhir return to the squad after sitting out the

    second of the two Tests against visiting Australia earlier this month due to knee injuries.

    The pair played in the first Test at Mohali that India won by one wicket, but missed the second game in Bangalore where the home team clinched the series 2-0 with a seven-wicket victory.

    Going out of the Test squad are batsman Abhinav Mukund (Tamil Nadu) and left-arm seamer Jaidev Unadkat (Saurashtra) both of whom were included for the Bangalore game as back-up players and did not get into the playing eleven.

    New Zealand are scheduled to play three Test matches at Ahmedabad (Nov 4-8), Hyderabad (Nov 12-16) and Nagpur (Nov 20-24).

    The Test series will be followed by five One-Day Internationals on Nov 28 (Guwahati), Dec 1 (Jaipur), Dec 4 (Vadodara), Dec 7 (Bangalore) and Dec 10 (Chennai).

    The Indian team will then head to South Africa for three Tests and five ODIs Dec 16-Jan 23, 2011.

    The squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Santhakumaran Sreesanth, Pragyan Ojha, Cheteshwar Pujara and Amit Mishra.


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    Okay to compare Sachin and Don | Fox Sports

    Okay to compare Sachin and Don | Fox Sports
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    When it comes to big bats, Tendulkar edges it


    MIKE HUSSEY was only joking when he suggested the greatest batsman of the modern era, India's Sachin Tendulkar, used a bat that was outside the laws of cricket. ''Test cricket is bloody hard work,'' Hussey said. ''Especially when you've got Sachin batting with what looks like a three-metre-wide bat.''

    But Hussey's respectful, if slightly envious, observation is not entirely baseless or without precedent. For years viewers have wondered why Tendulkar's bat looked so big.

    Is it just that he's such a small-statured fellow? Is it because he has such a good eye that he seems to hit every shot out of the middle? Or is something funny going on? Some laws of cricket are a bit nit-picky. But when it comes to bats, size matters. A lot.

    The rules that govern bat dimensions are kept by the Marylebone Cricket Club, as they have been since 1787, and are followed by the ICC and all affiliated organisations. On the length and width of a bat, the MCC's Laws of Cricket state:

    (a) The overall length of the bat, when the lower portion of the handle is inserted, shall not be more than 38in/96.5cm;

    (b) The width of the bat shall not exceed 4.25in/10.8cm at its widest part;

    (c) Permitted coverings, repair material and toe guards, not exceeding their specified thicknesses, may be additional to the dimensions above.

    So, does Tendulkar's bat fit the regulations? Short of waiting outside the India dressing room for the coast to clear, running in with tape and taking a measurement, getting the exact numbers is a bit tricky. But suddenly last week a lead appeared and at least something of an explanation.

    ''I was having lunch two days ago with the guy who makes his bat,'' said cricket-supply guru, Harry Solomons, who owns Kingsgrove Sports Centre, which once employed the Waugh brothers. ''Sachin's bats look wide, but they are regulation width. It's the thick edges that make it look bigger.

    ''His bats are English willow, with a thick profile, massive edges which he likes, and he also likes his bats to be heavily bowed.'' This refers to the curvature of the face of the bat.

    They are also heavy, a result of having to share a full-sized bat with his brother when he was a kid.

    ''When he was with [previous bat sponsor] MRF his bats were close to three pounds,'' Solomons said. To put that in context, the bat used by 193cm West Indies great Clive Lloyd - who was renowned for using a gigantic heavy bat - weighed 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Tendulkar is 165cm. ''Now he's gone a little bit lighter. But he still likes a big, thick, heavy bat, much heavier than, say, Ponting's bat.'' The bat Tendulkar uses now is 2lb 12oz.

    Former Blues player Dom Thornely noticed his former Mumbai Indians teammate polishing the cherries off the ample edges to give the impression that each shot came out of the middle.

    ''And as the ball gets older and bounces less he tends to change bats to one that has a sweet spot lower down,'' Thornely said. ''It makes perfect sense.''

    It's not easy getting the facts about Tendulkar's bats because just about everyone claims they are the great man's official supplier.

    ''A lot of manufacturers give him handmade bats because it looks good for them to say they made a bat for Tendulkar,'' Solomons said. ''He gets inundated - and then gives them away to poor kids.''

    For the record, Tendulkar signed a deal with adidas last year. His bats are made by the SG factory in India. The bats are available in Australia, known as the Sachin Tendulkar Master Blaster Elite and retail for about $650.

    It's the same dimensions, Solomons swears, but a bit lighter and thinner.


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    Sachin Tendulkar features in ESPNcricinfo’s all-time World Test XI | Bharat Chronicle


    Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian and the only current cricketer named in ESPNcricinfo’s all-time Test World XI.

    The jury effectively voted Tendulkar as the fourth-greatest cricketer in the history of the game.

    Cricket biggies like Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath and Sunil Gavaskar could not find a place in the World 11.

    Going by the votes, this is the order of merit in which the world’s middle-order batsmen stack up: Bradman, Tendulkar, Richards, Headley, Lara, Hammond, Graeme Pollock and Greg Chappell.

    The jury comprised one former captain from each of the top Test-playing teams — Ian Chappell, Clive Lloyd, Tony Greig, Duleep Mendis, Ali Bacher, Intikhab Alam, John Wright, Ajit Wadekar — and four cricket historians and writers.

    World XI: Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Adam Gilchrist, Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Dennis Lillee

    Second XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Barry Richards, George Headley, Brian Lara, Wally Hammond, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Bill O’Reilly, Fred Trueman, Muttiah Muralitharan, SF Barnes



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    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    The Hindu : Sport / Cricket : Sachin Tendulkar: favoured by all

    The Hindu : Sport / Cricket : Sachin Tendulkar: favoured by all
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    Sachin still gets nervous before a match: Anjali Tendulkar


    Whenever cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has a big match coming up, there are two scenes that gets played out, almost like a routine, at the Tendulkar household — a tense Sachin the night before the match, and a tense wife Anjali on the day of the match.

    “He (Sachin) still gets tense before every match after so many years, he won’t eat properly, and gets up early in the morning on the day of the match. I think he performs best that way. It is a kind of a process, so I never try to console or relax him before a match,” says the reclusive Anjali Tendulkar, in an exclusive tete-a-tete with DNA.

    When the whole nation is agog as Sachin enters the crease, Anjali says that she’s busy switching off her cell phone. “When Sachin is batting, I just switch off entirely. There are no phone calls for me or leaving the television set. I even try not to take food breaks or water breaks as long as possible,” adds Anjali. But why before the television set? Isn’t she supposed to be in the stadium? “I prefer not to watch him live. Television is better,” she says, indicating the huge pressure that builds up inside her head.

    Anjali admits that Sachin is very particular about his practice that he think twice about stepping out for it even on a hot Mumbai afternoon. “When I ask him as to why he’s going for practice in the heat, he says, ‘I have a match to play and I need to practice at this time’.”

    Anjali reveals that Sachin is foodie too, but indulges in it once in a while. Anjali admits candidly that she’s not a great cook. “He is a foodie. But I’m not that great a cook like his mom, my mom and our cook. They are allfabulous, so there’s no complains about that. He indulges himself once in a while (on food), but always makes sure to work out the next day,” she adds.


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