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Friday, December 23, 2011

Tendulkar greater than Bradman: Oz researcher

An economics researcher claims to have found an answer to one of the biggest debates in international cricket by picking Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest Test batsman ever over late Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman.

Who's greater?"Griffith University researcher Dr Nicholas Rohde has used economic theory to compare batsmen from different eras, and says India's Little Master, who will pad up against the Aussies at the MCG on Boxing Day, is history's premier willow wielder," reported The Australian.

The 38-year-old Tendulkar has a world-record 15,183 runs from 184 Tests at an average of 56.02 since making his debut in 1989. Bradman, on the other hand, played 52 Tests from 1928 to 1948, scoring 6996 runs at an astonishing average of 99.94. He died in 2001 aged 92.
Dr Rohde said a theoretical analysis puts Tendulkar above Bradman. "The rankings are designed to allow for meaningful comparisons of players with careers of different lengths," Dr Rohde said.
"It's an emotional issue and there will always be debate between followers of Test cricket about the relative career performances of various batsmen," he added. The rankings by the researcher have been created according to a player's career aggregate runs, minus the total number of runs that an average player of that era would accumulate over the same number of innings.
Allan Border (seven) and Steve Waugh (nine) are the other Australian batsmen in the top 10. Rahul Dravid (fourth) and Sunil Gavaskar (eighth) are the other Indians in the list. Dr Rohde's said it was possible that Tendulkar and Bradman could swap their places many times before the Indian retires as a dip in form would affect his standing.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Aishwarya Rai and Sachin Tendulkar Invited by Amitabh Bachchan for Polio Campaign

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai and cricket star Sachin Tendulkar are among those Amitabh Bachchan has invited to participate in his campaign against Polio in India. Rai is also Big B's daughter-in-law, who recently gave birth to his new baby granddaughter, Beti B.

A report from Pink Villa gives the news that Amitabh is quite pleased with how the number of cases has decreased. He reported on Twitter that since he took over as Polio UNICEF campaign's Ambassador, there are now zero cases in India. He goes on to say it was started in 2002 when there were "over 1,000 cases," yet today there is only one in West Bengal.

On Thursday, Amitabh Bachchan appeared in Mumbai for a special event to launch a new UNICEF campaign for polio. He let his Twitter followers know about the success of the campaign, as well as how the incurable disease can be prevented. Big B said on Twitter:

"May I also add here that polio is incurable, but it can be prevented provided the vaccine is taken in time... And yes, on some of the campaign videos I did invite Sachin (Tendulkar), Aishwarya, SRK (Shah Rukh Khan), and Jaya (Bachchan) to promote the cause... so thank you to all!!"

When it comes to major causes, it's always good to get major stars on board. Amitabh certainly has the respect of many in his country and elsewhere, so it shouldn't be tough to get the help of these individuals. Aishwarya Rai in particular is a close family member whom Amitabh seems to care for greatly. After all, she's married to his son, Abhishek. Now it will be up to other celebrities and individuals to get involved in the campaign to help decrease polio occurrences that much more. This is a great cause, so hopefully Amitabh gets the support he needs from others!

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Sachin Tendulkar sparkles in India's tour opener

SACHIN Tendulkar started what is likely to be his last tour of Australia with a typically classy 92 in India's drawn match against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Canberra. 
The two-day match ended today when rain intervened with the tourists 6-320 after 83.1 overs in reply to the home side's 6-398 on a very flat Manuka Oval pitch.

With the exception of opener Gautam Gambhir, who looked a little edgy in his knock of 35, India's available first-string batsmen looked in ominous touch ahead of the four-Test series against Australia.

Tendulkar was the star and, after going to lunch 13 not out, the 38-year-old unleashed in the second session in facing just 132 balls and smashing 15 boundaries.

The small but vocal crowd of around 2000 were disappointed when Tendulkar and VVS Laxman (57 not out) both retired at tea after combining for a 133-run stand.

However, they'd already seen Rahul Dravid - Tendulkar's only partner in the 13,000 club for Test runs - make 45 in a solid day for India's big three.

Dravid, who is India's captain for the first of two practice games against Chairman's selections, looked in good touch before he was out trying to clear the mid-off fieldsman off the bowling of leg-spinner Cameron Boyce (2-74).

Laxman, who has performed unbelievably well in Australia throughout his career, also looked in impressive nick. He took just 76 balls for his unbeaten stint at the crease and found the fence nine times.

Young opener Ajinkya Rahane (three), who is yet to make his Test debut, missed his opportunity and was out early to promising South Australian quick Jake Haberfield (1-54).

Rahane's partner Gautam Gambhir got himself set before hitting one to Chairman's XI captain Ryan Broad at short cover off the bowling of Victorian off-spinner Glenn Maxwell (1-84).

One-Test quick Peter George failed to make a breakthrough but was the most economical, going for just 38 runs from his 19 overs.

Middle-order batsman Virat Kholi was the only other to fail, out for one caught and bowled to Boyce, while Rohit Sharma (56no) and keeper Wriddhiman Saha (23no) were the unbeaten batsmen for India at the close of play.

Source : The Australian

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Sachin Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand can now be given Bharat Ratna

In a significant move clearing decks for Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand and others to get Bharat Ratna, the government has made a necessary change in eligibility criteria for a person getting the India's highest civilian honour.

The Bharat Ratna will now be awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order "in any field of human endeavour" - covering almost all the fields that had earlier remained out of the purview of this civilian award.

Earlier, it was restricted to areas like "Art, Literature, Science and Public Service", making it difficult for government to consider names of those, who contributed immensely to other fields, including sports.

"The change is made through notification by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on recommendation of the home and sports ministries," said a senior official.

Supporting sports ministry's demand to include 'sports' as a category for the award of Bharat Ratna, the home ministry had written to the PMO in July, asking it to take the call as the decision would help outstanding sportspersons to be considered for the highest civilian award.

As the clamour for awarding Bharat Ratna to Tendulkar and Dhyan Chand gets louder, sports minister Ajay Maken had earlier written to home minister P Chidambaram seeking inclusion of 'sports' as a category for the award of Bharat Ratna. Maken, however, did not plead for any specific sportsperson or sports.

Before the change which is made now, the Bharat Ratna was considered only for those, who excelled for "exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order". The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna - that was instituted in 1954 - are made by Prime Minister himself to President.

Though names of persons as per the eligibility criteria can be recommended by different state\Union Territories governments, organizations and individuals to PMO for consideration, no "formal recommendation" for this is necessary. It is also not mandatory that Bharat Ratna is awarded every year. The number of awards is, however, restricted to a maximum of three in a year.

So far, 41 people have been conferred with Bharat Ratna. The first three Indians, who received the prestigious award, were Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and Sarvapali Radhakrishnan in 1954. There is no written provision that Bharat Ratna should be awarded to Indian citizens only.

The award has been conferred to a naturalized Indian citizen Mother Teresa (1980) and to two non-Indians - Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela (1990). Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was the last recipient of the award in 2009.

Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Lata Mangeshkar, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Amartya Sen, Jayprakash Narayan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, M S Subbulakshmi, J R D Tata, A P J Abdul Kalam, Rajiv Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai and Bhimrao Ambedkar are among the other recipients of Bharat Ratna.  

Source: Times of India

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag's common link

What is common between the double hundreds scored by Sachin Tendulkar in Gwalior last year and Virender Sehwag here on Thursday?

While both the batsmen are Indians and the knocks have been scored in Madhya Pradesh, it also happens that both the innings have come on tracks prepared by the same man.

Curator of the Hoklar Stadium Samandar Singh Chauhan was a happy man on Thursday when Sehwag became the second man to score a double hundred in an ODI. He was also incharge of the wicket at the Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior where Tendulkar breached the 200-run barrier.

Singh, who has been a curator for Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association for the last 17 years, said he enjoyed watching Sehwag score 219 against West Indies on a wicket prepared by him.

“Bada mazaa aagaya Sehwag ko dekhkar (It was fun watching Sehwag bat like this). I have always loved preparing batting tracks for the ODIs” he told DNA.

Singh said he had a feeling that Sehwag would be the person to repeat Tendulkar’s feat, but said he had no inkling that it would happen in his venue.

“I knew that Sehwag can do the unthinkable because of the way he bats and given his approach to the game. It is a proud feeling both the double hundreds have come on the pitches prepared by me,” added Singh.

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Sachin Tendulkar has best chance for 100th ton in Australia: Gilchrist

Australian cricketing legend Adam Gilchrist said that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has the best chance of scoring his 100th international century in the upcoming India-Australia series.

"Sachin has a very good chance of scoring his 100th ton in the series as he knows Australian conditions well. It is a matter of time he does that," he told reporters on Thursday.

"However, the Australian bowlers would be unhappy to give it away to the Indian master to get his 100th international ton," Gilchrist said.

Asked about calls for Ricky Ponting's retirement, Gilchrist said his last two innings were extremely encouraging and was playing with freedom and skill that the world knows about him.

"I am sure Ponting is feeling good about his game as he works hard on his batting. I think he is looking forward to India's tour to Australia," Gilchrist said.

On India's chances in Australia, Gilchrist said it would an exciting series and both teams were evenly matched.

"Whichever bowling attack dominates opponent batsmen will get gain advantage (of winning the series)," the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman said.

Gilchrist said Australia would miss its strike bowler Mitchell Johnson. "Definitely it is a loss for us as he has the ability to change the course of a Test match. But at times he is inconsistent," he added.

Gilchrist also said Pat Cummins has had an impressive debut against New Zealand, but how much his non-availability (against India) would be a cause of worry is difficult to say.

He also lavished praise on rookie Indian pacers Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav. "Varun and Umesh have impressed me in IPL. They have made a reasonable start to their international career," he said.

On Harbhajan Singh, who would be missed in Australia, Gilchrist said, "Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha have performed well to keep Singh out."

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Tendulkar's lonely pitch

AN MCG tour group stopped and listened to an informative briefing about the indoor cricket facilities without realising the small man having a private net session below was Sachin Tendulkar, and that was just how he wanted it.

The greatest batsman of his generation practised alone in the greatest cricket ground, away from the cameras (banned by Indian cricket board decree) and in quiet broken only by the crack of the ball on his bat.
Safe to say it will be the last time he will go unrecognised this summer.

The tour will not officially begin until next week when the full Indian squad and its entourage gathers in Canberra, but an advance party of seven, with champion batsmen Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V. V. S. Laxman among them, touched down in Melbourne on Thursday night to get a head start. They vanished behind layers of security, into the team bus and to their hotel just in time to witness the outbreak of Sehwagology that took down one of Tendulkar's many world records.

But he has plenty more of those, and the celebration that followed Virender Sehwag's astonishing 219 in Indore, a delicious appetiser to the Border-Gavaskar series, will seem tame if Tendulkar scores his one-hundredth hundred on Boxing Day. Tendulkar seized the earliest start to his Australian preparation of all the Indian players in town, venturing to the MCG yesterday with two support staff while James Pattinson and Peter Siddle, his next opponents, scythed through New Zealand in Hobart.

The outdoor nets were under covers so he picked one of the indoor ones designed to replicate pace and bounce, and faced throw-downs for almost two hours.

You cannot get near the nets while the Indians are in town without special security clearance, but from behind a distant pillar he could be seen stretching forward with a straight bat to the fuller balls.

He was relaxed but serious, fetching his own balls at the end of a batch, and didn't flinch when one ball shot up and hit him on the side of the helmet.

No one except a couple of MCG caterers, who flipped out their camera phones, gave him a second glance. For a couple of quiet hours, Sachin Tendulkar was just a batsman batting.

All that will change 16 days from now when he begins his fifth Test series in Australia searching for his nation's first ever series win in these parts.

Already his presence has created a buzz. ''Tendulkar's in town,'' said the man on the No. 48 tram, and soon enough he will be the focus of the cricket world's gaze again.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

'Sachin was cognizant of Yuvraj's tumour'

Cricketer Yuvraj Singh had informed master blaster Sachin Tendulkar about his 'serious illness', said the ailing player's mother Shabnam Singh on Sunday.

According to Shabnam, on being informed about Yuvi's health, Sachin had told him, "Don't worry Yuvi, things will be all right."

She also said that only a few family members and friends of the cricket player had the knowledge about a tumour in his left lung.

Talking to Bhaskar team, Shabnam said her son shares things and seeks advices from Sachin on several matters. "When he informed Sachin about his tumour, both Sachin and his wife Anjali motivated him. They had asked Yuvraj not to panic saying "You don't have a serious disease. You will be fine after the treatment."

Shabnam also said that she felt nervous being a mother whenever she thought about the tumour, but everytime his son came and boosted her confidence.

Yuvraj has always been like a fighter. Recuperating from his illness, flamboyant Indian batsman said today that he is "absolutely fine" and would be returning to cricket very soon.

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Lot of people are putting unnecessary pressure on Tendulkar: Kohli

Middle-order batsman Virat Kohli on Friday said that star India batsman Sachin Tendulkar is being put under immense pressure of scoring his historic 100th ton, but the Little Master can handle it successfully.

Kohli told reporters after the end of the fourth day’s play, “I think a lot of people have started putting unnecessary pressure [on him]. He has achieved so much. Like MS said, the milestone is going to happen; people are making such a fuss about it. I was still batting when he came back but he was pretty relaxed after that. It has happened to him a lot of times. Obviously he would be disappointed, but he is not one to be disappointed for too long and was pretty relaxed.”

Kohli said that it is a great pleasure to share the dressing room with the likes of Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid VVS Laxman and many more.

“It’s a privilege to be part of the same dressing room. I never thought I would even get to meet these people face to face; now I’m sharing the dressing room with them. It has been wonderful; you learn so many things from them, especially in practice sessions. And everyone has their own way of preparing before the match or on match days,” he said.

“In practice sessions you can learn a lot from them, the way they practice, their intensity, they will take a certain number of catches every day, they will hit a certain number of balls everyday. It is not something they are complacent about; it is more of a habit for them. That is what makes them great players,” Kohli added.

The right-handed Delhi batsman scored a fine 52, and was bit disappointed after missing out on maiden Test century.

“The way I was going, the way the situation was, I am not saying that I am guaranteeing I could get a hundred, but it was a perfect scenario for me to get a big score. I wanted to go with the turn, but did not get too much elevation; I middled the ball but it went it straight to the fielder. It was one of those days. Cricket is a game like that; if it had gone over the fielder, everyone would have been, ‘He went against the turn and got a six’. If it does not get executed, they say, ‘He could have waited’,” Kohli said.

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Sachin's tips helped me improve my bowling: Ojha

Fresh from a hugely successful Test series against the West Indies, India's new spin hero Pragyan Ojha today revealed that he gained heavily from the tips of Sachin Tendulkar who helped him out with some finer points. "Sachin always gives you that energy on the field. He advises me all

the finer points like how to deceive a batsman. How to deceive in flight... His tips have helped me in getting at least 10-15 Test wickets," Ojha who is considered as a Test specialist told PTI today.

"I remembered one sentence by Sachin Tendulkar who would tell me if you love the game, you don't need anything to motivate you. I always wanted to play and that kept me going," Ojha said. "It was a very important series and a great comeback for me. The important thing was I could contribute to the team's win and played a major role. I knew it would be a very important series for me in a crucial phase of my career," he said. Ojha along with senior statemate VVS Laxman will be playing for Hyderabad in a Plate League match starting from November 29 as he is not playing ODIs. "I did not play international cricket for about one year.

But I never had that negative feeling. I always stayed positive which resulted in this performance." He termed his county stint as something that changed him as a bowler. "Even when I was not with the team and played county in England, I would practice with the Indian team touring at that point of time. In fact, Anilbhai played a key role in me getting a chance to play for Surrey. They were looking for an Indian spinner and Alec Stewart had got in touch with Anilbhai who had recommended my name. I'm really thankful to him," he recalled how his association with Surrey started.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Tendulkar narrowly misses 100th international ton

Sachin Tendulkar has fallen six runs short of becoming the first batsman to score 100 international centuries during the third and final Test against the West Indies.

Tendulkar, who resumed on 67 at his home ground of Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, was dismissed for 94 when he slashed at a delivery from pace bowler Ravi Rampaul and was caught by Darren Sammy at second slip early on the fourth day.

Tendulkar strode confidently to the crease to start the morning and drove a boundary in the very first over off Rampaul with a stylish flick to the leg side.
Six runs short ... Sachin Tendulkar reacts after his dismissal during the third Test against the West Indies.

The new ball, taken early in the morning, seemed to have no effect on Tendulkar as he straight drove Rampaul for a four and hit fellow paceman Fidel Edwards through the covers for his third four of the morning.

He then had the crowd up on its feet as he moved into the 90s with a slashed six to Edwards over third-man that took him from 87 to 93.

Tendulkar faced 20 deliveries in the morning session and smashed a total of eight fours and two sixes in a 153-ball knock. The 100th century has been tensely anticipated since he notched two 100s during this year's World Cup to reach a total of 99. He has scored 51 Test centuries and 48 in one-day internationals.

Tendulkar has another chance to score the landmark century in the five-match one day international series against the West Indies starting next week. If not, he will get the chance during the four test series against Australia starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

In contrast to the previous three days, when crowds were thin on the ground, supporters flocked to the Wankhede Stadium to see if the master batsman could achieve the unprecedented landmark.

As Tendulkar pushed on with confidence into the nineties with a string of stylish boundaries, late arrivals clutching tickets ran frantically towards the ground, desperate not to miss the occasion.

Others without tickets swarmed around the television cameras set up on the sweeping Marine Drive promenade, waving the saffron, white and green flag of India and listening to radio commentary on their mobile phones.

But as news emerged that Tendulkar had edged Ravi Rampaul to second slip, fans clutched their heads in disbelief. Instead of cheers there was only the sound of heavy rush-hour traffic.

"I didn't have a ticket but I came here on the off-chance of getting one," said Ramesh Chauhan, a 43-year-old civil servant from Mumbai. "I couldn't get one so I'm doubly disappointed."

Late-comers who had not heard news of Tendulkar's exit were still sprinting to make it to the venue on time. But they were stopped in their tracks by passers-by who shook their heads as they told them the news.

"I'm depressed actually," said Chinmay Kurve, a 24-year-old software industry worker, as he walked away from the stadium.

Mumbai had been in a state of expectation about the record, with Tendulkar one of the city's favourite sons as well as a sporting icon for millions of cricket fans across India.

The 38-year-old was born in the city and cut his cricketing teeth on Mumbai's packed public playing fields, before making his international debut at the precocious age of 16.

The downbeat mood outside the Wankhede Stadium was in sharp contrast to the jubilant scenes back in March, when India lifted the one-day international World Cup after beating South Asian rivals Sri Lanka.

Fans of Tendulkar were still confident he will achieve the feat either in the forthcoming one-day internationals against the West Indies or the next Test series in Australia.

"There's no doubt he can do it," said Chauhan.

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Cummins waits for duel with 'Rockstar' Sachin Tendulkar

PAT CUMMINS was a mere twinkle in his father's eye when Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut but, in a promoter's dream, the men representing the past and future of the game are set to clash later this year.

Tendulkar made his Test debut three-and-a-half years before Cummins was born, and the duel between Australia's newest sporting sensation and the biggest name in international cricket will, barring injuries to either party, be a massive drawcard for this summer's marquee series against India.