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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar does 'blind' training


Sachin Tendulkar can get it right even with his eyes wide shut.

The Chennai heat was unbearable, most of the players had wrapped up the practice proceedings, but not Tendulkar. He put a couple of fielders within the net, asked bowling coach Eric Simons to give him throwdowns, and kept finding the gaps with his "eyes closed."

"He asked us to stand at short cover and short point and closed his eyes right at the moment of impact. We were supposed to say 'right' if the shot pierced the gap and 'wrong' if it didn't," one of the fielders who represented Tamil Nadu in the U-16 level and was fielding within the nets, told the TOI after the practice session. The player sounded really amazed when he said that Tendulkar kept getting it right, more often than not. "I don't know how he was doing it...But we couldn't believe our eyes as the ball went between us over and over again," the player added.

The pitch on which Tendulkar was batting was pretty similar to the Chepauk track, on which the match would be played on Sunday. "The ball was stopping and coming...The pace at which he asked the bowling coach to throw the balls, it appeared that he was getting ready to play Kemar Roach. And he is certain that there will be two fielders in short cover and short point to snap him up. That's why he was trying to play the shots along the ground and looked to find the gap with his eyes closed," the young player added.

When Tendulkar had started practising, some of the drives that he tried went into the air, which annoyed the Little Master. He had a talk with Simons and then asked the fielders to stand in those close in positions.

"It's an education watching him from so close. How on earth can a player get the shot right even with his eyes closed? Probably, it was a practice to ensure that he doesn't play a shot in the air on reflex on such tracks where the ball was stopping," the player added.

The 100th international century can very well come here, but the Little Master just doesn't want to talk about that milestone. The instruction was given strictly to all the practice bowlers that no one should ask him about the record for which the whole country is waiting.

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