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Sunday, September 25, 2011

“Sachin doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone now”

“Sachin doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone now,” said cricketer Zaheer Khan when asked about Shoaib Akhtar’s recently released autobiography Controversially Yours in which he has mentioned that Tendulkar is not a match winner. As the brand ambassador of Vistacore Group, Khan was in the city to endorse real estate projects being developed at Karjat, Khadakwasla, Baramati and Nashik.

Speaking about the tour, he said, “The England tour was a bit tough for the Indian team as there were some injuries that were worrying many of the players. For me, ironically the tour ended in the first phase itself. But we have to move on from what had happened.”

Khan said his recovery phase for his injuries has started. “The treatment phase is over and I have started practising. And hopefully I will be back in the Indian squad soon,” he said. He said injuries were a part and parcel of playing and that keeping them away is not easy. He said, “It will help if the focus on fitness is kept. Injuries cannot be eliminated but can be reduced to a great extent.”

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Shoaib's comments ploy to sell book: Akram

MUMBAI: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram on Saturday dismissed Shoaib Akhtar's comments on Sachin Tendulkar, saying Akhtar lacked the credibility to comment on a batsman of Tendulkar's stature.

Akhtar's new autobiography Controversially Yours suggests Tendulkar was 'scared' of his short-pitched stuff, a claim which Akram, here for the India International Sports Summit, simply laughed away.

"I don't think he (Shoaib) even qualifies to make any comment on Sachin Tendulkar," said Akram, adding that the whole issue was a good marketing strategy to sell his book.

"It is like an unwritten code of conduct that a sportsman shouldn't be writing anything against another sportsman. But since Akhtar has done so, I can only say that it is nothing but a good ploy to sell his book," Akram said.

Akhtar claims in his book that Tendulkar chickened out during the Faisalabad Test on a very slow track. Akhtar wrote: "I bowled (Sachin) a particularly fast ball which he, to my amazement didn't even touch. He walked away! That was the first time I saw him walk away from me - that, too, on the slow track at Faisalabad."

Akram, however, said he himself had bowled to Tendulkar when the batsman made his debut, and came away impressed.

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Sachin derailed 'Rawalpindi Express' countless times: Sidhu

KOLKATA: Former India cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu ridiculed Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar's remarks against Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the biography 'Controversially Yours'.

Sidhu feels that Akhtar has resorted to cheap publicity gimmick while trying to demean Tendulkar and Dravid.

In his inimitable manner, comparing Sachin to a temple, Sidhu said, "Many birds fly over temples and mosques, making them dirty. But it remains sacred and the excreta gets washed away during rain."

"Tendulkar is an institution in himself. Players with such a record can never fear anyone... Sachin has derailed the Rawalpindi Express countless times," the BJP Parliamentarian said in his typical one-liners.

Asked whether 'Bharat Ratna' should be conferred on Tendulkar, Sidhu said, "Sachin is already a Bharat Ratna - country's jewel. Name one person who has able to come near him. He is a colossal figure - the biggest peak (Mount Everest)," he said.

On India's debacle in England series, Sidhu said India lost the balance when injury ruled out pace spearhead Zaheer Khan in the very first Test.

"A small leak can sink a big ship. The whole balance of the team was stirred as India resembled a hospital bed."

"The cricketers schedule has become so regimental - playing 300 days of cricket out of 365 in a year. The cricketers these days are professionals. They want to make hay even while going haywire. So sometimes they carry niggles that aggravates," Sidhu said.

To deal with the situation, the Board must form a team of doctors with expertise in injury rehabilitation.

"We must have great doctors with a great physio rehab team who can help the cricketers recover quickly. We need specialists," he said.

He further heaped praise on former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, giving him the credit for nurturing the present crop of cricketers including Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh.

"Different persons have different strengths. Leaders are the one who convert weakness into strength. Ganguly was the one who provided youngsters with opportunities, reposed faith on them. He was instrumental in unearthing talents like that of Harbhajan and Yuvraj."

Asked to pick who is better between Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sidhu said: "They are different personalities like no two persons can have identical fingerprints.

"I don't think any other captain has achieved what Dhoni had. Dhoni has had success in all the three formats."

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Tendulkar's presence in dressing room helped: Harbhajan

Mumbai Indians' Harbhajan Singh in action during the Champions league T20 match against Chennai Super Kings at MAC Stadium in Chennai.
Mumbai Indians upstaged defending champions Chennai Super Kings despite missing some key players in their Champions League Twenty20 opener and stand-in skipper Harbhajan Singh felt his side's cause was helped by the inspiring presence of injured regular captain Sachin Tendulkar in the dressing

"It is nice to have Sachin around even if he is not playing. It is a great sign because he is a great player and great motivator. To have him in the dressing room obviously motivates all the players and he has got the knowledge to pass on," Harbhajan said after the three-wicket triumph on Saturday night.

"He was sending messages whenever it was required. He was happy with the result. To be honest it is difficult not to have Sachin in the side and Rohit Sharma and Munaf (Patel) were also not there. It is not the same side for us in the tournament," he added.

Tendulkar is not playing the tournament due to a toe injury he picked up during India's recent tour of England.

Harbhajan praised his team for showing character under pressure and hoped that it is just the start of some great results in the tournament.

"I think this win will set the tone for us to go forward, we do not want to take things for granted. We have won this game and this will definitely boost our confidence. We would like to stay very humble in the remaining matches and do what we can do at our best," he said.

Mumbai's win came courtesy a Lasith Malinga cameo during which he scored 37 runs off just 24 balls.

"When we were batting in the middle, Malinga and myself were looking to play all the overs. It was Malinga's day and he played a good innings. Malinga has proved that he can come up with valuable runs and take a lot of responsibility. I can count on him for the future that if there are runs to chase, Malinga is there and anything can happen," Harbhajan said.

Asked whether going forward in this tournament without knowing the quality of the other teams would affect his plans, Harbhajan said, "Most of the guys from overseas also play in IPL and we do have some footage of the others, whom we have not played. We will see the footage and plan our game.

"At the end of the day, it comes down to how well you will bowl, bat and field on a given day and even if you plan, the guys have to execute them," he added.

Meanwhile, Malinga said he was happy to contribute with the bat even though bowling remains his primary job.

"I am playing in Mumbai Indians as a bowler. But, sometimes you have got to get a few runs in crucial times," he said.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Tendulkar and Ganguly hail Rahul Dravid

Indian cricket greats, including star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, have richly praised Rahul Dravid as he prepares to play the final one-day game of his illustrious career.

Tendulkar called Dravid the "unsung hero of the Indian team" and said his value was reflected by the sheer amount of runs he has scored.

The 38-year-old Dravid, who has amassed 10,820 runs in 343 one-dayers, will play his last game on Friday in Cardiff against England. He announced his retirement before the start of the series after having been overlooked for limited-overs games for most of the past two years.

Former captains Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble also praised Dravid's contribution in one-dayers.

"He has had a fabulous career as a one-day player and has contributed so much to Indian cricket," Tendulkar said in an interview published in an Indian daily. "I have no doubt that he is and will continue to be a role model for all of us."

Tendulkar said Dravid's natural game was not suited for the quick scoring of one-dayers, but had worked hard to improve and excelled in his "finishing role."

"He may not give you a quick start, but he will surely make his innings count in terms of time spent at the crease. You need such players in the team, and he was the best man for the job," he added.

Tendulkar also praised Dravid for adjusting according to the team's needs and helping the team gain depth in batting by agreeing to keep wickets.

"He is the perfect team man; when he was asked to keep wickets we all knew that he will do well because he was initially a wicketkeeper. It later helped him, and came as a big help to all of us in the Indian team during the 2003 World Cup."

Ganguly said Indian cricket should be "thankful to Rahul" for being flexible.

"Rahul has a had a checkered one-day career and it took a new turn once he decided to keep wickets in 2002," Ganguly wrote in his column in an Indian daily. "His decision was absolutely for the team as it helped reorganize the middle-order and add more depth to it."
Kumble, who was Dravid's senior while playing for Karnataka in domestic cricket, called him an "exceptional team player" who was unfazed by criticism.                                                                            

"I consider it a privilege to have played alongside him through most of my career," he said. "His contribution as a team player and mentor can't be quantified, and that will certainly be missed going forward."
Dravid, who played his solitary Twenty20 international during the ongoing tour of England, will continue to play in Test cricket.

He has scored 12,775 runs in Tests, which is the second highest aggregate in history behind Tendulkar (14,965). He has slammed 35 centuries and is fourth on the list of century-makers behind Tendulkar (51), South African allrounder Jacques Kallis (40) and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting (39).

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gautam Rajadhyaksha was a wonderful person: Sachin Tendulkar

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar paid rich tributes to veteran photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha, who passed away on Tuesday. Tendulkar said he was sad to hear the news. “I’m really sad to hear about his demise,” Tendulkar told DNA here on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Rajadhyaksha, well-known for portrait photography, passed away following a massive heart attack, family sources said. He was 61.

Rajadhyaksha, cousin of author Shobha De, was popular amongst all film personalities and worked on portraits of almost all the leading stars of Indian film industry. He had also worked with Tendulkar in the early days of the cricketer’s career, Terming Rajadhyaksha as a wonderful person, Tendulkar remembered the pictures taken by the fashion photographer, particularly for his book.

“He was a wonderful person and has taken some pictures in the early days of my career. He also took snaps for the cover page of the book ‘Making of a cricketer,” Tendulkar said.

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Let Tendulkar decide on his future: Davidson

He owns virtually every record in one-day cricket - the highest score, most runs, most centuries, and he's played the longest. So decorated has been his limited overs career that for Sachin Tendulkar to find a challenge itself seems to have become a challenge, believe experts.

A commentator raised the issue during the fourth ODI at Lord's, wondering whether the batsman himself is convinced about continuing in the limited overs format after having achieved his dream -- the World Cup win.

“Time has come for the Indian board to have a talk with Tendulkar as to his plans for one-day cricket, whether he wants to continue playing. It will help Indian cricket plan better,” reasoned Sanjay Manjrekar while doing commentary on Sky Sports.

The former Mumbai and India batsman's doubts seem to stem from Tendulkar's reluctance to play limited overs cricket before the World Cup. He is missing the current series against England due to a toe injury.
Australian pace bowling great Alan Davidson, who has followed Tendulkar's career keenly since he captained him during a private tournament in Hong Kong when the batsman was 16, believes Tendulkar should be provided the privilege to take a call on his career.

"Tendulkar will know when it's time. He has been around for a long time. I think the decision is his and no one has the right to make that decision for him. He deserves that space," Davidson told HT at the function to induct him into the ICC Hall Of Fame.

Left-arm Davidson is regarded among the finest exponents of the new ball during his 44-Test career from 1953 to 1963, taking 186 wickets at 20.53.

On India's debacle in England and a rare poor series for Tendulkar, he said: "Don't forget the wickets in England. It has rained here this summer. Everytime England bowled there was a cloud cover and it swung and seamed. That's why your batsmen had problems.

“Tendulkar is playing first-class cricket for more than 20 years. When you age, you rely on experience, your reflexes and reaction slows down.”

Tendulkar failed to get his 100th international hundred in England. Davidson said Australians are looking forward to that feat being achieved at his homeground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, in the forthcoming tour.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar ruled out of England ODI series

The Indian cricket team's injury woes were on Monday compounded with senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar ruled out of the England ODI series due to a toe injury.

Tendulkar was forced to sit out of the opening one-dayer against England at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

Tendulkar has been carrying this injury for quite a while but the problem aggravated before the opener of the five-match series.

The batting maestro, who is just one short of completing the incredible milestone of 100 international centuries, may have to wait just a little longer with this latest injury.

It has been a wretched tour so far for India, who lost the Test series 0-4 before being handed a defeat in the lone Twenty20 match as well.

The team is already missing key players such as Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan due to injuries.

Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the five-match ODI series against England after suffering a fracture in the index finger of his right hand in the first ODI.

While Sehwag is out because of hearing problems, Gambhir has been forced to go back due to blurred vision following an awkward fall during a Test. Zaheer, on the other hand, has already undergone an ankle surgery.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar's mom undergoes surgery

Sachin Tendulkar's mom undergoes surgery
Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his 35th century with wife Anjali, children Sara and Arjun and mother Rajni at his Bandra residence on December 14, 2005 evening. (AFP Photo)
MUMBAI: Sachin Tendulkar's mother Rajni successfully underwent surgery for placement of a pacemaker at the Lilavati Hospital, near Sachin's home in suburban Bandra.

She was taken out of the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday. The surgery took place on Wednesday. "She's doing well and is coming back home tomorrow (Friday)," informed her daughter-in-law Anjali.

The septuagenarian Rajni is very close to Sachin but the cricket legend is presently doing national duty with the Indian team in England. A close friend of Sachin informed that he has been speaking to his mother regularly and also taking updates from doctors.

Please Pray for Sachin's Mother's health..

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