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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.