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Saturday, December 10, 2011

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.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog i really like this blog sachin is god of cricket.

    ReplyDelete

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