Home > Cricket > Australia's tour of India > Report
Aussies ready for Sachin
Deepti Patwardhan |
September 29, 2004 16:03 IST
Last Updated: September 29, 2004 16:15 IST
On Wednesday morning Sachin Tendulkar was at the Brabourne stadium, to egg on his Mumbai teammates.
Not only did he have a chat with the Mumbai captain and coach and see the practice session through, but also knocked a few balls outside the net area with a brace on his left elbow.
The Aussies were not surprised.
Since the day he landed in India, Shane Warne has insisted that Tendulkar will play all four Tests.
Aussie coach John Buchanan said on Wednesday that he expects Tendulkar to play the entire Test series.
Even one of the Aussie rookies, Cameron White, speaking on Sunday, refused to buy that the Indian ace would miss a few games.
"If he doesn't, then it will be a huge loss for India. But I am still not sure. I think he still might play the first Test," White said.
After weeks of speculation and a few reports confirming his unavailability for the Tests because of a 'tennis elbow' condition, Tendulkar may have confirmed their belief by saying that nobody has ruled him out of the series.
His statement to the media came just two days after India captain Sourav Ganguly said he was hopeful that Tendulkar would recover from his elbow injury.
'There are still eight or nine days before the first Test and if he declares himself fit he is playing. When a big name like Sachin is absent it does affect the team,' he told reporters on Monday.
The Indian senior side is currently struggling against India 'A' in the practice game in Bangalore.
Led by Sridharan Sriram's brilliant century (125), India 'A' scored 302 in their first innings, while the Indian Seniors, comprising all the Indian batsmen except for Sachin Tendulkar, were bundled out for just 213.
With six days to go for the first Test at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy stadium, the Indians are keeping the Australians guessing about their biggest weapon in the batting order.
"I am not sure whether Tendulkar is playing the Test matches, but we will be prepared for him anyway. I don't think it is a psychological ploy used by the Indian team because Tendulkar loves to play cricket and would have been in the side if he wasn't injured," explained Australian team manager Steve Bernard.
Tendulkar, after a double ton in the 1998 first-class game for Mumbai against the Australians at the Brabourne stadium, also missed the 2001 tour opener. Coach John Wright and physiotherapist Andrew Leipus had then written to the Mumbai Cricket Association about keeping Tendulkar fresh for the Tests.
Last word from someone who perhaps knows Tendulkar better than most. Vinod Kambli was confident that Tendulkar will play the Tests. "Even if he is not completely match fit," Kambli told reporters on Wednesday, "he is very strong in the mind."