Sachin gears up for Eden tryst

Sachin gears up for Eden tryst

Preparing for his last outing at the iconic Eden Gardens, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was a picture of focus and concentration as the Indian team hit the nets on Monday ahead of the all important Test match against the West Indies beginning on Wednesday.

Tendulkar started off with some warm up exercises and subsequently rolled his arm over at the nets.

Bowling in tandem with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha, Tendulkar dished out leg breaks and Murali Vijay had some difficulty negotiating the spin at the nets. He was beaten on a couple of occasions by Tendulkar’s sharp turning deliveries.
After bowling for a few minutes, the little master padded up and chatted with coach Duncan Fletcher as he waited for his turn at the nets.

He first faced the pacers, displaying his watertight defence. While other batsmen at the adjacent nets missed or edged a few, Tendulkar looked at ease hitting his trademark drives.

He tackled the pacers for around 15 minutes before moving to the adjacent net to face the spinners. He asked Ojha, who was bowling more at the stumps, to alter his line.

Tendulkar, who seems to have lost none of the zeal for batting despite spending a marathon 24 years in top flight cricket, was in his elements against the spinners as he executed elegant drives and cuts much to the delight of a crowd of aspiring cricketers who had watched the practice session.

The batting legend carried on for another 20 minutes and then made way for the others, as he watched the youngsters practice at the nets.

After a brief rest and chat with team-mates, Tendulkar moved to the far away net where local club bowlers were in action. He knocked a few balls and later gave a few tips to the youngsters.

Meanwhile, Fletcher was seen engaged in an animated chat with opener Shikhar Dhawan whose stint at the nets was uncomfortable as he continuously missed or edged. The coach was seen gesturing to Dhawan about ways to play the rising ball.

At the fag end of the session, when the Indian players were busy in fielding drills, Dhawan spent some time discussing his problems with Tendulkar.

Before moving out with his team-mates, Tendulkar had a brief fielding session where he concentrated on some catching practice.

Grand welcome

Earlier, on his arrival at the venue, Tendulkar was greeted by a wax replica that was placed at the entrance of the dressing room by the local staging body, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), which is leaving no stone unturned to make the master’s swansong Eden outing for India memorable for him, the city, and his countless admirers.

One hundred youngsters stood on both sides of the stretch from the main gate of the stadium upto the dressing room and formed a human chain when the Team India bus arrived and Tendulkar came out from the vehicle.

Saluting 24 golden years of Tendulkar’s international playing career, 24 confetti cannons burst spraying red paper on the cricketing genius.

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