Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tendulkar slogs hard in Eden practice session


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Kolkata: Sachin Tendulkar, who has lately been struggling with his form, was a picture of concentration on Monday while slogging hard at India’s net practice at Eden Gardens here before the Test match against England, which begins on Wednesday.

A padded up Tendulkar faced all the Indian frontline bowlers barring left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha. Pacers Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Ashok Dinda and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin bowled in tandem as Tendulkar fine-tuned his defence, playing mostly straight bat shots.

Tendulkar practised some of his trademark strokes and also hit some lofty shots off the spinners, much to the delight of a motley crowd of school children with coach Duncan Fletcher keeping a keen eye on him.

Tendulkar, who has scored a meagre 29 in three innings in the current series, will hope to bounce back and score a century at the Eden Test as his former captain and opening partner Sourav Ganguly has wished.

Addressing a gathering which had all members of the Indian team, Ganguly said: “Many stories are being written about the match. I wish all the luck to Sachin. I hope he scores a ton at Eden Gardens.”

The four-match series is currently tied one-all.

Meanwhile, after the controversy surrounding the preparation of the Eden Gardens pitch, the uneasiness between Indian captain MS Dhoni and veteran curator Prabir Mukherjee was evident as both decided to look through each other.

After having a good look at the pitch, even Dhoni decided to give Mukherjee a cold shoulder as the 83-year-old was seen chatting with Gautam Gambhir.

The pitch sported a tinge of green and the strip that will be used is the one in which Bengal played out a drawn game against Gujarat.

The pitch controversy began when Dhoni’s request for a turning wicket was described by Mukherjee as “immoral”.

The BCCI soon sent East Zone’s Ashish Bhowmick to “assist” Mukherjee – a move which led to him announcing he was going on a month’s sick leave.

But Mukherjee, who has been the groundsman at Eden Gardens for 20 years, was back at the ground on Sunday stating that any differences had been “sorted out”. (Agencies)


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