Tendulkar back to ease pressure on India
Tuesday 26 October 2004
Sachin Tendulkar's return to the fray has added spice to a series full of fascination. Armed with a lighter bat and memories of Test centuries already scored in this city of oranges, the professor's son today resumed the duel with Australian bowlers that has been such a invigorating part of a fine career.
Though he had not faced a competitive ball for two months, India's "little master" said he was fit enough in body and mind to confront Australia in the third Test, which the hosts need to win to square the series. Doubtless the return of India's leading batsmen will inspire a side denied the services of Irfan Pathan and possibly Harbhajan Singh who has a virus. It will ease the pressure on Rahul Dravid and VangipurupuLaxman, both of whom have resembled cars in need of fresh spark plugs. Both spinners are in fine fettle and now captain Sourav Ganguly must pull his weight.
Both Tendulkar and the Australian fast bowlers will like the look of a relaid and evenly grassed pitch prepared by a local association. Rajan Nair, the local spokesman, said that only light rollers had been used so that the surface was not subdued. He pointed out that the pitch "has no cracks. Not even hairline!"
Ganguly was dismayed. "We're playing at home, where our main strength is spin. But this kind of wicket takes that advantage away from us," he said.
No changes were anticipated in the Australian line-up. Ricky Ponting intends to play at Wankhede Stadium next week, which left Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann competing for the last batting position. Lehmann must score heavily to hold his place. Australian cricket is about as sentimental as a cut cobra.
India (from): *S C Ganguly, Aakash Chopra, V Sehwag, R Dravid, S R Tendulkar, V V V S Laxman, M Kaif, ÝP A Patel, A B Agarkar, A Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, Yuvraj Singh.
Australia: *ÝA C Gilchrist, M L Hayden, J L Langer, S M Katich, D R Martyn, D S Lehmann, M J Clarke, S K Warne, G D McGrath, J N Gillespie, M S Kasprowicz, B Lee.
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Female BBC presenter receives offensive and sexist letter after she criticised level of women's sport given TV coverage and sponsorship
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
The 12 worst haircuts of the 2014/15 Premier League season
West Brom vs Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey desperate to be back in the middle for Arsenal title challenge
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland