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Millennium Post

Still hungry for more

Former India skipper Ravi Shastri is backing senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar to come good in the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, starting in Chennai on February 22.  ‘He’ll be hungry, he’ll be really hungry. If Australia allow him to score in the first two Test matches this will be a very big series for Tendulkar,’ Shastri said.

‘He will come out a little nervous, there will be nerves in the first couple of innings but if he gets a 50, 60 or 70 in one of the first two innings then this could be a big series for him,’ Shastri was quoted as saying by ‘Sydney Morning Herald.

Last December Tendulkar retired from ODIs to concentrate on Tests. Since then he scored two centuries in first-class cricket, including an unbeaten 140 against an attack comprising Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh, who are both in contention to play in the first Test against the Aussies. The batting great is without a century in his past 31 Test innings, spanning 17 matches and over two years, which also includes a poor outing in the last Test series at home against England.

But Shastri feels that Tendulkar is still the best bet in the Indian batting line-up. ‘England bowled extremely well but I get the feeling the break he’s had for a couple of months, he’s gone back to the kind of preparation he’s used to. I want him to be positive and not get into a defending kind of mode. He has to play his natural game, if he does that we’re in for some entertainment,’ Shastri said.

India might have lost their last Test series Down Under 0-4, but Shastri felt the visitors could struggle in the sub-continent in the absence of quality spinners. ‘I think you need two quality spinners to keep things tight and do the job,’ he said.


SACHIN SPENDS TIME AT BLIND FOUNDATION

Just after a gruelling training session with his India team-mates, senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday spent time with members of a city-based blind foundation which requested him to play a charity match for it. Soon after the end of the second day's training camp, endulkar and captain MS Dhoni met members of IDL Foundation and IDL Blind Band, led by its founder P K Paul, and spent some time with the members of the foundation besides signing autographs. During the meeting, Paul requested Tendulkar to play a farewell charity match for IDL Foundation. Tendulkar said he would think about it seriously and take a decision in this regard. Tendulkar has had a long association with IDL Foundation, since its inception in 2003. On January 10, IDL Blind Band conducted a 12-hour marathon music show in Bangalore as a tribute to Tendulkar.  ‘We are planning to attempt a 24-hour feat on April 24, which happens to be the birthday of late actor Rajkumar as well as Tendulkar,’ Paul said. Indian players are attending a  three-day training camp ahead of the four-match Test series starting on February 22.
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