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A different test for Tendulkar

cricket Updated: Nov 02, 2012 00:28 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times
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He knows every blade of grass on the Wankhede Stadium turf for Sachin Tendulkar has played so much of his cricket here.

From Day One of his glittering career, the Mumbai Maestro has strode on to the Churchgate ground like a gladiator, and in the process has provided many magical moments for his fans.

On Friday, once again, Tendulkar will be the star attraction at his beloved home ground. In normal times, for someone who has dazzled at the biggest of international arenas, the Mumbai versus Railways Ranji Trophy game would have been dismissed as just another first-class game in the stats column against Tendulkar's name.

However, this match holds a lot of importance for Tendulkar, who is extra keen to do well. The quality of the Railways attack will hold no worries for him but his biggest battle will be to slay the demons in his mind.

For some time now, he's been enduring a mini-crisis triggered by the failure to get a big score, and getting clean bowled in all three outings in the Tests against New Zealand.

It resulted in a debate whether the cause of the below-par showing was rustiness or the slowing down of reflexes of the 39-year-old cricketer.

He missed Thursday's practice because of a stomach bug but in an effort to roll the clock back, he has been training like a man possessed leading up to the game .

“He is working very hard. He comes around 8:00 am here and does his own fitness training before joining the team,” said Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni.

“By the way he is playing in the nets, he looks very determined.”