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Sachin’s hamstring gives nation bouts of anxiety

It’s one thing that all the billion plus Indians are keeping their fingers crossed about – to watch Sachin Tendulkar take on the World in all his glory at home.

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2011 00:54 IST
Subhash Rajta

It’s one thing that all the billion plus Indians are keeping their fingers crossed about – to watch Sachin Tendulkar take on the World in all his glory at home. It’s only natural then that with the World Cup, most probably the final of his career, just round the corner, any mention of an injury will evoke a hysterical reaction.

There is simply too much riding on the Mumbai man. It’s not just the number of runs from his blade. It’s the X-factor that he brings to this Indian team. His mere presence lifts the spirits.

If you happen to be one of his ardent fans losing sleep over his latest injury, you can sit back and relax. The hamstring injury he picked up during the second ODI is only a slight niggle. He is returning back as a precautionary measure.

The assurance has come straight from the horse’s mouth. It’s been reliably learnt that Tendulkar himself has apprised a close confidant of the exact nature of his injury and that it won’t take more than a week to heal.

The injury is certainly not of much concern, it could, however, lead to another problem – Tendulkar will now go into the World Cup without having played enough ODIs in recent times. Before coming into this series, he last played an ODI in February last year, in which he scored a record 200.

While it would be naïve to even think that a man with a record 444 international appearances would struggle to switch formats, there’s no denying the fact that a couple of ODIs would have helped him hit the ground running. That he didn’t look his usual fluent self in the first two ODIs he played during this series underlines the point. One does need to make a few mental and technical adjustments while switching formats, and there’s no better way to prepare yourself for a particular format than matches under the belt.

However, given how intense and methodical his preparation is for every series, let alone the WC, the lack of match practice shouldn’t bother him too much. Besides, to look at it positively, his absence from the middle until the World Cup will save him from picking up any serious injury that could potentially put his participation in jeopardy.

There’s a buzz here he would have anyway gone back at some stage. The injury may have just advanced it. It means he already has his World Cup preparation plans in place. So, stop fretting and look forward to Sachin setting the stage on fire.