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A new chapter beckons Tendulkar

Sachin celebrates his 33rd birthday on Monday, battling injuries and an indifferent form, but having lost none of the hunger to resurrect a phenomenal career.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 15:56 IST

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his 33rd birthday on Monday, battling injuries and an indifferent form but having lost none of the hunger to resurrect a phenomenal career.

The past one year has been particularly harsh on Tendulkar who has had to contend with injuries and a string of low scores, leading to speculation on whether his best was behind him.

A record-breaking 35th century at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi has been the only bright moment since his last birthday but there have been other times on the cricket field where he has shown glimpses of his vintage form.

Wish Sachin from your mobile. sms SAC to 4242

 

However, those moments of class and artistry have been few and far between and being booed by his home crowd during the third and final Test England in March this year will no doubt be one of the lowest points of his career, spanning close to 17 years.

At 33, he is clearly on the crossroads of his career, the resurrection of which will be determined by his tenacity to overcome all odds.

Recuperating from yet another surgery, the master batsman will remain away from the game for some time, which could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, allowing him the space to ponder and work out his game.

Tendulkar is set to miss the one-dayers in West Indies, venue of the World Cup next year, but expected to be fit in time for the four-Test series beginning on June 2.

The Mumbai-born would be a vital cog in the wheel for India's World Cup plans with skipper Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell banking heavily on his experience and influence in the dressing room. 

"I feel I have been batting well. I have made one odd mistake and paid the price. Batsmen sometimes get away with bad shots and are fortunate to see some catches get dropped. I just feel that luck needs to be a bit more on my side," he said in an interview to an English weekly.

"I am not overly worried because everyone goes through such a phase. I think it is a part and parcel of life. As long as I know from the bottom of my heart that I am trying my best," said the batsman, the only cricketer to have scored 50 centuries in one-dayers and Tests.

Birthdays are usually private affairs for this reticent superstar who likes to spend the day with family and close friends.

Last year, he held his birthday celebrations with his family members and friends at an undisclosed location on the city outskirts.