HIS SHOULDER is fine and he is ready for action. Sachin Tendulkar has been declared fit for international cricket and is now almost certain to play in the ODI tri-series in Sri Lanka from August 14.
On Tuesday, BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said, "The report we've got from our physiotherapist John Gloster is that Sachin is fit to play. He is available for selection again." The team will be announced on Thursday.
Tendulkar's return (after a four-month break) could not have come at a better time. India were humiliated in the ODI series in the West Indies and need to do well in Sri Lanka to regain their position as one of the strong sides in world cricket. His experience and all-round contribution on the field will certainly count here.
Comeback from injury is not new for the 33-year-old. He has fought back and ankle problems and a tennis elbow before. Each time he came back, he remained the enthusiastic cricketer he has been for the past 16 years, though age and weariness have dimmed his flamboyance.
Though Tendulkar and injuries go back a long way, he admits that the shoulder bug was his toughest physical challenge. "The shoulder injury was the biggest of all I have had," the owner of 35 Test and 39 ODI centuries said last week. "It has taken me a long time to fix it and get back into action."
On the comeback route, to assess his recovery and form, Tendulkar recently played a few matches for English club Lashings. A couple of centuries there probably helped him get back his nick -- and a lot of confidence.