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'Not strange, he is cautious'

Defending Chappell, selectors said that he only meant it?d take Sachin time to throw at full tilt, writes G Krishnan.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 11:40 IST
G Krishnan

Is Sachin Tendulkar really fit for the upcoming tri-series or not?

Most people are asking this question at the moment, following coach Greg Chappell's remarks of a couple of days ago, when he said Tendulkar was not 100 per cent fit and would not be able to throw in from the deep.

But nothing on the first two days of the cricket-skills camp here on Monday and Tuesday suggested that the 33-year-old Mumbaikar was uncomfortable or unfit.

Tendulkar, who is returning to the one-day arena after nearly six months, post surgery on his right shoulder this March, has been progressing admirably. News that will cheer up his countless fans once he steps on the field against Sri Lanka in Colombo on August 16 (India's first match of the tournament).

Tendulkar has been going through the rehabilitation processes stage by stage and, on the advice of his doctors and the team physio, calculating every move so he does not miss out on matches for India anymore.

Some confusion and misinterpretation, courtesy the comments made by Chappell recently had definitely created some amount of controversy over the Indian maestro, who has been battling injury after injury in recent years.

Indian physio John Gloster had no such doubtson Tuesday. "Sachin has been passed 100 per cent fit for the Sri Lankan tri-series. This is all I can say at the moment," said Gloster.

In any case, Tendulkar knows his body best and it is unlikely he would offer himself for selection when he is not cent per cent fit. He made himself unavailable for the Windies Test series this June-July because he was not satisfied with his recovery.

What followed were friendly matches for the Lashings CC in England, where he tested himself in match situations to gain confidence about his recovery.

Chairman of selectors, Kiran More, told HT in Bangalore on Tuesday, "What Greg (Chappell) meant was that it was going to take time for Sachin to get back to complete fitness."

"Obviously, taking 20 throws from the deep is going to pressurise the player." And added, "When you stand inside the circle, you tend to throw on an average 10-15 times."

"So, you start initially by throwing from 30-yards, then 40-yards and then increase the distance gradually. And with Sachin fielding inside the 30-yard circle, when the ball races past him, naturally he is going to chase and throw from outside the circle."

More, who watched the campers closely, added, "Sachin has been throwing well yesterday and today at practice and showed no signs of pain. Anybody coming back from injury should be taken care of, especially if he is playing international cricket straightaway."

"Unless you play side games where fitness can be judged. This happened earlier where Anil (Kumble) and (Javagal) Srinath also went through the rehab process."

"This is what Greg meant when he said he would be fielding inside the 30-yard circle in the first few games. Nothing much should be read into this. Greg knows what to expect from Sachin."

First Published: Aug 09, 2006 03:19 IST