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Tendulkar turns to shrink in comeback bid

Sachin has been provisionally picked in the Test squad but he would make it to Zimbabwe only if is declared fit.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2005 15:15 IST

Sachin Tendulkar has turned to a psychologist to make a strong and successful comeback to international cricket following an elbow injury that has been troubling him for over a year.

"On Sachin's invitation I went to his house in Mumbai this month and we discussed his specific problems," well-known psychologist B.P. Bam told IANS here.

"We discussed so many things, like how to build focus...," said Bam, who has also been associated with the Mumbai cricket team for the last two years. Tendulkar, 32, also plays for Mumbai.

Tendulkar, a veteran of 123 Test and 348 one-day internationals, developed pain in his left elbow Aug 18 last year. As a result he has missed several one-day internationals and Tests.

He returned to international cricket in the Nagpur Test against Australia in October.

The pain, however, reared again and Tendulkar went for a surgery on his elbow in May this year in London. Since then he has not played cricket.

Last week Tendulkar returned to light practice and batted against soft balls in Mumbai. He continues to do so as he prepares to tour Zimbabwe for a Test series next month.

Tendulkar has been provisionally picked in the Test squad but he would make it to Zimbabwe for the two-match Test series only if is declared fit by experts, including the cricket board's official doctor Anant Joshi.

On a psychologist's role in sports, Bam said cricket was a game played more in the mind than on the field.

"It is played 90 percent in the mind and only 10 percent on the field," stressed Bam, who runs Purushottam Academy in his home town Nashik, Maharashtra.

The association of Bam, a former inspector general of police, with Tendulkar is not new.

He said he has met Tendulkar a few times and the batting great had also travelled to Nashik to discuss his problems.

"The first time he came to me was before going to Australia as India captain in 1999-2000," said Bam.

India lost that three-Test series 0-3 and failed to make it to the final of the one-day Triangular Series that also involved Pakistan.

While India was badly mauled on that tour, Tendulkar gave a good account of himself, tallying the highest aggregate among his teammates - 278 runs at 46.33 with one century and two half-centuries.

In the Triangular Series, however, he was not so successful, scoring 198 in eight one-dayers with a solitary half-century.

His good performance in Tests, however, failed to deter him from resigning from captaincy on the team's return to the country, paving the way for Sourav Ganguly to take over the reins.

Bam said Tendulkar was caught between his responsibilities as captain and as the premier batsman of his team.

"It was difficult for him to extricate himself from his duties of a player and a captain," he said.

First Published: Aug 25, 2005 15:15 IST