MOHALI: Sachin Tendulkar is known to prepare assiduously before any match. He never leaves anything to chance and covers all bases before getting into the thick of the battle. Now that India are just two wins away from one of his most cherished goals – the World Cup crown – the batting maestro must be preparing even harder.
On Sunday, one got a sneak peak into his plans for the semifinal against Pakistan, and possibly the final on April 2, when he brought to the ground a fresh supply of bats. Tendulkar is very fastidious about his willows and wants them to be in perfect shape so that he can heap maximum damage on the bowlers.
The gleaming new bats needed some breaking up so he, after doing a few knock-downs himself, asked the yoga trainer Manoj Kumar to give them some hits.
Thus, while Tendulkar played football with teammates, Kumar kept hitting balls with the bats for close to an hour.
Tendulkar came back to continue the routine himself before Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli also got a taste of the master’s new weapons of mass destruction.
Will Tendulkar be employing one of these new bats in the semifinal against Pakistan? We will know shortly. Maybe, his 100th international century (he is just one short) will come through a brand new bat.
PCA officials go into hiding
The tickets for India-Pakistan matches always come at a premium but if it happens to be a World Cup match and that too a semifinal clash the stakes are bound to rise.
And with it rises the expectations from the host association to oblige as many people as it can. But as far as Punjab Cricket Association is concerned, it has thrown in the towel.
Such is the demand for tickets and passes that a majority of the PCA officials have gone into hiding for the past two-three days and are surfacing just to keep the operational activities going.
The mobile phones have been switched off for the last two days and hardly anyone knows from where they were operating during that time.
Expectant visitors to PCA joint secretary GS Walia’s office are greeted by a huge lock. Unable to bear the pressure, PCA officials have gone to the extent of even requesting some of its members to voluntarily return the tickets so as to accommodate more number of guests and promised that they will be accommodated somewhere else. Not surprisingly, no one has come forward till now.