Tendulkar-mania hits Australian media ahead of Sydney Test
Sydney: The Australian media is gripped with Tendulkar-mania with the newspapers going overdrive on his meticulous preparation for the second Test starting here on Tuesday with the anticipation of his 100th international century at the SCG, his "favourite ground" outside India.
Tendulkar averages a staggering 221 at the SCG and he has two centuries and a double century from just four Tests with a highest score of unbeaten 241, and the media here is anticipating for him to complete his 100th international ton at the historic ground.
The local media were also enamoured by Tendulkar`s 12-year-old son Arjun who spent time at the nets with his father.
"Watching Tendulkar in the nets was a study in how hard excellence is earned. How nothing is taken for granted, nothing gained without effort, nothing left to chance. Every action accountable. There is always something to be learned, always an extra effort to be made," a write up in The Australian said.
"He was a study in forensic training. A man working fastidiously to attend to something that undid his careful calibrations in the first Test," the newspaper said.
In the first Test in Melbourne, which India lost by 122 runs, pacer Peter Siddle had Tendulkar bowled off an inside edge from an innocuous-looking delivery with the Indian stalwart out on a loose shot.
"He spent an hour getting his net specialists to work on the problem. He batted for a whole hour, rarely did he take a ball -- apart from those bowled by his son -- from 22 yards.
The two throw-down specialists and a staff bowler hurled balls at him from about 15 metres," the newspaper said.
"Tendulkar instructed Raghavendra (throw-down specialist) to deliver the ball from the edge of the practice wicket which is narrower than a Test strip," it said.
The local media also could not help but take notice of Arjun Tendulkar from enjoying his stint at the nets during the Indian team practice session.
"Arjun Tendulkar, the son of Test cricket`s greatest run-scorer, is a boy already used to the attention that comes with being the son of an icon. Bowling at his father at Moore Park, as India stepped up preparations for the second Test against Australia starting tomorrow, he acted as if he was one of Duncan Fletcher`s squad," a write-up in `Sydney Morning Herald` said.
"While his father continues his quest for a 100th international hundred, keeping the cricket world holding its breath with each attempt, Arjun is busy making a name for himself, and not just in the Sydney nets," it said.
"The 12-year-old, clad in Team India training gear and a wide smile, strode in from a short run-off at the SCG practice nets and tried to find a way past his watchful dad, a man who holds a cricket bat like a wand. He was fended off, time after time. This is backyard cricket when your father is Sachin Tendulkar. You can`t expect to get him out too often."
Other newspapers carried stories on Tendulkar`s humility with accolades from current and former players, including Sunil Gavaskar, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Ian Botham, Gary Kirsten, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Zaheer Khan.