Tendulkar opts out of Bangladesh tri-series

sachinSachin Tendulkar has opted out of the tri-series in Bangladesh starting on January 4. He will be replaced by Rohit Sharma in the 16-man squad. Yuvraj Singh has also been included despite a finger injury scare that kept him out of four ODIs in the five-match series against Sri Lanka.

Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar have been dropped and replaced by Sreesanth and Ashok Dinda, who made his Twenty20 debut for India earlier this month. Amit Mishra displaced Pragyan Ojha in an inexplicable game of musical chairs for the back-up spinner’s role. Ravindra Jadeja retained his spot as the lone allrounder.

Tendulkar and Jadeja give India 2-1 lead

sachinAfter Virender Sehwag had bludgeoned 44 from just 28 balls, an unhurried and unbeaten 96 from Sachin Tendulkar took India to a facile victory that gave them a 2-1 lead in this five-match series. Sri Lanka had dominated the early stages of the match, galloping to 165 for 1 from 22.2 overs but they then subsided in bizarre fashion, undone by a combination of Ravindra Jadeja’s spin, poor shot selection and two wickets in two balls from Ishant Sharma, who had gone for 46 in his first three overs. They lost the remaining nine wickets for 74 runs and slumped to 239 all out, which India eased past with 44 balls to spare.

Tendulkar, Gambhir, dead pitch frustrate Sri Lanka

sachinSachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, and a dead Ahmedabad pitch (21 wickets and seven centuries in five days) put paid to Sri Lanka’s dream of a first Test win in India. Gambhir played out 110 deliveries for 40 runs, and Tendulkar 211 for 100 runs; both of them looked entirely at home in the role of saving a Test, not letting dot balls affect their minds.

India should play more Tests - Tendulkar

sachinSachin Tendulkar has expressed his disappointment at India not playing enough Tests in the near future. Besides the three Tests in the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka, which begins in Ahmedabad on November 16, India play only two more Tests, in Bangladesh in January, in the 2009-10 season. There are no further Test series planned at least till the end of the 2010.

“We should play more Test cricket for sure. It is obviously not great news that we are only playing five Tests this season,” Tendulkar said at a media event on Friday to commemorate his completing 20 years in international cricket.

Tendulkar should play fewer ODIs - Border

SachinFormer Australian captain Allan Border has said Sachin Tendulkar should play fewer ODIs to prolong his Test career. Tendulkar, who is a few weeks away from completing 20 years as an India player, is one of the senior-most players on the international circuit. Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya is the only other current international who began his career in the 1980s.

Tendulkar has played 432 ODIs - second behind Jayasuriya’s 441 - and 159 Tests since 1989. Over the last couple of years, he opted out of Twenty20 internationals to focus on the game’s longer formats. He has, however, participated in both seasons of the IPL, as captain of the Mumbai Indians franchise.

A test of the one-day format’s popularity

pontingOne-day international cricket in India is an anomaly. While the world - including players like Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar - seems sated with the 50-over game, especially with meaningless seven-match bilateral series, the upcoming contest between India and Australia is likely to be received well by the home audience. Three-odd commercials squeezed in after each over works well for the broadcasters, international cricket in smaller centres works well for the public there.

Ponting for points system to stop ODI dead rubbers

pontingThe reinvention of one-day cricket has been a hot topic of discussion over the past few months and Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, has joined the debate by calling for a points system to give the format “significant meaning”. Speaking ahead of Australia’s departure for India for a seven-match ODI series, Ponting gave the example of the 6-1 win over England recently as proof that dead rubbers hurt the game.

One of my best innings - Tendulkar

sachinSachin Tendulkar has rated his risk-free 138 against Sri Lanka in the final of the Compaq Cup as one of his best innings. His 44th one-day hundred propelled India to 319, which proved 46 runs too many for Sri Lanka.

“This is one of my best innings. I will rate this up considering the conditions and the ground, the humidity,” Tendulkar said. His superbly paced innings fetched him his 59th Man-of-the-Match award besides helping him to yet another Man-of-the-Series award. It capped a successful return for Tendulkar, who had to miss the one-day series against West Indies earlier this year due to a finger injury.

Tendulkar, Harbhajan seal title in thriller

sachinThe ghost of batting under the R Premadasa lights was almost buried tonight. Sachin Tendulkar’s master class, an 86th international century which was not far from being his best, nearly became a footnote on a night of punches and counter-punches. Sri Lanka knew being ultra aggressive was the only way of going about this huge chase, and they counterattacked every time a wicket was lost. Thilina Kandamby, batting at No. 7, fell just short of pulling off a heist against India for the second time in his short career, as the early wickets had left him with too much to do.

Tendulkar for two innings each in ODIs

sachinSachin Tendulkar is in favour of one-day cricket but believes the 50-over format can be tinkered with in order to reduce the advantage gained by the team winning the toss. He said that the total of 100 overs could be split into four innings of 25 each, which would mean that no side would have the best of the conditions for the entire match.

Tendulkar said he first thought of the format during the Champions Trophy final in 2002 where India played Sri Lanka in Colombo. In that match, Sri Lanka batted 50 overs before rain washed out the game shortly after India began their chase. On the reserve day, rain once again forced an abandonment after Sri Lanka had completed their innings.