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Sachin wants Umesh to bowl the right length

Tendulkar's instructions to Umesh Yadav at net session were clear -- just bowl outside off-stump, short-of-a-length

Sachin Tendulkar was somewhat pushy at India's net session yesterday. His instructions to Umesh Yadav were clear -- just bowl outside off-stump, short-of-a-length. And yet, young Umesh continued to either spray it around, or pitch it too full. Around this time, Tendulkar yelled at the fast bowler: 'Arrey, idhar daal yaar... idhar daal,' he said once, before reiterating the same in Marathi.


Sachin Tendulkar during a net session at Manuka Oval in Canberra
yesterday.


Tendulkar then drew a line with his bat at the area he intended to be bowled at. He certainly did enjoy the short-pitched stuff from Umesh, bringing out the upper cut -- a shot he played a few times during last month's Wankhede Test. Visibly, the master batsman is very diligent about his preparation.


The Jack Fingleton scoreboard at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

A little later, Tendulkar cried out to Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha for running into bowl one after another without a breather. 'Thoda aaram se...ek ke bad ek aisa math dal...thoda aaram se," he said. A wave of electricity was felt as VVS Laxman walked past a heap of onlookers and media persons, his godlike status in Australia receiving more validation.


VVS Laxmans sweats it out.

The veteran batsman though did not acknowledge the presence of the amused faces, getting straight to work at the nets. Laxman, who will attempt to create history by becoming only the second visiting batsman after Wally Hammond to score four consecutive hundreds at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) early next year, a Test that will also mark the 100th of the venue, enjoyed quick throwdowns from newly recruited Raghavindraa before moving on to facing Pragyan Ojha. A local journalist said, "Nobody demands more respect in this country that Laxman, mate. He's the king."

The Jack Fingleton scoreboard is a striking feature at the Manuka Oval. It was originally located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), dated to 1901, however as the iconic venue installed a new electronic scoreboard at the ground in the early 1980s, the scoreboard was relocated to the Manuka Oval here. The scoreboard was named after Jack Fingleton, who had died at the time of installation at Manuka.

Fingleton was an Australian opening batsman as well as a political correspondent in Canberra and prolific author. He was famously acknowledged as the 'Man who stood up to Bradman'. And ironically, the Bradman Pavilion is located bang outside the Fingleton scoreboard here.

Three Indian print journalists including this writer were desperately hoping to listen to Rahul Dravid deliver the annual Bradman Oration here at the Australian War Memorial yesterday. They reached the entrance of the momentous venue almost an hour prior to Dravid's moment of opulence.

A host of legendary Australian sportspersons, former cricketers, current captain Michael Clarke and Dravid's teammates flocked in one after another, dressed etiquette with majestic tuxedos and classic bow ties. The strong breeze and cold weather notwithstanding, the journos were ready to go to any extent to get a glimpse of Dravid orating the lecture that made headlines this morning. Unfortunately, they were deprived of this privilege as the event was restricted to invitees only.

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