Willow worship from the Little Master

Sachin Tendulkar’s love affair with his cricketing equipment, especially with bats, is now a known thing. But how much he worships his bats was evident yesterday during the Indian team’s practice session at the Wankhede Stadium. The second Test against the West Indies from November 14 will be the batting legend’s final international match. 

Sachin Tendulkar with son Arjun
Sachin Tendulkar watches his son Arjun bowl in the nets at Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/Suresh KK

While going towards the nets for a second round of batting session, Tendulkar’s foot unintentionally touched a bat which was lying on the ground. Instantly, the batting maestro made a gesture to show his respect to the bat.

Tendulkar, who is set to play his 200th Test from tomorrow, had a full-fledged net session yesterday, batting for over an hour. He first faced the pacers before taking on spinners in the adjacent net.

The batting great was in a joyous mood, acknowledging the fans, who had thronged the Wankhede. He also willingly obliged requests from photojournalists to pose with them — a memory they will cherish for lifetime.

Arjun turns net bowler
Tendulkar’s son Arjun had a field day at the Indian team’s net session yesterday.  Though he was initially hanging around in the dugout with the players, Arjun promptly followed his father’s instruction to start bowling in the nets.

Sachin Tendulkar trains ahead of his farewell Test at the Wankhede Stadium

The Mumbai U-14 player did a bit of stretching before rolling his arm over to Team India batters. Once Tendulkar was done with his net practice, the doting father closely monitored Arjun’s bowling.

In between, Tendulkar walked up to Arjun to take away the measuring tape from the net his son was bowling. It is learnt Tendulkar told his son to concentrate only on his bowling. Bowlers use the measuring tape to mark their run-up.

Tendulkar was also seen giving a few tips once Arjun was done with his bowling and throw downs.

Too small to read
The Mumbai Cricket Association has done a wonderful job of compiling all the 51 Test centuries of Tendulkar on banners at the Wankhede Stadium on the occasion of his landmark 200th Test, which begins tomorrow.

The 51 banners, which show Tendulkar’s match pictures along with his scores, have been displayed on the top railing of the stadium. However, while the scores of Tendulkar’s Test centuries are readable, the font size of where the century was scored and against which team cannot be read unless binoculars are used. 

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