Sachin has 'helper' in Oz
Sydney - A cricket enthusiast listed in the Indian touring squad as an "attendant" is helping Sachin Tendulkar prepare for India's quest to win their first Test series in Australia, reports said on Monday.
DVGI Raghavindraa has never played first-class cricket but what he lacks in playing expertise he makes up for with enthusiasm and his presence in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald said.
Raghavindraa is being used on tour for his throw-down skills in the practice nets and the Herald said he has come with strong recommendations from Tendulkar and fellow Indian batsman Rahul Dravid.
The newspaper said Raghavindraa, 27, is listed as an "attendant" on a Board of Control for Cricket in India news release, and is an employee at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
A Herald reporter watched Raghavindraa during a Sunday net session with Tendulkar at Canberra's Manuka Oval in which he threw balls at the batting maestro for an hour.
Raghavindraa helped Tendulkar prepare for the barrage of outswingers he is likely to receive from Australia's rising pace star James Pattinson ahead of the opening Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26.
"The session did not always go to plan. After a series of deliveries on his pads, Tendulkar put his bat down for several minutes to show Raghavindraa the wrist position required to enable the ball to shape away from the right-hander," the newspaper said.
"Just two deliveries later, Raghavindraa, unleashing from about three metres in front of the popping crease, sent down an outswinger, which Tendulkar, after shouldering arms, described as 'perfect' and gave his thumbs up."
Tendulkar has been a perennial thorn in the side of Australia's bowlers, averaging more than 60 with 11 centuries in 31 Tests against them and is eyeing his 100th international hundred during the Australian tour.
Greg Chappell, who coached India for a three-year spell ending in 2007, said in a new book released last week that Tendulkar was a prisoner of his incredible fame in India and carried expectations greater than Australia's iconic batsman Donald Bradman.