Durban - Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar scored his record 50th Test century this week using a damaged and patched-up "lucky charm" bat which has now scored 14 hundreds, a report said on Thursday.
Tendulkar's favourite piece of willow showed plenty of war wounds caused by hours of hard-hitting at the crease, with tape across its toe (bottom) and shoulder.
But its effectiveness was in no doubt as he scored an unbeaten 111 against South Africa in Centurion to notch up his 50th Test century - sparking national jubilation and a message of congratulations from the Prime Minister.
Somi Kohli, the owner of Beat All Sports which makes Vampire bats, told the Indian Express that he had insisted on repairing the bat after seeing Tendulkar trying to do the job himself earlier this year.
"Sachin's knowledge about bats is phenomenal but I told him that just like doctors are specialists, a willow also needs to be looked after by bat doctors," he said.
"Even though Sachin was reluctant, I took the bat away from him. The edges were repaired and we did a bit of grafting and protected the toe too. Sachin couldn't believe how good the bat was when I returned it to him."
Kohli said Tendulkar, the most prolific batsman in history, never uses his special bat during practice but instead saves it for matches.
"I hope he can bat with this willow till the end of the World Cup," Kohli said. "We will repair it again. But I pray he gets a big century in the final of the World Cup with this bat."
The World Cup will be hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh between February and April.