It’s now or never for Sachin

Auckland: It seems like yesterday that Sachin Tendulkar made his first trip to New Zealand. But that was way back in 1989-90.

The tour is fresh in most minds, not least of all because of history attached with the tour.

Sir Richard Hadlee got his 400th Test scalp, Tendulkar was wowing the crowd with his talent. The tour had everything.

Then as a 16-year-old Tendulkar got oh so close at McLean Park in Napier to become the youngest batsman to score a Test hundred. He fell agonisingly close to the three figure mark. History would have been created that day in 1990, but it was not to be.

But now comes the big chance for Tendulkar correct that part of history that has slipped away. He has the big chance of playing a part in India’s first Test series win in New Zealand for 41 years.

The chance is now or never. India are already 1-0 up and Tendulkar can draw on the missed opportunities of his first tour here to settle all scores at McLean Park.

The series win here will be the last in a series of achievements for the team of this decade.And Tendulkar is only to keen to be able to play a part.

He batted at the nets on Tuesday for longest period of time to ensure that his finger has healed enough after that injury from fielding at first slip in the first Test. His palms were hurting at times, but he decided to weather the storm. He battled the spinners and then took on the quicks with aplomb.

He was willing to battle through pain and in the end looked pleased that he was able to break the threshold barrier.

At the end of it all, the bandage on his injured finger was taken off and he was smiling from end to end at another opportunity to win a series abroad. In his own words things changed for India’s Test team in 2001 when they toured Zimbabwe.

”We won a Test in Zimbabwe in 2001, then in West Indies, England, Australia, South Africa and now finally here. We have managed to win abroad everytime now,” said Tendulkar.

In the last few years India have posted series victories in West Indies, England, but New Zealand have always got away. And it has been the case everytime since India toured here since Tendulkar’s first time out in 1989-90.

Then Tendulkar missed out on a personal milestone at McLean Park, can he better that with a team effort in 2009.
Wait and watch.

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