Fit Tendulkar to play in Irani Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sachin Tendulkar, who missed the ODI series against Sri Lanka due to an elbow injury, is to take part in Irani Cup to be held in Vadodara from Sept 24-28

Updated: September 09, 2008 06:53 IST
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A fit-again Sachin Tendulkar is all set to get back into his groove after a poor run with the bat in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka by taking part in the Irani Cup tie for Rest of India against Delhi at Vadodara later this month.

"I will be participating in the Irani Trophy. Just now I'm fine," declared the master batsman.

The selectors will choose on Monday a near-strength Test squad for the annual tie from September 24-28 between last season's Ranji Trophy champions (Delhi) and the Rest of India and are expected to name Tendulkar in the squad.

Tendulkar had to miss the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, after being a part of the Test squad under Anil Kumble that lost the series to the home team 1-2, after sustaining an elbow injury while fielding in the third and final match at Colombo.

He returned home and was replaced in the ODI squad by S Badrinath.

The champion batsman could muster only 95 runs at a very dismal average of 15.83 per innings with 31 in the second innings of the second Test at Galle, won by India, as his highest score in the three-match Test rubber.

Before the series, the ace batsman, who appeared in his 150th Test in Colombo, was only 172 runs adrift of overtaking West Indian great Brian Lara as the highest run getter in Tests, but fell way short of that target.

The Irani Cup tie is seen as a virtual selection trial by the selectors who want to pit the best players from the Rest of India to take on a strong Delhi team and prepare the Indian squad for the high-profile Test series against Australia starting in Bengaluru next month.

Tendulkar, who had played a stellar role in guiding India to its first-ever ODI tri-series win in Australia in March, was asked about the perceived divide between seniors and juniors in the team at the promotional event and replied that showing maturity was important.

The ace batsman was also all praise for the Indian Olympic medallists, including first-ever individual gold winner for the country -- rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra -- at last month's Beijing Games.

"It was good that India could get three medals in the Olympics which has made all the countrymen proud. People only remember successful people but efforts (made) should also be counted and recognised," he felt.

He also said that sports federations need to develop infrastructure and facilities for the players to excel.

"They should fulfil reasonable requirements of the sports persons," Tendulkar added.

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