Kolkata: Despite the hype around him, Sachin Tendulkar appeared calm as the senior most Indian batsman walked out for his first practice session ahead of his 199th Test at the Eden Gardens, here on Monday.
The 40-year-old went about his routine net session, batting for exactly 52 minutes.
Showered with confetti and flower petals as he checked into the Eden Gardens at 10.30 in the morning, Tendulkar went to the field and had a long discussion with coach Duncan Fletcher.
Sachin padded up but waited patiently for his turn as openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan batted in the two nets.
Sachin batted for about 10 minutes in the pace bowling net with India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav forming the attack, apart from local bowlers.
In the adjoining net, Tendulkar batted a little longer against spinners Pragyan Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Vijay. Sachin ended his session with some throwdowns and catching practice.
Earlier, a five-feet four-inch statue of Tendulkar greeted the 40-year-old batsman as the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) rolled out a grand welcome.
Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden's quote on Tendulkar -- 'I've seen God. He comes out to bat for India at No 4.' -- was displayed prominently right above the India dressing room door while the wax statue was installed next to the door.