Chasing a ton of international tons, Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar warmed up on the eve of the historic Lord's Test by facing an 18-year-old girl from north London on Wednesday.
Ahead of the first Test between world number one India and third ranked England at the hallowed Lord's, the venue for the 2000th match, milestone man Tendulkar faced Raveena Lakhtaria, an A-level student and a young cricketer, who plays for Middlesex and the England women's academy.
The champion batsman is an honorary life member of the MCC, a status which entitles him to ask for the club's help with his preparations for the England tour. (Related: Team India practices at Lord's)
Lakhtaria is on an MCC young cricketer's scholarship and her ambition is to play for England, but given her Indian roots, has only one hero: Sachin Tendulkar.
"Bowling to a master has boosted my confidence. Now I have done that I feel I can bowl at anybody without any fear whatsoever," Lakhtaria was quoted as saying by 'The Telegraph'.
Lakhtaria, from Northwood, has just finished her A-levels and hopes to go on tour with the England academy this winter. She first met Tendulkar last year when he saw her bowling in the nets at Lord's and asked her to join him. This year their paths crossed again and she spent the afternoon bowling at him.
"It was great to be bowling at him and he gave me a lot of tips," she said. "He told me about how to bowl when the wicket is not helping, what to do if it is spinning a lot, when to use the shiny side and it was really good to have someone like that giving me advice. It was a great experience and I am very lucky."
Tendulkar appeared relaxed and was accompanied at nets by his son, Arjun.
Photo Courtesy: Jaguar Academy of Sport