Sachin Tendulkar has revealed that he has been testing himself against a bowling machine to prepare for India's forthcoming series against Pakistan, starting next month, and is looking forward to a keenly-contested series.
Tendulkar endured a six-month lay-off from the game, before returning in October, owing to an elbow injury. "I have batted using bowling machines at decent speed," he said while speaking at a motorsports function in Mumbai. "This is to get the body reacting. Nothing more than that."
Stressing that his period in the sidelines had been a frustrating one for him, Tendulkar thanked those who provided support. "It was a difficult year for me," he said. "It was a lot of testing my patience, both on and off the field. The injury was not good, but I must say that a lot of the guys stood behind me...they supported me immensely. That was a very special feeling. But I would just like to forget about it."
He also stressed the importance of maintaining the winning momentum, citing the last series as an example when India were relentless in their attack. "Our last tour of Pakistan in 2003-04 came immediately after our successful tour of Australia where we drew the Test series, and so we carried the momentum with us," he said. "Pakistan have gathered momentum after their Test and one-day successes against England. So have we, after our recent run of successes."
Reacting to Inzamam-ul-Haq's statement that Pakistan will prepare fast pitches for the series, Tendulkar said that the ploy could be an advantage for both teams. "We have a very good seam attack," he continued. "Our pacemen bowled really well the last time out."
He was also not too concerned about the series being played in winter, with the temperatures likely to resemble a more English setting. "Winter or summer, it doesn't matter. International cricket is always challenging. You have to play in all sorts of conditions. I have played in Yorkshire, in cold conditions where you have two jumpers, two jerseys on. You have to adapt," according to Cricinfo.