Tendulkar seeks divine help to overcome crisis

Published: Monday, May 8, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:India's star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, afflicted by injuries and inconsistent form, has turned to Hindu religious rituals to help overcome the crisis.

Priests traced the trouble to "sarpa dosha" or evil snake effects in the planetary alignments of the 33-year-old, The Times of India said on Monday.

To correct the evil, Tendulkar, draped in white silk, and his wife Anjali began two days of prayers at the Subramanya temple complex in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

"The master blaster's loss of form and injury problems were traced to adverse planetary positions for which corrective rituals are taking place," the daily said. The rituals would continue early Monday.

Recovering from a shoulder surgery a year after being treated for a tennis elbow, he missed the recent one-day series at home against England and will also sit out of the five One-dayers in the West Indies later this month.

He was, however, confident of being fit for the four Test matches against the West Indies starting on June 2.

"I hope to be back in the Indian team soon," Tendulkar said after the temple visit.

The recent dip in form -- he averaged just over 20 in his last 11 Tests -- and the spate of injuries raised fears Tendulkar's career may be coming to an end.

He was even jeered off the field in his home city of Mumbai in March after making one and 34 in the final Test against England which the tourists won to square the series 1-1.

Tendulkar, who has scored a record 35 Test and 39 one-day centuries during a remarkable 16-year career, has a fanatical fan base in India and across the cricket world.

His 10,469 Test runs put him in fourth place behind West Indian captain Brian Lara and Australians Allan Border and Steve Waugh in the all-time scorers' list.

Tendulkar is also the world's leading One-day batsman, with 14,146 runs in 362 matches.

Despite his troubles, Tendulkar last week signed a marketing deal with international advertising major Saatchi and Saatchi reportedly worth 40 million dollars over the next three years.

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