Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was very particular about the kind of weapon he brought up his 50th Test century with. Adding to the novelty of the feat which he accomplished at Centurion on Dec 20th, was the fact that he did it with a worn-out, damaged and patched-up piece of willow.
The bat bore several battered tokens of hours of hard-hitting from several encounters. But the Little Master considers the tool his lucky charm as it has seen him through to 14 centuries thus far. The device possess generous bandaging across its toe and shoulder. But their was no doubt about the efficacy of the bat as it helped Sachin reach the special milestone and stir up national celebrations and a message of congratulations from the Prime Minister himself.
Somi Kohli, the owner of Beat All Sports which makes Vampire bats, said that he had be adamant about repairing the bat after seeing Tendulkar trying to perform the task himself earlier this year.
"Sachin's knowledge about bats is phenomenal but I told him that just like doctors are specialists, a willow also needs to be looked after by bat doctors," he said. "Even though Sachin was reluctant, I took the bat away from him. The edges were repaired and we did a bit of grafting and protected the toe too. Sachin couldn't believe how good the bat was when I returned it to him."
Kohli said Tendulkar, the highest run-getter in the history of the game, refrains from using his special bat during training but instead keeps it especially for matches. "I hope he can bat with this willow till the end of the World Cup," Kohli said. "We will repair it again. But I pray he gets a big century in the final of the World Cup with this bat."