The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin may have to pick and choose
- Priority is the 2007 World Cup

Calcutta: It hasn’t been made official (it’s a touchy issue, mind you), but The Telegraph’s sources have indicated that the national selectors are preparing for a situation where Sachin Tendulkar begins to “pick and choose” limited overs matches in the lead-up to the 2007 World Cup.

The maestro, who underwent surgery on his right shoulder in end-March, has been off big-league cricket for almost five months.

“Irrespective of what is being said, Sachin is not exactly hundred per cent fit and surely won’t be able to play all the ODIs between now and next March (when the sport’s biggest event begins). The selectors have come to realise that,” one of the well-placed sources informed late on Wednesday.

Indeed, the upcoming tri-series in Sri Lanka, which will mark Sachin’s return to international cricket, is going to launch a heavy calendar of limited overs cricket.

So much so that next month’s tri-series in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will begin within a fortnight of the one ending across the Palk Strait.

The Champions Trophy is soon after that, at home, followed by five ODIs on the tour of South Africa.

Then, in very early 2007, there’s going to be another tri-series — the last before the World Cup.

Clearly, the 33-year-old Sachin (who has been having fitness problems since early 1999) can’t be expected to make himself available for every match over the next six months or so.

That the selectors are “somewhat concerned” is, of course, understandable.

The priority, obviously, is for Sachin to fire on all cylinders when Team India land in the West Indies.

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