Next target for Sachin should be to play two hundred Test matches: Yuvraj Singh

Hailing Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai Indians fielding coach Jonty Rhodes said that players like Sachin are rare and as nobody can play forever, it is important that the youngsters who emerge from tournaments like the Indian Premier League are good all-round cricketers, says a report in Indian Express.

"Guys like Sachin can't play forever and it's important that the young Indian players who come through the IPL are all-round players, not just in batting and bowling, as most of the Indian players are, but also as good fielders," Rhodes said, adds the newspaper.

"They've got quite a few young Indian players and what I think the organisers are trying to do is to make sure that once the Tendulkars and the Harbhajans retire, the younger guys coming through will carry India," he added.

"What I'm trying to get across to them is that fielding is important to a one-day game, especially in 20-over games where one run can make a difference. I've seen that in the 1999 World Cup against Australia and the World Cup against Sri Lanka in South Africa.

Meanwhile Yuvraj Singh in his column in The Times Of India on his birthday wishes Sachin Tendulkar all the happiness and health in life. “P a j i, as I and many other fondly call him, has been the pillar of strength for me all through my life. His birthday is a very special day for every Indian cricket fan. This is the day we thank this great man for his massive contribution to the Indian cricket. Like many others he holds a very special place in my life. As a kid I watched this curly-haired boy hitting some of world’s best bowlers with the kind of ease that cannot be explained. At 16 when one starts exploring the world, this boy was carrying the burden of nation’s expectations on his tender shoulders, writes Yuvraj, adding that to motivate himself, Sachin resets his goals and targets.

“Getting hundred hundreds was one of those goals. You can’t even dream about it. The next target would be to play two hundred Test matches. At hundred Test matches, you are a legend, at two hundred Tests, I don’t even know what you are called.”

Meanwhile, Kings XI will play Mumbai Indians on their home ground on Wednesday. Wishing Sachin a happy birthday, Adam Gilchrist said, ““I just wish the world’s greatest batsman ever a blessed happy birthday. Thank God! His birthday is today. I still remember his innings in 1998 when he hit the bowlers all over the park and presented them with the worst return gift that a bowler can get,” said Gilchrist, according to a report in The Tribune.

Adding further “Everyone knows he is a gem and I hope he will continue to shower runs from his bat. In tomorrow’s match, we are working on some strategies and hopefully, these will work at the right time. All we need to do is to ball to him on the right track.

Meanwhile the PCA track has supported all visiting sides and Mumbai Indians too expect the same on Wednesday, writes The Tribune.  “Batting is the most important aspect of the game. Sachin’s addition has already boosted out batting line-up. Batsmen like Dinesh, Rohit and Pollard are yet to play up to their potential and this ground seems to have something for them,” said Pollock.