Sachin Tendulkar needs one more century to reach 100 for his international career but he still works on his technique daily and studies every pitch before he plays, India's captain MS Dhoni said yesterday. "He keeps it really simple," Dhoni said. "He practices well, he still works on his technique and where he feels that extra bit of effort is needed. Of course, what really helps him is the way he analyses the wicket and his coming innings." Tendulkar practised next to the pitch at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium for an hour yesterday in preparation for today's game against West Indies. The India opener, Virender Sehwag, is doubtful for the game after he suffered an allergic reaction in his knee.
Senior batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul may be called on to prop up the team's fragile batting order in today's match against India. "We are meeting again tonight and surely we will come out with the best combination," skipper Darren Sammy said yesterday. "We all respect what Shiv has done for us in the past. He's one of our most experienced players and that would obviously come into consideration."
Elton Chigumbura, the captain, said the team's poor showing, one win in five games, is because of their poor performance with the bat. With only one score of over 200, the level of batting has not matched the Zimbabwean efforts in the field. They wind up their campaign with a chance of victory against Kenya today. "We fielded well and bowled superbly, but that can't be said about our batting," Chigumbura said. "That has been the big problem throughout. Besides the batting part, we've put up a big fight."
Jimmy Kamande, the Kenya captain, said it is disappointing that Associate nations did not get more support for their World Cup ambitions from the likes of Ricky Ponting. Kamande said yesterday that although he understands that his team needs to keep improving, "what is disappointing is someone like Ricky Ponting saying that the Associates don't need to be here". Kenya, World Cup semi-finalist in 2003, plays Zimbabwe in their last Group A match at the Eden Gardens today after losing their five previous matches, including against Canada. Australia captain Ponting has backed the ICC's decision to reduce the World Cup from 14 to 10 teams for the next edition.
The captain Kumar Sangakkara said he is pleased with his side's efforts so far but is not yet thinking about a place in the final. Sri Lanka won four of their six matches, including a 112-run win over New Zealand on Friday. "We know we are well on our way," Sangakkara said. "But we know there is a long way to go before we can think of coming back here" to Wankhede Stadium, site of the final on April 2.