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July 14, 2006
Sachin Tendulkar is set to undergo a fitness check on July 19 to determine whether he is fit to return to international cricket. Tendulkar's shoulder worries have kept him out of action for close to four months but his recent performances indicate that he's ready for a return.
"The fitness test will be conducted a day before the team is chosen for the tri-series in Sri Lanka," Niranjan Shah, the secretary of the Indian board, told the BBC. India are scheduled to play a tri-series in Colombo, starting on August 14, involving Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Having recovered from a shoulder operation, Tendulkar has shown some good form in the charity games that he has recently taken part in. Not only did he manage four centuries in five games for Lashings, a celebrity club side, but also produced an unbeaten 50 against the Pakistanis in a charity game on July 10.
India's recent dip in one-dayers, suffering a 4-1 drubbing against West Indies, was partly owing to lack of experience in the batting order, with the youngsters struggling to come to grips with the conditions. Brian Lara felt that Tendulkar's absence had seriously affected India and picked it out as a factor that made the crucial difference.
Tendulkar, though, will need to be at the peak of his fitness for the next season, considering India's hectic upcoming schedule. After returning from Sri Lanka they play hosts in the ICC Champions Trophy, in October and November, before embarking on a long tour to South Africa. A tri-series involving West Indies and Sri Lanka provides them a rehersal for the biggest event of them all - the World Cup in the Caribbean.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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