Sachin Tendulkar celebrated India's Independence Day with a nets session at the National Cricket Academy on Wednesday, in preparation for his return to international cricket against New Zealand in the two-Test home series that begins on August 23 at Hyderabad.
"Happy Independence Day. This is the 65th anniversary and it’s a momentous occasion for us. I hope we keep progressing," the Rajya Sabha member said.
Tendulkar, who was last seen in action in the IPL and had opted out of the ODI Tour of Sri Lanka, had a solid hour's worth of batting practice against Indian spearhead Zaheer Khan and some other local bowlers.
Zaheer, who was bowling full tilt at Sachin, had arrived at the NCA a few days ago, ahead of India's lone Twenty20 against Lanka earlier in the month.
Sachin had reached his maiden Test century on August 14, 1990, as a 17-year-old against England at Old Trafford. Asked if he remembered the occasion and how it coincided with India's eve of Independence, Sachin said, "Oh yes! That was way back in 1990. Coincidence...what else can I
say...(they are) wonderful memories!"
Tendulkar, who is coming off an extended break in Europe - where he attended the Wimbledon championships - chatted extensively with Zaheer and NCA coach Dinesh Nanavati. The point of discussion was apparently the batsman's forward stride.
The maestro also had two sessions of throwdowns. He is expected to be at the NCA until Saturday.