NEW DELHI - Agence France-Presse
Sachin Tendulkar addresses the media after taking the oath at Parliament. AFP photo
Sachin Tendulkar takes guard in a Test match for the first time as a member of parliament when India
begins a new home season this week, aiming to rebuild its damaged reputation.
A two-match series against lowly New Zealand, starting in Hyderabad on Aug. 23, is an appetizer for the main course -- four Tests each against England and Australia, which both thumped India
4-0 over the past year.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men will seek to avenge those drubbings in England and Australia. India
was dethroned as the top-ranked Test side and have now slipped to fifth.
“We need to return to winning ways and we have the team to do it,” outgoing chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth told AFP. “I have great hope for the future.”
Tendulkar, 39, the world’s leading batsman with an unprecedented 100 international centuries, was in April nominated to the upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, for his contribution to the nation.
The record-breaking batsman, who made his Test debut in 1989, insisted the honor would not distract him from contributing to the team’s resurgence. “It is an honor to be nominated to parliament. I have not fought an election,” Tendulkar said in a recent interview. “But I am an active cricketer and I will be focused on the game.”