Over the last night months, India's bowling coach Joe Dawes hasn't had the best of times. Injuries to India's best fast bowlers have meant that we haven't had the chance to see the best of the bowlers or of Dawes.
But over the last nine months, the former Queensland Bulls fast bowler has had a chance to get a unique insight into the psyche of Sachin Tendulkar.
"Sachin has started carrying his bat with him on the team bus," Dawes told The Courier-Mail. "And then all the other batters started bringing their bats on the bus, just to copy him. It has got to the point where I am poking fun at all of them. I tell the tail-end batsmen they are never going to survive as international batsmen unless they bring their bat on the bus."
Tendulkar prepared for the series against Australia by scoring an unbeaten 140 in the Irani Cup but the 39-year-old has not hit a century in Test cricket for more than two years now. And there has been talk that the series against Australia may be his last.
However, Dawes feels that Tendulkar's work ethic hasn't suffered as a consequence. In fact, he continues to work really hard.
"I have been there for nine months and I haven't seen any change. He works really hard on his game," Dawes said. "No doubt he is 39 and he would have the doubts that everyone has going through his mind - but he works hard and you see when he practices he still has an amazing eye and had great attention to detail. The challenge for him is dealing with getting old. But just his presence in the room lifts everyone."
India will be hoping that Tendulkar is more than just a mere presence in this series though. India has dropped to be the No.5 Test side in the world and their bowling has looked especially shaky in recent times.
Turns out Tendulkar and Dawes will have their work cut out.
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