Sachin Tendulkar practises with enthusiast

Canberra: As he prepares for the gruelling Test series against Australia, Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar has been practising with a "cricket enthusiast", who has not even played a first-class game, during his net sessions.

DVGI Raghavindraa, listed as an "attendant" by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is man Tendulkar and even Rahul Dravid trust when it comes throwdowns during the nets.

"Raghavindraa booked his ticket to Australia not through a torrent of runs or a bag of wickets but for his throw-down skills. And, it`s believed, he has come with strong recommendations from Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid," said the `Sydney Morning Herald`.

The 27-year-old is an employee at the National Cricket Academy in south Indian Bangalore city. Raghavindraa threw down outswingers to Tendulkar during Sunday`s net session.

"After a rare ball did not find the middle of Tendulkar`s bat, he had the gumption to ask Test cricket`s leading run-scorer whether he had committed too early to the shot. A swift `no` was the response.

"On another occasion, Tendulkar nodded with approval at one that seamed back. `A good ball, but I didn`t play it,` Tendulkar said," the newspaper reported.

Tendulkar is chasing a record 100th international hundred during the series.