Sourav Ganguly hopes for Sachin's return

Published: Monday, September 27, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Batting genius Sachin Tendulkar, recuperating from a tennis elbow, would play the first Test against Australia from October 6 even if he regains fitness a day before the start of the match, skipper Sourav Ganguly said on Monday.

The skipper said he could not say whether Tendulkar would be fit in time for the series-opening Test in Bangalore but would wait till the last minute to accommodate a player of his calibre.

"I don't know yet whether he will be fit for the first Test. The Bangalore match is still nine days away. If Sachin gets fit even a day or two before the match, then he will play. But I'm hopeful," Ganguly told newspersons in Kolkata.

"Sachin is a great player. When a big name like Sachin is missing, it makes a big difference to the team," he said.

Ganguly said the mere presence of players of the calibre of Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid would act as a morale booster for any team.

Tendulkar, who has been sidelined with the injury since the third week of August, missed India's One-day engagements in the Holland Tri-series and the NatWest Challenge and ICC Champions Trophy in England.

He is currently undergoing treatment under the guidance of BCCI's medical panel chief Anant Joshi. Indian team physiotherapist Andrew Leipus is also monitoring Tendulkar's progress.

India has not played a Test match since their tour of Pakistan in March-April this year.

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