I've to go step by step: Tendulkar

Published: Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar today said that no one has ruled him out of the first Test against Australia commencing on October 6 while adding he needed to build up strength on his tennis-elbow afflicted joint.

"Nobody has ruled me out of the first Test. I have to consult the doctors (Cricket Board appointed Anant Joshi and Indian team physiotherapist Andrew Leipus) and tell them how I feel," Tendulkar told reporters here this morning.

"Obviously there's not enough strength (on the affected part). I have not played or practiced for six weeks on the doctors' advice. I have to go step by step, build it (strength) up gradually," the master batsman said.

Wearing a two-inch brace on his left elbow, Tendulkar came this morning to the Brabourne Stadium to encourage his Mumbai teammates ahead of the three-day tie against the visiting Australian team commencing tomorrow.

Asked how much net practice would be required to get match fit, he replied, "As much as possible, but only if circumstances permit it. There's been a muscle loss and I have to build it up gradually. Basically I have been advised rest. I have to take gradual steps. Initially I would be using a lighter bat to practice with," Tendulkar said.

Asked whether he would be mentally prepared to take on the Aussies if certified fit at the eleventh hour, Tendulkar said, "I have no option. I would very much like to play as early as possible."

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