~~Lack of match practice could affect Sachin~~

Published: Sunday, October 24, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram today said that lack of match practice could have a bearing on Sachin Tendulkar's performace in the third Test against Australia starting at Nagpur this week.

"Sachin (Tendulkar) will make a difference. (But) he hasn't played international cricket for the last two-three months. Let's see how he performs. It does not matter he batted for two hours in nets. But match practice is match practice," the former left-arm fast bowler said.

Akram, the only bowler to have captured more than 400 wickets each in Test and one-day cricket, decried media hype in recent days about Tendulkar's availability for the series.

"I have been in India in the last two days and have been reading every newspaper -- Tendulkar is sleeping, he is getting up now, he is going to bed now and he is using light bat, he is using heavy bat -- leave him alone guys."

"He has been using heavy bat all his life and he is going to use heavy bat," he told reporters here.

Akram said though India fought back in the second Test at Chennai, it was going to be a different ball game altogether in the last two Tests.

"Australia will be well prepared. So, India should also be prepared," added the former speedster, who was here as part of the talent hunt for a presenter for sports broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports.

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