Tendulkar to play against Pakistan only if fully fit

Published: Monday, January 24, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Sachin Tendulkar today said he would play in the upcoming cricket series against Pakistan only if he was fully fit while dismissing suggestions that his use of heavy bat was the cause for his elbow trouble.

"I have been advised five to six weeks' rest by the doctors. I played my last match on December 27 and have not touched the bat or ball since then," Tendulkar told reporters on the sidelines of a new product launch here.

"I am not going to hurry my return. I am eager to play against Pakistan but I would do so only if I am fully fit and able to play. I will strictly go by what the doctors say," said the batsman.

"This injury has been the only one which has had me struggling," said Tendulkar, who had fought back to top level after being sidelined by a back injury five years ago.

He also said that his injury had nothing to do with the use of a heavy bat.

"I have been reading articles wrongly attributing my injury to my usage of heavy bats. I have used heavy bats for 15 years without any trouble," he said.

About the series against Pakistan, Tendulkar expressed hope that it would be a good and closely fought series.

"Pakistan are coming after a long time and everyone is awaiting it. I hope the series will be a good one and fought well, "said.

Asked about any specific target he had in mind, Tendulkar said he never set any target. "At this stage of my career I don't want to change my style of play," he added.

Tendulkar is the brand ambassador of a newly launched cell phone -- G-Hanz.

Tendulkar rued missing the ongoing Deodhar Trophy One-day tournament and the February 7-10 Challenger Series in Mumbai. "While others are playing the tournaments, I have been advised rest," he said. He also said he was very happy for young left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan who won ICC's Best New Talent Award this year.

"He deserves the award. He has performed very well and I hope he continues to do well. He is a good role model for youngsters," the former India captain said.

Tendulkar said though he would not play, he would attend the Kapil XI Vs Amir Khan XI Tsunami benefit tie in Mumbai on January 28 to lend support to the noble cause.

"I will be present, though I will not play," he said.

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