Even a half-fit Tendulkar is dangerous: Saeed Anwar

Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Sachin Tendulkar will be the difference between winning and losing for Pakistan when they tour India later this month, according to former Pakistani captain Saeed Anwar.

The world-record holder for the highest one-day score says even a half-fit Tendulkar would pose a threat to the prospects of Pakistani team which is to play three Tests and five one-dayers against the arch-rivals.

"I know every Pakistan supporter will be hoping that Sachin doesn't play while the Indians must be praying for his speedy recovery," Anwar told PTI in an interview here today.

"I mean that's natural. A half-fit Sachin is also a threat to the opponents. He is such a big influence that his presence in the dressing room motivates his team and keeps the opponents under pressure."

"And if Sachin is not fit for the series, then I think Pakistan will certainly be favourites," the former left-handed batsman said.

Tendulkar is nursing an elbow injury but is expected to be fit in time for the tour beginning on Feb 25.

Anwar also had some other valuable tips for the Pakistanis who he said must target India's top-order batting line-up as their middle-order was not capable of staging a recovery in case of a collapse.

"India no doubt has the greatest batting lineup. But the fact of the matter is that India is not capable of staging a recovery like the Australian team in case of a top order collapse," Anwar said.

"I think the Pakistanis will certainly fancy their chances in India because they have shown the world that with or without their frontline bowlers, they have the potential to throw any top order batting on the canvas."

"The only drawback (in the just concluded series against Australia) was that they (Pakistan bowlers) were denied a run-through because of the depth in their batting and awareness of conditions," he said.

The 37-year-old Anwar's world record of 194 had come against India in Chennai in 1997 while his Test best of 188 not out was also made against the same rivals at Kolkata in 1999.

Anwar, who made 4,052 runs at 45.52 in 55 Tests and 8,824 at 39.21 in 247 one-dayers in a career that spanned 15 years, said Pakistan did not require "rocket science" to trigger an Indian collapse.

"Virender Sehwag is devastating but if you stop the flow of runs from his bat, he will start providing you chances. Likewise, Rahul Dravid is technically the best batsman in the world today and he likes to bat for days and days, but again if you attack him, he has a tendency of committing mistakes."

"It's all there in the computers," said the 1997 Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

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