Boycs to Sachin: Don~~t be in a hurry to comeback

Published: Friday, February 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Prolific Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar should skip the upcoming high-profile cricket series against Pakistan if he is not fully fit, according to legendary England opener Geoff Boycott.

"My opinion is he should not be in a hurry," Boycott told the Mumbai-based Mid-day newspaper on Friday.

"'Take your time Sachin, till you are fully fit' is what I would tell him."

Tendulkar, 31, has been in and out of the team since August due to a tennis elbow injury. He missed One-day tournaments in the Netherlands and England before returning for the last two home Tests against Australia in October.

The master batsman appeared to have aggravated the injury after playing four more Tests -- two each against South Africa and Bangladesh.

He scored a double-century in Bangladesh to equal compatriot Sunil Gavaskar's world mark of 34 Test hundreds. He has also made a record 37 centuries in One-dayers.

"Had Sachin not played against Bangladesh he would not have felt pain now. Tennis elbow is painful," said Boycott.

Tendulkar, who has not picked up a bat since the Bangladesh tour in December, is planning to return to competitive cricket at a four-day domestic match starting in Hyderabad on February 22.

But Boycott said Tendulkar should take more rest before he resumes playing.

"Perhaps he is eager to play against Pakistan and wants to prepare himself by playing a domestic match. But I feel he should take more rest and resume playing only after he has recovered completely," said Boycott.

"Sachin is sensible enough to take such a decision.

"I know India-Pakistan clashes are big in India, but injuries have no relations with people's sentiment. And it's hard to isolate yourself from such a mega event if you are Sachin Tendulkar.

"But it will be worse if he aggravates the injury. My opinion is he should not be in a hurry."

Boycott said he did not believe the heavy bat used by Tendulkar in the past had caused the injury.

"I dont know which expert has opined so. There might be several other reasons. And it should be left to him whether he wants to continue with a heavy bat," he said.

Boycott said India would not find it easy in the home series despite winning both the One-day and Test series in Pakistan last year.

"No doubt India are my favourites, but it will be tough for them to retain the series. (Pakistan coach) Bob Woolmers presence will make a huge difference. He is a wonderful thinker and one of the best coaches in recent times."

Pakistan are scheduled to play three Tests and six One-day Internationals on their first tour of India in six years starting next month.

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