Dravid asks youngsters to compensate for Sachin

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St Kitts:Down 2-1 in the ongoing One-day series against West Indies, Team India Captain Rahul Dravid admitted that the services of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar will be sorely missed but called on the youngsters in the team to stand up and be counted in his absence.

''It is unfortunate that Sachin will not be available for the series. His experience would have come handy in the conditions here.

We were looking forward to welcome him on the tour here. I haven't been told by the manager yet that he isn't coming but I am sure he will be missed,'' Dravid said after the four-wicket loss to the hosts yesterday.

Sachin is recovering from a shoulder surgery and has ruled himself out of the tour. The little champion flew to London last night to consult Doctor Andrew Wallace, the surgeon who operated his shoulder.

Dravid felt that it was excellent chance for the youngsters to perform and rise to task.

''We have good young batsmen in the team. It is important for them to be counted when a senior batsman is not here. It is an excellent opportunity for guys like (Suresh) Raina and (Venugopal) Rao to get noticed,'' he observed.

West Indies skipper Brian Lara also said Sachin's absence has come as a disappointment to him as he was looking forward to his return to international cricket.

''We are all entertainers. It is disappointing, he is not here.

It's a big loss to the Caribbean fans as well. Anywhere India is playing people look forward to see Sachin in action. My wish for Sachin is that he get well soon and may be we can again play against each other in the Champions Trophy. I do wish him a speedy recovery,'' said Lara.

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