Bangalore, Feb 14: Sachin Tendulkar's Test record in the last two years might not be good but former Australia opener Matthew Hayden feels the Master Blaster will "come very hard" at Australians in the four-match series.
Tendulkar has been without a Test hundred since January 2011. He had a poor series at home against New Zealand and England and there were questions raised about his place in the Indian team. However, back in Ranji Trophy cricket and Irani Cup, Tendulkar has scored big runs and is looking good.
Hayden, in an interview to "The Times of India" newspaper on Thursday, said Australians would be relieved at the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman but felt Tendulkar is still capable of doing damage to the visitors.
"The Australians will be relieved that Dravid and Laxman are not there, they have seen enough of them. As far as Sachin is concerned, I think he will go on his own terms. If I know Tendulkar, he will come very hard at Australia," Hayden told the newspaper.
The left-hander, who enjoyed a great run with the bat in 2001 series, feels it is a "huge setback" for India in Gautam Gambhir's absence.
" (Gautam) Gambhir not being there is a huge setback for India. He is a seasoned campaigner and knows how to tackle the Australians. I think it's like Australia not having Michael Hussey in their line-up for the Test series. Gambhir not being there is a huge weight off the Aussies' shoulders," said Hayden.
On recalling Harbhajan Singh, Hayden termed it as an "excellent strategy."
"Harbhajan's return, on the other hand, is an excellent strategy. If he gels well with this Indian unit, he can be really handy even today, especially while bowling in that red dirt," he said.
The first Test of the series starts in Chennai on February 22.