Don’t underestimate Aussies: Tendulkar

Bangalore, September 29:

Batting ace Sachin Tendulkar said that Australia would be tough to beat in the upcoming Test series in India despite their lack of experience.

Only four Australians — skipper Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich — have played a Test in India but Tendulkar said the new players had a lot of first-class experience. “They have not played Test in India but that does not mean they cannot deliver,” Tendulkar said ahead of the four-match series starting on October 9.

“They (Australia) still have a lot of players who have played first-class cricket. They have played a lot of cricket and we’d like to respect that. We don’t want to be caught off-guard.” Tendulkar said the Indian team management needed to plan a lot in the coming days on how they wanted to approach the series against a tough opposition.

“We’d like to focus on our performance,” said Tendulkar, who needs just 77 runs to surpass retired West Indies captain Brian Lara’s world record of 11,953. “It’s India v Australia. It’s not certain individuals v certain individuals. Both the countries are competing against each other.”

Tendulkar already holds three world records — maximum number of runs in one-dayers (16,361) and most centuries in Tests (39) and ODIs (42). The batting star was recently declared fit for the Australia Tests after missing the one-day series in Sri Lanka last month.

Australia play their only practice game before the series in Hyderabad from October 2. The Bangalore Test will be followed by back-to-back matches in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur.