No stranger to pressure and expectations, Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar says he can foresee a similar scenario for Kevin Pietersen during the Ashes and has advised the English swashbuckler not to think of the high hopes his nation has from him while batting.
"He (Pietersen), can't be thinking of carrying the hopes of a nation when he's walking out to bat. All the England batsmen have to go out there and express themselves and be fearless in their approach," Tendulkar said.
"That's what I did when I started in Test cricket. I was thinking about feeling at home. I had to follow the bowler as best as I could and react accordingly. I focussed on that and didn't think anything else," he added.
Here to cheer the Indian team in the Twenty20 World Cup, Tendulkar said was looking forward to some fireworks from Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff in the five-Test series next month.
Despite Australia's recent slump of form, Tendulkar feels it will be a quite a task for England to win back the Ashes if the dynamic duo of Flintoff and Pietersen fail to fire.
Australia, who whitewashed England 5-0 in the last Ashes series Down Under, made a shocking first round exit from the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup after losing their group matches to West Indies and Sri Lanka.
The Aussies are presently enjoying a two-week rest before they head back to England for the first Test at Cardiff starting July 8.
"England rely heavily on a couple of players, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff. The others have to step up as well but they are the key ones," Tendulkar told reporters in London on Thursday at the launch of 'Tendulkar Opus', an 800-page Coffee Table book comprising previously unpublished family pictures and rare memorabilia of the master blaster.
Asked who is the favourite to win this year's Ashes, he said, "Australia have aggressive players and a well balanced bowling attack. But I cannot say who will win, it's a tough question.
"The last Ashes in England, in 2005 which England won 2-1, was one of the best I have ever seen. It was great for every cricket follower and I see no difference this time."
Tendulkar, however, cautioned Pietersen against taking the entire burden of the team when he gets out to bat.
The 36-year-old right-hander also said that he feels humbled by the love and affection of over one billion Indians who have supported him all through his career.
"I feel very humbled at the adulation of over one billion people of India who have supported me all through.
"Without the support of my family, it would not have been possible for me to achieve my dream. My family has played a big role in my career," he said.