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'Tendulkar is not 100 per cent fit'

Reiterating his faith in the batsman, Chappell said that Sachin is still not ready to do long distance throwing.

india Updated: Aug 05, 2006 17:38 IST

Sachin Tendulkar's role as a fielder would be restricted as he cannot do long distance throwing in the first few matches on his return to the Indian team from a shoulder operation, coach Greg Chappell said on Friday.

"He is ready to play but he is not absolutely, 100 per cent fit. He cannot do long distance throwing," Chappell, who arrived in Bangalore ahead of the Indian team's cricket camp from Sunday, said.

The former Australian captain said Tendulkar, who is back in the team after a four-month gap following the operation in March, would field within the 30-yard circle in the first few matches.

"For everything else, he is looking pretty good. He made a few runs in England. We have to nurse him through the initial couple of matches.

"We have to give him the confidence as far as throwing is concerned," Chappell said.

He, however, denied there were doubts over Tendulkar being fit for the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

"He has an important part to play. I expect him to be fit. But what happens in 10 months' time from now, who knows?"

"As a bowler, batsman and fielder, he has an important role to play. He is the senior member of the team."

"What we have to do is to pull all that experience in Sachin's head and give it to others."

Chappell said the tour of the West Indies taught the players the importance of keeping their guard always on.

"We have to continue to do what we are doing. We have made big strides in the last 12 months, we have to make many bigger strides in the next 10 months," he said, referring to the World Cup.

"We cannot relax. The players learnt that when they got beaten (in the one-dayers) in the West Indies."

"We have to give the players more and more experience and keep challenging them to do what they have not done before and what they thought they could not do before."

"The fitness camp the team had was aimed at this, to take the players out of their comfort zones."

Chappell said the process instilling flexibility in the players will continue.

"Absolutely, it is vital for the development of the team and the individuals. It will help them be ready for any eventuality."

Chappell reiterated his strong support for Virender Sehwag.

"He plays a role in the team and he does a good job most of the time. Lots of people keep asking me this question. You are not going to have 11 players or six batsmen performing in a match."

"And we a have number of players who can perform and win matches."