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Don't write off Tendulkar, warns Imran

"He is still the linchpin of Indian batting and would continue to supplement them until they find a suitable replacement," he said.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 20:55 IST

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan on Wednesday dismissed speculation that Sachin Tendulkar is on the decline, saying the Indian batting master still has plenty to offer to the cricket world.

"You can't judge Tendulkar on one or two failures, he has enough cricket left in him and has the talent to bounce back any time," Khansaid.

Khan was speaking at a reception attended by Indian captain Rahul Dravid, coach Greg Chappell, Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh.

India's much vaunted batting line-up came under severe criticism after they flopped twice in the crucial third and final Test against Pakistan in Karachi last week, suffering their second worst defeat of 341 runs at the hands of their traditional rivals.

Pakistan won the Test series 1-0 and currently lead the five-match one-day series 1-0 after a dramatic seven-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis method, that sets a revised target for the second batting team, after bad light at Peshawar on Monday.

Tendulkar hit his 39th one-day hundred to lift India to 328 and in reply Pakistan notched 311-7 when bad light stopped play.

The second limited overs international match is scheduled for Rawalpindi on February 11.

Khan believes India have no replacement on the horizon for Tendulkar.

"He is still the linchpin of Indian batting and would continue to supplement them until they find a suitable replacement, which I don't see coming in the near future," said Khan, who played 82 Tests for Pakistan.

Khan also passed useful tips to Dravid on how to be a successful captain.

"Dravid is a good student of the game and I think India will progress under him. India can tame England because they have quality spinners in Harbhajan and Anil Kumble," he said.

India play England in a three-match Test series after their tour of Pakistan early next month.

Khan also advised left-arm paceman Zaheer.

"I have noticed flaws in Irfan Pathan and Zaheer's technique in bowling so I advised him how to use the non-bowling arm to get the maximum speed while bowling," said Khan, who was a leading paceman.

Khan praised Pakistan's progress as a team.

"Pakistan's batting is more stable now and they have the bowling resources to become the best team in the world," said Khan, who led Pakistan to their only World Cup win in Australia in 1992.

"Pakistan should eye the best team's spot in Tests because teams are judged on their performances in Test cricket and not in one-day cricket. This Pakistan team has all the abilities to challenge Australia as the top team."

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 20:55 IST