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'Sachin Tendulkar still good enough'

Former Pak cricketers unanimously denounced Moin Khan's opinion that maestro's best was behind him.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 13:15 IST

Moin Khan's sensational criticism of Sachin Tendulkar triggered off a debate and among the first to react were the famous Mohammed brothers— Hanif, Mushtaq and Sadiq.

The famous former cricketers were unanimous in denouncing suggestions that it was the start of Tendulkar's downfall and backed the Indian batsman to play in full glory for at least another five years.

"Sachin is a great batsman, one of the finest in the world, and we are all proud that he belongs to the sub-continent," former Pakistan captain Mushtaq told the media at the Country Golf Club on the sildelines of a felicitation ceremony.

"He has got at least five good years of international cricket ahead of him. He's fit and all he needs to do is get back into form," he said.

Sadiq, the left-handed former opener, sought to defend Tendulkar's decision to walk in the second Test at Faisalabad before being given out by umpire Simon Taufel off Shoaib Akhtar, saying perhaps he was not fully aware of the rules.

Hanif, the original Little Master of cricket and scorer of a world record 364 against the West Indies in the 1950s before it was overtaken by one run by Garfield Sobers, also dismissed Moin's comments on Tendulkar.

Talking further about Indo-Pak contests, Mushtaq reckoned the 1978 Pakistan pace attack comprising Sarfraz Nawaz, Imran Khan and Saleem Altaf as superior to the current one spearheaded by Shoaib Akhtar.

"All three bowlers on the 1978 series for Pakistan had a lot of tricks up their sleeves. They could do more with the ball than the current lot and that made a huge difference," Mushtaq said explaining further that merely bowling fast did not get wickets in modern times.

The former all rounder, who could bowl leg spin too besides being a pillar of the middle-order batting, praised the Indian batsmen for not buckling down when faced with huge totals put up by the home team in the first two Tests.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 19:33 IST