Uncertainty over Tendulkar's return

CHENNAI, OCT. 11. Nobody is quite sure when Sachin Tendulkar will be ready for competitive cricket again. Least of all the Mumbai maestro.

"It's still too early to say anything," said Tendulkar when asked on Monday if he would be playing in the Chennai Test against Australia beginning on October 14.

The tennis elbow has kept Tendulkar out for nearly eight weeks now. The last match he played was the Asia Cup final in Colombo in early August.

It must have been frustrating for Tendulkar, who has been India's batting mainstay for 15 years, to watch his side sink to a 217-run defeat in the first Test against Australia on Sunday. If he had it his way, he'd probably want to go out and compete.

But the truth is that he has not had a proper net session for some time now. And when Sourav Ganguly said Tendulkar's availability for the second Test would be decided after the latter has a net session in Chennai, the Indian captain wasn't in the least convincing.

Competitive fitness is not about playing 30 deliveries it's about facing 300 or more. The Indian cricket scene could do with some transparency. — Our Principal Correspondent

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