Nagpur, Oct. 25 (NNN): Country’s master-blaster batsman Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has admitted that he was not fully physically fit for Tuesday's third Test against Australia “but was mentally ready for the battle.”
"The elbow is not going to be normal in the near future," he told reporters on Sunday.
"There is some stiffness. The injury can't get better overnight. Once I spend time in the middle the muscle will relax,” he said, adding: "After 115 Tests, you've to be prepared to overcome all obstacles. I'm mentally prepared. I've played enough against Australia, I know what to expect."
Tendulkar said watching the first two Tests from the sidelines was the toughest part of his injury so far. "It was very difficult because I wanted to be out there in the centre. I'm really happy to finally get back and to be in a position to help the team," he added.
He said his only expectation was to do the best that he could.
"I'll be more than happy if I can spend four or five hours in the middle. I've done intensive training in the last few days, but I don't want to make any big statements," he said, adding: "I want to take things as they come. I'll just go out and play my shots."
Tendulkar, who has been out of action with tennis elbow since the Asia Cup final in August, passed a fitness test in Mumbai on Saturday.
"There is no pain, but the elbow is obviously not a 100 percent," he said, adding: "When you get scraped, for example, there is a scab after the blood clots and it takes time to go no matter what you do."
Tendulkar has scored 9,470 Test runs, 1,789 of them against Australia at an average of 57.70. He is just one behind Sunil Gavaskar's world record 34 Test centuries.
He has a god-like status in cricket-mad India and ticket sales in Nagpur have soared after news of his return.
It is worth mentioning here that Australia are seeking their first Test series win on Indian soil in the past 35 years. Last series they won was in 1969. They took a 1-0 lead in their 2001 tour before India came back to win the last two Tests.
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