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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Tendulkar misses first Test
Sachin Tendulkar
Losing Tendulkar is a huge blow to India's chances
Indian batting star Sachin Tendulkar has been ruled out of the first Test against Australia.

Tendulkar has failed to recover sufficiently from tennis elbow and misses the Bangalore Test, which starts on Wednesday.

India captain Sourav Ganguly said he was hopeful Tendulkar would be fit enough for the second Test.

Ganguly told a news conference: "Sachin is not playing in this Test match, he will probably play in the next."

Tendulkar's participation had always been doubtful but he and Ganguly had remained hopeful he would be able to play.

He's a great player and contributes not just with the bat but also with his bowling
Sourav Ganguly
The 31-year-old has not played competitive cricket since the Asia Cup in August and had to rest his arm for six weeks.

He has only just started net sessions again and said his arm was still weak and he could only bat for up to 15 minutes at any one time.

"Sometimes when you are playing a long innings, you tend to grip the bat a little harder.

"When you are keen to do well and the extra concentration is there, you sort of strain more.

"Right-handers use the top hand a lot, so at that point there is a bit of strain on the elbow," explained batting coach Sunil Gavaskar.

In Tendulkar's absence it looks as though Aakash Chopra will open with Virender Sehwag, with Yuvraj Singh batting at six.

VVS Laxman, who the Australians fear even more than Tendulkar, is likely to take the number four position.

Preview: BBC Sport's Mark Eames reports

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