Tendulkar should bat at least 40 overs: Akram

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Former Pakistan captain WasimAkram feels Sachin Tendulkar is the key to India''s World Cupchances and the veteran batsman has to play the sheet-anchorrole for his team by being there at the crease for at least 40overs.

Akram said Tendulkar, playing in his sixth and probablythe last World Cup, is the rock around whom the Indian inningswould revolve.

"Sachin (Tendulkar) is key to India''s chances. The teamhas to rally around him to get a big score on board. Tendulkarlikes batting for a long period of time. He should stay in themiddle for a minimum of 40-45 overs," Akram told ''MobileESPN''.

Akram said if the 37-year-old manages to play goodknocks, India would most definitely post 300-plus scores onthe board in every game.

"If Tendulkar bats for long, India will get over 300 runsevery time. With Sachin in the middle, it gives players likeVirender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh opportunityto play their natural game," he said.

Apart from Tendulkar, Akram said flamboyant middle-orderbatsman Yuvraj Singh''s form would be crucial.

"Yuvraj is a very dangerous player. His fielding hascertainly improved and is looking a lot fitter after a spateof injuries. He comes from my part of the world - Punjab. WePunjabis are always ''hot and cold''. I know his form is a bitcold right now but with his talent, he needs one goodinnings," Akram said.

He also said that this was India''s best chance toclinch the trophy they last won in 1983.

"India have really been playing good cricket. I was thefirst one to say that India are favourites to win the Cup andthen everybody joined the chorus.

"They have the right combination, confidence and havedefeated every good team in world cricket. According to me,they are the No.1 team in the world," Akram said.

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