India in Zimbabwe 2005-06 August 31, 2005

Tendulkar opts out of Zimbabwe series

Cricinfo staff

Sachin Tendulkar: no African safari this time © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar has opted out of the Test series against Zimbabwe as he felt he wasn't strong enough to return to the rigours of Test cricket. According to a report sent by John Gloster, the team physio, to the Indian board, Tendulkar, who is recovering from an elbow surgery, wasn't yet ready to return to competitive cricket.

The national selection panel have picked Dheeraj Jadhav, the opener from Maharashtra, as Tendulkar's replacement for the two-Test series, beginning at Bulawayo on September 13.

SK Nair, the BCCI secretary, confirmed this and added that though Tendulkar had returned to light net sessions, he didn't feel confident enough to return to Test cricket. Nair also revealed that Gloster, the team physio, had sent a mail to the BCCI "where he further stated that the strength component of the rehabilitation plan was progressing positively acording to plan but it was not yet sufficient to progress to the next level of competetive play."

Tendulkar has been dogged by a painful tennis-elbow for nearly a year and it forced him to miss one-day tournaments in Holland and England as well as two Tests against Australia. After the home series against Pakistan last season, Tendulkar decided to get his elbow operated.

Nair also added that the selectors had decided to pick Jadhav as the replacement after a telephonic discussion. Jadhav, who was the leading run-scorer in domestic cricket two seasons back, had been included in the Indian squad for the final Test against Australia at Mumbai last year but didn't make it to the final XI.