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Tendulkar backed to find form

Image: Sachin Tendulkar: struggled for runs during the recent series against New Zealand

Mahendra Singh Dhoni expects Sachin Tendulkar to come up with "a brilliant performance" as the legendary batsman struggles for runs.

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'Little Master' hasn't made a Test century since January 2011

India captains past and present have spoken out in support of Sachin Tendulkar amid suggestions the legendary batsman is on the slide. The 39-year-old is the leading run-scorer in both Test and one-day international cricket but has struggled for form of late - his last century in the longest form of the game came back in January of 2011. He managed a best of 27 in the recent two-match series against New Zealand and was bowled twice in the second Test, prompting some former India internationals to question whether age was starting to catch up with him. Writing in his syndicated column, Sunil Gavaskar - who was the first India batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs - said: "The dismissal that was most disturbing was that of the 'master' when he was bowled through the gate." Former captain Mohammad Azharuddin also expressed his concerns, in particular with Tendulkar's movement at the crease, saying: "It is clear his reflexes have slowed down."

Uncalled for

However, another ex-leader of the India team, Sourav Ganguly, believes said speculation over Tendulkar's future in the game is uncalled for. "I honestly feel the time has not come for him to go," he said. "He is a legend and takes pride in his game and no one knows his game better than him. "His ability has not declined, he just has not had enough time out in the middle. "The problem is with his shot selection and that is because he has not played for the last few months." Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Tendulkar's current captain, is also backing the 'Little Master' to find his best form again - India have a four-Test series against England on home soil that gets underway in November. "The good thing is that whenever people talk about his form, he comes up with a brilliant performance," the wicketkeeper-batsman said after the second Test victory over the Black Caps. "I'm waiting for that. I don't really get worried about that."

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