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Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's captain for the upcoming World Twenty20, has said that Sachin Tendulkar's absence from the Indian team for the tournament will be a blessing in disguise for the other sides.

"The way he has blossomed in the last few years, he is only getting better and better as a batsman. If he is not playing for India in the Twenty20 World Cup, it is certainly a big advantage for other teams," Afridi was quoted in the Times of India. "If Tendulkar had played in this World Cup, I am sure he would made big impact for India."

Tendulkar voluntarily ruled himself out of international Twenty20 matches in 2007, before the inaugural World Twenty20, in order to preserve himself for the longer formats. He has been in fine form in the IPL, having scored 303 runs in the first six matches, seven runs shy of Jacques Kallis who tops the run charts. Tendulkar's purple patch led to suggestions that he reconsider his decision, but Tendulkar has ruled out such a possibility.

Afridi feels that age has not had any effect on Tendulkar's powers. "With every match he seems to be growing as a batsman and getting better. He is playing like a teenager. There is no sign of age affecting his game at all," Afridi said.

"The biggest thing that he still enjoys playing the sport and he is hunger for runs has not died at all," he said. I think even in Twenty20 cricket you need to bat properly and at times even playing out 20 overs is a big challenge for a team. You need to play orthodox cricket," Afridi said.

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