|Sachin (top) and Narain
Calcutta, March 17: Till last year, Formula One aficionado Sachin Tendulkar passionately rooted for 'good friend' Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.
The iconic cricketer hasn't dumped the seven-time world champion in the less-than-a-fortnight-old 2005 season, but he is certainly giving tips to compatriot Narain Karthikeyan of Jordan.
In Sepang today, four days before the Malaysian Grand Prix, India's only Formula One driver confirmed having received tips.
'Frankly, I haven't said much,' insisted Sachin, when contacted by The Telegraph after stumps on Day II of the second Test here versus Pakistan.
Sachin, who yesterday joined the elite 10,000 Test runs' club (joint fastest, in 195 innings, with Brian Lara), is recognised as a mental toughness guru.
Initially reluctant to say anything, Sachin opened up but still remained wary about his comments 'getting a splash.'
That can't be avoided, though.
'I've asked Narain to concentrate on what he's good at and not get weighed down by the expectations of others' That he should just give off his best,' Sachin said.
He added: 'Further, I've suggested that Narain ignore third-party advice, simply because no other Indian has ever made it to Formula One'.
'Fact is no one knows its demands better and, so, Narain must not get influenced by somebody else's thoughts and opinion. After all, it's easy for others to talk.'
Sachin gave his tips in the lead-up to the season's first GP, in Melbourne on March 6. On his debut there, Karthikeyan finished 15th. Incidentally, Michael couldn't complete the 58-lap race.
Asked whether he intended giving another 'pep talk' before Sunday, Sachin answered: 'Probably, yes' It's an important weekend for both of us' Narain's got to focus on his job, mine is also clear' Neither would like to get distracted.'
Sunday, of course, is also the scheduled last day of the ongoing Test. At close today, Pakistan were a handsome 273 for two in response to India's first innings' 407.