Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said that he won’t judge the Indian team just after one bad game, while referring to India’s defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the opening warm-up match ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. “I won’t judge the team after a single match. The tournament hasn’t even started, it was just one warm-up match so let’s give them time as they are trying combinations and lineups. They are looking at the aspects of different combinations which can work in those conditions,” Tendulkar told reporters.
In the warm-up fixtures, Afghanistan stunned Pakistan on Friday as they defeated them by three wickets. Tendulkar said that Afghanistan is one team who can give a surprise in the World Cup and applauded their spin bowling attack.
“I think Afghanistan is one team who can give a surprise in the World Cup. Afghanistan has one of the best spin attacks in the world, so every team should watch out for them,” Tendulkar said.
The number-four slot in the Indian team has been a talking point since the announcement of the final fifteen. Ambati Rayudu was dropped from the squad and chief selector MSK Prasad had said Vijay Shankar is being viewed as a number four option.
Tendulkar said that there is no need for any panic regarding the number-four batting position as the team has been winning matches off late. “No need to panic for number 4 slot as we are anyways winning the matches. Sometimes unexpected things also give you results so let’s just give it time and as far as the team is winning nothing else should matter. If you try each player and judge them match by match, I feel it’s unfair as the player will play under a lot of pressure. If the team has gone there, they have a vision and let’s just trust their vision and judgement and hope for the best,” he said.
Virat Kohli, the skipper of the Men in Blue had earlier said he would try to win the World Cup for the soldiers of the country. The Master Blaster said there should be no comparisons between soldiers and players as soldiers will always be at the top. He even said that the goal of winning the tournament for the soldiers is a very good thought.
“The soldiers of the country are at the top of the country. We cannot compare them to anyone as they fight for the country and they deserve respect. Team India is saying they’re trying to win the World Cup for the soldiers and this is an amazing gesture. We have to ensure that we do our best and dedicate the win to them,” Tendulkar said.
Regarding the much-awaited clash between familiar foes India and Pakistan on June 16, Tendulkar said the match between these two teams always ends up creating excitement but the people should understand that the team is going to win the World Cup and not just defeat one team.
“Since this question has been coming over the years I will answer the same way, in 2003 people started calculating and said that no matter what happens you should win against Pakistan. This generates excitement in the people but they should understand that Indian team is going to there win the World Cup and not just face one team,” Tendulkar said.
“So let’s hope for the World Cup win rather than just one single match. You just have to go and play good quality cricket and stick to the basics so that the results will follow the process,” he added.
This year’s World Cup has seen a change in the format and the tournament will be played between the top ten countries only. All teams would take on each other in a round-robin format before the semi-finals stage.
The 46-year-old Tendulkar said that he would love to see more teams participating in the World Cup. The Master Blaster even came up with an idea to promote cricket in the associate countries.
“Ideally if it’s called the World Cup, then the world should be participating. We need to find ways to engage more and more teams, yet keep the standard of playing high. It’s not going to happen overnight. I would love to see more than ten teams participating in the World Cup,” Tendulkar said.
“If India A, Australia A plays against the upcoming nations, then the standard of cricket in those countries might improve. The teams will get much-needed exposure if ‘A” teams from the big countries play matches against them,” he added.
Tendulkar, however, opined that this format will allow a team to come back even if they end up losing their initial matches.
“This format in the World Cup allows a team to recover if they’re going through a bad phase and work on their mistakes as they get time to recover and getting in the winning run. The teams have to understand the balance and give their best for the country,” he said.
The World Cup is scheduled to begin from May 30 as hosts England takes on South Africa in the opening match of the tournament.
India will face South Africa in their first match of the tournament on June 5.
(With Agency Inputs)