MUMBAI , JAN 10,
Sachin Tendulkar, who told The Hindu before the start of the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy that India had a golden opportunity to win a Test series in Australia for the first time, said Cheteshwar Pujara’s terrific display with the bat and the performance of the fast bowlers stood out in the historic triumph.
Responding to a specific question on what he would deem as the best performance in the series, Tendulkar said: “It would be difficult for me to pick a single performance. Pujara has been really outstanding. The bowlers have done exceedingly well. But somewhere along, Pujara was instrumental in laying the foundation around which a lot of others guys scored runs, from Virat Kohli to Rishabh Pant. If I have to single out one major performance, Pujara stands out with the fast bowlers.” Sharing his views as brand ambassador of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance while launching the KeepMoving moment on physical and financial fitness, Tendulkar said: “ It (India’s win) was a fantastic. I think the brand of cricket India was able to produce down under was magnificent.”
The former India captain added: “I think results like these (2-1 victory against Australia) are very important. I still remember when I was a 10-year-old, I did not know much about cricket, but I knew that India had won the World Cup.
And that’s where my journey started. Hopefully another journey has already started; these kind of results inspire and make the younger generation believe to go out and deliver.
That’s what the Indian team has done in Australia now.” On the improvement shown by the Indian fast bowlers in the last one year, Tendulkar pointed out that awareness of diet, training and the fitness level one has to maintain, and access to any information one wanted, were responsible for it. “These factors have contributed a lot, not to forget the infrastructure, which is really good in India.
Hope it continues to get better and better, the facilities for the players. But all these things don’t happen overnight.
The process has taken some time. But it’s also not just to do with the things I have mentioned; the guys are also talented. “Bumrah, Shami, Ishant, Ashwin, Jadeja, Kuldeep and Umesh have chipped in at various times. It’s not just the fast bowlers, but also the spinners. What you also want is the fast bowlers to bowl well, and this has happened frequently.
It was pleasing to see pacers bowling consistently at above 140kmph.”
Tendulkar said he would like to see more “difficult and challenging pitches” rolled out in domestic tournaments. “Prepare difficult and challenging wickets for the batters and automatically the standard of cricket will improve.” It does not, however, mean that the bowlers should just roll their arm over. They should also be able to control the swing and spin aspects. This is skill.”
MUMBAI , JAN 10,