Team India has more match-winners now: Tendulkar

Team India has more match-winners now: Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar"I think we definitely have more match winners. There were good players earlier as well. But I think in this lot we have got match winners and more big hitters as such and you know the guys have delivered at the crunch moment," Tendulkar told reporters here last night after India beat Sri Lanka by 46 runs to win an ODI tri-series.

"It could be with bat or bowl. But they have been delivering pretty consistently and you know they are all talented guys, extremely talented guys. You need match winners to win consistently. That is what this team is about," he added.
"There might be a couple of hiccups here and there but on the whole if you see the guys have really done well."
Part of the Indian team for the past two decades, Tendulkar declared the current one led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni as one of the best.

"I have been fortunate to be part of Indian cricket team from 1989. There have been so many great names. I would not want to run anyone down by making comparisons about teams," he said.

"I would like to respect the fact that I was fortunate to be part of various generations. This is definitely one of the top teams I have been part of," Tendulkar added.
"We have always tried to win but we have been able to produce results in the last couple of years or so. We have been able to perform pretty consistently. There are going to be upsets in between but if you look at the larger picture, we have had better days."

After hitting his 44th ODI hundred while battling cramps, the 36-year-old Tendulkar said players like him and Sri Lankan veteran Sanath Jayasuriya have proved that age is just a number.
"I don't think age has any relevance here. Eventually what you do is all that matters. How much you contribute is more important. I think the age factor is not of relevance. It is about contribution," he asserted.
The right-hander rated the match-winning hundred last night as one of his best.
"I would definitely put this up the order because the conditions were very tough and the heat was such that it drained us out in the middle but we had to fight it out. So I would not hesitate at all if I have to rate this as one of the best ones," he said.

Tendulkar was making a comeback of sorts after taking a five-month break but the Mumbaiker said he was well prepared.
"One had to be mentally tough. I knew it was going to be tough. I was prepared for that, to score runs you have to run. You have to be out for at least 40 overs or so. That was the game plan. We kept changing the pace of the game," he said.
"I knew I had to play a longish innings here. Even if there were a few dot balls, doesn't matter but once you put up a decent total on the board, the pressure will be on the Lankans," he added.
Asked whether there was something he still dreamed of achieving in his long career, Tendulkar said he just wants to enjoy the game.
"It is not only about chasing dreams. I am enjoying the game. My effort will be to try and keep playing the game and help win matches. I would not like to say anything about the dream list. The enjoyment factor is extremely important," he said.
Talking about yesterday's final, Tendulkar said despite defending a huge target of 320, he felt a bit nervous after the Lankans got off to aggressive start.
"I bit off all my nails. At one stage it looked evenly balanced because the power play was still left and that was in my mind. We needed a couple of wickets for sure because one guy has a big day at that stage then it can take the match away from us."

"But we were persistent. We did not want to take a step backward here and I thought we really held our nerves well and played well," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar said the series, though short, was a gruelling one as the team had to play back-to-back matches.
"It was difficult to play three matches in four day. Not only me, I can say the whole team was finding it difficult. The conditions were different and tough. It was a different challenge. It was the biggest match and we had to prepare ourselves mentally for this," he said.
On the upcoming Champions Trophy from September 22, Tendulkar said the team will have to adapt to altogether different conditions.
"I think we have played in tougher conditions. In South Africa it will be higher altitude. So, it is going to be different. But we will get some time to acclimatise and prepare ourselves accordingly," he said.