Players tried their best: Sachin Tendulkar
Mumbai: MS Dhoni found some much needed support from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar after Team India’s shameful ouster from the ongoing T20 World Cup. He supported the players after their dismal show in the Caribbean saying, “Indian players tried their best in the T20 World Cup.”
Fans are seething with anger but star batsman Sachin Tendulkar today threw his weight behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men, saying people should not lose faith in the current crop of Indian players despite their flop show in the Twenty20 World Cup.
Tendulkar said cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and people should retain their faith in Dhoni and his men since it was more or less the same bunch of players who won India the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup.
"There will be ups and downs but you just have to have your faith in players because the same lot got us the World Cup," Tendulkar, who was here on a promotional campaign, told a gathering today.
Despite the debacle in the West Indies, Tendulkar said India remained the number one team for him.
"We should not forget that we are still the number one team in the world," he said.
India could not win a single Super Eight stage match of the Twenty20 World Cup but Tendulkar found nothing wrong with the players.
"The players have been training hard. They know and understand their responsibilities. Sometimes thing clicks, sometimes not," said Tendulkar, arguably the greatest batsman cricket has ever seen.
"In IPL, we Mumbai Indians played so well but in the final things didn`t work out for us. So it can happen to anyone," he argued.
"All I can say is that the players need support so that they can start fresh again and look to deliver better results," he added.
Tendulkar found nothing wrong in public angst but felt fans should stay positive.
"I know it`s disappointing but it has not happened for the first time and it would not be the last time either. The game has its uncertainties. We have to see how we can do better.
"Obstacles keep coming, not just in cricket but in life also. We need to look for the solution. We have to be positive and there is always room for improvement," said Tendulkar.
Experts believe the Indian players looked jaded in the tournament because they hardly had a breather after playing in the Indian Premier League and even Dhoni said post-match parties and travelling took toll on the players` body.
Tendulkar, however, was not ready to blame IPL for India`s debacle in the West Indies.
"I mean there are both advantages and disadvantages and it depends on how you see it. From my point of view, I think IPL gives opportunities to out-of-form players to return to form," Tendulkar said. Indian batsmen`s technical frailties against short-pitched bowling was exposed in the Caribbeans and Tendulkar conceded that was a grey area.
"Players tried to negotiate short balls but things didn`t work out. I am sure the team would sort out this aspect of the game very soon. There are ways to tackle short-pitched bowling and the team will try all options to overcome the shortcoming," he said.
On opener Gautam Gambhir`s poor form, Tendulkar said, "He was in top form last year but this year he hasn`t performed that well. But that does not mean he is no longer a good player. Cricket is a game of uncertainties and it is always going to be like this."
Over all, Tendulkar had no complaint against the team as he felt they had tried their best.
"Irrespective of the results the team needs our support because they did everything that was within their reach," he said.
Looking ahead, the champion batsman said India`s target should be to win the ODI World Cup next year.
"We want to win the 2011 world cup. It is the dream of the whole country. We have to improve upon our weaknesses and capitalise on our strengths," said Tendulkar, first cricketer to hit a 200 in a One Day International.
Proud owner of 93 international centuries, Tendulkar said he was not chasing any record and was trying to enjoy the game.
"I never count my records and I only consider them as my contribution to the team. Making 200 was good but it was quite normal," he said.
Tendulkar also revealed there were dreams in life he wanted to fulfill.
"I wanted to play along with Sunil Gavaskar and Viv Richards. I got a chance to play with Gavaskar in an exhibition match and I played with Richards in county cricket," he said.