The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin sees big role for Kumble in Cup

New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar has come out in support of a struggling Anil Kumble, saying the leg-spinner’s experience could play a vital role in shaping India’s World Cup fortunes next year.

“I think he will play a very big role, because he has played the 1996 and 1999 World Cups. So he is an experienced guy who has played for 10 years now. And of course he carries a big name and so many wickets under his belt,” said Sachin on a television interview.

The batting maestro said that during his captaincy, he always looked upto Kumble when the team needed breakthroughs. “He has always delivered in big games, and in pressure situations. Anil is a key guy and important member of the side — very important”.

Kumble, who had a disappointing one-day series against the West Indies, opted out of the Test series in New Zealand citing personal reasons. But he said he was keen to join the team for the seven one-day Internationals.

Talking about India’s match against Pakistan in the coming World Cup, Sachin said: “Pakistan is a top side and they have been playing wonderful cricket in the recent past. Nobody would like to take things for granted. It’s going to a big, big game.”

“I am sure the expectations are very high and people want to know the result. So probably there is an added pressure on the players. We just try as hard. But the results really matter.”

Sachin also downplayed the changes made in the team in the last two-three years.

“From 1999 to 2000, you see seven names missing from the team — that is a huge change. And from a team to just get into World Cup with so many changes, it is going to be difficult. But we have done well in the recent past — that’s because we have some promising talent”.

On the pitches in South Africa, Sachin said he hoped to see sporting wickets.

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