| Sachin Tendulkar in the city on Tuesday. A Telegraph picture |
Calcutta: Sachin Tendulkar, who was in the city on Tuesday to attend a promotional event, asserted that Team India have a strong and balanced side and are capable of retaining the ICC World T20, which begins on June 5 in England.
We have an explosive batting line-up and a good bowling attack… The team is nicely balanced and I dont see any reason why we cant defend the title, the maestro said.
In cricket, you cant really predict anything… The game is full of uncertainties. But going by the strength and the balance we have got, weve a good chance of winning the title this time too, he added.
The man who boasts of the maximum number of Test centuries in international cricket (42) was also of the opinion that the first edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was held in India, was better than the second one, staged in South Africa.
IPL in India was definitely better… The response from the crowd here was terrific. We had a great time last time around. The involvement of the Indian people with the IPL is certainly much greater, he said.
Im not taking any credit away from South Africa because they did a fantastic job to organise the tournament in such a short period of time. They got only three to four weeks for preparation of a tournament of such a massive stature.
But, given a choice, I will pick the IPL in India as the better option as the response here is much bigger. Its simply awesome playing in front of your home crowd, he explained.
The Little Master picked Indias breathtaking six-wicket victory over England in the first Test of the series in Chennai, in December of 2008, as the most memorable moment of his career.
Sachin, who scored a match-winning 103 not out in the second innings, said it was special to score a century on the last day of the Test and bail the team out in a crunch situation.
It was really special against England last December… We were in a disadvantageous position for the first three days and went on to win the match on the last day. It was a great turnaround by the team as everyone chipped in with some useful contributions. It was great to score a century in that match and its a moment which I cherish, Sachin said.
He added though that there were many more memorable incidents in his playing career.
There are so many of them… Some innings by Rahul (Dravid) and (VVS) Laxman were also great. We played so many great matches in Australia and all of them are special, he said.
When asked whether he remembered any funny moment which would have made a nice photograph but was not taken, the 36-year-old former India captain recounted an incident from his early days.
In 1992, I was in England playing for Yorkshire in county cricket. There was something called the Sunday Club where players had to move about wearing ties without shirts and socks without shoes. We had only a towel around. That could actually have been a nice picture but unfortunately, or rather fortunately, it was not taken.
He also lauded Calcutta for their support to the Indian team. Calcutta has always been special. My first international match in the city was way back in 1990… Since then, every trip to this city has been special. The support we receive over here is awesome…
The Eden is a special place and I would like to capture the photo of the Eden crowd. The Calcutta crowd has a major contribution behind Team Indias success, said the batting maestro.