| Sachin Tendulkar in action during India’s tour opener against the Max Blacks in Christchurch on Wednesday. (AFP)
Christchurch: Sachin Tendulkar, playing his first match after missing out on the one-day series against the West Indies, was happy to be among runs in difficult batting conditions in the Super Max international match against a New Zealand side here on Wednesday.
Though India lost the match, played in a format not quite familiar to the visitors, Tendulkar was glad he could punch the ball as well as “roll his arm over” after a month’s break from the game.
“I am very pleased with my form especially after a month’s break. I’m glad I managed to raise some runs for myself,” said Tendulkar as he accepted the Man-of-the-Match award for his 27 ball 72 and a five-wicket match haul.
Tendulkar, who missed the series against the West Indies back home because of a hamstring niggle, said the conditions at Jade Stadium here were demanding.
“It was a bit freezing out there and different from the 35 degree celsius I experienced at home,” said Tendulkar as the gathered crowd applauded.
“The wicket I would say was a bit slow and our cause wasn’t helped by batting under lights and the moisture late in the evening.”
But Tendulkar did find the Super Max format exciting and said most of his teammates would cherish the experience.
“I found the game as a whole entertaining. Most of us would cherish the memory of this game.”
India’s stand-in captain V.V.S. Laxman also was happy for the experience though expressed his disappointment at losing the game after gaining a first innings lead.
“We enjoyed the game though it was disappointing to lose after leading for much part of the game,” said Laxman.
Rival captain Chris Cairns praised his boys and complimented Tendulkar for his all-round display.
“He looked ominous and we got glimpses of the class of the man,” Cairns said.
Cairns, who is being tipped to lead New Zealand in one-day competitions in the near future, said it was challenging to keep a tab on bowlers and field with so much happening so quickly.
“It was challenging but we managed it well in the end — McCullum really got us out of a hole,” said the winning captain.