Two years after his retirement, the iconic Sachin Tendulkar reckons that Indian cricket is moving in “good direction” though there is still room for improvement.
Tendulkar said as long as there is drive, things will be on track for the young team Indian team, which is currently engaged in a home series against South Africa.
“Yeah, it has been moving in good direction. I definitely feel we need to play better cricket and there is room for improvement. As long as there is drive, things will be on track,” Tendulkar said when specifically asked whether he was happy with the direction Indian cricket has taken after his retirement.
“You cannot lose focus as the whole country is watching you. To meet these expectations or to get close to meeting them, you need a lot of commitment,” Tendulkar said in an interview published in latest edition of ‘The Week’ magazine. Tendulkar also dispelled the notion that the current Indian batsmen were susceptible to spin.
“No, I don’t think so. The Indian Premier League has helped. Earlier, the players (foreigners) did not get enough time to play in India. Now, the top four to five players, or more, from each country are part of the IPL. The coaches are also spending a lot of time in India and they are adapting to Indian conditions.
“We won Tests in Durban and Perth. Does that mean that South Africans and Australians are poor players of pace?” he asked. The 42-year-old iconic batsman said that his second innings in life has been all about satisfaction.
“At first, things were about achieving targets, winning matches and doing what the team required me to do. It was exciting. The second half of my life, the second innings is all about satisfaction. I want to be able to do something for the less privileged. I have been able to do so to a certain extent and I felt extremely satisfied,” he said.
Asked whether a sense of detachment from cricket has come about now, Tendulkar said, “No, there is no detachment from cricket. I will always be in love with the game. I cannot say that I sit and watch all the matches regularly but I do try and follow them when I get time.”
“If there is an exciting session, I will watch. When I am at home, Arjun and Anjali sit with me and having played, I know what is going to happen. There is the excitement of what is in store, when the batsman is going to attack, what are the areas he is looking to attack and where the bowler is going bowl.
“I share these things with them. The level of involvement is difficult to bring back as I am no longer an active cricketer but having been one, there is always involvement,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar, who also owns a football team — Kerala Blasters — in the Indian Super League, said that privately- owned leagues were the way forward to popularise games. “That is the future. we witnessed the competitiveness in these leagues. Above all, there is appreciation and following, which is the best tonic for any sportsperson. I am extremely happy that other sports are being appreciated and you are seeing the results,” he said.
Specifically asked whether he would diversify into other sports, Tendulkar said, “I support and follow other sports such as kabaddi and badminton. But honestly, I have not thought about being an owner in another sport. And even if I am not there in that role, nothing stops me from supporting the sport.”
On whether he would write another book on the mental aspect of the game, Tendulkar said, “Oh my god! the first book itself was a challenge. To remember 24 years of cricket was not easy, nor was deciding what to keep and what to discard, I have added a little bit here and there about the mental aspect, but to write a book on that, I don’t know.”