India has the wherewithal to defend the Twenty20 World Cup in England but openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will have to overcome the fatigue factor if the team is to achieve the goal, reckons Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar was impressed with the way the Indian youngsters performed in the ongoing Twenty20 tournament in South Africa but the Mumbai Indian captain also pointed out that both Sehwag and Gambhir have not been consistent enough.
"I think, individually the boys are doing well. Look at Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS (Dhoni). In the bowling department Zaheer was doing well before he got injured and RP Singh has come up by leaps and bounds. Only our opening combination of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag haven't fired," Tendulkar said.
"I think the key would be how soon they can shed off the fatigue factor. They have been playing back to back for a long time now and it would difficult to keep up the tempo," Tendulkar told www.Espnstar.Com.
Incidentally, India coach Gary Kirsten had earlier expressed a similar concern.
Tendulkar, however, was of the view that IPL has been an ideal preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup.
"...It is. You are playing the same format and you are playing against the best bowlers and also not in home conditions. So, I think this is a good preparation except that the players should take adequate rest between the IPL and the ICC World Twenty20," he said.
The Mumbaikar also reiterated his stance that even though he enjoyed playing Twenty20, he never thought about representing India in this slam-bang format lest it disturbs the team composition.
"I never thought that I would play the ICC World Twenty20. MS Dhoni and his Twenty20 team have done wonderfully well and I just hope they continue to do so. I have no plans to play T20 for India," Tendulkar said.
About his team's debacle in the ongoing IPL, he said, "We blew hot and cold. There were times when we could have done better than we did. I think it is a batsman's format and in our case it was the batsmen who let us down."
Asked for his reaction on Harbhajan Singh's comment that the spinner didn't know what his role was in the team, Tendulkar said "I won't like to comment on that, it is his personal opinion."