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Sachin Tendulkar says other countries envious of Virat Kohli-led India

India’s incredible season in 2016-17, which saw Virat Kohli’s team rack up 10 wins in 13 Test matches, has drawn praise from the legendary Sachin Tendulkar

cricket Updated: Mar 31, 2017 16:58 IST
Sachin Tendulkar said other countries will be envious of Virat Kohli’s team, and praise the Indian team’s lower-middle order for the way they performed against Australia.
Sachin Tendulkar said other countries will be envious of Virat Kohli’s team, and praise the Indian team’s lower-middle order for the way they performed against Australia.(PTI)

Sachin Tendulkar, the biggest name in the game, believes Virat Kohli’s team has become the envy of other sides in the world for the kind of cricket they have played throughout the long home season.

Having won 10 of the 13 Tests in 2016-17, to come on top against New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia, the Indian side has come out with flying colours in the grueling Test season.

“Absolutely (the other teams will be envious of India). When we have the full strength, it is a good problem to have. Whom to leave out? That means your bench strength is really strong. That is how the champion teams are. I am sure everyone is watching us the way we have played.

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“To maintain and stay at this level is something I am sure everyone is wanting to do and the rest of us are looking forward once they resume. I have got a lot of faith and confidence in our team,” said Tendulkar on the sidelines of the launch of his digital app, 100MB.

The former India captain spent most of the evening talking about his second innings, on the digital platform, but his face lit up when the topic of cricket was brought up.

Analysing the Indian team’s strong recent showings on way to becoming the No 1 ranked side in the world, Tendulkar said the lower order’s contribution with the bat gave the team the edge, especially praising Wriddhiman Saha’s efforts.

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“The season has been tremendous for our team. There have been challenging moments, and those moments were when I felt our No. 7, 8 and 9 contributed big time. Those were critical moments when the Test match could have gone either way.

“When any team who has that kind of strength where the bowlers can go out and score those crucial runs, the ’keeper can go out and score a 100 for them, you become a solid side. Obviously, the first six batters and then 7, 8 and 9 (are) contributing.” said Tendulkar.

Saha has chipped in with vital runs under pressure, scoring a hundred at Ranchi in the third Test against Australia to support Cheteshwar Pujara and bail out India.

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Hailing Saha’s contribution in the season, Tendulkar said: “Incredible (feat). These guys have played well at home in crunch moments that can decide the match and sometimes the series. That, I felt, was the difference. You can see, both teams going neck-and-neck, and one team starts pulling away from it. You can see that happen, and that’s what happened.”

Sachin Tendulkar didn’t want enter into the Virat Kohli versus Steve Smith debate, but he said the series did live up to the India versus Australia rivalry, which is known to produce exciting cricket.

“The series has always been exciting. You take 1998 to 2000, 2004, it has always been exciting,” said Tendulkar, who was known to reserve is best for Australia, the best team of his era.