If the IPL still needs an endorsement, it’s come. Sachin Tendulkar’s only exposure to cricket’s shortest format has got the Little Master all excited about the tournament. And it’s got nothing to do with the razzmatazz surrounding the competition.
In an exclusive interview, Tendulkar pointed out how the IPL will benefit Indian cricket, why bowlers have done well and the Mumbai Indians’ show.
The experts have been proved wrong. They said the pitches in South Africa would be flat and favour the batsmen but what we’ve seen is that the bowlers have done well. How do you explain this?
This tournament is being hosted after the season ended in South Africa. The pitches have hosted a number of domestic and international matches leading to wear and tear and that’s why it’s not easy to bat on. But I’ll say that the pitches are different and the batsmen have to work hard.
How will Indian cricket benefit from IPL?
It will be of immense help. The biggest boost is that domestic cricketers are getting an opportunity to play with international stars. They will learn much that will improve their skills and game. The standard of Indian cricket will definitely improve.
Your evaluation of the Mumbai Indians’ show so far?
We are playing good cricket. On Friday, we won after a good contest. We lost close encounters to the Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab but we are back to our winning ways and that’s good.
Certain officials of BCCI’s affiliates have complained that players are not giving of their best in the Ranji Trophy and other domestic competition because they don’t want to be injured and miss the IPL...
Though I can only talk about my Mumbai team, I don’t think that’s the case. I have seen our players give it their best shot in the Ranji Trophy and I think players from other teams must also be doing likewise.
High-voltage matches create a lot of pressure. You think it is less as you’re playing away from home?
Wherever you play at this level, there is pressure. So, we can’t say that since the IPL is being played in another country there is no pressure.
Are you missing the home crowd?
Whenever we play abroad, we miss the home crowd. Having said that, I have observed that cricket lovers here are enjoying the matches, praising us, and supporting us. But nothing can match the feeling of playing in India. We are missing it.
What is your take on the amnesty given by the BCCI to ICL players?
(After thinking for a while) I would not like to comment on it.