'Criticism on Sachin unwarranted'

Greg Chappell has hit back at those who cast doubts over Tendulkar's form, saying he was always confident that the master batsman would regain his touch.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 20:39 IST

India's coach Greg Chappell has hit back at those who cast doubts over Sachin Tendulkar's form, saying he was always confident that the master batsman will regain his old touch.

Tendulkar's poor return of 63 runs in three innings in Pakistan had provoked criticism in certain sections, but Chappell felt it was completely unwarranted.

"After the Karachi Test a few people asked me if I was worried about him. I wasn't," he said in an interview to Cricinfo Magazine.

"The signs had been there in the second innings. His footwork looked sharp and there were two or three shots he played against Shoaib [Akhtar]. I knew a big innings was around the corner. In the third one-dayer he played a monumental innings, given the context of the series and the difficult conditions.

The former Australian captain said Tendulkar was a "role model" for his team and has to deal with a lot of pressure.

"Sachin has been a role model for this team, with the way he prepares, the way he takes on challenges and the way he deals with more pressure than perhaps any other man in the history of the game.

Chappell was pleased by India's resounding triumph in the one-dayers against Pakistan and spoke about the importance of Yuvraj Singh's contribution, yielding 344 runs in five games.

"He was a bit confused earlier in the season. He didn't know whether he was just a one-day player, whether he had a future in Tests, where he fitted in with this batting line-up.

"He's scored four hundreds since, and they've invariably been match-turning. He could have gone one way or the other, but thankfully for Indian cricket he's matured into a senior player who's close to being at the top of his game," he added.

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 20:39 IST