Sachin regrets losing opener's slot
Sachin Tendulkar says he would still prefer to open the batting in one-dayers, conceding that he is not entirely comfortable coming in at number four.india Updated: Sep 27, 2002 19:26 IST
Sachin Tendulkar says he would still prefer to open the batting in one-day internationals, conceding that he is not entirely comfortable coming in at number four.
"Personally, given the choice I will open the innings," the world's leading batsman said on Friday.
"That is where I have felt most comfortable and that is where I have scored the maximum number of runs. Yes I would like to open, but the team's requirement is different."
The 29-year-old, currently with India at the ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, has made most of his world record one-day aggregate of 11,537 runs and 33 centuries after being promoted to open eight years ago.
Tendulkar said the team management's decision to push him down the order had forced him into a change of style.
"It is a completely different role...there (as an opener) the bowlers hadn't bowled a ball, I hadn't faced a single ball, I had a chance to dictate my terms. Now when I go in, the terms are set for me.
"But I am willing to adapt because the team needs it."
Promoted to opener in a 1994 tournament in New Zealand, he batted at the top of the order in 193 of his 298 matches, scoring 8,743 runs and making 30 centuries. He bats at four in tests.
Tendulkar moved back down during the West Indies series earlier this year in order to bolster the middle-order and the strategy is expected to remain until next year's World Cup in South Africa.
The change has added depth to India's batting, with young Virender Sehwag easing into the role as a pinch-hitting opener.
India won their Caribbean one-day series and a tri-series in England in July and have reached the final of the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka mainly because of their powerful batting.
Some former Indian test players have also argued for Tendulkar to continue as opener but others argue Tendulkar's batting at four has given added confidence to the rest of the batsmen.
Tendulkar, though, said: "It's the players who have done the job...not worrying about whether this guy is going to follow me or bat before me. They deserve a big congrats."
Tendulkar said Sehwag, who has emerged as one of the stars of this 12-team event, needed full backing to ensure he continued to bat aggressively.