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We will return from SA triumphant, says Tendulkar

The ace batsman says dwelling on the Champions Trophy debacle will not do good to the Indian team.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 18:01 IST

Sachin Tendulkar on Monday assured the country that the Indian team, knocked out of the Champions Trophy before the semi-final stage, would return triumphant from the upcoming tour of South Africa.

"We are disappointed at not doing well in the Champions Trophy, but we would return triumphant from South Africa. As a team we have to look at the positives heading into the tour. Dwelling on Champions Trophy (debacle) would not do us good," he told a press conference here after signing up as the global brand ambassador for Canon products.

Tendulkar reminded public about the team's run-in towards the 2003 World Cup when the squad did not do well in New Zealand in late 2002, started badly in the warm-up phase in the mega event in South Africa but eventually finished runners-up to Australia.

"I keep reminding people of what happened in 2003. We did not do well in New Zealand. We also lost to Natal B team in the World Cup warm-up phase and then went on to make the final. We beat everyone except Australia," he said.

About India's Champions Trophy loss at home, the ace batsman, only the second sportsperson to endorse Canon products after Russian tennis champion Maria Sharapova, said India fell short of extra 10 runs against the West Indies in their Group A encounter at Ahmedabad.

"Had we made ten extra runs against the West Indies we would have won," said Tendulkar.

India lost the match in the final over when the Windies chased successfully and then were dumped out by eventual winners Australia in a must-win clash for both teams at Mohali.

He also called upon the cricket authorities to start using Kookaburra brand of cricket balls in domestic cricket.

"It was a good wicket. I have always maintained that we should play our domestic matches on such wickets. We should also use Kookaburra balls in domestic cricket, if not the international ball the one just below it," he said.

On Australia's Champions Trophy win, Tendulkar said Ricky Ponting's team was undoubtedly the best team in the world at present.

"Australia are the number one side and I am not the only one to say this," Tendulkar said.

Tendulkar, who would be endorsing all products of the Japanese company as compared to Sharapova who is promoting one particular product, was politely aggressive when a scribe suggested that the Indian cricketers were shying away from playing in domestic cricket unlike the Australians.

"If you remember we returned from Malaysia and played in the Challenger Series prior to the Champions Trophy. People tend to forget this or not willing to notice these things. I played in a Ranji tie after returning from New Zealand which is a long way off from India and was half asleep while fielding," he said.

Tendulkar also said that none of the Indian team members allowed their endorsement shoots to interfere with their cricket and these were done only during periods when there were no cricket activities.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 18:01 IST