Mumbai: India will play host to the English cricket team in November but Sachin Tendulkar, on Tuesday, put to rest any speculation of the hosts treating it as a grudge contest for their humiliating defeat last year at the hands of Andrew Strauss and his side.
Maintaining that the losses in England and the dismal showing Down Under was not because of 'over-confidence and being complacent', Tendulkar said reaching the top in a sport takes time and effort. "Players didn't become complacent or over-confident because of the World Cup victory. No. 1 ranking for our team didn't happen overnight. We got there and then we slipped. Sometimes it just doesn't work."
Tendulkar, however, did add that the focus was on getting back to the top. "Every player has a role in the side and we will try to play as is expected from us. We will not treat it as a revenge match because any cricket match for us is about winning for the country. We will play to win so that we can come good on our talent and skill," he said.
The 39-year-old, as part of NDTV's Support My School campaign, said that cricket is about registering a win for the country and the effort in the Indian national team continues to be that of reaching the numero uno status in Tests by playing high quality cricket.
When asked if club cricket was overshadowing national cricket, Sachin said: "Club cricket can never take country cricket's place but it's a brilliant platform. Cricket is the only sport which has three formats - T20 cricket gives you the opportunity to new players to showcase their talent."
"More importantly, it gives a chance to first-class players who may have worked hard for years but never made it to the national team. It helps them earn money which is important because they sacrificed many of their years to fulfill their dreams to play for India," he added.
Sachin, who is the brand ambassador of NDTV Coca Cola Support My School campaign, also spoke at length about the initiative that he's been a part of since 2011. He said it was very important and special campaign for him. "It is a very important campaign. I have two children and I understand the importance of good education and a good school. I have done this thinking of Sarah (his daughter)."
When asked about the changes he has seen through the changes, the master batsman said: "We have reached a hundred schools which is my best century away from the cricket field. If you provide good facilities, children will automatically want to come to the school. I want to take this initiative further."
He also advised the children to enjoy their school days. "You have to enjoy your school life. Most wonderful things happen during school days. Have fun, study hard and make good friends. It is important to make friends in school because they are your true friends. Also give your best in your studies," he said.