The highest run-getter in the history of cricket (and World Cup), Sachin Tendulkar, believes that adjusting to New Zealand conditions, rather than Australian, in the 2015 World Cup will be crucial.
With exactly 500 days to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar hopes that the trophy remains in the sub-continent. His heart, of course, wants India to win back-to-back titles.
Story first published on: Wednesday, 02 October 2013 14:15
Tendulkar, who along with Pakistan's Javed Miandad is the only player in the history of the game to play in six World Cups, hoped that if Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side successfully defended the title, then it will once again provide tremendous joy to the nation while making it only the third country after West Indies and Australia to win successive titles.
"Along with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also good sides," said Tendulkar, adding: "I am partial towards India and want them to do well. That would be really exciting. It will give so much happiness to the entire nation.
"That is something I would want, along with a billion plus people who will also be expecting the same thing to happen."
The Indian legend retired from ODI cricket in December 2012 as the leading run-getter in the format with 18,426 runs. Tendulkar's 482 runs from nine matches in the 2011 edition in the sub-continent too went a long way in winning the World Cup.
Tendulkar, who is also the highest run-getter in the history of ICC Cricket World Cup with 2,278 runs from 45 matches (1,195 runs more than Miandad), hoped India players will quickly adjust to the conditions in Australia and New Zealand.
"Well I think most of our guys have been to Australia. They know what to expect, they have played there already," said Tendulkar, who was part of the squad during the disastrous tour of Australia in 2011-12.
In the lead up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in 2014-15, India will again be in Australia for a four-Test series. This will be followed by a tri-series featuring England, apart from the hosts.
More than Australia, Tendulkar's worry was about adjusting to New Zealand conditions.
Recalling India's ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 match against New Zealand, Tendulkar said: "I remember our match in Dunedin, where it was extremely cold and windy. Whenever a batsman hit the ball with the wind, it would travel 10 yards further, but when we had to play against the wind, the ball travelled 10 yards less!
"As there is a tour to New Zealand planned in early 2014, it should give them good exposure to the conditions there."
India, which lead ODI Team Rankings table by a distance, has been drawn in Pool B and will open its campaign against Pakistan in Adelaide on 15 February. India's other matches in the first round are against South Africa (in Melbourne on 22 February), Qualifier 4 (in Perth on 28 February), West Indies (in Perth on 6 March) and Ireland (in Hamilton on 10 March) and Zimbabwe (in Auckland on 14 March).