Sachin Tendulkar has no hesitation in terming India as favourites
going into the World Cup but what makes him happier is the team’s
ability to be competitive “in any part of the world and on any surface”.
Indian ODI team under Virat Kohli has won three bilateral away series
against South Africa (5-1), Australia (2-1) and New Zealand (4-1) with
only defeat coming against England.
“I have gone on record saying
that we have a perfect balance in the team where we will be competitive
in any part of the world or on any surface,” Tendulkar told PTI in an
interview on Sunday.
“As far as our chances are concerned, I will not hesitate in saying that we are the favourites,” said Tendulkar, the brand ambassador of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Full Marathon.
New Zealand may have been outplayed in the just concluded ODI series but can prove to be a handful in the mega event.
“I know New Zealand have struggled in this series but it’s a good unit, one needs to be on their toes,” he said.
suspended duo of Steve Smith and David Warner will be back in
international fold on March 29 and Australia will be as dangerous as any
“I think Australia at full strength will be a formidable side. With Smith and David Warner back in the team and their other bowlers coming back into the ODI squad, it will be a competitive side,” said Tendulkar. But a few bad overs could spell doom for them as it happened during the recent series.
“But in one-day matches it’s such that when you have a couple of bad
hours, 50 per cent of the match gets slipped away.” In Kolkata for
marathon flag off, Tendulkar spoke about the young athletes who have
done well for the nation in recent times.
He hailed the recent
success of women athletes like Hima Das, Dutee Chand and Swapna Barman
at the Asian Games and said sport has proved to be an excellent tool for
He referred to India’s Rio Olympics 2016 performance where India had won only two medals, both of them by women – wrestler Sakshi Malik (bronze) and PV Sindhu (silver) in badminton.
“It’s been fantastic through sports. Now for a number of years we
have seen women have brought glory to our nation. I see parents being
more flexible in their thought process now. It’s not just about becoming
a doctor, a lawyer or engineer. There are a multiple things you can do
today,” the cricket icon said. “That’s how it should be. It’s great for
India. I always believed that the platforms provided for both men and
women should be equal. This starts from grassroots level. It should
start right from the bottom and from thereon there should be equal
opportunities for both,” he said. Tendulkar went on to fondly remember
his childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar who passed away at the age of 87
“I hate using this ‘was’ word that comes to him. Losing Achrekar Sir will always be a permanent void. It was wonderful time with him, that is how I would want to remember him. Wherever I’m in my life right now it’s because of him and my family members. He was like family,” he signed off.