Tendulkar: England have no chance

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Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has written off England’s chances of winning next year’s World Cup.

Three heavy defeats saw England slip to a 3-2 defeat to India in the one-day series in the summer and Alastair Cook’s side have struggled in the shorter format of the game in recent years.

Tendulkar, who retired from cricket in November 2013, was India’s leading run-scorer in the team’s 2011 World Cup triumph and believes his compatriots can defend their crown in Australia and New Zealand next year.

“I think Australia, South Africa, New Zealand are a dark horse, and India – these four should be my semi-finalists,” Tendulkar said at the launch of his autobiography, ‘Playing It My Way’.

“Do England have a chance? Not really. I don’t think so.

“Anything is possible in this sport but going on current form I don’t think England will be that competitive.

“I feel India can surprise a lot of people and I also believe the spinners will come into play.

“People talk about the pitches for fast bowlers but because of the size of the grounds, I think spinners could be important.”

In 663 Test and ODI matches for India, Tendulkar hit 100 centuries and scored 34,347 runs.

He holds the record for the most Test centuries with 51 and is widely considered one of the greatest batsmen to have ever played the game.

In 1992, Tendulkar became the first overseas-born player to play for Yorkshire and he says England will always hold a special place in his heart.

“I grew up watching cricket being played in England and the reason I wanted to start playing cricket was because of the 1983 World Cup (in England),” Tendulkar said.

“My first Test 100 also took place in England at Old Trafford, which was a big moment for me.

“And in 1992, the first time I played for Yorkshire was a turning point in my career because it taught me about the conditions but it also taught me a lot as a person.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Yorkshire – they were all very supportive and welcoming and I can never forget that experience, the warmth I felt there.

“Whenever I walked into bat – it was hard to figure out – sometimes I didn’t score a run and people were giving me standing ovations. I can never forget that.

“England will always have a special place in my heart.”

Tendulkar refused to be drawn on the merits of Kevin Pietersen’s controversial autobiography, saying only that “certain things should stay in the dressing room”.

Nor did he want to discuss the ongoing row between India and the West Indies, which he said was “definitely not good for cricket”.

He explained his belief that the use of technology in the game needs to be a “standardised package no matter who is playing” and his conviction that Test cricket will remain important even as the shorter formats continue to grow.

“Somebody who is interested in Test cricket is not going to get satisfaction out of Twenty20 so it’s up to the individual,” Tendulkar said.

“Most cricket players still back Test cricket as the number one but T20 has opened up a different kind of audience to be attracted to cricket.

“If we can have bigger audiences watching the sport, it’s good for the sport – it’s not just about Test cricket.

“It’s impossible to keep all the formats as popular as each other. There will be differences and it comes down to your opinion and choice.

“T20 is exciting. It allows you to experiment and be innovative and that can only be good for the game.”

Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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