Indian Captain Sachin Tendulkar shares his views on the performance of his team in the just-concluded Test series against Australia and rates their chances in the one-day internationals.
Soon after landing in Australia, you expressed the desire to meet Sir Don Bradman again?
Oh, yes. Not only me, the whole Indian team wanted to meet him. But we found out that Sir Don was very sick while we were in Adelaide. We will be going again to the city during the one-dayers. We will try to meet him then.
You assured that the Indian team would do well in Australia. Critics are of the opinion that the Indian team could not even fight back?
It is a bit disappointing. I would request everybody to give us some time. After the World Cup, we are trying to form a young team. At the same time, I would confess that we could not play to the best of our abilities.
What about the one-day series?
We are all waiting eagerly for the tri-series. We have to do well. All I can say is that all the 16 players will give our best. I can understand the disappointment of our supporters after we lost (0-3) in the Test series. The main reason for our failure is that we are not used to the conditions in Australia.
What about the Azharuddin issue?
There are some things that are supposed to be confidential. I do not want to make it public.
Did the Indian team not behave well with Nayan Mongia during his brief stay in Australia?
Nothing was wrong from my side. The team members went out with him for lunch and dinner.
How do you rate Pakistan in the forthcoming one-day series?
Pakistan is also a balanced side. It will be a very interesting tournament and all of us should enjoy it. I only hope, we can maintain the competitive spirit.
Coming back to the failure in the Test series, a lot of people are of the opinion that aggression was missing in the Indian team?
Only aggression would not have helped. As I said earlier, we need some time. We should prepare good bouncing tracks at home. This is the first step we should take and it can be done easily. We have to pay more attention towards our domestic cricket. There has to be a cricket academy set up immediately.
What are your aspirations for Indian cricket in the new century?
We should all start thinking positively. We should be firm in taking decisions. Cricket should be the priority. We should do everything in the best interest of the game.
Going back to the just concluded Test series, do you agree that the failure of the openers was a major problem?
I will not blame them. I am happy to say that everybody tried their best. You cannot win every time. But a sincere effort was there. Ramesh was unfortunately injured. VVS Laxman played a superb innings. That is why he has been retained for the one-dayers. He gained a lot of confidence, which I am sure, he would use in the tri-series.
Would you have any adjustment problems during the one-day series?
We do play a lot of one-day matches. Specialists like Robin Singh and Nikhil Chopra have been included in the side. There may be minor problems, but that should not matter.
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