Port of Spain (Trinidad): Batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar said on Sunday he decided to play with a painful shoulder because his team needed to win the fifth and final One-day International against the West Indies.
"I was in pain, but I had to push myself," said Tendulkar, named man-of-the-match for his brilliant all-round show after India had clinched the five-match series 2-1. "Deciding to play wasn't easy. I didn't want to let the team down after saying I was fit to play," Tendulkar said. He top-scored with a 70-ball 65 to help his team post a challenging total of 260 and then dismissed Brian Lara for 36 as the West Indies, chasing a revised 248-run target off 44 overs due to rain, were bowled out for 191. "This was a big game. We were close to winning the one-day series and we wanted to win it after having lost the Tests. That's why I played," Tendulkar said. Tendulkar, who missed Saturday's fourth One-dayer due to a shoulder-injury, said he had to curb his shot-making due to pain. "There were some shots I just couldn't play. I had to change my game and try to stay till the end. My shoulder is still a little stiff, but I've been told it's nothing serious." India skipper Saurav Ganguly said he never thought his team could lose after having reduced the West Indies to 88 for five. "I never thought we could lose the game even when Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ridley Jacobs were going for big shots. They still needed more than 150 runs at that stage and it was not an easy task. It'd have been amazing if they had got it," he said. West Indies captain Carl Hooper blamed batting more than the revised target for his team's defeat. "We didn't know the target when he went out to bat. Perhaps the umpires wanted to start the game as soon as the rain stopped, but it'd have come handy to know what target we were chasing," Hooper said. The West Indies target was revised after rain, but it was announced only after it had lost two wickets. "Initially, it was like batting in the dark. Rain did affect our chances because the asking-rate climbed from five to near-six. It was a tough task," Hooper said. "No complaints, for the India skipper also didn't know when he elected to bat that the fourth match would be reduced to 25-overs-a-side due to rain on Saturday. "I think the Indians bowled really well and the revised target was not the reason why we batted badly. I think we probably gave away 15 to 20 extra runs." When asked why Chanderpaul was not promoted in the batting order, Hooper said, "Sarwan (Ramnaresh) has been batting well. We wanted Chanderpaul to open, but the way Chris Gayle batted on Saturday we thought there was no reason to change the batting order."
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