It wasn~~t that bad at Wankhede, says Sachin

Published: Sunday, March 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Sachin Tendulkar said the heckling he received from the fans at the Wankhede Stadium fades in comparison to the backing he has received over the years and accused the media of blowing the incident out of proportion.

''I thought the issue was blown out of proportion by the media.

It wasnt that bad. I have more well-wishers than the small section of the crowd at Wankhede Stadium that day,'' Sachin said in an interview to Outlook magazine.

''I have to ignore them. I cannot forget the backing I have got from the people all these years just because of this. I appreciate the support I have got over so many years,'' he added.

Sachin said his recent poor form was not a worry for him as he was confident of making a comeback.

''I am not overly worried because everyone goes through such a phase. I think it is part and parcel of life. As long as I know from the bottom of my heart that I am trying my best, it is okay,'' he said.

The little master was not very happy with the media's continuous post-mortem of his form and said a press person was the last he would go to for advice on his batting.

''I think the media also goes through a patch of bad form sometimes. All my friends know that I am least interested in knowing these things and dont bother trying to tell me what the channels are saying or what the newspapers are writing,'' Sachin said.

He said he had the coach and former captains like Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri to point out his flaws and he didn't need anybody else to join in.

''I dont need them (the media) to tell me that I had not played well. I know whats happening on the ground. And when I have the coach, captain and the other players to talk to, I dont need anyone else.''

''I speak with senior players who have actually gone through such things and how they dealt with such situations. It makes a huge difference to your confidence. That is what I am trying to do, speak with the seniors.''

The attitude, he said, was not because of his contempt for any outside advice but because ''Sometimes too many people giving you advice can get you into trouble.'' While admitting that people's expectations have always been there, Sachin said he has been trying hard to remain focussed on his game and not think much about them.

''Basically not think too much about what X, Y or Z is saying. I dont think X, Y or Z have played even two cricket balls in the middle,'' he replied on being asked about the pressure from fans.

Rubbishing theories that his footwork and reflexes have slowed down over the years, Sachin said nothing has changed and he was still middling the ball perfectly. ''No, I dont believe that my reflexes have slowed down. I am quite happy with the way my feet move when I am at the crease,'' he said.

The batting maestro might be going through the worst phase of his career but questions about retirement are still met with a stern ''I am not interested in this question'' reply.

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