Sachin Tendulkar has blasted critics and detractors who doubted Team India's ability to retain the No 1 world Test ranking soon after they achieved it more than a year ago. The Little Master added that the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side still being on top of the table was proof of the team's calibre.
"Many people thought we would be on top for only 30-40 days when we achieved the no 1 spot in Tests (beating Sri Lanka at home) as the South Africa series (at home) was next. After losing the first Test at Nagpur we heard we will lose the no 1 spot. But after more than a year we are still standing there. In this competitive era it is fantastic," said Tendulkar at the Castrol Awards function here.
Tendulkar received three awards the Indian Cricketer of the year (2009-10 season), the Test Cricketer of the year and a special award for completing 50 Test tons. In all, he received cash awards to the tune of Rs 9 lakh.
Tendulkar said the team faced many challenges after securing numero uno status and lauded the entire team as well as coach Gary Kirsten.
"I feel extremely proud to be part of this team. To get there (to the no 1 spot) was not easy. We had to face a lot of challenges and stood together supporting each other. We had to work hard. Gary brought a remarkable change in the squad. All batsmen have performed well since 2007," Tendulkar said in an indirect dig at former coach Greg Chappell.
Tendulkar also admitted that his slump in form prior to what is generally described as his "second innings" in his remarkable career was due to the change in his back swing due to the spate of injuries for which he needed four surgeries.
"I underwent four surgeries and each one took four to four and a half months to recover which changed my back swing. But since 2007, I am feeling good and not had any major injuries," he said.