MUMBAI: Retired batting great Sachin Tendulkar is optimistic about the chances of the under-performing Indian team successfully defending its World Cup crown next year, and wants the fans to lend it a whole-hearted support.
“I have no hesitation in saying we are a talented side and there are some special players in the team. I know that they have not been able to produce the kind of results or rather live up to the expectation of the people, but things can change,” the cricket legend said.
“This is the time that I feel the team requires support. When you are winning, you are in a good frame of mind but when you are not winning and when you know a billion people are behind you, with you, the mindset changes immediately. That is the need of the hour.”
The World Cup would be held in Australia and New Zealand in February-March next year.
“I have full confidence in our team. I am sure we will have a good time,” said Tendulkar at the launch of the special edition of silver coins with his face, name and signature embossed on them.
Of late, the Indian team has struggled in the ODI series against South Africa (lost 3-match series 0-2)and New Zealand (lost 5-match series 0-4) and failed to qualify for the final of the recently-held Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
The batting great, who was a part of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led squad that emerged triumphant in cricket’s show-piece event in 2011 at home, recalled how the Indian team had struggled before finishing runners-up to Australia in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
“I remember in 2003, the New Zealand tour before we got to the finals (of World Cup) wasn’t a great one for us. We went to South Africa and there were some side matches that we lost. And then we all started thinking that we need to plan differently, play differently and it worked for us,” said Tendulkar, who used to get “five paisa as pocket money” when he was growing up.
“It is not about just the failures but the journey from failure to success and getting into the habit of winning, the things you are supposed to do. If you follow that process, the result takes care of itself. We just followed that process and we were able to get to the finals,” he said.
Tendulkar said he was enjoying his retirement from the game and was able to spend more time with his family.
“Life is relaxed. I am getting more time to spend with my family. In the last 24 years I did get (time with family) but it was (always) in the back of my mind that I had to go to Chennai or Bangalore or Kolkata to play a match and (then) you start preparing yourself.