Sachin Tendulkar © Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar has backed the Indian cricket team to win the upcoming ICC World T20 2016, which will be held in March-April. India will be hosting the tournament for the very first time, 9 years after they won the inaugural edition of the Twenty20 cricket tournament in South Africa, defeating their arch rivals Pakistan in a thrilling contest. Tendulkar, who played only one T20 International (T20I), has claimed that it will be ‘India all the way’ in the tournament, adding that the shorter format of the sport has changed the game. The tournament will begin on March 8 at Nagpur, and the final will be played on April 3 at Kolkata. ALSO READ: India to play South Africa, West Indies in warm-up matches

Tendulkar told The New Indian Express, “The T20 World Cup in India is going to be really, really big. Last year I was ambassador for the ICC World Cup and had to be discreet. So I said the defending champion will win. Now that I’m not an ambassador, I can say it’s going to be India all the way.”

The Little Master said that T20 cricket has changed the way the game is being played, as the format is engaging and it can get in new audiences and spectators. ALSO READ: India clear favorites to win ICC World T20 2016: John Wright

“T20 has changed the way the game is played. Till a few years ago, nobody thought batters would play a reverse sweep but after T20 came in, they reverse sweep genuine fast bowlers, hit over short third-man,” Tendulkar said.

“It also draws in a new audience and spectators find it engaging. For anyone, who isn’t familiar with cricket, this format is engaging. Matches are close and it remains intense for three hours. I don’t think you will see three hours of intensity in any other sport,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tendulkar, who was Chennai, applauded the efforts of all those who were affected in the Chennai floods. He concluded, “This is my first visit to Chennai after the floods. After landing here what I experienced was the same vibrant energy that I experienced during my many previous trips. We all go through difficult times and in those times, people from various parts of our nation extended a helping hand. A big thank you to all who showed the real character of our country,” said Tendulkar.