Sachin Tendulkar celebrates victory with his fans after winning the Common Wealth Bank series in 2008    Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar celebrates victory with his fans after winning the Common Wealth Bank series in 2008 Getty Images

Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar had opened up on India’s early exit from 2007 World Cup and blamed the then coach of Indian cricket team Greg Chappell for failing to maintain balance of the team. Further, in the concluding part of his interview with Mid-Day, Tendulkar spoke about how India got over from the disastrous exit from the World Cup. After talking about India’s exit from the tournament, Tendulkar this time opened up and said many positive things about the team from the post World Cup period, which started from Bangladesh tour where Ravi Shastri became in charge in place of Chappell.

Tendulkar began with his meeting with Shastri after arriving in Bangladesh, saying, “After the World Cup, we went to Bangladesh where Ravi Shastri was in charge. I have always got along well with Ravi (Shastri) and we spent many evenings together because we couldn’t go out too often. The first Test was played in Chittagong and we were struggling a bit before I scored a hundred. It would have become a very tight Test match and though we didn’t win that game, things started changing. We won the second Test convincingly.”

After the Bangladesh tour, India went to Ireland to play an ODI against the hosts, three against South Africa, followed by two against Pakistan in Scotland. Tendulkar referred to the Ireland tour as a challenging one and added, “The Ireland tour was a challenging one in which the conditions were more in favour of South Africa. But we beat them and I was adjudged the man of the ODI series.”

After playing in Ireland and Scotland, India moved to England to play 7-match ODI series and then 3-match Test series, which is famously called as Pataudi Trophy. Talking about that tour, Tendulkar expressed, “This was followed by some decent knocks on the England tour. Although I didn’t score hundreds, I was consistent which impacted the result. We beat England and I felt the understanding and camaraderie were back in the dressing room. There was Chandu Borde (as manager cum coach), Venkatesh Prasad as bowling coach and Robin Singh, the fielding coach.”

Tendulkar was India’s highest run-getter in the ODI series with 374 runs at 53.42. In the ODI series, India bounced back by winning two back-to-back ODIs after being 3-1 down, though they lost the final match and series. Tendulkar further said that the team atmosphere was very positive and added, “I could see that the players were happy, they were smiling and those smiles were not put on, they were genuine. They were happy to work harder and we spent a lot of time without any agendas and issues. This great atmosphere made a huge difference and it reflected on the way we played.”

Later, players like Tendulkar along with Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly were not selected for the inaugural World T20 tournament and the team was led by MS Dhoni. Surprisingly, India won the tournament by beating Pakistan in the final, which gave fans a huge moment of joy after the unforgettable 2007 World Cup. After the World T20 2007, India played two home series and then fled to Australia for Border-Gavaskar Test series and then Common Wealth Bank Tri-Series. The Test series was filled with controversy, though India managed to break Australia’s winning streak by beating them at Perth in the third Test by 72 runs.

After gaining confidence from that win at Perth, India then went on to beat Australia in back-to-back finals of Tri-Series, led by Tendulkar’s century and 91-run knock in the second final. Reacting to that memorable series, Tendulkar said the series victory was fitting answer to Ian Chappell and added, “Australia 2007-08 was another memorable tour on which we won the CB Series triangular. I thought that victory was a fitting answer to all that nonsense about me having to look at myself in the mirror. That was written by Ian Chappell (after the 2007 World Cup) without him knowing what was really happening. To go out there and beat Australia in their backyard was great. Everyone knows how strong that Australian team was. No disrespect to the current Australian team, but there is no comparison to that side (2007-08) and the present one.”

That win was followed by many series wins both home and away and finally the best moment came in 2011 World Cup after India emerged victorious by beating Sri Lanka in the final at Mumbai. Tendulkar not only relishes his memories from 2011 World Cup but also credited coach Gary Kirsten with his assistant Paddy Upton for the job done,saying, “The 2011 World Cup win stays right on top for obvious reasons. Just to put things in perspective: Greg wanted to change six or seven players in 2007 because he felt they were not doing enough; were getting old and rebuild the team for 2011. This was the message which had gone to the BCCI and the same six to seven players performed outstandingly in the 2011 World Cup. This is where I applaud the contribution of Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton. Gary was spectacular and both worked well together. In 2009-10, we became the World No. 1 Test team during that Test against Sri Lanka in Mumbai. Overall, we played some very good cricket to reach where we did.”