Impressed with India’s dominating performance in the World Cup so far but not completely satisfied with it, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar said that the team can raise its game a few notches higher.
India are comfortably perched atop Pool B after two straight wins against Pakistan and South Africa respectively and Tendulkar, who had predicted at least a final-four placing for the defending champions, feels it’s “so far so good”.
“So far whatever I have seen we have concretised that spot. It looks very bright. I am happy but I am not satisfied. I want the team to continue doing this,” the cricketer-turned-analyst told Headlines Today after India’s 130-run win against South Africa yesterday.
Riding on Shikhar Dhawan’s 137 runs India posted 307 for seven against one of the most potent bowling attacks in the 50-over showpiece event and then bundled out the Proteas for 177 in 40.2 overs. Tendulkar, who has been part of record six World Cup campaigns with the Men in Blue including the historic win last time around, feels that the boys can still raise their bar.
“I had said earlier that they can bat better, because I know their talent I know their capability. And we batted beautifully yesterday. The finish could have been better but at no stage we felt that we were short of ideas and at no stage it looked as if the South Africans have tied us down. We were prepared to hang in there also prepared for that chance to put the loose ball away and we did so,” he said.
Shikhar, whose seventh ODI ton was laced with 16 fours and 2 sixes, was supported by Virat Kohli (46) and Ajinkya Rahane (79) during his 146-ball stay at the crease. Tendulkar was all praise for Dhawan and Rahane.
“I think Shikhar has done brilliantly in the first two games and I hope that he will continue with this performance. Shikhar will be feeling on top of this world, he will be feeling so confident. I had said earlier that he is one impact player,” Tendulkar said.
“But the icing on the cake was Ajinkya batting at No.4. A brilliant display of effortless shots. When Ajinkya plays big shots, somehow it looks as if he is not looking to play a big shot, he is just looking to time the ball or it lob over ball over the 30-yard circle, but on occasions it just fell inside the boundary line. And the shot that he played off Dale Steyn was amazing,” he added.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side still has a long way to go in the 14-team event and Tendulkar said that “well begun is only half done”.
“In a big tournament like this, you start well which is relieving, because you gain that momentum and you try and win as many matches as possible and you continue,” said the legendary batsman.
“It is a habit, when you start playing good cricket you believe you can win from any difficult situation. And when you are not winning, you feel even when you are winning and a few runs away you think what if you lose a few quick wickets,” he concluded.