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India can play even better than the way they played against Pakistan: Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar believes India should go step-by-step and not think about the knockout stages yet.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

Former cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, feels that India can play even better than they did against Pakistan in their World Cup opener. He also believes that his former team can match the tournament favourites Australia and South Africa, but warned that they must take each match as it comes.

“India needs to go step-by-step and don't think about just the quarters but take it match by match,” said Sachin.

He continued, “We can match the likes of Australia, South Africa. We can play even better then the way we played Pakistan. Our batting can do even better and our bowling needs to continue same way. The series in Australia will help us. Playing against the top sides makes your game better.”

“Don’t put pressure on Rohit”

The master blaster had a message of support for struggling opener Rohit Sharma, who scored just 15 runs in India’s 76-run win over Pakistan.

He said, “Don't put pressure on Rohit, should not put doubt in a player's mind. Rohit doesn't need to worry.”

He also believes that the start will be very important in the team’s next match against South Africa.

“Opening will be critical against South Africa, running between wicket has to be good against South Africa as they are a terrific fielding side, taking singles will be tougher,” Sachin said.

“Respect Dale Steyn”

Sachin said that the opposition should not pre-decide how to play a bowler like Dale Steyn and that they should be watchful when going up against the speedster.

He said, “You can't pre-decide how to play Steyn, he could also have a bad day, you have to decide in the moment but you have to respect Dale Steyn, you need to be watchful upfront but take your opportunities.”

Tendulkar also had words of caution about the two other superstars in the South African line-up – AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla.

“Try to stop Hashim Amla, whom I've always admired. There's no fuss around with Hashim, he gives his 100 per cent,” Tendulkar said, going on to add, “AB de Villiers is unbelievably talented and innovative. He's definitely one of the top batters in the world. Don't think he has any weakness.”

"Look to out-bat the opposition"

Citing the example of West Indies, Tendulkar warned against complacency in the batting department. “We have to look to out bat the opposition. West Indies scored 300 plus and lost. So give your best in the batting department,” he said.

At the same time, however, he also stressed the importance of taking things as they came. “Don't go into the match with a set mindset that we have to score 320 plus. Both teams can score big. Must look to start well and take things step by step,” he added.

The 41-year-old also said that he would not tinker with batting line-up.

“I would stick to the same batting order, don't chop-and-change too much. Rahane can come up if we lose early wickets as Raina is more dangerous post-20 overs. Rahane can play early overs better,” Tendulkar concluded.

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