Sachin Tendulkar believes that the current Indian team has the capability to dominate the world cricket for the next 15-20 years like the famous Australian team of 1990s. He also praised the balance of the Indian team and seemed happy with the way players have adapted to the different challenges.
Ahead of India’s series against South Africa, experts have put forward somewhat mixed predictions. While some believe that the invincible looking team of 2017 would finally turn around their dire form in South Africa next year, there are others who think that India will continue to struggle.
However, it cannot be denied that Virat Kohli has brought about a change in mindset in the team. They have created numerous records in the past one year, the biggest of which being equalling Australia’s nine consecutive Test series wins. Many have drawn comparison of them to Australia’s team of the 90s that dominated world cricket for almost two decades and the latest name to join the bandwagon is Sachin Tendulkar.
"We are doing exceedingly well. What I feel is, what Australia was for 15-20 years in the 1990s when I toured Australia, they were a tough side to beat. A tough side to compete with. And wherever you travel, you beat everyone. I see that phase coming in Indian cricket because the balance is so good," Tendulkar told former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee on the latter's "Up in the Grill" show on his Youtube channel, quoted by IBT.
Kohli's demand for maintaining top-level fitness has brought on a significant upgrade to the Indian side as the squad look more balanced than ever with all the players capable of performing each others’ roles for the team. The development has delighted Tendulkar who believes it to be a rare luxury.
"If you see the batters, they can come and roll their arms. And the bowlers can come and contribute those important runs. And we bat quite deep. You get a number nine player turning up in Test cricket and scoring runs. That is luxury," he added.
The 44-year-old had made his debut back in 1989 against Pakistan and during his 24 years in international cricket, has made records numerous records that were previously unimaginable. He went on to play 200 Tests and 463 ODIs and became the only batsman to have scored 100 international centuries. Hence, life after retirement was expected to be tough for the batting legend and he admitted it.
"Really, really hard to imagine my life without cricket. Cricket was like oxygen for me. Impossible to survive without cricket. It is my passion and continues to be my passion. And I don't have any regrets. So many guys ask me 'you missed out on those beautiful days - from age 16 to 19'. I was just happy playing cricket for India.
"How many guys get to do that, play at 16 for India? It was a huge honour and above all my lifestyle was very simple. My requirements were not big. I was really happy if I got time to be on the cricket field. And that gave me all the satisfaction and happiness," Tendulkar said.