Pressure will be a constant companion: Sachin Tendulkar ahead of India-New Zealand semi-final
Cricket Legend Sachin Tendulkar feels both India and New Zealand will be under a lot of pressure when they face each other in the World Cup 2019 semi-final in Manchester on Tuesday.
India topped the points table in the league phase with seven wins out of nine matches while New Zealand are heading into the last-four game on the back of three successive defeats. But both teams will have to start from scratch in the knockout game when they take the field.
Tendulkar reckons that players do not say it in front of the media or fans, but they do feel the pressure ahead of the big-ticket clash like the one coming up for India and New Zealand.
“Pressure will be there, it is going to be a constant companion. There are those pressure moments, you just have to absorb them and we have players in our team who are good at that. It is just about winning those close moments,” Tendulkar told India Today.
The former India captain also suggested Virat Kohli’s side to stick to the mantra that has been working for them in this tournament so far and not try anything different if not required.
“If we can stick to our brand of cricket, we don’t need to compare ourselves with anyone. I would like to tell them when you play New Zealand and hopefully after that, stick to your brand of cricket. All the build up that is happening is outside the team, within the team it is about preparation,” Tendulkar said.
India will be facing New Zealand in a World Cup semi-final for the first time in the history of the 50-over tournament. New Zealand have played 7 semi-finals so far and won just once while India have a 3:3 record in World Cup semis.
Kohli’s side has been dominant in this edition so far but Tendulkar feels they shouldn’t take New Zealand lightly even though Kane Williamson’s team hasn’t been in the best of forms in the final few league games.
“New Zealand, it’s a very good team and underrated. They have performed consistently well. It’s not going to be a cakewalk for India. We have to go out and repeat doing what we have been doing for a number of games.
“Whoever is talking about India already getting into the finals, does not understand cricket. The players and support staff will only be focussed on this match. Now that we have entered the semis, don’t start talking about the final,” Tendulkar said.
Talking about making team changes, Tendulkar also suggested that India can look at all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as a candidate for the No. 7 spot in the playing XI.
“Jadeja is one option I would like to throw on the table to the team management. I feel if Dinesh Karthik is going to bat at No. 7 then possible Jadeja could be an option there because his left-arm spin can come in handy. In a big match you would want a cover up because we are playing just 5 bowlers.
“I would also be tempted to bring back Mohammed Shami because against West Indies he was good on the same venue. When we talk about Old Trafford there are pleasant experiences for Shami, he came back into the team and picked up wickets. So I would be tempted to have him back,” Tendulkar said.
Courtesy : India today