Sachin Tendulkar feels Rahul Dravid’s inclusion after close to two years has added “value” to the ODI team and his experience would come in handy during the tri-series in Sri Lanka and the subsequent Champions Trophy in South Africa.
“It should help the team. He brings in a lot of experience on the table and also a lot of skill. I think his will be good value addition to the team,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar said the team is fitter and hungrier after wrapping up a four-day training camp in Bangalore to prepare for the tri-series in Sri Lanka, where New Zealand is the third team.
“The camp has ended on a positive note and the team looks pretty solid and hungry. Sri Lanka is one place which is not very free scoring,” he said.
“It will be a challenge for some of the stroke-players in our team. As boundaries can be difficult to come by, there will be a lot of running between the wickets involved,” he added.
Tendulkar said all the three participating teams were evenly matched and it is difficult to say, which one of them would eventually win the short series.
“We are an extremely good fielding unit and we turned around games with our fielding. It is a misconception to assume that New Zealand and Sri Lanka have an edge over us.
“We run well between the wickets, our run out conversion is good, our catching ability is amongst the best, our bowlers are much more disciplined as they don’t bowl wides and no-balls. I think we are three evenly matched teams,” Tendulkar told espnstar.com.
Asked whether the Indians had decoded mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, who has tormented them in the past, Tendulkar said, “These are the contests created by the media. Ajantha Mendis, Muthiah Muralitharan or Chaminda Vaas are all good bowlers and we as a team respect them. At the same time we have a plan for each one of them.”
“On the last trip batsmen like Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir handled Mendis and Murali really well. I think we can build on that. These youngsters bring a fresh approach and mindset, which then rubs off on others which helps the team produce good results,” he added.