Ecstatic at India’s rise to the top of the Test rankings, senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday said the current side led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the best ever to have represented the country.
After the innings and 24 runs triumph over Sri Lanka took India to the top of the ICC table, Tendulkar was asked if this was one of the best Indian teams ever, to which he replied, “Yes. Right from number 1 to 7, we have a solid batting line-up.”
India beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in the three-match series today and the 36-year-old Tendulkar credited the entire coaching team, including the now sacked duo of bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh, for the triumph.
Tendulkar said along with Coach Gary Kirsten, credit goes to Prasad and Robin who were part of the support staff till October.
“All credit goes to Gary (Kirsten) and (mental conditioning coach) Paddy (Upton), along with Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad. They handled the team brilliantly. Also all the players have worked very hard in the last 18 months,” he said.
Both Prasad and Singh were sacked in October after the team’s dismal show in the Twenty20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy.
Tendulkar said the entire country had been waiting for team to become world number one.
“It’s fantastic to be at this position. I have been waiting a long time to get to this position. In fact just not me, the entire nation waited for it,” Tendulkar said after India beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs to win the three-match series 2-0 and top the Test ranking table.
Tendulkar was also happy with the track at Brabourne Stadium which hosted a Test match after a 36-year gap.
“This pitch was a brilliant wicket. There was some turn in the first day and I knew one roll would settle it down and it did,” he said.
This was yet another milestone in the illustrious two-decade old career of Tendulkar, whom teammate Yuvraj Singh calls “Grandpa“.
Tendulkar, meanwhile, took the occasion to warn Yuvraj against calling him ‘Grandpa’, saying he too can reveal his nickname which would be enough to embarrass the left-hander.
“I have told Yuvraj Singh not to call me Grandpa. We have got a lot of names for him too. He better stop calling me Grandpa or I will expose him,” Tendulkar quipped.
The veteran batsman once again rubbished retirement talks and said, “People keep asking about it but I’m enjoying my game and not thinking about that at all.”