For Tendulkar, team comes ahead of personal milestones
GWALIOR : Missing yet another ton despite coming so close to it would leave any other cricketer with a broken heart but Sachin Tendulkar refuses to complain and says it’s okay with him as long as the team keeps winning.
For the 16th time in his career, and sixth time this year, Tendulkar came close to the three-figure mark only to miss it by three runs tonight. His 97, however, was good enough to lay the foundation for India’s six-wicket win and fetch him the Man of the Match award.
“Well, these things happen. What is most satisfying for me is that we won both the match and the series today.
“I guess I got into this wrong habit of getting out in the 90’s. But for me, what matters and count most is that India won,” said the perfect team man.
He also heaped praise on captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his deputy Yuvraj Singh for yet again forging a solid stand to see the side through.
“They ran hard and played big shots as well – full credit to them. It’s important that the lower middle order chips in and they have been doing it consistently, right throughout the series,” he said.
On his knock, Tendulkar said, “Initially, the ball was not coming on to the bat and it was important to stay there and hit the ball in the right areas. But it was very satisfying.”
Triumphant captain Dhoni thanked his team-mates and singles out Yuvraj again for special praise.
“It’s important for the team that he bats at number four and I’m at number five. I want him to bat after the 20th overs right to the 50th over and score loads and loads of runs for us.”
He said restricting Pakistan to 255 was a job well done by the bowlers.
“They got a good start but still our bowlers managed to restrict them to 255. They bowled in the right areas and according to the field.”
His Pakistani counterpart Shoaib Malik, however, felt let down by his pacers.
“I think we did not bowl well with the new ball. We conceded just too many runs. The score of 255 was quite defendable but we just conceded too many runs,” he rued.
Admitting losing the series hurt him, Malik put up a brave face and said, “As professionals, we have to live with it. It hurts but we are looking forward to the next match and the Test series that follows.”