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by Sandeep Shivam Tuesday 31 March 2015
Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar who was appointed as the ambassador for the 2015 World Cup termed the tournament as a special one.
Reflecting on the quality of the tournament, Tendulkar credited the success of the World Cup to individual brilliance of players and crowd support.“Fantastic! This World Cup has been special.“The number of good performances has elevated the tournament to another level and I thoroughly enjoyed.“It’s all about the response from the crowd which makes the player go out to the middle and give his best.“It’s the best tonic a player can get.”Tendulkar who featured in six World Cups, seemed visibly impressed with the audience support at the World Cup venues.Underlining the significance of crowd support in big tournaments, the 41-year-old termed it as a crucial element for the event’s success.
“The response is good and that is what has happened.“The crowds have come out and encouraged the players and appreciated their performances.“That kind of support is needed. That’s when the tournament becomes a grand success.”While praising the batting performances in the tournament, Tendulkar didn’t miss out on mentioning the bowling spells that fascinated him.Among the many performances that captivated him, the Little Master chose the spell bowled by Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz as his personal favorite.“The batters have really batted well.“I think the bowlers have also bowled some terrific spells.“One spell which stands out the most according to me whatever I saw is definitely Wahab Riaz’s spell.“He didn’t pick many wickets in that spell but a spell to watch.”
In a hostile spell of fast short-pitched bowling, Riaz tormented the Australian batsmen particularly Shane Watson who was fortunate to survive a dropped chance.Riaz ended match with figures of 2 for 54 from his nine overs but the statistics didn’t quite tell the real story.“To me, it’s the spell of the tournament.“So those kind of performances stay with you forever.”The 2015 World Cup has been dominated by batsmen but Tendulkar feels that the other departments have also had success in attracting the crowds.Tendulkar stated a good dose of all-round cricket was essential for drawing in the crowds which is what he felt the tournament has done.“If you’re a cricket fan, you appreciate good batting, good fielding, good bowling and those memories last with you forever.”Tendulkar, who became the first batsman to score a double-hundred in One-Day Internationals in 2010, heaped praises on the two double-centurions of the World Cup.While West Indies’ Chris Gayle became the first double-centurion in World Cup history with his innings of 215 against Zimbabwe in the league stage, New Zealand’s Martin Guptill tallied an unbeaten 237 against Gayle’s mates during the quarter-final.
Conveying his happiness at having witnessed both innings, Tendulkar seemed impressed with the two contrasting knocks that lit the tournament up.“Both of them batted brilliantly.“I saw Chris play some amazing shots like he always does.“Martin Guptill one was also special one because the way he struck the ball was brilliant because it wasn’t slogging.“It was clean hitting and good extension of drives which landed in the stands.“I quite enjoyed watching Martin Guptill’s innings as well.”When asked about the other positives of the tournament, Tendulkar pointed out the pace-bowling department of his Indian team as a standout.The attack comprising Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma performed exceptionally well with good support from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as India managed to bowl out opponents in seven successive matches.
“Apart from what we discussed, I think from our team, the fast bowlers started really well. Shami and Umesh Yadav supported by Mohit and also spinner Ashwin who bowled well too.”The batting legend who has over 33,000 international runs across all formats, expressed happiness at the quality of cricket on display.Although he admitted being unable to recollect all the names that he wanted to mention, Tendulkar stated the names of some players who put up a good show.“I thought overall in the tournament there were some really good performances.“Trent Boult has been really good, Southee has done well, Guptill.“Then there is AB de Villiers, so many actually."I know I’m missing out on so many names."Starc has been a star for Australia, one of the reasons Australians have done well.“So many good performances to watch.”
Tendulkar appeared to be in awe of Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara who became the first man in ODIs to score four successive centuries, a feat he achieved during the World Cup.Relishing the knocks played by the recently retired wicket-keeper batsman, Tendulkar stated that the quality of the World Cup had made it special in all aspects.“How can I forget Sangakkara? Special!“The way he batted was really special and we all enjoyed those performances.“It is about those performances which 15 years down the line you’ll be talking about – these innings and these spells.“That is why I would like to say that the 2015 World Cup is special.”
As he had mentioned throughout the chat, Tendulkar continued to voice his opinion regarding the significance of crowd support in a big tournament.Terming the crowds as an inspiration for cricketers, Tendulkar sounded optimistic of witnessing similar support for the upcoming World Cups as well.“The way the crowd responded to this tournament, I hope and wish that they continue to respond like this and keep getting better because as I said earlier, it acts as a tonic for the players when you realize that your performances are being appreciated by manifolds and if you can do that again in 2019 World Cup, it’ll be really special.”Tendulkar holds the record for the most runs scored in World Cup history aggregating 2278 runs from 45 innings at an average of 56.95 including six centuries and 15 half-centuries.
© Cricket World 2015