T20 cricket is about smart thinking and fitness: Tendulkar

May 21st, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Centurion, May 21 (IANS) India’s cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar says ageing players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have showed Twenty20 cricket is all about “fitness and smart thinking”, breaking the myth that the format is only meant for the youngsters.
“I don’t think Twenty20 cricket is a young man’s game. Talent and smart thinking is the criteria for Twenty20 cricket. Fitness is equally important. Look at Sanath (Jayasuriya), he is nearly 40, or Matthew Hayden. They are striking the ball as well as they have ever been,” Tendulkar said.

Retired internationals like Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble have outshone the younger lot in the second edition.

Tendulkar, who opted out of Twenty20 internationals, has himself played some scintillating innings.

One such breathtaking knock came alongside Jayasuriya against Kolkata Knight Riders where the two bludgeoned the bowling attack.

The duo, however, could not produce such form with consistency and Tendulkar is quick to admit that batting was the weakness of Mumbai Indians.

“Overall we have played reasonably good cricket. It just that our batting faltered

at crucial stages.”

“We started well defeating Chennal with an all-round performance, then we had a week off. It was almost a forced break as our match with Rajasthan Royals was washed off.”

“We could not add those 12-13 runs more to our scores and gave away one or two extra runs. Our bowling was very much on the track, it just that we could not finish the matches.”

Tendulkar said he tried out several combination to spruce up the batting.

“You cannot be predictable in this form of cricket. We were finding it difficult to finish matches and so we kept changing the combination and hoped for a good result. Sometimes it worked for us like when Dwayne Bravo was promoted to open against Kings XI Punjab and he was terrific.”

“In the match against Rajasthan Royals, we needed six runs in nine balls with four wickets in hand and we lost. There is not much explanation you can give about such defeats.”

The loss against Rajasthan proved costly. Mumbai Indians were out of the semifinal reckoning after another defeat against Super Kings.

The Mumbaikar also said that loss of key players like Zaheer Khan affected their performance.

“Zaheer’s loss was a big blow. After our first six games we lost three players –Zaheer, Shikhar Dhawan and Saurabh Tiwary — to injuries and it affected the balance of the team. It was tough for us at that stage.”

“The owners of the team have stood behind us and backed us. Mrs. Ambani has been with the team and she has been a support to us.”

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