Sachin Tendulkar batted for defending champions India ahead of their high profile final against Pakistan at the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval on Sunday. Tendulkar, hero of several Indian victories over Pakistan, said like the rest of the world, he too was eagerly waiting for the summit clash. The Master Blaster said he would be at the ground to support and cheer for Team India. "The whole world is eagerly waiting for the final. So am I."
"We have always had an upper hand vs Pakistan and I want them to play well so we can all celebrate after the match," Tendulkar told India Today in an exclusive chat.Tendulkar also lauded Virat Kohli's leadership in tournament. The 28-year-old has led from the front and has been on the top of his game with 253 runs in four innings including three unbeaten half-centuries.
"Virat Kohli's leadership has been wonderful in the Champions Trophy. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have batted well as has Virat.Yuvraj has played really well. The pace bowlers have been oustanding and the spinners have also done reasonably well. Overall, all the guys have chipped in and not to forget MS Dhoni. "We need these guys to do chip in again on Sunday. We have been a formidable package," Tendulkar said.
The Master Blaster felt India were well prepared and had played brilliant cricket throughout the tournament and backed them to defend the title they won four years ago. "Pakistan have been inconsistent but Sunday is a new day and we will need to be as well prepared as ever."
Tendulkar is not a man who believes in comparisons but when asked for an opinion he did concede that the Pakistan team of 2003 was of a different class than the current team and admitted he had not been able to sleep for a few days leading up to that clash at Centurion where his 98 highlighted a classic Indian win.
"I don't like comparisons but if you start looking at the names, Wasim, Waqar and Afridi and others, you clearly have two different Pakistan teams. "The team of 2003 was formidable in South African conditions. I hadn't slept for 10 to 12 days ahead of the Pakistan game. The anxiety level is different. An India vs Pakistan final is not just another game."
Tendulkar agreed the final would be a high pressure game and said he was positive India would bring the Cup back home.
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Article Courtsey : India Today