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Tendulkar picks India in his 'top four'

International Sports

Indian cricket team at ICC Cricket World Cup Indian cricket team at ICC Cricket World Cup A Test series followed by a tri-nation event is what took India into the 1992 cricket World Cup and iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar feels that with a similar schedule this time around the "fatigue factor" will be key for Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side in Australia.

India, who lost the four-match Test series 0-2 against Australia and failed to win a single ODI in the tri-series that followed, surprised the critics by winning their opening World Cup game against Pakistan and Sachin feels that a refreshed Indian side can go all the way.

"Yeah, the only difference now you are saying that I hope that the team comes back. We didn't come back inspite of good 15-20 days between the tri-series and the World Cup in 1992..We didn't come back. So at the end of the tournament, that mental and physical fatigue obviously plays a part," Tendulkar, who was part of an unsuccessful campaign in his first World Cup in 1992, told 'Headlines Today'.

"You can still go the gyms and work out and you know if you are not carrying an injury then it's reasonably ok to maintain certain level of fitness. But mental fitness, that freshness, to be able to move away from game and recharge your batteries and come back firing on all cylinders is going to be critical," he added.

Sachin, who had praised Virat Kohli for his match-winning tendencies, also warned India of being over-dependent on the star batsman and singled out Ajinkya Rahane as an underrated talent.

"You will always have couple of key players, someone like Ajinkya Rahane is underrated, and opposition wouldn't be planning for Ajinkya as much as they would be thinking about how to bowl Rohit (Sharma), Virat (Kohli) and Dhoni at the end," the Master Blaster said.

"(Suresh) Raina is doing well, if he gets going, he can clear any field in the world. All the combination that we are looking to play, Shikhar (Dhawan) can give a good start, he can be a dangerous player as well and I think we have a very good batting line up," added.

Commentating on the bowlers, Tendulkar said that Mohammed Shami and company should take individual responsibility and rely on momentum.

"All depends on bowling form, I have seen at one stage Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) doing really well even in T20 death overs. Last season he got his yorkers off-side the off stump spot on. It is just about the momentum, if bowler gets the momentum, good rhythm they would be able to deliver. But I feel Shami and Umesh (Yadav) will have to go fuller I think," the legend said.
Saying that the captain is as good as his team, Tendulkar has placed India in his final-four list.

"Captaincy is obviously important in how he keeps his players in right frame of mind and makes them believe that they are the best players in the world, to go out and win that particular game for him and win it till the end.

I believe my final four is no different from many as I pick India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand to make the semis."

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