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'I take lot of pride in playing for India'

Last updated on: June 2, 2012 09:46 IST

'I take lot of pride in playing for India'

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Senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar says India will focus on getting back to the pinnacle of the Test rankings rather than thinking about revenge against England in the upcoming home series in November. 

"It's not about revenge [the home series against England]. It's taking pride to play for India, and for me that is really important. It [revenge] can be against any other nation, but I take lot of pride in playing for India. That's what matters to me. It doesn't matter with whom we play. As long as we produce quality performance expected from us, that is important," said Tendulkar. 

"For four years, I mean post-2007 World Cup till the 2011 World Cup, we played quality cricket and got to the No 1 ranking. No 1 ranking does not happen overnight. 

"It takes some time and only when you produce good cricket for number of years. We were able to get there but slipped down. It's important to again get back there," Tendulkar told NDTV.




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'I wouldn't say the players became complacent or over-confident'

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India lost eight consecutive Test matches against England and Australia last season but the maestro feels that the defeats in England and Down Under were not because of over-confidence. 

"I wouldn't say that World Cup victory had something to do with that [losses in England and Australia] and the players became complacent or over-confident. It was nothing like that.     

"We all know our responsibilities. You go out there to perform well but sometimes it just does not work. They have been tough tours for us and we need to regroup ourselves and take stronger steps forward and see to it that these performances don't get repeated," said the 39-year-old batting ace. 

Tendulkar said the back-to-back series defeats were difficult to digest and a "rough patch" for Team India. 

"It was really difficult to digest all those things. You have a huge responsibility when you go out there and look to win every match. But that's not possible. It's equally important that we perform well and live up to our own expectations."




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'Club cricket can never take country cricket's place'

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Tendulkar also admitted that things did not go as per plan in England and Australia. 

"The Indian cricket team will always have a plan for a year. We have to admit that it did not go accordingly at all. It was a rough patch. Prior to that for three years we really played well," he said. 

He said club cricket can never replace international tournaments, but a tournament like the IPL provides an ideal platform for domestic players to showcase their talent. 

"Club cricket can never take country cricket's place, but it's a brilliant platform. Cricket is the only sport which has three formats - T20 cricket gives the opportunity to new players to showcase their talent. 

"More importantly, it gives a chance to first class players who may have worked hard for years but never made it to the national team. It helps them earn money, which is important, because they sacrificed many of their years to fulfill their dreams to play for India," he said.



Tags: IPL , Tendulkar , T20 , England , India

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