India need to preserve Tendulkar: Chappell

Indian coach Greg Chappell today reiterated the need to preserve Sachin Tendulkar.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Indian coach Greg Chappell today reiterated the need to preserve Sachin Tendulkar whose return with a bang has helped the Indian team emerge out of recent off-field controversies successfully. "Sachin has been playing the way we want him to. He is enjoying the challenge. He is coming back so we don't want to put too much pressure on him, it is something we have talked about," Chappell said on the eve of the third One-Day International against Sri Lanka here. Back in action Tendulkar, returning to action after a six-month lay-off due to injury, slammed an explosive 93 in the first ODI at Nagpur and an equally dominant 67 not out in the second at Mohali. His swashbuckling knock at Nagpur not only gave the team a confidence boosting 152-run win but also reminded critics and fans that he still could play attacking innings when the team needed him to. Captain Rahul Dravid said the best thing about Tendulkar was that he played according to the requirements of the team. "The best thing about Sachin is that he is a team man. He will play the way the team requires him to play, he can adjust his batting in different situations and I think that is a huge quality he has," Dravid said. The Indians left out R P Singh and Gautam Gambhir to retain the 13 that played the first two matches. Chappell said the team would continue to experiment although not just for the heck of it "There are options within the group, we will continue to experiment but only if there is some advantage of doing so," Chappell said. "The experiments are aimed at bringing about an improvement in the side. The emphasis is on the team rather than the individuals. "Some guys may be asked to do something different according to the requirements of the team. The players have responded to this very positively," the former Australian captain said. 'Onus on players' Dravid said that with India having won the first two matches in a fabulous fashion, the onus is on the players to ensure they maintain their winning streak. "It's a challenge to all players to be as consistent as possible. It is we who have to ensure that we are not inconsistent," he said. "There is no secret mantra, irrespective of whether we won or lost the last game, we have to prepare hard for the next match and we have done just that," the skipper said. "We are not worried about the result. We want to play good cricket and focus on our goals, if we can do that, the result will take care of itself." Asked about the team's winning run, Chappell said, "we are playing at home, that does make a difference. The players are more comfortable. Also, we have approached the game with new strategies, so far these have worked," he said. "We are looking at opportunities, even if it is for one game or ten games, we will do it," he said in response to a query that why Irfan Pathan was promoted for just one match. (PTI)