Role changes with seniority: Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar today told those who talk about his having become less entertaining by cutting out risky shots, that it was only his natural progression.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar today told those who talk about his having become less entertaining by cutting out risky shots, that it was only his natural progression as a bastman over 15 years. Pointing out that his role in the team had changed over the years, the master blaster said, "I do not think I have slowed down as such. It is just that the team consists of 11 players and every individual has a role to play. As you get to be a senior in the team your role changes." Tendulkar said he was performing a different role compared to what he was some years ago but what mattered most to him was the team's performance. "Eventually what matters is the team's performance. If the team wins, I have done my job," the 31-year-old batting genius said. 'Fittest team ever' Tendulkar said that despite a surfeit of international matches, the present Indian cricket team was the fittest ever. He said an overdose of one-day internationals was taking a heavy toll on the players but the coach and the trainer had been doing a good job for the team. "If I have to compare the earlier generation of players to the present lot, I have no doubt in my mind that the present team is the fittest," Tendulkar said. Foreign association welcome Tendulkar also supported the association of foreign experts with the Indian team. "They are doing a useful and good job. It is for everyone to see the fitness level of the players. All these things matter a lot," he said. "We all understand that we are all trying to achieve one goal -- the only way we are going to achieve our target is by working harder and practising and playing in the right manner. We win, we win together and no individual wins or loses," said Tendulkar. 'Same responsibility' Asked whether the emergence of players like Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman had eased the pressure on him, Tendulkar said, "My responsibility stays the same. I never think what others are doing because I know others are also doing their best." The star batsman said ups and downs were a part and parcel of a cricketer's career and he was also not immune to it. Tendulkar, who enjoys a phenomenal record in both versions of the game, said he was not directing his energies towards donning the mantle of captaincy. "Right now I am not thinking about captaincy. I really do not know at this stage what my mind is but I am pretty happy with my cricket," said the batting genius. "I am giving my best to the cause of the team because whether or not I am the captain, eventually India winning all its matches is more important to me," he said. Formidable pair Tendulkar, who forms a formidable opening pair with Virender Sehwag in the one-dayers, said he does not believe in rating their partnership. "I think we have been a successful pair. Our strike rate of opening stands has always been good as well as the average. I would say that we can put ourselves as one of the best opening pairs in the world," he said. "But I have never applied my mind to determine who is number one or two since I do not believe in such things," he added. Tendulkar also welcomed the idea of holding an Asia Eleven Vs World Eleven.