India need Sachin for 2-3 years: Srikkanth

India will need Sachin Tendulkar for the next 2-3 years to guide the youngsters in the team which is "in the transitional phase", feels K Srikkanth.

updated: October 17, 2008 13:52 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar still has a lot of cricket left in him and India will need him for the next 2-3 years to guide the youngsters in the team which is "in the transitional phase", chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth said on Friday.

"He should play cricket for another 2-3 years. We need him as the team is going through a transition phase. He is a fantastic team man, very involved cricketer and we need him so that he is able to guide cricketers of future," Srikkanth said after Tendulkar became the highest run getter in Test cricket.

The master batsman surpassed Brian Lara's earlier record of 11953 runs in the second Test against Australia at PCA Ground.

Heaping praise on Tendulkar, Srikkanth said when youngsters make it to the team in near future "we would need somebody like Sachin to be there to guide them".

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"Even though he has become highest Test run-getter, still he has not changed. His attitude when he played at 16 years of age under my captaincy in 1989 and now 19 years later remains same. He still plays with same passion and remains involved with the team," the chief selector said.

"To play cricket for 19 years on a trot is a lot demanding. Sachin has given his 100 per cent every time he has come out on the field," he said.

Srikkanth said he would rate Tendulkar's century under "pressure conditions" in Perth in 1991-92 as his best knock.

Asked what he had told him when he played with him nearly two decades back in Pakistan, Srikkanth replied, "I had told him then and there that one day he will become India's top cricketer and he has proved me right."

The former India opener said he also remembered the moment when young Tendulkar had hit Abdul Qadir out of the park on his home ground and getting lots of praise from the Pakistan leg-spinner.

Going down the memory lane, Srikkanth said, "I was Sunil Gavaskar's opening partner when he got his 10,000 runs in 1987 and though the record later belonged to Allan Border and Lara for a while, but today again it has come back to us. As any Indian I am feeling great. It's an awesome feeling."