Don't want to upset T20 combination: Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar would love to be a part of India's Twenty20 squad but stays away from it lest it upsets the team combination, the senior batsman said.

updated: April 14, 2009 14:40 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar would love to be a part of India's Twenty20 squad but stays away from it lest it upsets the team combination, the senior batsman said here on Tuesday.

"I would have loved to be there but I feel it could disturb the combination and that's the only reason I have stayed out of the (Twenty20) team," Tendulkar said on Tuesday.

"And they won the World Cup, nothing can be better than that," he added.

Recalling his 2007 decision to make himself unavailable for the Indian squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup, Tendulkar said he initially pulled out due to fitness issues and once the team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the title, he decided not to intrude into the side.

"I remember we were in England and immediately after that the team was to go to South Africa for Twenty20 World Cup. I said my body was not fully fit. And I was not in a position to give my best, my 100 per cent for India. I thought If I'm like that, I should not be part of the team and instead allow somebody else to go who can give 100 per cent.

"It's a team sport so, even if there is one weak link, it affects the whole team. I didn't want it to happen. The team went to South Africa and did well. They settled quite nicely. I don't want to disturb the combination now when they are going terrific," he added.

In such a situation, the Indian Premier League remains his only opportunity to prove his Twenty20 prowess and the batsman, who leads Mumbai Indians, is looking forward to the second edition in South Africa.

Tendulkar said with IPL shifting to South Africa, teams would miss their frenzied home crowd.

"I'm disappointed that people here cannot witness the tournament at home but I think BCCI and other guys tried their best to ensure it takes place here. The only thing is that it coincided with election. But I don't think interest level will drop as such," he added.

Asked if the government was a bit harsh on IPL, which might have prompted the organisers to shift the event, he said, "I am not in a position to comment on government decisions. I only play cricket not organise tournaments."

Tendulkar, however, felt playing in South Africa would suit the youngsters.

"This is going to help youngsters. They will be rubbing shoulders with the top players for 45 days. Tomorrow they may be asked to travel to Australia or England. So there is always a first time and it will make them better player," he said.

Looking at IPL, Tendulkar felt teams not having icon players got a distinct advantage over others.

"The idea was that all eight teams should be more or less equally strong. But certain teams did not have to take icon players. That gave them an advantage becuase they had more money to buy players," he said.