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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 14:48 GMT
Tendulkar hits back at critics
Sachin Tendulkar
I should be doing what the team wants and not what someone sitting 85 yards away in the commentators' box feels
Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar has taken a swipe at critics who accused him of curbing his natural instincts at the crease.

The star India batsman responded by saying he had altered his approach over time for the benefit of the team.

"It's very easy to say that you should go out and play your natural game, but sometimes you end up taking plenty of risks," he tells the Wisden Cricketer.

"If I kept playing the same throughout my career, it would mean the opposition have not been using their brains."

Tendulkar, who is just one behind Sunil Gavaskar's world record 34 Test centuries, was especially angered by criticism of his displays during the Asia Cup when India were beaten by Sri Lanka in the final.

"It's not all about what my natural game is but about executing a team plan," he stressed.

"I should be doing what the team wants me to and not what someone sitting 85 yards away in the commentators' box feels."

Tendulkar also pointed the finger at selectors for his difficult captaincy tenure four years ago, when India won just four Tests, drew 12 and lost nine before he was sacked.

"I felt there was a lack of support from every direction," he said.

"I wasn't happy with the selectors at all. It just didn't work out. They had different ideas, I had different ideas.

"We were not heading in the right direction and it was affecting me as a person.

"I couldn't switch off at all. Even 10 days after a match I would still be thinking about why this happened and why that happened.

"The ultimate thing was to play cricket. That's what I said when they removed me from the captaincy.

"I said that you can stop me from leading India but no one can stop me from playing cricket."

Tendulkar returned to action in the third Test against Australia last month after being out for two months with tennis elbow.

Tendulkar misses first Test
05 Oct 04 |  Other International
New treatment for Tendulkar
12 Sep 04 |  Cricket
Double ton delights Sachin
03 Jan 04 |  Aus v Ind


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