Dec 16, 2008

Sport - Cricket;Morale-boosting win;Srikkanth

Chennai: The chairman of the selection panel, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, said India’s come-from-behind victory in the first Test at Chepauk would instil tremendous belief in the team.

“The side will now believe that it can win from any situation” he told The Hindu, here, on Monday.

Srikkanth termed Sachin Tendulkar’s innings the “greatest he had seen,” from the master batsman.

“Tendulkar took the responsibility of winning the Test upon himself. He was there till the end. He batted with concentration, dedication and determination. It was an outstanding innings.”

Srikkanth added, “Yuvraj (Singh) derived much confidence from watching Tendulkar at the other end. That’s the kind of impact Tendulkar can have on other cricketers.”

The former Indian captain then dwelt on Virender Sehwag’s astonishing innings. “The great aspect of Sehwag’s batting is that he plays his natural game in any situation, on any sort of pitch. His approach stems from enormous confidence he has in his ability.”

Srikkanth went on, “At tea on the fourth day, no one would have thought that India was actually going to win the match. Everyone felt India was sliding towards a defeat. Sehwag changed all that. Having someone like him in the ranks is a great asset for the team. The opponents fear him.”

Turning his attention to Yuvraj, Srikkanth said, “I hope this innings is the beginning of a new phase for him in Test cricket.

“I have always said he has the ability to be a match-winner in Test cricket as well. He batted extremely well in a pressure situation.”

Srikkanth said the Indians combined well as a team in a stressful situation.

“Above all, it was a team effort,” he said.

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