Batsmen will hold key Down Under: Tendulakar

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (UNI) Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar feels the key to do well 'Down Under' is to get heaps of runs on the scoreboard so as to give the bowlers a chance to take 20 wickets in a Test.

The master blaster said, ''We have to put up a total on a scoreboard and more total better it is for us. It is better for the bowlers so the batters will have to put up a good show.'' A view echoed by Team India captain Anil Kumble.

Dubbed as the tour of vengeance after the ill tempered Future Cup with banters between visiting Australian side with that of host India spilling onto the field.

India had given the Kangaroos a run for their money during their earlier tour in 2000 under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly. But situation has changed with Anil Kumble now taking over the mantle of captaincy from the dependable Rahul Dravid.

The maestro though believes that the visiting Indian side has enough ammunition in their armoury to compete with the Australian side which is currently on the threshold of breaking its own record of most consecutive Test matches (16) won.

''We have terrific players, great players in our team and we have the potential to compete and we all believe will go out and compete,'' Tendulkar told a news channel.

The Oz has already won 14 matches and is looking to break the record of their former captain Steve Waugh. India can afford to play the role of spoilsport which they had done earlier by halting the march of the all conquering Steve Waugh's Australian side in their 1998 tour to India.

On his fourth visit Down Under, Tendulkar said he is looking forward to the challenge of facing the Aussies, who will be missing the illustrious duo of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

''I am looking forward to the Australian tour. A lot of things to learn on the tour.'' When asked if this tour will be as special as the others in the past, in 92, 99 and in 2000, Tendulkar said, ''Every tour is special for me the moment I play for India it becomes special. So it doesn't matter if it is Australia, South Africa, England or any other tour.'' ''Whenever I am playing for India it's a special moment because as a child I dreamt of playing for the country, dreamt of wearing that cap and its special because I am living with my dream,'' he said.

Describing the 90's jinx as a mere coincidence, the Mumbai batsman said, ''I would like to think it is just a coincidence. And when it has to come, it will come. As long as I'm doing the right job for the team, nothing else matters.'' ''I'm not allowed to say it, but there were some decisions which could have gone in my favour. But it's all part and parcel of the game, it happens. And there were few occasion where it just happened.'' ''I don't want to keep thinking about it, every now and then because eventually what matters is whether India is winning matches or not. And India has won most of the games and that is more satisfying than scoring a hundred.'' Adding that he will like to score more runs but it is important that the team do well also.

''Obviously, I would like to score more runs. It is not something, which I'll sit in my room and start thinking about. I should just go out and worry about the way I play. And that's been quite satisfying,'' he said.

Denying all the talks of his impending retirement from the shorter version of the game Tendulkar said, ''I think we should put that to an end. If I decide to do something like that, I will let you know. I am enjoying the game, so there is no question of me leaving.'' Even after close to two decades in international cricket the little master is still enjoying his game to the hilt. The recent good show overseas has come as a added bonus to him.

When asked about the series win in England, Tendulkar said, ''Apart from me, Anil, Rahul, Sourav, we all have been waiting for that moment for a long, long time. When it actually happens, it's a special feeling.

''We kept telling all the youngsters that this is a special moment, it has happened to you on your first tour itself. For a few guys like Piyush Chawla and Robin Uthappa, it has been happening for them on their first tour. And I said it's a special moment, believe me, so better enjoy it,'' he said.

''Once you learn to celebrate these things, you'll want to enjoy now and again and it becomes a habit. To get into that habit of winning matches is extremely important. And because we had played good cricket together, there was a reason to celebrate. Nothing tastes better than victory. It's the best thing to happen,'' he said.

UNI

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