Lower-order batsmen captured critical moments: Tendulkar

Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar has spoken highly of India’s lower-order batsmen for capturing the “critical moments”, which he felt played an important part in the team’s successful home season.

India won 10 of their 13 Tests in series involving New Zealand, England and Australia, besides a one-off game against Bangladesh.

“The season has been tremendous for our team. There have been challenging moments when I felt our number 7, 8, 9 contributed big time. Those were critical moments where the Test match could have gone either way, but you have taken away the match (from opposition),” Tendulkar said.

The batting maestro added, “When any team which has that kind of strength when bowlers can go out and score those critical runs for you, a keeper can score hundred for you, you become a solid side.

“So, obviously, first six batters and 7,8,9 can also contribute,” Tendulkar told reporters late last night here.

People like Wriddhiman Saha contributed handsomely, scoring three centuries during the season, and Tendulkar described the wicketkeeper’s feat as “incredible”.

“These guys have really played well at crunch moments, which can decide the Test match and sometimes a series. I felt that was the difference and you can see it.

“When both teams are going neck to neck and then suddenly one team starts pulling away, you can see the difference and that’s what has happened,” said Tendulkar.

To start with, India swept aside New Zealand 3-0, then hammered England 4-0 in a five-match rubber, won the lone Test against Bangladesh and then notched up a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Australia.

The run-machine spoke about the depth in the current side.

“When we have a full strength side, it’s a good problem to have. And that means your bench strength is also very strong and that is how champion teams are made.

“Everyone is watching us, the way we have played and to maintain and stay at this level is something that I am sure everyone is wanting to do and the rest of us are looking forward to (it).

“I have got lot of faith and confidence in our team,” he signed off.