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Tendulkar backs India to do well as World Cup holders

Sachin Tendulkar at an event

Sachin Tendulkar at an eventMumbai: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar today backed defending champions India to do well in next year’s 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, saying the number one ODI side is ready for the tough challenge coming up in five months time.

“The World Cup will be played next year in Australia and New Zealand and I have got some fond memories of ’91-92, when we played in Australia and New Zealand. Just a gentle reminder to everyone here that the defending champions are ready to defend,” Tendulkar said at an event at the Cricket Club of India with Australian PM Tony Abbott in attendance.

Abbott was also given life-time membership by the Club on the occasion.

The retired cricketer was obviously referring to India’s superb display in the ongoing five-match ODI rubber against hosts England after a dismal run in the preceding Test series which they lost 1-3 to England.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men have bounced back in brilliant style by wrapping up the ODI series after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead with one game remaining to be played tomorrow.

India will now host West Indies for a short series and then tour Australia in December-Janaury before moving into the 2015 World Cup scheduled between February 14 to March 29.

The Men in Blue would go into the show piece event trying to defend their crown they got by defeating Sri Lanka in a pulsating final at the Wankhede stadium on April 2, 2011.

Tendulkar, who quit all forms of the game after playing his 200th Test in November 2013, was part of that victorious squad led by Dhoni.

The Master Blaster though fondly recollected one of his earlier visits to Australia to meet the country’s greatest-ever sports icon Donald Bradman on his 90th birthday.

“I think it was 1980 or’82, when my neighbour first showed me a letter that he had received from Sir Don. He said ‘I had written a letter to him, to which Sir Don has actually replied.’ We checked out his autograph.

“I was too young to know about Sir Don at that time. Little did I know that 19-20 years down the line I would actually be visiting Sir Don’s place to wish him on his 90th birthday. That was an experience in itself,” Tendulkar said.

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