Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said he was not convinced with the ICC Umpires Referral system which he experienced first hand on India’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2008.
“When I was there in Sri Lanka last time,I did not particularly like the Umpires Referral system. There is still an element of uncertainty in the system,” the champion batsman said in Mumbai after launching a new product for Aviva Life Insurance.
“I still prefer the hotspot system to identify the contact between the ball and bat. The LBW decisions are not convincing enough as the Hawk Eye gives a 22-yard view which the new referral system does not agree with as to whether the ball would have hit the stumps or not,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar also ruled himself out from playing in two Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand in India’s tour,commencing later this month.
About his decision not to play anymore Twenty20 internationals,Tendulkar said that the reason was he did not want to disturb the settled team,which won the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007.
“I would continue not to play Twenty20 (international). The team is settled and I don’t want to disturb it. That’s why I won’t be a part of the T20 team (in New Zealand),” Tendulkar said.
The Indian team is scheduled to start the tour in NZ with two Twenty20 Internationals.
“When I had decided not to play Twenty20 after Indian tour in 2007,my body was a bit tired and it needed rest. It was not appropriate to go (to South Africa) and not give my best. After that the team had settled down and did well,” the ace batsman said.
However,Tendulkar said he will continue to be part of the Mumbai Indians team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he was associated with it from the beginning.
“I have been with Mumbai Indians from the beginning and there is continuity,” he said.
Tendulkar refused to comment on the umpiring decisions which went against him in the recent tour to Sri Lanka where India played five ODIs against the island nation.
“The ICC doesn’t allow us to comment about umpiring decisions. Players find it sometimes a bit disappointing (about these decisions). I don’t want to say anything because the entire world has seen it,” he said.
Tendulkar was given out LBW in three matches,all debatable decisions,that he played on the Lanka tour before he was rested for the last two ODIs.
On the upcoming tour to New Zealand for which the Indian team is to be picked on Friday and will fly in the early hours of February 19,Tendulkar said there were a few challenges facing the squad.
“It is going to be a challenge playing New Zealand in New Zealand,where the conditions are tough. They are completely different (from others),” he said.
“In Wellington,if the ball comes at 130 km per hour to the batsman from one end,it will be 5km more from the other end with the wind behind the bowler,” he said.
“It will affect batting. Against the head wind,the batsmen sometimes cannot keep their eyes open,” he explained.
After the conclusion of the one-day series,India are set to play three Test matches against the hosts with the final Test (April 3-7) scheduled to be played in Wellington.
The second ODI on March 6 is also to be held at the same windy venue.
Tendulkar said that the new players who have no experience of these conditions would find it somewhat difficult.
On an optimistic note,he also added that there were experienced batsmen and coaches in the team to guide them.
“We are prepared for all challenges,” he said.
Tendulkar did not read much into the fact that the Indian squad would head into the series without the benefit of playing any practice ties to get used to conditions in New Zealand.
“The international (cricket) calendar is like that. And we have enough experienced players in the team. The team has got a good balance of experience and youth,” he said.
Tendulkar felt that the expected return of Harbhajan Singh,who missed the short tour of Sri Lanka due to hamstring injury,would be a big boost.
“Harbhajan will have a big role to play. His contribution has always been important and will remain so,” he said about the off-spinner’s importance to the team’s chances.
Talking about cricket records,the champion batsman felt that the batting marks of Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman,would remain unbeatable.
“As far as cricket records are concerned no one can beat the record of Sir Don Bradman. He has to come back to do those again,” said Tendulkar whose batting was compared to his own by the late Australian captain.
When he was alive,the Australian icon had invited the Indian ace to his Adelaide residence for a tete-a-tete,with another champion cricketer Shane Warne,on his 90th birthday.
Tendulkar also said that the good show of the Indian team,in a way,acts as a balm for the countrymen in these difficult economic times.
“When the Indian team wins it’s a case of ‘tension chhodo,cricket khelo’ (leave tension aside,play cricket). We play a big part in making people happy and bring smiles on their faces. They sit glued to their TV sets,” he said.