Sachin Tendulkar said that India’s current bowling attack has what it takes to win overseas. Winning matches away from home, particularly in England and Australia has been a long-time Achilles heel for India. Tendulkar said that India’s win over the Carl Hooper-led West Indies in the 2002 ODI series “changed things.” “Today, we have got a great balance in our team because all spinners can bat, seamers can bat. You saw yesterday (1st ODI against New Zealand), Bhuvneshwar played and Hardik Pandya, these guys are going to change the balance when we start travelling,” said Tendulkar during the book launch of Democracy’s XI by Rajdeep Sardesai.
Tendulkar said that, the time when India beat West Indies in 2002 was when the famous batting line up that consisted of him, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman truly fell into place. “By that time Rahul (Dravid) was there, Sourav (Ganguly) had played for good 5-6 years and Laxman was there, our batting was sort of settled but all in all, for winning abroad you need good bowling attack and we were able to pick 20 wickets,” said the batting great, “On a number of occasions, the problem was to pick 20 wickets and not give too many runs but that slowly started changing.”
India had gone into the series after losing a Test match in Zimbabwe that only reinforced their reputation for being lions at home and pussycats abroad. Even in the West Indies tour, India may have won the ODI series but lost the preceding Test series. It remains one of West Indies’ most prominent series wins in the 21st century. Tendulkar said that lack of a good backup bowler was something India missed at the time. “I feel we were missing a guy who could come in and give some rest to our regular bowlers because when we were travelling, Anil (Kumble) would end up bowling 25-30 overs and that’s too much load,” he said.