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Tendulkar bats for India's young brigade

Last updated on: September 03, 2010 18:02 IST

Sachin Tendulkar threw his weight behind the youngsters in the Indian team who failed terribly during the tri-series in Sri Lanka, but asked them to minimise mistakes and learn to respond to situations swiftly.

Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma fared poorly in Sri Lanka and it was only Virender Sehwag's heroics that steered India to the final.

- Tendulkar conferred rank of IAF Group Captain

They were castigated by Pakistan bowling legend Wasim Akarm, who described them as 'softies' and 'spoilt'.

But the Indian batting great contended that the young players cannot be labelled as incompetent on the basis of just one bad tour.

"The guys have done well. Just in the last tour, the graph was up and down. Sehwag batted exceptionally well and matches just rallied around him.

"But the youngsters will have to understand that they will have to play around the batsman or bowler who is in good nick. They will be asked to play a supportive role and they will have to start picking those signals," Tendulkar said, after being conferred the honorary rank of group captain by the Indian Air Force.

He was, however, candid enough to say that India did not play as expected in the Sri Lanka tri-series.

"In Sri Lanka we made the finals. We played good in patches and sometimes we were not up to the mark. But the mistakes that we committed, have to be corrected. And it is not last time that there were mistakes. In future there will be mistakes but we will have to minimise those," he said.

"We have wonderful youngsters. A lot of planning is going on. It is not that players go to hotel and forget. Whole world is watching them and nobody wants to fail.

"Sometimes we react [too much]. We will have to make sure that players get all the confidence. And when we will have identified who will play in the World Cup, they will have to be given reasonable role so that they feel confident and up for the contest," he said.

Asked if he feels that mind-boggling sums, offered in T20 leagues like IPL make the youngsters vulnerable to the lure of money, he replied," The priority has to be right. Cricket has to be played in cleanest way and in right spirit. When we play, we always play to win, whether it's IPL's first match or IPL final or CLT20 match."

A lot of former cricketers like Ajit Wadekar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev and singing legend Asha Bhonsle have said in the past that Tendulkar should be awarded Bharat Ratna.

When the Mumbaikar was asked for his view on this, he said, "It's a dream. It's the biggest honour. It is dream of every Indian. Who will not like to get Bharat Ratna?"

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