NEW DELHI: In 1992, Sachin Tendulkar played his first World Cup. It had been just three years since he made a ‘bloody nosed’ international debut against the Pakistan pace battery. But little did the then 18-year-old Tendulkar know that he will go on to play five more ICC World Cups, winning the trophy in his last World Cup hurrah at home in 2011.
ICC WORLD CUP 2019: India open campaign against South Africa
Before Tendulkar, only Javed Miandad knew what it felt like to play six World Cups. He might have hung up his cricket boots, but whenever the showpiece event is around the corner, Tendulkar seems to have that unmatched adrenaline rush, which is set to once again grip the imagination of the cricketing world.“Representing the nation is the highest honour and to play the world cup is possibly the biggest tournament any cricketer can play,” Sachin told Timesofindia.com. “When these two things coincide, it makes it a big tournament and memories that last forever.”For sure, making his World Cup debut was one of the finest memories Tendulkar carries. But that 1992 tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand was also unique, compared to the other five Tendulkar featured in.Before the upcoming edition beginning in England and Wales on May 30, the World Cup in 1992 was the last time when a full round-robin format was used. It’s not a surprise then that Tendulkar was quick to touch upon that and pointed out that peaking too soon in this long-drawn format could prove to be dangerous.Tendulkar-1992WC-getty(Sachin Tendulkar in action against Pakistan during the 1992 World Cup – Getty Images)“It’s a long tournament, new format, so pacing yourself cleverly is going to be a critical factor,” he said. “We (India) just need to stay focused on the process and the result will take care of itself. That is what I would say: Stay focused on the process and enjoy these moments.”
Tendulkar saw India’s World Cup journey in the 2015 edition from the sidelines for the first time in 23 years. The MS Dhoni-led team lost to Australia in the semi-finals. While Dhoni is still there in the scheme of things, holding the team together with captain Virat Kohli, the Indian squad overall has a different hue compared to the one in 2015.endulkar spoke about that, while maintaining that it is “more or less the same squad”.“I think (in) the current World Cup squad, we are looking at a couple of all-rounders, in someone like Hardik (Pandya), a seam-bowling all-rounder. His inclusion is going to be critical. (Also) Vijay Shankar, who can bat and bowl.“We are also looking at quality wrist spinners (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal) to bowl in the middle overs. We have also got Ravindra Jadeja, who has been there for a while,” Sachin said. “These inclusions would give a new dimension to the team compared to 2015.”In the build-up to the World Cup, Tendulkar ranked Jasprit Bumrah as the best bowler currently in limited-overs cricket. Bumrah’s fellow pacers in the World Cup squad.