Tendulkar still needed: Dravid
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Criticism of Sachin Tendulkar might be mounting rapidly after a string of poor performances but his former teammate Rahul Dravid has spoken up for him.
"India need him now more than ever. At 1-1 in a tight series, it's going to be very important for senior players to stand up and who better than Sachin to do that," Dravid was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. Former players such as Sunil Gavaskar have urged Tendulkar to discuss his plans with selectors but Dravid says the 39-year-old has shown signs that runs might be around the corner.
"I thought he was a little scratchy and looked a little under-prepared against New Zealand. Here, I know it seems strange to say after he's had three failures, but he's actually looking quite good. He's played a couple of straight drives, he's played a couple of shots that when I was playing with him, you knew he was playing well if he was playing those shots," he said.
Dravid said that shot selection cost Tendulkar at Ahmedabad, where he miscued an attempted lofted shot, while he got two good balls in the Mumbai Test.
"He'll be disappointed with the shot he played to get out in Ahmedabad on a relatively flatter wicket, and then to see other people score runs," Dravid said.
"Here, he was a bit unlucky: the first ball that really spun on the first morning was the one that got him. Until then there weren't too many balls spinning. And then he played for the spin in the second innings and the ball straightened on a track on which every ball was spinning."
Dravid said the crushing defeat in Mumbai could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for India as players would work harder. "They might have to work harder for the wins but it'll also give their batsmen a chance to be able to put up big scores, and show they are good players of spin."