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Tendulkar optimistic about Indian team’s future 

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar believes the Indian team is on an upward curve but should show signs of improvement to play a better brand of cricket.

India lost the three-match T20 series 0-2 and are preparing to face South Africa in a five-game One-Day International series.

“Yeah, it has been moving in good direction. I definitely feel we need to play better cricket and there is room for improvement. As long as there is drive, things will be on track,” Tendulkar has been quoted as saying by latest edition of The Week magazine.

Tendulkar said the players should be committed to the cause of giving their best for the country and should keep their focus intact.

“You cannot lose focus as the whole country is watching you. To meet these expectations or to get close to meeting them, you need a lot of commitment,” Tendulkar, who retired in 2013 from competitive cricket, said.

The 41-year-old added the Indian Premier League (IPL) has benefited Indians to improve as players, also giving a vote of confidence to their current crop Indian batsmen’s ability to play spin blowing.

“No, I don’t think so. The IPL has helped. Earlier, the players (foreigners) did not get enough time to play in India. Now, the top four to five players, or more, from each country are part of the IPL. The coaches are also spending a lot of time in India and they are adapting to Indian conditions,” the 2011 World Cup winner said.

The legend also feels that franchise-based sports leagues, which are currently in vogue in the country, can have positive effect on the sporting spectrum of the nation.

He himself co-owns the Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Kerala Blasters.

“That is the future. we witnessed the competitiveness in these leagues. Above all, there is appreciation and following, which is the best tonic for any sportsperson. I am extremely happy that other sports are being appreciated and you are seeing the results.”

“I support and follow other sports such as kabaddi and badminton. But honestly, I have not thought about being an owner in another sport. And even if I am not there in that role, nothing stops me from supporting the sport.”

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award winner also gave a sneak peek into his sporting after life saying that though he is happily retired, he is attached to the game as ever.

“At first, things were about achieving targets, winning matches and doing what the team required me to do. It was exciting. The second half of my life, the second innings is all about satisfaction. I want to be able to do something for the less privileged. I have been able to do so to a certain extent and I felt extremely satisfied,” he said.

“No, there is no detachment from cricket. I will always be in love with the game. I cannot say that I sit and watch all the matches regularly but I do try and follow them when I get time.”

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