x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Sachin Tendulkar expects hosts to rebound after tough 2012

Former India batsman asks for fans to be patient ahead of second one-day international against Pakistan.

Sachin Tendulkar, right, retired from the India ODI team after 23 years. Punit Paranjpe / AFP
Sachin Tendulkar, right, retired from the India ODI team after 23 years. Punit Paranjpe / AFP

Sachin Tendulkar has asked India's cricket fans to be more patient as the national team take on Pakistan in the second of three one-day internationals in Kolkata tomorrow.

Tendulkar, who spoke to the media for the first time since ending his 23-year ODI career last month, said MS Dhoni's men were going through a tough period and that it was just a phase.

India had to endure a difficult 2012 in all three forms of the game as they lost their first Test series at home since 2004 after failing to qualify for the Asia Cup one-day international competition and missing out on a semi-final berth at the World Twenty20.

But Tendulkar, the world's most successful batsman in 50-over cricket, was sympathetic toward his former teammates following their five-wicket defeat in the first ODI against Pakistan, in Chennai, on Sunday. The hosts are now faced with the prospect of losing another series if they are beaten at Eden Gardens in Kolkata tomorrow.

"I have no doubt that the team would bounce back," Tendulkar told reporters today. "Even though I am not with the team, my heart is with them.

"At this moment the team requires our support and wishes so that they can play good cricket."

Good batting, at the very least, is expected, with the strip expected to be flatter than the one at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Much to India's relief, Virat Kohli is available for selection after injuring his foot in the first ODI when the batsman slipped at the bowling crease.

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