Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar feels Indians have to respect Dale Steyn when they play South AfricaReuters

The Indian team have started the ICC World Cup 2015 on the right note as they defeated Pakistan in their first match. It was an all round performance where both the bowlers and the batsmen delivered the goods.

But, the Indian team needs to come up with similar performances throughout the competition, if they are to defend the World Cup crown, which they won in 2011.

Former Indian batsman, Sachin Tendulkar feels that India needs to take it step by step and further stated that they can even play better that they did against Pakistan.

"India needs to go step-by-step and don't think about just the quarters but take it match by match.

"We can match the likes of Australia, South Africa. We can play even better than the way we played Pakistan. Our batting can do even better and our bowling needs to continue same way. The series in Australia will help us... playing against the top sides makes your game better," Tendulkar told Headlines Today.

Tendulkar was all praise for Virat Kohli, who came up with a brilliant century. He scored 107 runs from 126 balls. It was a match winning knock by the Delhi lad.

"Virat is extremely passionate, he has the hunger, wants to win matches for India and makes the captain's job easy," Tendulkar said.

"Virat took time to settle down and constructed a beautiful innings."

India play one of the favourites of the tournament, South Africa next. The Proteas are one of the most balanced side in the competition with both bat and ball, so India needs to be on their toes against the African nation.

A victory against the Proteas would do their confidence a world of good as well, after their pathetic display against Australia in the Test series and also during the tri-series.

Tendulkar feels opening will hold the key against South Africa. The fate of the match could also depend on how well India plays Dale Steyn, one of the best bowlers of the modern era.

"Opening will be critical against South Africa, running between wickets has to be good against South Africa as they are a terrific fielding side, taking singles will be tougher," Tendulkar said.

"You can't pre-decide how to play Steyn, he could also have a bad day, you have to decide in the moment but you have to respect Dale Steyn, you need to be watchful upfront but take your opportunities."

Against Pakistan, India lost Rohit Sharma quite early, but his fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan batted well, despite being under pressure after being out of form in Australia during the tri-series.

Pressure should not be put on Rohit Sharma, feels Tendulkar.

"Don't put pressure on Rohit, should not put doubt in a player's mind. Rohit doesn't need to worry."