While India look like the favourites against New Zealand ahead of the first semi-final clash at Old Trafford, batting icon Sachin Tendulkar has predicted that the side which can deal with pressure better will be the triumphant one. Though players do not say it in front of media or fans, they feel the pressure, especially before such a huge affair, Sachin believes.
"Pressure will be there, it is going to be a constant companion. There are those pressure moments, you just have to absorb them and we have players in our team who are good at that. It is just about winning those close moments," Tendulkar told India Today.
The former Indian captain also asked Virat Kohli to be consistent as has been the template right throughout the competition so far. Also, he has asked the skipper to not change things just for the sake of it but stick to the mantra which has worked for the side so far in the tournament.
'Stick to your brand of cricket'
"If we can stick to our brand of cricket, we don't need to compare ourselves with anyone. I would like to tell them when you play New Zealand and hopefully after that, stick to your brand of cricket. All the build-up that is happening is outside the team, within the team it is about preparation," Sachin further added.
Speaking on the composition of the side, the batting icon said that India should find a place for Ravindra Jadeja as the all-rounder offers a massive plus for the team. The left-arm spinner was impressive in his first match of this World Cup where he picked a wicket in his first over and then kept things under control right through his spell. Also, with his batting and fielding, he becomes a huge asset for captain Virat Kohli.
"Jadeja is one option I would like to throw on the table to the team management. I feel if Dinesh Karthik is going to bat at No. 7 then possible Jadeja could be an option there because his left-arm spin can come in handy. In a big match you would want a cover-up because we are playing just 5 bowlers," Sachin said.
India rested Mohammed Shami in the previous match, but his replacement Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not impressive at all. He lacked rhythm and control and gave away 73 runs in his quota of 10 overs. Sachin has now advocated for the inclusion of Shami as the fast-bowler has been impressive in all the matches he has played. Also, he has enjoyed the condition in Manchester, which should also be factored in.
"I would also be tempted to bring back Mohammed Shami because against West Indies he was good at the same venue. When we talk about Old Trafford there are pleasant experiences for Shami, he came back into the team and picked up wickets. So I would be tempted to have him back," Sachin further added.