Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has warned India that South Africa are a much better team than Pakistan ahead of their group match in Melbourne on Sunday.
India beat their arch-rivals Pakistan by 76 runs in their opening World Cup group match on Sunday, but according to Tendulkar, it won’t be so easy against South Africa.
According to Tendulkar, The Proteas are a ‘far, far superior’ team than Pakistan.
He said a good opening partnership and running between the wickets would be key to beating the Proteas, who are regarded as one of the favourites at the tournament.
‘It won’t be so easy to pick singles,’ Tendulkar told Headlines Today TV on Monday, reports AFP.
‘They (South Africa) are much faster, their throwing arm is more powerful and their outfielding. . .they cover the area much better than Pakistan.’
Tendulkar singled out South Africa’s spearhead Dale Steyn as the man India’s batsmen needed to fear.
‘Without any doubt he’s their strike bowler. He’s bowled unbelievably well, he 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.’
Tendulkar also backed India opener Rohit Sharma to come good at the World Cup, despite scoring just 15 runs against Pakistan, along with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who recently led the side on a miserable three-month tour of Australia.
‘I wouldn’t put any pressure on Rohit. Next time you’ll get it right,’ said Tendulkar.
He was adamant that India could retain the trophy they won on home soil in 2011.
‘To win the World Cup the whole team will have to play consistently play well. . .it’s not just about a couple of individuals.’