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"I Don't Care What The Selectors Think"

Sachin Tendulkar gave his first detailed interview since being deposed from captaincy to Outlook. Excerpts:

"I Don't Care What The Selectors Think"

How does it feel being a father?
It feels good but I haven't had much time to spend with her. Sara's gone on me.

There have been nearly three dozen changes in the Indian team in the past year. Will player insecurity bring out the best in them?
Obviously not. Insecurity creeping in is the worst thing that can happen to a player. But complacency also cannot be allowed to set in. Only a few can be matchwinners and they have to be given all the confidence in the world. The selectors should pick a core set of players and pick from that. Marvan Attapattu did not score runs for five years, but the Lankans persisted. Look what he's doing now. You have to give your players a fair run.

What do you think went wrong with your captaincy?
Right now I am too close to the event. But the thing is we all make mistakes. Also, it's always better to learn earlier on rather than later. I have learnt now.

You are said to have worked on players individually?
Yes. There are a few players you can speak to generally and put across your message. Some are different and you have to choose your way of putting across your view keeping in mind their temperament.

Some feel that with your aura and star billing you could have dictated terms as captain.
It's not that easy.

Do you think you got a fair run?
I always said that we should be looking at the 1999 World Cup rather than tomorrow. But I am not complaining about not being given a longer run. There is a tendency developing in this country, or rather the subcontinent, to judge a team or players by their one-day performance. Tests should be the yardstick.

Do you buy the theory of separate sides for the two forms of cricket?
The Australians weren't the first to do that.I started it when we toured South Africa.

Are you bothered about your place in history?
I don't think I have reached that stage yet. I have always felt my best is yet to come.

The selectors cited poor batting form for removing you as captain.
Batting gives me personal satisfaction. I can't compare the feeling I have when I do well with any other emotion. I also don't care what the selectors think. It doesn't matter to me if I am captain or not. I only want to win games.

A factor that worked against you was that your poor batting form coincided with your captaincy.
I scored over 1,000 runs in both forms of cricket. Aravinda de Silva had the best year of his life and he scored about 200 more runs than me. This was my worst season. With me expectations are much higher.

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