Bedi's tongue-lashing for the Indian team November 26, 2003

'Sachin lacks endurance': Bedi

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Bedi: new role as fitness guru?
© Getty Images

Bishan Bedi has fired more salvos at the Indian team, which is currently touring Australia. Among the players he questioned was Sachin Tendulkar, who, Bedi claimed, lacked the staying power to make a really big score. "He gets tired after 50 or 60 runs. He will score hundreds, but he doesn't have the endurance of our friend Matthew Hayden," said Bedi, who went on to add, "That beautiful glow that was on Sachin's face when he was coming through is missing."

Normally one who shies away from responding to such criticism, Tendulkar hit back with a terse comment of his own: "It could be their [the critics'] opinion, but it doesn't have to be a fact."

Bedi also questioned the fitness levels of some of the other players, and hit out at the balance of the squad and the abilities of their captain. "The biggest problem is their physical fitness. It is very low," Bedi was quoted as saying in The Courier-Mail, an Australian daily.

"There is a big question-mark over six or seven of them and their lasting ability. Some of them will be happy to sit outside and not play. They are not working hard enough. They are just mucking around. The concentration levels and the self-esteem of the current Indian side are seldom stable.

"It sounds unfair to say this, but I get the impression that when they are on the field, they are thinking about the commerce, and when they are doing their commerce, they are thinking about their game."

Bedi was equally scathing about the composition of the Indian squad for the Australian tour. "They have picked a string of medium-pacers who will be a staple diet for the Aussies. They will get hammered all over the place," he predicted. "Our best bet would have been spin, even in Australia. We just don't have a game plan how to bowl on good wickets."

Ganguly didn't escape the tongue-lashing either. "If you are the captain, you have to lead by the front. You can't just do it by mouthing rubbish. You have to be aggressive with the bat."