Sachin Tendulkar believes the Indian team has a reservoir of experience to tap into in the form of Anil Kumble, the new head coach, during a busy season in which they play 17 Tests starting with the four in the West Indies. Kumble, Tendulkar said, will train the team to show fight in all situations.
"It's about being a tough character and being able to stand on your feet in tough moments. That's what I feel Anil will teach them," Tendulkar told ESPNcricinfo at the launch of Spartan International in London. "There are crunch moments in any match, so approaching those moments is important. He will be out there to win each and every moment."
While Tendulkar, who was a member of the BCCI committee that played a key role in selecting the coach, didn't go into the details of the selection process, he was effusive in his praise for Kumble. He termed him a "hard competitor" who will not compromise on work ethic.
"My experience with Anil has been fantastic," Tendulkar said. "He has been a match-winner, and the guys have got a lot to learn from him. Anil is ready to share everything he has learnt from this wonderful sport. He played for close to 20 years, so there is plenty to share. I'll just tell the players to grasp as much information from Anil as possible, and enjoy the game above everything else."
On the topic of bat size, something that has been in the news regularly of late, Tendulkar said he reflected Australia batsman David Warner's sentiments: flat pitches are a bigger threat to the game than any other perceived imbalance between bat and ball.
"The wickets need to change; they need to be more helpful for bowlers," Tendulkar said. "In T20s, the greatest of bowlers are being reverse-swept. Three-hundred is no longer competitive in ODIs.
"So there should be at least one format where bowlers have a better chance of executing their skills and making it more interesting for spectators. It's difficult for someone to sit for five days, so you have to look at changing surfaces. I don't think it's got much to do with bats, but I'm sure people on the [relevant] panel will be able to look into it. That's what David Warner has spoken about too."