Sachin Tendulkar picks his 2022 T20 World Cup semi-finalists

The 2022 T20 World Cup got off to a fascinating start, with Namibia comfortably beating 2014 champions Sri Lanka in the opener in Geelong on Sunday October 16, and Scotland beating two-time winners West Indies in Hobart the next day. The two results set them up well in the first round of the competition, with two teams from each group set to progress to the Super 12 stage.

Sachin Tendulkar, one of the game’s greats, acknowledged the brilliance of both teams and remarked that the gap between the top teams is closed in the shorter format.

“You see, the gap is only closed in shorter formats,” Tendulkar told Sportstar. “As you go into longer formats… I was watching Namibia and the Netherlands yesterday, and they played good cricket. In the shorter format, the associated teams have a reasonable chance of surprising the opposition because there is not much time to recover. In Test cricket, you need a different set of skills to be able to last five days, be competitive, and be at the top of the game. It definitely requires different skills.

“Here, because the format is short, the gap is closed, which leads to more chances of upsets. If you go down to T10, it could become even more, so the format is shorter, the gap is less. That’s how I feel.”

As for his predictions for the four semi-finalists, Tendulkar backed India, the first champions to win the title, while naming hosts Australia and rivals Pakistan among his picks.

“Champions…I would like India to be champions, but my top four would be India, Pakistan, Australia and England,” Tendulkar said. “New Zealand is a dark horse and so is South Africa because they know the conditions and in South Africa you have those conditions in September-October. The locations are more or less the same, it’s that’s why I say the same thing. But the first four would be these, the other two are black horses that can sneak through the back door.

Tendulkar also offered his take on batting burnout for backing up on the non-attacking side, after Charlotte Dean’s burnout by Deepti Sharma at Lord’s last month sparked several debates.

“She was playing by the laws of the game,” Tendulkar said.

“It’s a rule now. If a player runs out of the trick or doesn’t make the trick, then the batter is out, right? Just as he misses a ball heading into the stumps and into the stump line, he receives an lbw. So the ICC introduced the rule that if you are out of the crease (before the ball is thrown) then you are exhausted.

“The spirit of cricket… whatever you play within the rules of the game is the spirit of cricket.”

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