MS Dhoni, still India’s wicketkeeper and captain when a side featuring Tendulkar won the 2011 World Cup final, turned 38 on Sunday.
“Wish you a happy birthday @msdhoni! Have a great year. All the very best for the next two games,” Tendulkar tweeted.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 7, 2019
When asked what he thought of Tendulkar’s words, New Zealand coach Gary Stead hoped that the India batting legend will pass on the same wish to their player.
“I’m sure he would do that. I didn’t know that but hopefully we have a ‘birthday’ coming up and he wishes one of our guys it too,” Stead told reporters ahead of New Zealand’s training session in Manchester.
India are yet to play New Zealand in the World Cup 2019 as the league match between the two nations was abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled.
New Zealand finished fourth in the 10-team group stage and only edged out Pakistan from a place in the knockout stages on net run-rate.
They also come into Tuesday’s match having lost their last three games — against Pakistan, Australia and England.
But Stead, who saw his side’s group match against India in Nottingham on June 13 washed out without a ball bowled, was unconcerned by the fact few gave New Zealand much of a chance.
“I hope everyone thinks that. I’m not spending a lot of time worrying about what other people are thinking, whether we should be here or not,” he said.
“India are a quality team. There’s no doubt they’ve got match-winners right throughout their line-up.
“Hopefully you’ll see what Kiwis are made of out there as well, that ‘no die’ attitude and I guess stand up when we need to.”
(With AFP inputs)
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