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  • Sachin Tendulkar is the Paul the Octopus of the Cricket World Cup

    2019 - 06.21

    Live blog, Australia v India from 2.30pm

    It’s the video that has gone viral in India ahead of the country’s crunch Cricket World Cup semi-final on Thursday against hosts Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    In the eyes of many Indians, Sachin Tendulkar could already walk on water thanks to his record-breaking batting feats over a 25-year international career. But now it’s his skills in prediction that has captured the attention of his fans and drummed up comparisons with Paul the Octopus.

    Paul, who resided at a Oberhausen aquarium in Germany, gained fame at the 2010 FIFA World Cup for his successful predictions during the tournament.

    Tendulkar has matched Paul’s feats. Whereas Paul had to clamber into a box with a country’s national flag to make his calls, Tendulkar simply spoke at a media conference.

    During a book launch in London in February for his autobiography Playing It My Way, the former Indian captain was asked who will win the World Cup.

    “I can’t pinpoint any one team but there are a few competitive teams,” said Tendulkar.

    “I would like to name Australia, South Africa, New Zealand (as a dark horse), and India”.


    The four countries qualified for the semi-finals with New Zealand the first through to the final after an epic semi-final win against South Africa on Tuesday at Eden Park in Auckland.

    Tendulkar was then asked whether England could make the semi-finals.

    His answer of “No, not really” was met with laughter from the room. He went on to say of England, “Anything is possible at this point, but going by the current form England will not be that competitive.”

    Tendulkar’s comments came after England had twice beaten India in the tri-series in Australia in January, but he added that it was the defending champion’s spin options that gave them the edge over other teams.

    Fairfax Media

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