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DTH News : Wouldn't have skipped ODIs if I cared for records: Tendulkar
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#1
Wouldn't have skipped ODIs if I cared for records: Tendulkar

CENTURION: Sachin Tendulkar has always stressed that he never plays for records and it was no different when the media asked him to describe his feelings after completing the historic milestone of 50 Test centuries."I never think about records. I love to focus on preparation and trying to give more than 100 percent on the field. I love to play. Try and keep improving. If I would have been chasing records, I would not have opted out of few ODIs. I believe in producing quality cricket whenever I step on the cricket field.About this particular knock, Sachin said, "Scoring in situation like this gives one immense pleasure. All of us know that how the wicket behaved on the first day of the match. I don't want to give any excuse but wicket was different only on the 1st day.

"It was extremely important to bat well in the 2nd innings. It was even more important to send loud and clear message that we can fight back strongly. I think we have done that."However, the legend feels that his knock of 136 vs Pakistan in Chennai (1999) was the most difficult knock of his career."I think my knock of 136 against Pakistan at Chennai was toughest. Wicket was really deteriorating and quality of bowling attack was outstanding."Sachin also attributed his good show to the bat he has been using for almost one year.

"God has been kind to me. Yes, this bat has given amazing service to me. Normally, a bat doesn't last that long. You may get one bad awkward ball which keeps low and bat gets broken in the toe."I have been lucky as far as this bat is concerned. I know that this bat is not in best of condition as I am using it for so long. I have few bats absolutely ready for match. But the moment, I pick up this bat, I feel that no one can get me out," Sachin said with broad smile on his face.

For the record, Sachin has scored 12 hundreds with this bat including first ever ODI double century.About the state of the match, Sachin said, "I won't rule out possibility of us saving this Test match."


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#2
This ton is for my dad: Tendulkar


CENTURION: The mind went back to the 1999 World Cup in England. Sachin Tendulkar had to rush back to India after losing his father midway through the event. Tendulkar stayed in Mumbai for two days, then returned to England to do duty for the country and promptly score a century, against Kenya. Upon reaching three figures, Tendulkar looked heavenwards, stood still for a moment before acknowledging the cheers from the fans. He later said that he was looking upwards, hoping his father would have seen him do well and would be proud of his son.On Sunday, as India celebrated his 50th Test century, Tendulkar again remembered his father. "Yesterday (Saturday) was my father's birthday. I dedicate this century to him. The first thing I thought of after reaching the hundred was my father."

Tendulkar, who thanked his fans for their 'fabulous' support over the years, said he was happy that the landmark is done with. Was he under any pressure because of the huge expectation? "You guys only created it," Tendulkar said pointing at the media, at the post-match PC. "You built the foundation on which I constructed my innings today."Tendulkar was not sure how he should react when asked about his feelings. "Can't say how I'm feeling. I'm happy... Can't really express how I'm feeling."But when a local journalist asked him if records meant a lot to him, Tendulkar reacted sharply. "I play for the love of the game. I have often requested for time out from cricket so that I can come back refreshed and fit. The Board has given me the rest. If I was after records, I won't ask for rest."

While reiterating that the toss played a crucial role in the Test, Tendulkar said that it could not be an excuse for the team. "The conditions were different on different days but we've to take that." He stressed that a good showing in the second innings was essential for India. "We needed to send a strong message that we're here to fight and I think we've done that."What about his prolific batting in 2010 in which he has seven centuries in 13 Tests? Tendulkar's simple explanation was, "I've been playing well, been enjoying my batting. And in the last couple of years, I've been moving well."Tendulkar also spoke to his fans back home in Hindi and Marathi before letting the TV cameras swarm all over him. Tough job, this man has. On the field, and off it.




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#3
I was too shy to raise my bat after first ton: Tendulkar


Sachin Tendulkar, who reached 50 Test tons on Sunday at Centurion, tells TOI how he reached three figures for the first time on a grey August day in Manchester in 1990.

I was 17, nearly 20 years have gone by, a long time, but it still feels fabulous. The memory is very much fresh and it's a fantastic memory to have. I remember when I scored my hundred, even to show my bat to the entire stadium and the dressing room I was a little shy. If you go back and see my expressions you will see that I was really shy to look up at all the people who were there and acknowledge them. I finally managed to do that.

If I am not mistaken there were 68 overs to go that day and we had lost six wickets when I had the partnership with Manoj Prabhakar. I had decided that I would play my natural game. I had scored 68 in the first innings and that gave me confidence. The partnership with Manoj was an important one. I had decided that it wasn't about survival alone and if I got a ball to put away for a boundary I was prepared to do so.

I felt that it was an extremely important innings in my life because of the fact that we had lost the first Test and if we had lost that one too, the series would have over then and there. It was important to keep our hopes alive in the series. Of course it was also my first Test hundred. It came at the right time, 14th of Aug. 15th Aug was next morning and it was a wonderful coincidence.

I thought Devon Malcolm was quick in patches, Chris Lewis was sharp, but the best bowler on the tour was Angus Fraser. He was their best, throughout the series he bowled really, really well, by far the pick of the lot. There was no question of winning the Test, if at all a result was possible it could only have been in England's favour, the declaration by them was timed in such a way. However much we attacked, there was no chance of winning.

The pitch was two-paced and the odd ball kept low but I wouldn't say it was a difficult wicket to bat on. It was just the pressure created by them that I had to deal with. The wicket hadn't deteriorated. If at all the odd ball kept low, it wasn't taking off as such. When I got to the ton, it was a big relief, my first ton. I remember I was batting in the 80s, 85 or 87 I think, when Angus Fraser bowled a bouncer to which I ducked. It hit the back of the bat and went to fine leg for a single. You know it was somewhere in the back of my mind that I was out on 88 in New Zealand where I missed my 100.

But on that day, I was extremely determined that I would play till the end of the day's play and stay not out. I was not going to stop with 80 or a 100 because it was important that we played out the whole day. I am glad we did.

It was my first tour to England with the Indian team. When you travel with the Indian team, it is a different cup of tea because you play the top sides. Earlier when I had toured with Star Cricket Club and Kailash Gattani, there were some good sides we played but never a 'A' side county team but only B sides. But for the under-19 boys, it was a terrific experience. Even in the B teams there were guys who went on to play Test cricket soon after that, bowlers like England's Allan Mullally, Meyrick Pringle of South Africa, played against us.

With the Indian team, it was superb to play various fast bowlers in the lead up games. I hadn't played the West Indies before and there was Malcolm Marshall as also Ian Bishop and Benjamin. Got to play against the top bowlers and I have always enjoyed that.


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