New Delhi: There has been a raging debate whether the next crop of Indian youngsters are passionate enough about playing Test cricket but Sachin Tendulkar reckons that players cannot be forced into liking the longer format.
"To make someone like Test cricket, it has to come from within. There is no set formula that you have to do certain things and then you start liking Test cricket. I grew up dreaming about playing for India - that was the biggest thing I wanted to achieve: to play Test cricket for India and to do well," Tendulkar said.
"Every practice session I went out, I was prepared to work as hard as any of my coaches wanted me to; the only thing
I wanted was an India cap. Yes, maybe there are individuals around who feel, 'If I don't play Test cricket I don't miss much.' You need not force them into something they don't want to be," he told a sports channel.
"If someone wants to be in Test cricket, then he will find his way, will be ready to push himself as hard as anyone to realise his dreams. I don't like to push someone to like Test cricket and make him like Test cricket forcibly. I would just keep those two individuals separate," Tendulkar, who has scored 15470 runs from 188 Test matches, said.
Having played top flight cricket for 23 years now, Tendulkar has forged successful on-field partnerships with the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and now the next generation of players.
Asked how he has managed to bond with the players, he replied, "It's important to know each other's nature, each other's personality, how they react to various situations... I have played with the current lot for some time, and there was one stage, when I was already a part of the Indian team for six years when Rahul and Sourav joined me.
"So in every generation this process has to take place. I can say that I have played with all of them, so that understanding is very much there," he added.