London: Sachin Tendulkar is one century away from reaching 100 international tons and has an opportunity to achieve that on a historic occasion at Lord's, where India and England will play the 2000th Test later this month. Tendulkar, who has 51 centuries in Tests and 48 in ODIs, however, said the landmark wasn't preoccupying his build-up to the game. (In pics: Sachin Tendulkar on 99)
"I am not thinking of records," Tendulkar told the Daily Telegraph. "I am just thinking of enjoying this tour. The secret to any performance is not in chasing records. I think about, 'What is the best way to enjoy the game, and how can I enhance that enjoyment factor?'
"If I enhance the enjoyment then, naturally, the standard of play becomes higher. To me, that is more important. If I am playing well, things can happen. I don't need to go around chasing them. It is a process. You construct a solid foundation and build on it."
Tendulkar opted out of India's tour of the West Indies, where they won the ODI series 3-2 and the Tests 1-0. It was India's first international assignment after their World Cup win, of which Tendulkar was an integral part. "I was extremely delighted. It was something I had always dreamt about," Tendulkar said of India's triumph in his sixth World Cup. "You start playing cricket, and one day you walk away as part of a world champion team.
"I took up playing serious cricket because in 1983, we won the World Cup, and that was a big turning point in terms of considering cricket a full-time profession. That moment was a decisive one. I felt, 'I want to play for India one day'. It was a huge boost. From then I started working hard."
When asked of his plans for the future, Tendulkar said it was important he left behind a good legacy whenever he chose to leave the game. "For me, it's not about breaking records or creating new ones. It's about adding value to my team. Records will be set by me, they might be broken by someone else.
"They're not going to stay permanently. But the impression that I leave on people will last forever, I feel. The impression that I leave behind - to me that is important. If I can motivate the next young cricketers, that will be a big contribution."