A 16-year old boy still lives within me: Tendulkar

Updated: 13 November 2009 14:35 IST

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who will complete 20 long momentous years in international cricket, on Friday said his hunger for runs never died.

New Delhi:

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who will complete 20 long momentous years in international cricket, on Friday said his hunger for runs never died at any stage.

"The day I wore my India cap my most memorable moment. I was on cloud 9. The dream was to play for India. Nothing bigger than that. Very fortunate to be living that dream. Walking in the playing eleven the journey began there."

Sachin accepted the fact that his first tour in 1989 was not easy.

"45 days, party time, first tour. Wearing a moustache and lipstick, it was a party time. But the cricket in Pakistan was very tough."

"From 1989 thing have changed, T20, TV umpires. The most noticeable change is because of T20. It's forcing batsmen to try new things with Test and ODI cricket. And now we see a lot more results in Test cricket", said the milestone man.

Tendulkar said he changed his batting style according to changing times.

"Along with time I've changed too. I've tried to make myself a better cricketer. Always believe there has to be a purpose when I practice. It's a never-ending process. You need to be on your toes."

The ace batsman also took the opportunity to thank his family and the kind of support he as been bestowed with.

"Its a lot of hard work. There are a certain things that all sportsmen have to follow. For me, I was very lucky to have my family. My mum fed me well, my dad supported me and my brother guided me. I represent my family. I'm there alone when I go out there. But I have great support. That's why I've managed to stay out there for so long. And for that I also have to thank people of this country."

"I've not made any effort to stay humble. It's just my upbringing. Nobody in my family got carried away by my success. That is where my family made sure my feet were on the ground."

"My brother Ajit contributes to my learning the most. He knows my batting more than any other person. I also seek Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri's advice."

He also thanked God and fans for showering blessings upon him.

"God's been kind. I've worked hard. And support and wishes have helped."

The Little Master, who is known for his amicable behaviour on and off the field, said aggression should help one in progressing.

"Aggression should be inside, not on the outside. Aggression should help you, not the opposition."

On captaining Team India again, Tendulkar said, "Everything's working just find. I'm happy to play the mentoring role. It doesn't matter who's captaining the side as long as we're all contributing for India's cause."

David Boon was also one of those who gave the young Sachin some useful tips.

"David boon I met is Australia in 91, I hadn't played the West Indies fast bowlers. We were playing a triangular series in Australia. And I'd watched boon so I thought I should pick up tips from him."

Sachin mentioned the fact that he went through special training to face the legendary bowler Shane Warne.

"I prepared differently for Warne. I asked all my colleagues to keep bowling round the wicket in the rough outside leg stump. L Siva also helped in the process."

When asked to pick either Warne or Muralitharan as his favourite, the ace Indian batsman said, "I think anyone who goes past 500 or 600 wickets. Both are match winners and fabulous bowlers. I can't choose."

When asked about his most memorable on-field moment, Sachin recalled his first series and said, "When I got hurt by the Younis bouncer in Sialkot, I clearly remember. A lot of people get shattered when you get injured. I've been hurt before on my nose. So the fear of getting hurt was not there. I decided I'm not going to move."

Sachin expected to get selected before Pakistan series in 1989 but his studies came in his way.

"I remember Raj bhai was the chairman(of the selection committee). We were playing semis against Delhi. There were talks that I would go to the West Indies (before pak series). But Raj bhai very clearly told me that I had to give my SSC exams and would not be selected."

When asked about match fixing and its impact, Sachin said, " It was a dark phase. What was fascinating was the series we played against Australia right after. Both these series were instrumental in bringing the crowds back."

Sachin's respect for bowlers only increased with every passing game

"Nothing is easy. I want to prepare to the best of my ability. I was always confident. I won't take anything for granted.

"I felt earlier I could hit every ball. But after playing international cricket it taught me to be more selective, build and innings and to respect a bowler."

Having completed 20 years in international cricket, Sachin said his teenage years of cricket is still in him.

"Cricket lives in my heart. Somewhere still a 16-year-old boy lives within me. I don't have to make an effort to be enthusiastic."

Sadness is what surrounds the legendary batsman when he does well and team doesn't at the same time.

"You feel bad. I have done well. You want to win as a team. You may have done well as an individual and you want to do celebrate but the team hasn't done well."

Sachin stated 2003 World Cup innings against arch-rivals Pakistan as one of his best innings.

"2003 world cup innings against pak was one of the biggest matches of my life. Also my first series. After my first Test match I asked myself, do I really belong here?"

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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