Sachin Tendulkar is revered by millions as the 'God of cricket' but the batsman himself has a very modest take on himself. Speaking to NDTV on the sidelines of the Sunfeast biscuits 'Eat n Meet Sachin' contest on Wednesday in Bengaluru, Tendulkar revealed a bit about himself, his records and a lot more. Excerpts.
On being called 'God of cricket': I am not God of cricket. I make mistakes, God doesn't. (In fact) I have always had (Sunil) Gavaskar and Vivian Richards as my role models and wanted to be a combination of both.
On his 100th international century: Was not jumping or celebrating. My first question to God was why did it take so long? What did I do wrong? With a billion plus people waiting for this, it shouldn't have taken so long...
What if cricket was not kind to him: I would play cricket to avoid studies. (But) I tried to maintain a balance between cricket and studies - it didn't work. Cricket gave me sleepless nights. I would play even if it was dark outside, such was my passion. Difficult for me to imagine a life without cricket. If at all - tennis.
On wearing the national jersey and the work he put in for it: Wearing the India jersey and cap was the ultimate thing for me. After that it didn't matter if I had 10 pairs of jeans or 20 T-shirts. That journey to play for India was incredible. I look back, being pushed around in trains and buses but I would be there well before practice started.
The humble batsman signed off by saying sometimes he wonders how he survived (in cricket) for so long!