Saturday, March 17, 2012
Indian Weekender India Correspondent
Mirpur: India's batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who got his landmark 100th international century against Bangladesh here Friday, reiterated that he doesn't play for milestone and ended all speculations about his immediate retirement saying he would carry on playing international cricket as long as he enjoys.
"When I think of retirement I will not hide it. Don't worry about it. I will carry on as long as I enjoy it.
"I can't think of anything at this stage. It has been a tough phase for me. I started off the season batting reasonably well, batted well in Australia without much luck. It doesn't really matter how many hundreds you score, in the end you have to put your head down and grind it out for the team," said Tendulkar.
Tendulkar said that he felt frustrated at not getting the milestone in the last 370 days.
"I am a human being and I will be honest. Many a time I was frustrated and it does play on your mind," he said.
When told he has turned every stone thrown at him into a milestone, Tendulkar said: "The 100th ton was tough but I don't play for milestones. I just play for the the love of the game."
"The process that started way back in 1989 is still continuing. I still make mistakes after more than 20 years of playing international cricket.
"It was testing time for me and I thank god for whatever has come my way. I don't take things for granted. Whatever score I am batting on, I don' take things it for granted.
"You have to be on your toes. I have to execute the plans of my team. The century was not the only thing that was playing in my mind. I avoided looking at the scoreboard and personal score but kept a track of the run rate."
Asked about the pressure on the century, Tendulkar said: "To be honest, I was not really thinking about it. The media started it all. Wherever I went, to the restaurant, room service, housekeeping, everyone was talking about the 100th hundred. It was surprising as nobody talked about my 99 hundreds."
On the innings he said: "It was slightly different, the ball was not coming onto the bat. Virat (Kohli) and I were discussing that 275-280 would be a decent score on this wicket.
"It hasn't sunk in but I have definitely lost about 50 kilos," he quipped when asked about the significance of his achievement.
Asked about Bangladesh team, Tendulkar said: "Bangladesh is a good uderrated team. People still talk of Bangladesh as if they don't know how to play cricket. They way they played against Pakistan is a proof of their good cricket. They have been in international cricket for quite some time."
His message to the youngsters: "Dreams do come true. I had to wait for one for 22 years (the World Cup). So, go out there and chase your dreams."