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Updated: August 30, 2012 02:28 IST

‘As long as I am enjoying it, I will play’

K. C. Vijaya Kumar
Comment (22)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
GETTING CANDID: Sachin Tendulkar considers himself an easy-going person who is not serious all the time. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
The Hindu GETTING CANDID: Sachin Tendulkar considers himself an easy-going person who is not serious all the time. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Way back in 1989, when Twitter was just a sound associated with birds, a 16-year-old tackled Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in Pakistan and emerged with his nascent reputation further enhanced.

Cut to the present, nothing has changed for Indian cricket’s seemingly eternal man. The hunger to succeed remains undiminished and this trait was reiterated by Sachin Tendulkar in a chat here with The Hindu ahead of Wednesday’s Castrol Cricketing Excellence awards function.

The maestro looked back at last season’s mixed results, stressed that he is one with the young lads, had words of wisdom for Unmukt Chand and also hoped that the young crop would step into the huge shoes of Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman.

Excerpts:

Part I: The Tendulkar files

That significant hundred: After I scored my 99th hundred against South Africa at Nagpur, nobody spoke about my 100th hundred because the focus was on the World Cup. After the World Cup, everyone thought ‘what next’ and that’s how the focus shifted to my 100. I came close to scoring it in England, scored a 94 against the West Indies and I was moving well in Australia. If I have to look at the 2011 season, it started well with a hundred at Cape Town and ended well (at Dhaka), though there were unlucky patches.

Staying fit all these years: Without the help of doctors, physios, trainers, friends, teammates and family members, things would not have been the same because when you get injured you feel deflated.

My tennis elbow kept me out for four months and I could not even hit a plastic ball with a plastic bat. I was really worried. For any sportsman, the toughest task is being patient and waiting for your injury to heal. Luckily, my wife is a doctor and that helped.

Serious senior? Not always…: I am an easy-going person. I am not serious all the time. I play pranks and it is not one-way traffic, they (the youngsters in the team) can do the same to me.

A team is a family and only if you are like that can it help make them feel at ease when they are playing.”

The journey will continue: As long as I am enjoying myself, as long as I can contribute, I will play.

I have always cared about my cricket, have always valued whatever has come my way and I have not taken anything for granted.

It’s about how you prepare yourself before a series, a tournament or any match.

Part II: The team

Transition blues: No one can become a Dravid or a Laxman overnight. It is going to require a number of hours of training.

Forget the hours they spent playing Tests or ODI cricket, also factor in the number of hours they spent training. Whatever the records or statistics you get to see did not happen just like that.

They worked hard for that. If the younger generation gets to play for India and if it is your passion, then you got to push your body and mind to any extent.

Last season’s vagaries: It started off well and in the Cape Town Test (against South Africa), we were on top throughout the match except in the last few overs and then we knew that we had to play for a draw. After that, the World Cup was a fabulous journey. England though was a tough series and we were badly hit by injuries. Then, we had a good home series against the West Indies.

And in Australia, I thought we were in the driver’s seat (in the first Test at Melbourne) and it slipped away for us.

On the second day, I had a wonderful partnership with Rahul and we were 200 plus for two and then, I got out in the last over and Rahul got out in the first over on the third morning. That was the turning point.

Dravid’s high in England: He was in the zone. His concentration was spot on. There were some tough times and he overcame those obstacles brilliantly.

Ashwin’s growth: He has consistently done well, not just in bowling but also in batting. He has scored a Test hundred and has had some key partnerships and it is wonderful.

Yuvraj and swirling emotions: I met Yuvraj in England in June. It was tough for me to not get emotional. I had sort of decided that I would not get that emotional in front of him because he was the one who had gone through terrible times. We went out for dinner and it was fun.

He had done everything possible that his doctors advised him to do and there is a clear cut message to all cancer patients that they can be cured.

Unmukt and the road ahead: Unmukt has proved himself right now, but this is the beginning of a journey. Before the under-19 team left to Australia, I spent an hour with them in Mumbai.

Without collective effort, success can’t be gained and there were many moments when others contributed and at the big moment, Unmukt batted brilliantly.

I told them that they should spend as much time as they can with each other because it is going to be a tough journey.

More In: Cricket | Sport

Please sachin,lots of young talents are waitting for a chance.people who liked you.but now
its changing.a person aged40 playing for our country.its a big shame for us.

from:  Rajiv
Posted on: Aug 31, 2012 at 19:21 IST

Its a pleasure to watch him play any time...keep going sachin..!!

from:  Piyush Srivastava
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 16:02 IST

Please retire...enough already

from:  Akshay
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 15:29 IST

Few people have given comments thinking they knew more about cricket than anyone. One should not forget that this man has battled for years and still on top of others. Indian cricket will be safe only if the youngsters pujara,kohli,Rahane grow along with him. The only change needed in our team is drop Raina and bring in Rahane as opener. Viru must bat down at 5 or 6 to prolong his test carrer as his reflexes have gone down which are his actual strength. Meanwhile Rahane will learn a lot as India will need to struggle a lot to replace Viru after 2 years.

from:  Shanmuga
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 15:23 IST

He should be asked whether we, the people are enjoying it or not ? It's enough buddy. Hang up your boots now. You have given whatever you had in you. Retire now and keep the respect you earned intact.

from:  Sally
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 15:19 IST

Ok my dear who is stopping you :)

from:  Raju
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 14:51 IST

Even if sachin doesnt perform, just his mere presence in the dressing
room will motivate other people to perform. Nobody, I mean nobody has
the right to take a call on sachin's retirement except for the master
himself. To survive in highest level of cricket for 23 years is no joke.

from:  vijaiya prathap
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 14:40 IST

Indian fans are frickle minded, except few like me. A celebrated cricketer who has brought so many glories to our country, given us cherished memories doesn't deserve to be slated like this. He can still contribute to the team so there is nothing wrong in continuing playing. Yes, I do agree he should step down from ODIs but what can you/selectors do when he can perform rather than being a baggage.

from:  SR
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 14:24 IST

A true politician in the making. Self-centered, and 'I above all'
attitude. Can't expect anything better from the so called 'heroes' of
India. Unfortunately.

from:  Neel
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 14:17 IST

We are proud of you being excellent cricketer. You will play for longer than expected by supporters. Sachin's critics are either failed or frustrated/jealous people who themselves have not done anything in their life.

from:  Raju
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 14:01 IST

That's what we(fans of Sachin) want from him. I want him to play for life long. Because of him only Indian cricket has grown to high position. There's no need of his retirement. He knows very well, when to retire. So the freedom should be given regarding this. If he retires craze for cricket will come down. I'm requesting those persons who wish his retirement that before u wish like that, you check what are ur qualifications to ask that..are u a coach? or guide? or a supporter? He's the god of cricket. He's done so much to Indian Cricket. playing above 20 years in Indian team is not a matter of mere words. I LOVE MASTER'S PLAY, I WISH HIM TO PLAY FOR LIFE LONG. ALL THE BEST MY MASTER....

from:  Gongati Venkata Sudarshan Reddy
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 13:11 IST

How easy it is to sit on front of the computer and hail down Sachin.

Its his dedication and hard work that has put him on the top and he
has every right to be there as long as he plays good game(which he is
doing now)

The story of Indian crabs is so true if you cant do it then no else
should and if he tries we will make sure to pull him down.Rather than
standing up and cheering for this national hero who is not willing to
give up we are hell bound on pulling him down. ....


from:  Arun MP
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 12:15 IST

Couldn't he have said - "As long as I am enjoying the game and the selectors show
their faith in me, I will play". He is making it sound like selectors have no choice, but
to select him. Shameful.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 12:07 IST

Ha, you are enjoying. but we are no more enjoying. It s time Sachin stps down in the best interest of Indian cricket.

from:  gowri raman
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 10:35 IST

Enjoy and play. But don't take payment........

from:  sakthivel
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 10:35 IST

It's still about the "I", isn't it? He's always been bothered only about himself. In a team game, it should be "As long as I am able to make a difference to the team". It should never be "As long as I want....".
Sachin is a brilliant cricketer. And a selfish one.

from:  Monty
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 10:21 IST


But , now a days , the majority of Indians do not enjoy his play any more . Let him play as long as he enjoys his game but not at the national level but at club cricket level . Why cannt he gracefully leave the scene before relegated to 12th man and dropped altogether from the team . It will be a disgrace then .

from:  vijaysri
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 09:48 IST

It's not the question of how long does he enjoy his game and it must
be, how long do we (spectators and cricket fans) enjoy his game. On
current form and in the recent past, he hasn't given us any moment to
enjoy his game. None can ever forget how long did he desperately wait
for his 100th hundred to happen. He must quit the game when people
wonder, "Why?" and not when people ask "Why not?". Of late, he has
become more of a liability to the team than an asset. It's time he
exits the game gracefully and gives an youngster (or, not so young
Badri) his due opportunity.

from:  AArkay
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 09:37 IST

Tendulkar playing test cricket is necessary but still picking and
choosing one-day series is absurd.Ajinkya rahane was clearly the loser
as far as preparing for the next world cup in Australian conditions as
his decesion to play the tri-series in Australia.Of course we love him
but he should not be hanging on to the side just to
break records.

from:  Rajesh Menon
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 09:11 IST

Sachin, you should also keep in mind "as long as we enjoy it".

from:  Ramana Murthy
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 09:07 IST

As long as u have the undaunted spirit, devotion , dedication , the fire to blaze and the drive to make many more hundreds in the years to come with the proud memories of glory of the past and present , may u continue to play for Bharat with the right Bat. kudos to u'r laurels. But at t same time, the moment u fumble ,u'll be tumbled out mercillously by the same people who hail u with all fullthroated joy and . A humble person u're, i am sure , u will ride high and be a an everlasting shining star in the firmament! as a cricket lover, hopefully , i look forward to u,r impending glorious innings as Sunil Gavaskar whom , i hold dear to my heart even at this age of73.

from:  ragavachari
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 07:24 IST

His attitude smacks of arrogance. His son is now in the juniors team,
and am sure this man will want to hang on till his son makes it to the
Indian team. SHAME ON BCCI. Quotas, favoritism, sycophancy et all....
India promotes anything but merit.

SACHIN STAY HOME.......SACHIN STAY HOME

from:  nayana
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012 at 06:17 IST
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