India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 2nd day November 15, 2013

Tendulkar's knock a learning experience - Pujara

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In Sachin Tendulkar's last Test, Cheteshwar Pujara scored a fluent 113, Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 111 - 66 of those in an 80-run last-wicket partnership - but the biggest story of the match has been Tendulkar's 74. Not only that, but it was also the best innings of the lot, according to Pujara, because it was the center of such frenzied attention and answer to so many expectations. Add to it, the emotion itself of being near the end of what you have loved and done all your adult life.

"I would say Sachin's innings was the best because he was playing his last game and it is not easy to focus and concentrate," Pujara said. "There is a lot of nervousness, and the way crowd was supporting - it was good on the crowd's part - but when you are in the middle it is difficult to concentrate so I would rate Sachin's innings as the best.

"It is not easy to stay calm when you are playing your last game. I think there was a lot of expectation from him since he was playing in Mumbai and it was his last Test match. But the way he batted it is incredible and only he can do it I guess."

Pujara was the fortunate one to have batted with Tendulkar throughout what seems like Tendulkar's last innings in Test cricket. "It was a very good partnership," he said. "Initially it was very difficult for me to concentrate because there was a lot of noise from the crowd, and I was just coming, and I didn't face any balls. He faced the first ball before me because [M] Vijay got out. He told me to just stay focussed. Once I played a few balls it was easy for me to bat then."

When the partnership did end, it left Pujara asking for more, but not dejected. "It was disappointing but the way he batted I think it was really amazing to see him score those runs," Pujara said. "I always feel that he is always determined to score, and he might be as determined as he might have been in his first game and there are many things to learn from Sachin."

Tendulkar's final intangible stamp on the Indian batting might have come in his last nets session. Over to Pujara for more. "Actually, the conversation was that I was not playing well in the nets to the balls going through me," he said. "I was struggling against the outswingers in the nets a bit so he told me that my right shoulder is opening up a bit, and I should be a bit side on. He also told me to have a little bigger stride, and I tried doing it once I finished my nets and it helped. But I think initially, as I said earlier, it was difficult to concentrate and keep all these things in mind so I tried working it out in the nets and I think it helped me a bit."

There was praise for fellow-centurion Rohit too. "I felt that the way VVS Laxman used to bat with the tail, he has done the same thing," Pujara said. "It was not easy to score runs. He was batting on 50 or 60 [44] when we were eight down, and from there onwards to score a hundred it is a big achievement. And he has started off well, even in the first Test match so he is in good form. He has done well in the ODI format also, so I think he is doing really well."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh28 on November 20, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    I know there are a few Sachin haters, but I will not be surprised if the little master is KNIGHTED. He has done enough to me amongst the best in the world. Sports players around the world can only draw inspiration from someone who went on for 24 long years in his discipline.

  • takala on November 18, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    My only regret: I did not watch Sachin enough in the last 24 years. I did not ever think I would now feel so much loss

  • on November 16, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    To Joshua Matthews: agree that Pujara, Kohli and Sharma are good replacements, but the jury is out on Dhawan and sorry, Vijay is cannon fodder for any good bowler. Don't be fooled into judging an Indian batsman by performances in India against a #8 ranked team.

  • PeterJerome on November 16, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Should our pacers yield some teeth, this Indian team is already looking like world beaters for quite some time to come. They have proven this in the ODI format already. lets wait and watch the tests. I hope MSD can stand up to the demands of test cricket this season around. When it comes to tests overseas, dare i say he has looked a weak link in the team so far. Lets c what experience has taught him. Interesting season ahead for the Indian team. All the best guys.

  • pull_shot on November 16, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @bigdhonifan i think pitch count will increase if u add odi's

  • on November 16, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Sachin played a very good innings today and it would have been fantastic if had been able to sign off with a century. Sachin will be remembered for ages not just because he was one of the greatest batsman but more for being a great human being that he has been over the last 24 years.

    Rohit was fantastic and due credit to Shami.

    It is not fair to compare batsman of different eras, but India has been very lucky it has found apt five replacement for the four greats who retired during the last few years and the two out off form openers . Vijay for Shewag at no.1, Shikar for Ganguly/Gambir at no. 2, Pujara for Dravid at no.3, Kohli for Sachin at no 4, Rohit for VVS at Six.

    Gambir/Shewag/Raina/Yuvaraj or one of the youngster like Samson could fill up 5 or Rohit to move up to 5 with Dhoni at 6, Jadeja at 7 and four front line bowlers.

    It is hard to believe that only Dhoni has played more than 20 tests. Surely India with this very young team has got a very bright future

    Joshua Mathew

  • Alexk400 on November 15, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    Every one have form days. Rohit seems like batting in cloud 9. He was always good in india but i do not think he can play well overseas unless he get physically stronger. Where there is a will , there is a way. He can seal one spot.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 15, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    India is the ONLY country which seamlessly transitions without any issues. We now have a new FAB 4 in the making with Pujara, Kohli, Rohit and possibly Rahane. How many countries can boast of this ?? NONE. SA will decline once Kallis, Smith, Amla, and De Villiers exit. Australia have already declines. England will feel the heat once KP. Bell, Trott retire. The rest of the world, well the little I say the better. So India in very capable hands. Very proud to be an Indian supporter at this stage of the Little Master's imminent retirement. Now all that is left is for these guys to go overseas and smash em pretenders. Good luck boys and God bless Indian Cricket.

  • BigINDFan on November 15, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    Great farewell for SRT truly well deserved! As usual he played a classy knock and did not let expectations and emotions in the way. Hope SRT plays a role in coaching since the young generation need that. Kumble should mentor spinners as we lack in that area right now even though Ashwin and Ojha are doing well. So relieved to see Rohit realizing his potential and hope he remains consistent. Pujara is a great find for No. 3. I agree with @kluvsindia that the Ind team is playing like one family enjoying and tasting success. Keep it on Team India!

    Don't compare Rohit with VVS or Pujara with Dravid please Ind fans. They may be filling those roles but these are different batsmen and time will tell if Pujara and Rohit are as consistent.

    Gambhir has a chance to get back to the team but not Sehwag. It is not the politics but it is his form that is the issue.

  • ghostcall on November 15, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    @kluvsindia : ur observation and comments regarding team bonding is great. But u shud nt hv brought up Sehwag n Gambhir names.. Sehwag is a legend n the reason for many of us to follow test cricket anyways thats another aspect that he has lost his form/fitness and u cant accuse greats or even anyone with baseless allegations.

  • Naresh28 on November 20, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    I know there are a few Sachin haters, but I will not be surprised if the little master is KNIGHTED. He has done enough to me amongst the best in the world. Sports players around the world can only draw inspiration from someone who went on for 24 long years in his discipline.

  • takala on November 18, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    My only regret: I did not watch Sachin enough in the last 24 years. I did not ever think I would now feel so much loss

  • on November 16, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    To Joshua Matthews: agree that Pujara, Kohli and Sharma are good replacements, but the jury is out on Dhawan and sorry, Vijay is cannon fodder for any good bowler. Don't be fooled into judging an Indian batsman by performances in India against a #8 ranked team.

  • PeterJerome on November 16, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Should our pacers yield some teeth, this Indian team is already looking like world beaters for quite some time to come. They have proven this in the ODI format already. lets wait and watch the tests. I hope MSD can stand up to the demands of test cricket this season around. When it comes to tests overseas, dare i say he has looked a weak link in the team so far. Lets c what experience has taught him. Interesting season ahead for the Indian team. All the best guys.

  • pull_shot on November 16, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @bigdhonifan i think pitch count will increase if u add odi's

  • on November 16, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Sachin played a very good innings today and it would have been fantastic if had been able to sign off with a century. Sachin will be remembered for ages not just because he was one of the greatest batsman but more for being a great human being that he has been over the last 24 years.

    Rohit was fantastic and due credit to Shami.

    It is not fair to compare batsman of different eras, but India has been very lucky it has found apt five replacement for the four greats who retired during the last few years and the two out off form openers . Vijay for Shewag at no.1, Shikar for Ganguly/Gambir at no. 2, Pujara for Dravid at no.3, Kohli for Sachin at no 4, Rohit for VVS at Six.

    Gambir/Shewag/Raina/Yuvaraj or one of the youngster like Samson could fill up 5 or Rohit to move up to 5 with Dhoni at 6, Jadeja at 7 and four front line bowlers.

    It is hard to believe that only Dhoni has played more than 20 tests. Surely India with this very young team has got a very bright future

    Joshua Mathew

  • Alexk400 on November 15, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    Every one have form days. Rohit seems like batting in cloud 9. He was always good in india but i do not think he can play well overseas unless he get physically stronger. Where there is a will , there is a way. He can seal one spot.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 15, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    India is the ONLY country which seamlessly transitions without any issues. We now have a new FAB 4 in the making with Pujara, Kohli, Rohit and possibly Rahane. How many countries can boast of this ?? NONE. SA will decline once Kallis, Smith, Amla, and De Villiers exit. Australia have already declines. England will feel the heat once KP. Bell, Trott retire. The rest of the world, well the little I say the better. So India in very capable hands. Very proud to be an Indian supporter at this stage of the Little Master's imminent retirement. Now all that is left is for these guys to go overseas and smash em pretenders. Good luck boys and God bless Indian Cricket.

  • BigINDFan on November 15, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    Great farewell for SRT truly well deserved! As usual he played a classy knock and did not let expectations and emotions in the way. Hope SRT plays a role in coaching since the young generation need that. Kumble should mentor spinners as we lack in that area right now even though Ashwin and Ojha are doing well. So relieved to see Rohit realizing his potential and hope he remains consistent. Pujara is a great find for No. 3. I agree with @kluvsindia that the Ind team is playing like one family enjoying and tasting success. Keep it on Team India!

    Don't compare Rohit with VVS or Pujara with Dravid please Ind fans. They may be filling those roles but these are different batsmen and time will tell if Pujara and Rohit are as consistent.

    Gambhir has a chance to get back to the team but not Sehwag. It is not the politics but it is his form that is the issue.

  • ghostcall on November 15, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    @kluvsindia : ur observation and comments regarding team bonding is great. But u shud nt hv brought up Sehwag n Gambhir names.. Sehwag is a legend n the reason for many of us to follow test cricket anyways thats another aspect that he has lost his form/fitness and u cant accuse greats or even anyone with baseless allegations.

  • krv954 on November 15, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    A little disappointed with the way Tendulkar got out. Was a little bit against the run of play. Was in very good touch in this innings. Could have scored at least a century if not more. But anyway, he has got nothing to prove anymore. if this is his last innings, nice way to go out.

  • riverbaby11 on November 15, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Pujara should be in the ODI team if not the starting eleven , same with Raina for test team . They are part of the core group of players that will carry India forward and should always be in the dressing room. Having seperate teams per format is alright with the supporting cast but the principals should always be around.No reason why Pujara can't be the backup instead of Rayudu.

  • on November 15, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    @kluvsindia

    Spot on buddy!!!

  • CRIC_FAN94 on November 15, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    @bigdhonifan Well said mate.But still i think Bradman could make up top 10 all time players

  • SRRY on November 15, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    India is in a set of very able hands now. Found two good debutants in SRT's last series.

  • SRRY on November 15, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Good to see SRT bat like we all want to see him bat. Pretty good farewell innings. Looked like he had shed his inhibitions, and everything that was holding him back, fall away.

  • timeless_steel on November 15, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Well played India. I think it was another superb innings of the Master for the last time and a emotional moment for all his fans, he has been the hope of millions since 1989 and I am going to miss his batting surely. Hope he stays around for the youngsters in some way may be sooner or later.

    End of the Glorious Era of SIR SRT!!! Thanks Sachin!!!

  • on November 15, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    @chandrashekaran comparing Rohit with laxman already??? seriously?? laxman was a class apart from Rohit...guess you haven't seen much of laxman or you much be devotee of Rohit to keep Rohit above laxman

  • bigdhonifan on November 15, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Bradman had an average of 99? If you allow Rohit Sharma or Kohli or Pujara to play only against Windies for 5 years they will have an average of 200 Atleast. So there is nothing exceptional for Bradman, he was a good batsman when all other batsman were just ordinary and bowlers were pathetic. Please dont come up with uncovered pitches and no helmet theories. There was bowlers bowling at 130K/hr. this Era you had Akram, Waqar, Akthar, Bond, Lee, Walsh, Ambrose. Lillee, MMerv hughes, Thomson, Donals, Pollock etc... And for spinners Warne, Murali, Saqlain, Mushtaq... even now Swann, Vettori etc ... Sachin will remain as always the BEST BATSMAN EVER Played. Played on 56 different pitches on different continents. Not just 9 Pitches on 2 countries.

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    It's good to see the entire cricketing community giving such a grand farewell to Sachin, the timing and planning for the farewell by the Star network and BCCI is excellent. Never seen a farewell like this... Awesome!

    This simple, small humble genius deserves all this. Thank you Sir! for everything. I have experienced so much when Sachin in the middle, tension, expectation, thrill, Satisfaction, goose bumps, proud, finally some tears to see this man retire.

    Do not go too far away from cricket Sachin, we love you and your cricketing skills. I am sure we can't give you back much but give us the opportunity to see you in the commentary box with Sunny & Ravi live! :)

  • kluvsindia on November 15, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Indian team were mocked by a lot of other teams for playing for records and playing for themselves. But now things are so much different. These people are like family. Kohli furiously applauding in joy for Sharmas one day double century. Sachins reaction in the dressing room when Rohit got to his second test hundred. Sachins guesture of asking Shami to lead the team out of Eden Gardens after a match winning spell. Kohli making way for the legend to walk back for the last time from the dressing room before he gets onto the field to bat. Pujaras rapt attention towards Sachins sage advice throughout the partnership. Kohli carrying Dhonis cap in his tracks while he wicket keeps with the helmet on. Vijay asking Dhawan whether he wants him to take over the short leg position in the 1st innings in Wankhede. Shamis dogged determination of not giving his wicket away and Rohits constant words of encouragement to him. This is what a true winning team isGlad sehwag and gambhir not there to spoilit

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    iI think Tendulkar should be knignted this man should be known as sir Sschin for the rest of his life

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    I think Rohit's partnership showed immense cricket sense - and here comparisons with VVSLaxman are totally incorrect since VVS never protected the tail as much - the tailender would have more of the strike than VVS did. Great to see such talent with such good cricketing sense.

  • rajaram1105 on November 15, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    Thanks to all batsmen who played well. Special mention about Pujara, Rohit. What an emotional moment it was while the little master was batting and got very emotional, like the millions, when he got by a sharp catch by Darren. As so many banners in the ground said, we thank Sachin for the great memories. Some of his shots today were very fluent and it was a treat to watch. All things good in life has to come to an end. WE are sad about it but we have to accept the fact of life. Pujara you had the privilege to be the partner to the great man in his very last match. Amazing. All the very best to the team and all of the youngsters. We are truly going to miss the great stability Sachin brought to the team. But I am sure the youngsters will rise to the occasion. After this match, all the very best to the 2 test match series in SA [wish we could had more]. THANKS SACHIN and your family.

  • Sharath_Rocker on November 15, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    Thank you Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Good to see teammates appreciating the contributions of each other which says a lot about the atmosphere in that Indian dressing room.

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    great insight from pujara ! that's why dhoni said- sachin is the best coaching manual in the dressing room. 'International cricket is all abt handling pressure'- were the words dhoni said in the post-match presentation after champions trophy final. how true were his words. i think post-retirement sachin should be the guiding light to these youngsters.

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  • on November 15, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    great insight from pujara ! that's why dhoni said- sachin is the best coaching manual in the dressing room. 'International cricket is all abt handling pressure'- were the words dhoni said in the post-match presentation after champions trophy final. how true were his words. i think post-retirement sachin should be the guiding light to these youngsters.

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Good to see teammates appreciating the contributions of each other which says a lot about the atmosphere in that Indian dressing room.

  • Sharath_Rocker on November 15, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    Thank you Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

  • rajaram1105 on November 15, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    Thanks to all batsmen who played well. Special mention about Pujara, Rohit. What an emotional moment it was while the little master was batting and got very emotional, like the millions, when he got by a sharp catch by Darren. As so many banners in the ground said, we thank Sachin for the great memories. Some of his shots today were very fluent and it was a treat to watch. All things good in life has to come to an end. WE are sad about it but we have to accept the fact of life. Pujara you had the privilege to be the partner to the great man in his very last match. Amazing. All the very best to the team and all of the youngsters. We are truly going to miss the great stability Sachin brought to the team. But I am sure the youngsters will rise to the occasion. After this match, all the very best to the 2 test match series in SA [wish we could had more]. THANKS SACHIN and your family.

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    I think Rohit's partnership showed immense cricket sense - and here comparisons with VVSLaxman are totally incorrect since VVS never protected the tail as much - the tailender would have more of the strike than VVS did. Great to see such talent with such good cricketing sense.

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    iI think Tendulkar should be knignted this man should be known as sir Sschin for the rest of his life

  • kluvsindia on November 15, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Indian team were mocked by a lot of other teams for playing for records and playing for themselves. But now things are so much different. These people are like family. Kohli furiously applauding in joy for Sharmas one day double century. Sachins reaction in the dressing room when Rohit got to his second test hundred. Sachins guesture of asking Shami to lead the team out of Eden Gardens after a match winning spell. Kohli making way for the legend to walk back for the last time from the dressing room before he gets onto the field to bat. Pujaras rapt attention towards Sachins sage advice throughout the partnership. Kohli carrying Dhonis cap in his tracks while he wicket keeps with the helmet on. Vijay asking Dhawan whether he wants him to take over the short leg position in the 1st innings in Wankhede. Shamis dogged determination of not giving his wicket away and Rohits constant words of encouragement to him. This is what a true winning team isGlad sehwag and gambhir not there to spoilit

  • on November 15, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    It's good to see the entire cricketing community giving such a grand farewell to Sachin, the timing and planning for the farewell by the Star network and BCCI is excellent. Never seen a farewell like this... Awesome!

    This simple, small humble genius deserves all this. Thank you Sir! for everything. I have experienced so much when Sachin in the middle, tension, expectation, thrill, Satisfaction, goose bumps, proud, finally some tears to see this man retire.

    Do not go too far away from cricket Sachin, we love you and your cricketing skills. I am sure we can't give you back much but give us the opportunity to see you in the commentary box with Sunny & Ravi live! :)

  • bigdhonifan on November 15, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Bradman had an average of 99? If you allow Rohit Sharma or Kohli or Pujara to play only against Windies for 5 years they will have an average of 200 Atleast. So there is nothing exceptional for Bradman, he was a good batsman when all other batsman were just ordinary and bowlers were pathetic. Please dont come up with uncovered pitches and no helmet theories. There was bowlers bowling at 130K/hr. this Era you had Akram, Waqar, Akthar, Bond, Lee, Walsh, Ambrose. Lillee, MMerv hughes, Thomson, Donals, Pollock etc... And for spinners Warne, Murali, Saqlain, Mushtaq... even now Swann, Vettori etc ... Sachin will remain as always the BEST BATSMAN EVER Played. Played on 56 different pitches on different continents. Not just 9 Pitches on 2 countries.

  • on November 15, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    @chandrashekaran comparing Rohit with laxman already??? seriously?? laxman was a class apart from Rohit...guess you haven't seen much of laxman or you much be devotee of Rohit to keep Rohit above laxman