20 years of Tendulkar November 13, 2009

India should play more Tests - Tendulkar

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Sachin Tendulkar has expressed his disappointment at India not playing enough Tests in the near future. Besides the three Tests in the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka, which begins in Ahmedabad on November 16, India play only two more Tests, in Bangladesh in January, in the 2009-10 season. There are no further Test series planned at least till the end of the 2010.

"We should play more Test cricket for sure. It is obviously not great news that we are only playing five Tests this season," Tendulkar said at a media event on Friday to commemorate his completing 20 years in international cricket.

Test cricket, he said, was the true testing ground for any youngster and the best way to fast track his development. "Ideally for any team to progress you need to play more Test cricket as that is where the real cricket is according to me. Test cricket is cricket of the highest level and since it is played across five days at the end of each day it allows you to regroup, re-think, come up with fresh ideas and plan for the next day. Sometimes in Twenty20 and ODIs even before you realise the match is over."

As a 16-year-old Tendulkar cut his teeth in the 1989 Test series against Pakistan and immediately understood it was not going to be easy. In the final Test of that series, Waqar Younis drew blood after striking Tendulkar on the nose. Ajit Tendulkar, his elder brother, the man whom Sachin counts as his biggest influence as a player, was sitting in the stands. Ajit might have winced but his brother didn't: "When I was hit by Waqar that got me more competitive and I decided not to move from the middle and I would continue to fight," Tendulkar animatedly recounted the incident to a 75-odd media contingent.

Though the event was by invitation only for a select group of journalists, a lot of media personnel - aware of the unique opportunity it presented - gatecrashed the event. Tendulkar remained unruffled and for the next five hours remained seated in the middle of the room, answering hundreds of questions, even if most were repeated. Displaying the same proficiency he has shown against various forms of bowling, Tendulkar moved seamlessly from English to Hindi to Marathi in his responses, paying detailed attention to the questioner's every word.

While his zeal for the game continues to amaze, he is not at all surprised by it. He says it is because he is passionate about what he does and is confident and clear about what he wants to do.

It's not his fans alone who wonder how Tendulkar has been strong in various situations and stayed competitive over the last two decades; MS Dhoni, the India captain, recently said he did not rule out Tendulkar being in contention to play the 2015 World Cup.

Tendulkar, though, said he wanted to live in the moment and plan for the near future instead of dwelling on what could happen five years down the line.

"It would be nice if I can go on that that long (till 2015) but I don't want to think that far and concentrate on the next phase," he said. "My focus is on the near future. I've enjoyed every bit so far and I feel there is cricket left in me and everything is going really well."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TequillaGuy on November 19, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    Well since all people are pulling up stats, I'll do the same :)

    Since Tendulkar's debut India has played 194 tests. During the same period, Australia has played 242 tests! difference of 48 tests! And by the end of next year, this difference will be close to 60. If Tendulkar had played 60 more tests, he would have scored 6000 more runs. He would have been nearing 20K runs in Tests! BCCI has robbed us of so many Tendulkar innings! Crime that is unforgivable! :)

  • marisi on November 18, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    Looks like a lot of people want bcci to play more tests..but seriously there are only so much you can play against aust/eng/sa? why not organise a couple of tests with bangladesh?

  • Pratik_vodka on November 15, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    Firstly Congratz to Sachin for 20 Amazing years of Cricket, it probably wouldnt have been the same without him. Cricket and us fans owe a lot to Sachin for making cricket what it is now. I dont even want to get into this non sensical debate of Sachin Vs Ricky Vs Kallis.Coz if numbers/ stats matter, Sachins owns them. IF it doesnt matter and if performance in pressure games matter ... Tendulkar plays 20 odd ODI, 5-8 odd Tests on avg a year where each game he is under pressure.(aka a billion fans) Ponting plays 5 Test only in 2 years aka Ashes(some 5 million fans at best), where he is under real pressure or anything close to what Sachin experiences. The number of people who put pressure on Kallis Ponting to perform can be combined and put in any one city of India.I cant really see Sachin being compared to anyone. How Sachin has carried himself in cricket on and off the field all i have to say is if he aint GOD he surely aint no Mortal.

  • AnotherCricketFan on November 14, 2009, 23:40 GMT

    You nailed it Naren. It is really sad to see so many excuses - like it-is-not-about-winning - come out from Sachin worshippers. I have a bad feeling that he is aiming to put some distance between him and Ponting on the records. He has raced away in the ODI but Ponting has a long [and Kallis too] way to go and soon he will conquer the highest run-getter [with a better average] in the Tests. Especially this game is more about stats than win-loss ratios. It is bad for Sachin as he is not going to get that many opportunities from BCCI - as ODIs/T20 rakes in more money.

  • peter56 on November 14, 2009, 23:34 GMT

    Imgine the fury at the negligence of theBCCI if Ponting was to overhaul Sachin and become the first player to get 50 test tons as it is he is 4 behind but in the next 11 months he has 13 tests arranged for him by the ACB and Sachin has only 5 arranged by the BCCI in all probability they will be dead level this time next year in number of tons scored and ricky will probably have reduced the lead Sachin has over him in most runs in tests by another 500 runs This would mean that Ponting will end up scoring more test runs and test centuries than Sachin as he is nearly 2 years younger and much less prone to injury The BCCI must be pressurised into arranging at least 2 more test series that are currently scheduled in the next 10 months if they do I am sure Sachin will then ( injuries permitting)be too far ahead for Punter to catch him If they do nothing then they wil have to answer to the Indian Public who do not seem to be aware of the seriousness of the situation

  • cricmaniac11 on November 14, 2009, 22:42 GMT

    @naren.i am a big fan of Sachin and likes dhoni also.. but comparing dhoni with sachin is like comparing "Nadal with Sampras". that day in his 175 runs knock against australia he alone scrd half the runs needed and the 10 plyrs cant even score the rest half. when he got out india needed only 19 of 3 overs and with 3 wicets left which was a very easy target.. i just think its sachins bad luck only whenever he played rest of the team fails, u can remember the test match against pakistan in chennai, Sachin was in real pain at that moment but he continued to play and tried to take india to the victry and he almost did. when he got out he made everyone relxd that india is going to win bt again the lowe order failed and all his effort was lost in vain..

  • CriMP on November 14, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    The BCCI sees nothing but money in cricket. Tests dont pay in India s they do in Australia or South Africa. While BCCI will give all awards prizes and money purses to Sachin and put him on a pedestal, it will NOT listen to his plea for a more evenly distributed Test schedule - like 5 in 12 months and 20 in 18 months.

    We the fans are also to be blamed because we dont go to the grounds not watch Tests as avidly as we do ODIs and the new fangled ugly thing T20.

    It is a sad fact but Sachin can shout as loud as he can but BCCI will not change its ways. Its priorities are T20, ODI and, just to meet the ICC schedule, Tests.

  • thisgameislife on November 14, 2009, 15:37 GMT

    @naren - sachin does not play those 'standing-among-ruins' knocks to save his wicket and get a reporter to write how he is a lone-ranger - he hurts visibly when we lose. i fail to understand why is sachin a match-loser if he gets out after having carried the other 10 players for 90% of india's innings. this is not statistically proven, but i am sure the other teams are able to win those matches because they are all sure that it is only the ONE wicket they have to take. hence they are all on the hunt even at a stage where they would give up if it was against SA/Aus/SL. if hayden/smith play an innings of 114/169/136/175/etc the other teams would have accepted defeat. i remember akram's words after the chennai match - "aaj yeh match leke gaya" - just before saqlain got him out. hell! we hurt when sachin loses a match because of the other losers. and, my fellow sachin-worshippers, pleaes do not rubbish dhoni to prove that sachin is better. dhoni is a good player, match-winner too.

  • Ilin on November 14, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    comparing any player with sachin is like compare god with any human.dhoni is nothing and nothing but a mere dust molecule before sachin.

  • ambarish on November 14, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    @naren whatever you do please dont compare dhoni and sachin senselessly ... sachin is a opening batmen ... he played for 47 overs that day .. dhoni comes at 4 5 6 most of the times half the job is done whn he comes .. carryin on frm thr and winning the match is not a big deal.. only dhoni innings i remem was the 183 in ind against sri lanka and one with pakistan .. he has gone into his shell rite now .. we don need the dhoni as an anchor in the team .. he is supposed to be an pich hitter which he isn doin now a days !! dhoni is jus a lucky captain he has a good team and he wins.. now see he jus cant boost the teams morale whn they are loosing ... sachin is a legend he is GOD please dont deter his class by talkin nonsense... comparing him with dhoni would be a sin

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