Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval August 2, 2010

Record-breaking Tendulkar cherishes journey

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Among all of Sachin Tendulkar's achievements over the years - and there are too many to be recounted - going past Steve Waugh's world record of 168 Test caps must rank pretty high. To have been considered good enough for India for so many matches, to have been fit for so long, to have outlasted almost all his contemporaries. Suresh Raina, India's latest debutant, was still a toddler when Tendulkar bled on the pitch in Sialkot and said, "Main khelega [I'll play]".

A day before he plays his record-making Test, Tendulkar put it, the "dream that I have been living", in perspective. "The rest of things can be achieved, but for this you need an X number of years, an X number of tours, that's when this thing happens," he says. "And I am quite pleased. It has taken me 20-plus years to get here.

"It's wonderful that we have been able to play so much Test cricket. In the last few years we have played a reasonable amount of Test cricket. At one stage, in the early nineties, I hardly got any Test matches. Couple of Test occasions there were just two or three Tests in a year. It was disappointing. That is not the case now."

The thoughts, he says, go back to his first Test, in 1989, after which he thought he would never play a Test again. One-sixty-seven Tests later he says, "It's been a long journey. I still remember the first Test I played. It was a completely different feeling altogether, compared to any form of cricket I had played. And since then it has worked out pretty well. Very happy that I have had this privilege of such a long journey at the international level."

Tendulkar spoke of the preparation that goes behind doing well for such a long time. "The journey has gone by very quickly, quicker than I expected," he says. "Time flies. You just need to enjoy it, it's a circle. You are not always on the top, sometimes there are rough patches, but the simple formula that I have followed is, whenever I have gone through tough phases, I have found a reason to work harder. And try and spend all my energy at something I have been wanting to get better at.

"The pre-match preparation is extremely important. In that factor, I feel I have always been prepared. Sometimes I was able to achieve results, sometimes I wasn't, but my preparations were always there. Really proud of it."

The journey has indeed been long. The third umpire was introduced in his time, and he is there when we are talking about UDRS too. In between have come enough triumphs, and more than enough heartbreaks to break down quite a few. Tendulkar is still saying, "Main khelega."

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srini06 on August 3, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    This is for the ppl who talk rubbish abt SRT that he scored on dead pitches & just for longevity he pulls on & on etc...just FYI every cricketer has played on all the pitches but only SRT has succeeded in the past & present. In the future also the records will be unbreakable and hence SRT will remain bright forever. If you guys are jealous and envy abt his performance just bcos your favourite cricketer is not creating records, pls refrain urself from logging into this portal. Dear SRT, All ur fans from the age 3 to 90+ are the most fortunate to see your play LIVE and consider ourselves to be luckiest. Rest all will get to see video clips only after your retirement. hahahahha ! May god bless you with many such records and you score century 50s and half century 100s in both the formats. All the best legend. You are the man. We salute u.

  • dummy4fb on August 3, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    but without dravid indian test cricket is incomplete

  • ashraf_noor on August 3, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    while he has almost all batting record with his name except 401 runs ,, indian team should try to promote him in top order on some batting paradise pitch for some matches to give him enough chances to names this record too. aisey bhi test draw ho jatey hian so wats problem if 2-3 for sachin,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,?

  • dummy4fb on August 3, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    A true Legend and a great son of INDIA. In my life time I have seen few living legends like Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Gavasker, Viswanathan Anand, Sachin Tendulker.

  • Rara_Avis on August 3, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Yes, ones own,, nothing else matters, so selfish and team has second priority..Then all can achieve amount of money and fame.

  • dummy4fb on August 3, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    I am a West Indian of east Indian descent. The WI have produced many great cricketers. I am partial to those players such as Viv Richards, Sobers etc. etc. Tendulkar is truly a special talent. He is a phenomenal batsman. I rank him among the best ever. I urge him to at least 55 hundreds. He can do it. I want him to batter all bowlers except the WI. I am willing to bet that Ponting will never surpass him. He is an excellent person in private. A good man. In the end he will always be remembered not only for his brilliance and passion but the manner in which he conducted himself. I wish to see him bat for many more tests. Good luck Mr. Tendulkar sir.

  • AJGWST on August 3, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Congrats Tendu, What great achivements. I mean to score 200 in a ODI at the age of 36. And Also the fact that no one has got a score greater than 196 for so many years. Also to be able to score double century with an injury, what a GREAT player the best of the best.

  • KiwiRocker- on August 3, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    Mein Khele Ga is Good! I remember his first test match as a small child.Waqar Younis also debuted in that test match and Tendulkar's stumps went for a walk. Who would have thought that Tendulkar will go on and play 161 test matches? Waqar Younis also broke Tendulkar's nose in Silakot during the same series but he showed good courage! Biggest blemish on Tendulkar's record is that he played like four test matches against two of best bowlers of his generation the two W's of Pakistan.! This was due to nonsensical policy of Indian Govt. Tendulkar's record is also average against South Africa and Pakistan. Accordingly Tendulkar will always go down as 3rd best batsman of modern day behind Lara and Ponting who scores everywhere against everyone.! I am sure Tendulkar himself would have wanted to prove his ability against the best but such as the politics in India! Mein Khele Ga and he is still playing.....!Surely best Indian batsman ever behind Sunil Gavaskar!

  • JackSparrows on August 3, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Sachin- YOU BEAUTY, your achievements have left me speechless, there are no words to describe you as a person and as a cricketer, you have been the best from the word go and will a;ways remain the best all the way, I salute you SIR from the bottom of my heart, this life has certainly been worth living purely to see a great human being like yourself. I wish you good luck for all your future endeavours and will wait for the opportunity to meet you once again in near future.

  • dummy4fb on August 3, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    L E G E N D - P E R I O D !!!

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