Dreams do come true: Tendulkar
Mirpur, Mar 16: Sachin Tendulkar finally scored his landmark hundredth international century, awaited by fans, experts and the cricketing fraternity, in the fourth match of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh. The 38-year-old spoke to Ramiz Raja in a TV interview after his 147-ball 114.
Excerpts from the mid-innings interview
On the momentous century
It’s slightly tough knowing that I started off the season batting reasonably well. In Australia, at times I felt luckless. It doesn’t matter how many hundreds you score; you still have to put your head down and grind it out and do the job for the team.
On whether he was thinking about the milestone in the lead-up to it
I was not, to be honest. Precisely a year ago, when I got my 99th hundred, no one spoke [about the impending landmark] during the World Cup. And then it was the media, I guess, who started all this. Everywhere, wherever I went – at restaurants, the [hotel] housekeeping, room service – all were just talking about the hundredth hundred. And it became a little difficult mentally because I am not just playing for my hundredth hundred. The 99th hundred that I scored, nobody spoke about that. Everyone has their opinion but eventually I had to do what was important for the team.
On what was going through his mind batting in the 80s and 90s
It was slightly different because I felt the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat and when I was talking to Virat [Kohli], he was also [saying] the same [thing]. The total that we had in mind was about 275-280; if we could get to that total, then that would be a good [score]. I didn’t bat much in the last match but what Virat had to say was that the wicket was a bit slower than the last one.
On his achievement
It hasn’t sunk in, but I definitely lost about 50 kilos.
On being asked to send a message to kids who want to emulate him
Enjoy the game and chase your dreams; I think dreams do come true. I had to wait for 22 years to win the World Cup. Don’t stop chasing your dream.