'I am madly in love with the sport'
Nagraj Gollapudi
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Over 22 years, 652 international games and 100 hundreds into a career that shows no sign of flagging, Sachin Tendulkar talks about how he remains a student of the game
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Sachin Tendulkar's 100th international hundred has created bigger ripples in cricketing waters than all his previous centuries. Adding colour to the excitement surrounding the milestone, Tendulkar invited editors from across India to his hometown, Mumbai. The evening was about "celebrating hundred hundreds", as the banner behind him declared.
What was meant to be an informal chat turned out to be an engrossing hour-long tête-à-tête, during which Tendulkar, to borrow a cricketing phrase, never took his eye off the ball. It was a consummate performance. Even his biggest fan, his wife, Anjali, who is rarely present at press conferences, sat quietly in a corner, listening intently to her husband's every word.
What do personal records mean in a team game?
When you contribute towards the team, trying to achieve the team's cause, that is when the records are created. No one first looks to create records and then looks to achieve the team's cause. Before any game, the team has a goal and while chasing that goal if certain records are set, it becomes a landmark and big news. But in our team meetings we never discuss records. We discuss how to win the match and what's the best way to do it. Along the way if somebody is able to break records and do something special, then we always feel good about it.
This is your 23rd year in international cricket. What has the last year taught you that your first 22 years did not?
To stay patient on 99 hundreds (smiles). Yes, this year was a difficult one. When I was on 99 hundreds during the World Cup, nobody spoke about it. The focus was on the World Cup. We won the World Cup and then everybody started thinking what's next and started questioning 'where...