As much as he "enjoys" Sachin Tendulkar's batting, Australian captain Michael Clarke's primary endeavour during the upcoming four-match Test series against India will be to stop the veteran from scoring "too many runs".
"You can have as many plans as possible for Sachin Tendulkar but he is a great player. He is the greatest I have seen and I have always loved playing against him. His sign of greatness is his longevity and consistency," Clarke said.
"I was walking on the treadmill and watching his 100 in the Irani Cup game. I enjoy his batting but as an Australian captain, I would like to ensure that he doesn't score too many runs," Clarke told 'Times Now' channel.
While the Aussie captain is happy that his team won't be bowling to the greats like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who have tormented them in the past, he feels that the younger Indian players would like to stamp their authority on the series.
"It's nice for us that a lot of greats like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have retired. It's good that our bowlers don't need to bowl to them but the new players will like to stamp their authority on the game."
Clarke also cleverly avoided the questions about pressure on India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after a series of disappointing results in Test matches as well as his form in the longer version of the game.
"Neither do I look too much into past nor do I look too far ahead. I am not sure whether MS or the Indian team will be giving up too easily but my focus is on Australian team and we are ready," he said.
Questioned if they have taken a cue from India's home series against England, Clarke said, "Lot of our guys watched the series but we know how good a team India is. Any team having Sachin Tendulkar will be a team to beat in their own country. But I have learnt one thing about playing in sub-continent. Whether you are No 1 bowler or debutant, patience and consistency will be key to success," he said.
First Published: February 13, 2013, 8:08 pm