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Mumbai: Mar 14, 2014
Sachin Tendulkar, the only player to score 100 international centuries during his 24-year career, conceded that scoring the last ton, after an agonising wait was tough due to the expectation and mounting pressure from all quarters.
“For the first century there were no expectations and people were enjoying my batting. Even from my side I didn’t know that there were 99 hundreds to follow. When I scored my 100th hundred, it obviously took a while.
“So many times I got close to scoring the hundred and so many had written articles that I have to do this and that, not knowing that I have 99 tons behind me. So, it is tricky as I felt both were important. Pressure of scoring the 100th hundred was hundred times more,” Tendulkar said in Mumbai.
According to the 40-year-old, more than scoring centuries, contributing to the team’s success was far more important personally.
“Scoring 100 hundreds was something that I never thought, I just wanted to go and bat for India and win matches. I remember one game against Sri Lanka at Cuttack and I was batting on 97 not out. I was on strike and the Sri Lankan captain had put all the fielders behind and when Dinesh Karthik was batting all the fielders were up.
“Karthik asked me what should he do? I told him what do you mean what should you do, you should hit the ball and finish the game. He asked if it was okay?
“I mean if I am 98 not out and we win the game, we have still won the game and that is what we all play for. It is not about the hundreds but what we bring in as a team member.
“Sometimes, I felt I have scored 55-60 runs but they have had immense value, because that has set the platform for the team’s victory,” he said.
Tendulkar also said he shared a good rapport with the youngsters in the Indian team later in his career when he was its senior statesman.
“I used to jokingly tell them you should wish me good morning sir. We shared a wonderful relationship. They all treated me like their elder brother. It was never a one-way traffic. I told them you have fun with me also. I used to pull their leg and they had the freedom to pull my leg. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with all the youngsters,” Tendulkar said.
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