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'Success is about turning stones into milestones'

Our Correspondent | October 17, 2008 19:57 IST

The world record for the highest number of runs in Test cricket, the feat of being the first person to surpass 12,000 runs, and also an added achievement of 50 Test half-centuries.

Those were Sachin Tendulkar's [Images] achievements at the end of Day 1 in the second Test against Australia [Images] at Mohali on Friday.

To say that the Master Blaster's career is replete with such achievements would be an understatement, but the moment, in particular, was definitely special.

Tendulkar, in his inimitable style, tried to play down the achievements.

"I'm quite happy," he said. "It's definitely one of the proudest moments of my career. However, even though everyone was talking about the record, I was concentrating on the team's requirements.

"But since everyone kept asking about it, I constantly remembered it. Now that it is done with, I know that no one will ask me this question. So I don't have to remember it now," he said on Friday evening.

The 35-year-old stressed that he never had records in his mind.

"When I started as a 16-year-old, I had no targets; I just wanted to enjoy! I would want to continue that now."

However, on prodding further, he did come out with a longer explanation.

"As a player's career progresses, the subconscious mind starts thinking about all these things [read records]," he admitted. "But the beauty is to go out, play and feel that atmosphere. While doing that, records will definitely get broken.

"At times, I have told my colleagues I wasn't aware of how many runs I need to make for a record and they found it difficult to believe. But I have replied by saying 'I'm ready to swear by anyone.' "

Tendulkar, however, denied that he did feel the pressure of the record, considering his recent poor form.

"I was not under so much pressure about the record, there was no burden as such," he explained. "I knew I had to keep playing my game and the record would have come at some stage."

He also denied that his innings on Friday (88) was meant to silence his critics.

"I don't need to prove anything to anyone. I have been playing for 19 years and I didn't play all these years to make any point," he reasoned.

"I feel I just have to contribute according to the team's requirements. And what I feel within is more important."

He, however, took the opportunity to have a tacit dig at his critics.

"What they [critics] give are opinions� and I don't take opinions seriously. I have always believed that success is a process where there are stones thrown at you and you have got to turn them into milestones," he said.

However, I don't know how people figure out what is going on in my mind. Sometimes, I don't know that myself."

The completion of 12,000 Test runs was yet another achievement in his illustrious career and the master batsman did get a tad nostalgic about the same.

"It has been a fantastic journey. It has not been only about successes but one with ups and downs and I have been able to overcome all the obstacles," he said. "I am definitely happy to be able to contribute 12,000 runs for India in the 19 years I have played in. And this innings, in particular, also came at a crucial juncture as we had lost three wickets in no time.

"So it was important to get a partnership going and to continue the rebuilding."

However, amidst all the elation, there was a tinge of disappointment.

"I was disappointed to get out," he confessed. "The idea was to keep going, but with the new ball been taken I took a fraction of a second more to adjust and paid a heavy price for that."

But with so much to take home on a single day, it was definitely a time to forget the disappointment, relish the achievements and do something Tendulkar couldn't on Thursday.

"Honestly, it was a little difficult to sleep last night, because I was constantly reminded of the record," he confessed.

Now that the monkey is off his back, Tendulkar can definitely get a good night's sleep. And wake up only to try and to turn another stone into a milestone.

Complete coverage: Australia in India 2008

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