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Sachin@20: Different strokes

Last updated on: November 15, 2009 08:30 IST

'I can't be compared with Bradman'

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'Statistically, I have passed Don Bradman but I can't be compared with him.'

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Reuters
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'Cricket is very, very special to me'

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'Cricket is something very, very special to me. It has never been about owning this or that car and the other things that come with this life.

An obsession with money or worldly matters was always thumbed down. My only dream was to wear the Indian cap and the Indian colours. In that respect, my childhood dreams have come true.'


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Rediff archives
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'My father was never a cricket fan'

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'My father, who died in 1999, was never a cricket fan, not at all. He was a writer and a poet: he taught Marathi, my mother tongue, at the local university. But he understood exactly how to get the best out of me. He always encouraged me and told my mother that he had full faith in me.

It was probably reverse psychology, but as I got older I felt like I could not misuse that trust. He warned me against taking short cuts and told me to just keep playing, despite the ups and downs. My parents taught me that it is important to live every day of your life with grace and honour. When it came to choosing between cricket and going to university, he said: "You can play cricket, I know that is your first love, so go for it."


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Rediff archives
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'Everyone used to call me Mac'

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'I was the only one supporting John McEnroe -- everyone used to call me "Mac" because I styled myself on him. I made my father buy me the same headbands and sweatbands and even grew my hair long. You wouldn't believe the pictures of me from that time.

I was also extremely naughty. Very, very difficult to handle. I had a nanny who used to run after me virtually 24 hours a day, because I never wanted to go home.'


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: The Making of a Cricketer by Ajit Tendulkar
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My favourite bat

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'My big sister gave me a bat after returning from a trip to Kashmir, which is known for its high-quality willows. It wasn't the best bat, but it was like a piece of gold to me.

I used to imagine myself batting for India, hitting fours and sixes, the people cheering. I used that bat until it broke.'


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: The Making of a Cricketer by Ajit Tendulkar
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'I want to learn to play the guitar'

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'I myself want to learn to play the guitar because I just love music and I want to learn to play at least one good musical instrument.'

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Tourism New Zealand
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'My job is to score runs for India'

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'I didn't want to prove a point, cause bowlers always want to make a statement and my job is to go out and score runs for India.'

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Reuters
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'I hate losing'

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'I hate losing and cricket being my first love, once I enter the ground it's a different zone altogether and that hunger for winning is always there.'

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Rediff archives
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'I find it difficult to sleep'

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'I find it difficult to sleep even after all these years because my mind is constantly working and that is the way I have always prepared.'

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Reuters
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'I watch the ball and play it on merit'

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'I just keep it simple. I watch the ball and play it on merit. I want to give my six hours of serious cricket on the ground and then take whatever the result.'

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Rediff archives
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'The match starts much, much earlier'

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'At least with me, the match starts much, much earlier than the actual match.'

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Rediff archives
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'Beating Pakistan is always special'

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'Beating Pakistan is always special because they are a tough team and we have a bit of a history regarding Pakistan.'

Image: Shoaib Akhtar taunts Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Reuters
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'He was a very mischievous boy'

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Sachin's mother Rajni recalls his childhood.

'He was a very mischievous boy. He used to love my food. I especially remember, whenever I used to prepare Aamraas and Poli [Mango pulp and Chapati], he used to stand near the window and shout, 'Look mother what's happening down there', and as soon as I used to go near the window, he would enter the kitchen and eat the Aamraas and Puris.

His feet are still firmly on the ground. He still is the same person and longs to spend time with the family. That is the best part about him. But I still get worried when he goes out and is surrounded by a huge crowd. It makes me feel so uneasy.'


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: The Making of a Cricketer by Ajit Tendulkar
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'She has been like a protective wall for me'

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Sachin Tendulkar acknowledges his wife Anjali's contribution through the years.

'She has been like a protective wall for me. She is the one on whom I can take out all my frustrations, pains and sorrows, but she has always stood by me and I am grateful for that.

It has helped me become a lot more patient.'


Image: Anjali Tendulkar with Arjun and Sara
Photographs: Rediff archives
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