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Tests must remain cricket's pinnacle format: Tendulkar

Last updated on: March 26, 2012 10:45 IST

Tests must remain cricket's pinnacle format: Tendulkar

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Describing Test cricket as a very challenging format, batting star Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday said Test cricket should remain the pinnacle format for future players to aspire to. 

"There has to be more importance to Test cricket. This format is very challenging for which you need planning. 

"You need to play at a different pace at different times. 

"If you ask any player, most would tell you that Tests have to be number one and I have no different opinion," Tendulkar said.



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Key for Indian cricket's progress is not to lose hope

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The Indian team has also gone through a tough phase since winning the World Cup in April last year, Tendulkar said and added that the key to recovery lay in not losing hope.

"Wherever we go, we want to win. When you lose the number one ranking, it means someone is playing better cricket than you, you need to perform better and win. That is what we go out for. At no stage should we lose hope. It is a rough patch but we can overcome that obstacle, we require hard work and we will do that," Tendulkar said. 

"I think our team has had a few injuries. During the England tour, we suffered because of injuries. I don't want to give excuses because whoever plays, he is expected to do well. I can't pinpoint reasons but we can get better," he said. 

"I don't know how to put it across. I don't think you can find solutions in 3-4 sentences. It is a process. When we became number one, it was a process and we will have to repeat that," he added. 




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'It was a tough phase because the good wishes were not stopping'

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Tendulkar also said that the media hype over when he would score his 100th international ton did at times affect him at a subconscious level, but overall, he just interested in and focused on scoring runs for India. 

"At the time of the World Cup, when I got to 99 hundreds, no one was discussing about my 100th hundred, because the focus was on the World Cup. But after the World Cup, the media built on it and started asking. I was only focused on playing cricket like always. I just wanted to score runs," Tendulkar recalled. 

"But as time went by, people who were listening to the media, those people, excluding my friends and family, would wish me about the 100th hundred. But I felt cricket should be the focus and that is what I kept telling myself," Tendulkar said. 

"I can say that from a cricketing point of view, it was a tough phase because the good wishes were not stopping. Now, at least they won't pray for my 100th ton and my ears will get some rest," he joked. 

"I can't complain about all these good wishes," Tendulkar said. 




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'There were patches when I didn't bat well'

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Talking about his own form in this one year, Tendulkar said: "I can say that there were patches when I didn't bat well, there were patches when I felt that I batted my best. I felt that sometimes you need luck to be on your side." 

"Sometimes that luck factor was missing because as far as preparations were concerned, my commitment and passion was in place. I scored 100 out of 100 on that. But you don't always achieve the results that you dream of," he added. 

Tendulkar said: "Something that is more important is not to lose hope. I did not lose hope, I continued trying my best. Here, I only waited for a year, but for the World Cup, I waited for 22 years, and it happened." 

Tendulkar further said: "There are going to be rough phases in life. I don't think there is anyone who hasn't experienced rough phases, but they are personal. But because we are public figures, our rough phases are on camera. But I didn't lose faith in my ability and that is what has allowed me to be where I am." 



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'If you ask me to judge myself, I can't do that'

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Asked to assess himself, Tendulkar said he would leave that job to his fans and critics.

"I can't judge myself but definitely there was a dream to be regarded as one of the top players to have played the game. To be in that league that was my dream. I wanted to be right at the top or to be there in that group and I feel I am there but if you ask me to judge myself, I can't do that. That's for others to say," he said. 

Asked to compare the pressure he felt at the time of his debut hundred and the 100th hundred, Tendulkar said it is incomparable. 

"I think in 94' when I did a press conference, even half of the journalists present right now were not there. There were few expectations. Today, the expectations are a lot more. Even if I score 70-80, it is a disappointment like in Delhi last year against the West Indies.  It's about how you look at things. My first century and this one can't be compared because expectations are different," he said.




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'The best compliment was from Sir Don Bradman'

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Tendulkar also said that while having almost every batting record in cricket was a great feeling, the biggest compliment for him was when legendary Australian cricketer Sir Don Bradman included him in his all-time Test XI. 

"I think the best compliment was from Sir Don Bradman when he announced his all-time Test XI and I was part of that squad. 

"That would be the best compliment," Tendulkar told media here. 




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