JANUARY 02, 2006
Back after a niggling injury, Sachin Tendulkar talks about his game and his life
Q. Who are your role models in cricket?
A. Sunil Gavaskar and Vivian Richards. I have always wanted to bat like them.
Q. As a young player, were you afraid of playing with big names like Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar?
A. I was not afraid of them but I had lot of respect for them. They were my heroes. I used to watch how they prepared for a match and wanted to emulate them. Unfortunately, I never played with Gavaskar. But he congratulated me after my hundred in my debut Ranji match and presented me with leg guards. Vengsarkar gifted me a Moore's bat.
Q. What is the difference between the 18-year-old Tendulkar and the 32-year-old Tendulkar?
A. I am more mature now and yesteryears' josh (exuberance) has given way to hosh (rationality). I have realised it is impossible to please all.
Q. Do you think the Indian team lacks team spirit?
A. The team doesn't lack team spirit. The players' morale changes according to its performance.
Q. The impact of one-day matches is seen on Test matches. Is there a commercial reason or is cricket becoming a fast game?
A. Both cricket and people's preferences are changing. Everyone wants action. Look at how popular the twenty-over matches have been.
Q. Do you prefer one-days or Tests?
A. I would prefer Tests. These matches are more challenging.
Q. At what age do you plan to retire?
A. I have not thought about this yet. When I feel that I am not able to perform at my 100 per cent, I'll step down.
Q. That means you do not consider age as a factor for retirement.
A. It all depends on mental preparation. Steve Waugh played till 39.
Q. Amitabh Bachchan says he will work till he can walk.
A. Actors can say such things. But in sports, maintaining physical fitness at a certain level is must. It is quite impossible to come back when someone stays out of the game. Actors can act even when they are in their 50s. Dev Anand is still charismatic.
Q. Sachin is seen more on the television than on the ground. Do you think it is good?
A. I never spend more than five hours for a TV ad. It is a misconception that cricketers are always busy in shoots. Life as a cricketer is limited. Money is not important, runs are.
Q. You also like music...
A. Yes, I like to listen to good music. I wanted to learn to play the guitar.
Q. What was your happiest moment?
A. Every victory has been memorable, especially during the World Cup.
Q. Who would you rate as the two best cricket captains?
A. Ravi Shastri and Sandip Patil from India. I rate Nasser Hussain of England as the best international captain.
Q. Who is your best bowler?
A. I rate Shane Warne, Muthiah Muralidharan and Courtney Walsh highly.
Q. And who is your best batsman?
A. Vivian Richards
Q. Which was your best innings?
A. In 1992, in Perth I scored 100 against Australia.
Q. Which is your favourite movie?
A. Sholay and Lagaan
Q. Who is your dream girl other than your wife and daughter?
A. You will create a big problem for me. I love my family. You will not hear of another woman's name in my life.