Sachin talks cricket, we lis­ten!

Sportstar - - INTERVIEW SACHIN TENDULKAR - G. VISWANATH & AYON SEN­GUPTA

It was the in­au­gu­ral Sport­star Tro­phy, in 19■7. Play­ing for the Dattu Phad­kar XI, Sachin Ten­dulkar, a 15­year­old school­boy from Shradashram Vidya Mandir, scored 330 runs in three matches. His re­ward was a cricket kit. Sachin went on to score 34,347 runs in Tests and ODIS put to­gether, win­ning ev­ery pos­si­ble award and ac­co­lade in the world of cricket. Thirty­one years later, as Sport­star meets Sachin — on the day he made his Test de­but in Pak­istan in 19■9 — to pick his brains again, Sachin fondly talks about that “grey kit bag.”

Sachin, from a very young age, for very long, held the In­dian bat­ting to­gether, con­jur­ing knocks of epic pro­por­tions. He kept his whites white, stay­ing far away from the pol­i­tics and muck that vi­ti­ated the game in the late 90s. He just scored his runs, said the right words and en­sured the faith­ful stayed loyal to In­dian cricket when all else con­spired to erad­i­cate the pub­lic’s faith in the game. His stature, even post his teary­eyed re­tire­ment on Novem­ber 16, 2013, is in­tact and he shows the same child­like en­thusi­

asm when talk­ing about cricket.

You have toured Aus­tralia on five oc­ca­sions and have scored more than 1800 runs there. You must have sweet mem­o­ries of Down Un­der.

Ab­so­lutely! The (first) Aus­tralian trip was one of the defin­ing tours of my life. Of course, the first hun­dred came in Eng­land, but in that era, if you scored runs in Eng­land and in Aus­tralia, you were said to have ar­rived. So, scor­ing runs in Eng­land and Aus­tralia was re­ally im­por­tant; well, scor­ing runs ev­ery­where is im­por­tant, but in par­tic­u­lar I would say Aus­tralia, given the bowl­ing strength that they had. Dur­ing the phase I played, the bowlers that I en­coun­tered, they ruled world cricket in those days. To be able to go there and ex­press your­self and do it the way you want, I was quite pleased about that.

Your have scored cen­turies at Mel­bourne, Syd­ney, Perth, Ade­laide…the miss­ing one is

JIGNESH MISTRY

Set­ting goals: Sachin Ten­dulkar... very clear in thought and ac­tion.

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