Sachin Tendulkar spoke about his pride of being part of 40% of India's Test matches on the day India got onto the field to play their 500th Test match. The 43-year-old also spoke about his wish to play alongside Sunil Gavaskar and Viv Richards and discussed the weakness of the current Indian team.
“It was a special moment for all of us. It was a moment we ought to take pride in collectively. Personally, I will never forget my debut Test (in Pakistan in 1989). In fact, even the news of being selected to play for India was huge for me. It was always a challenge to get into the Test squad and that made me realise the significance of five-day cricket. It is an amazing feeling to know that I have been a part of it in 40 per cent of the matches. It’s been a thrilling experience,” Tendulkar, who was part of the group of former players and captains invited by the BCCI to celebrate the occasion of India's 500th Test, told The Hindu.
Sachin also paid his tribute to the former cricketing greats of the nation. He said, “Hats off to all those who served the game all these years. It would not be fair to compare the different eras but I admire the spirit in which they played cricket. They never complained and charmed their way into the hearts of the fans.
“Honestly, 500 is just a number. Cricket is the same. You see many things along the way and some remain with you. I’m glad that I could be part of the foundation of this building. It also gave me an opportunity to catch up with some old friends.”
Sachin also expressed his wish and desire to play alongside the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Sir Vivian Richards. When asked about his views on India's journey in Test cricket so far, he said “Fabulous. I really would have loved playing alongside Sunil sir (Gavaskar) and Viv (Richards). They were my batting heroes.”
Moving to the current Indian team, Sachin refused to label this as a transitional period in Indian cricket and insisted that most of these players have been part of the team of a long time.
“It is wrong to say that this is a team in transition. Most of the players have been around for some time now. It is good that people continue to expect from them. Their commitment is noticeable,” Sachin said.
When asked about what he felt regarding the needs to strengthen this Indian team, he said “Certainly the bowling. You have to be solid in your bowling attack because that’s where you will win your matches. Indian cricket is in a healthy state no doubt and I am confident Anil (Kumble) can take care of this aspect.
“I don’t want to comment more because I am not even spending time with them to understand the players better. All I want them to remember is that it boils down to the number of runs scored and 20 wickets taken.”