Sachin Tendulkar plays down comparisons with Don Bradman

One-day 200 is a national mark, says batting legend

Sachin Tendulkar plays down comparisons with Don Bradman

 Sachin Tendulkar during a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday. AP

After his historic knock of unbeaten 200 in the Gwalior ODI against South Africa, former England captain Hussain and a few others had described Tendulkar as the greatest batsman in the history of the game, even better than the iconic Bradman.

Tendulkar, however, refused to be drawn into a comparison. “I never believed in comparisons. I respect every individual off the field too and it’s not about only Sir Don. I respect them all. I’m happy to play for the country and I am particularly happy when I do well and the team wins,” said Tendulkar who became the first batsman to hit a double century in a one-dayer.

Talking about his double hundred, Tendulkar said he considers the record a national mark and not an individual milestone. “When I started the innings I did not know I will get 200. I will say it is an Indian record and will be happy it stays as an Indian record,” he said.
That historic knock also prompted former India captains Ajit Wadekar, Kapil Dev and Dilp Vengsarkar to demand the coveted ‘Bharat Ratna’ for the batting genius but Tendulkar said he was not thinking about it.

“It’s a rare honour and whosoever have got it are not only my heroes but the heroes of the entire country. Who would not like to join that list, but my focus is on cricket. If it has to happen it will happen,” the champion batsman said.

Home support

Looking ahead, Tendulkar was sure that the entire country was waiting to support the Indian cricket team when the 2011 World Cup unfolds in the sub-continent. “I’m (eagerly) waiting for it. The entire country would be rooting for us,” he said.

Tendulkar lost his cool when a scribe sought his reaction on Virender Sehwag’s desire to take over his number four spot in the Test line-up when he quits the game.
“Once I’m done (called it a day) I will let you know,” said Tendulkar, who addressed the gathering as the brand ambassador of NGO ‘Give India’.

Tendulkar wished the the team well for the remainder of the tournament and promised them full support. "On every Indian's behalf, I would say that we are always with you. Performance keeps fluctuating but our support for them remains consistent.
"In fact, the support should be stronger in times when the team is going through tough phases. We will support them during that time," he said.

Tendulkar sounded very happy with the time he spent giving tips to underprivileged children as part of the charity he supports. “When I knew I could do this camp I was very happy. I can’t improve technique in one day but can talk on basics. I’m extremely proud to be part of this incredible movement,” he said about his association with the NGO.

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