Tendulkar happy with his effort

Mumbaikar all praise for Raina

Down 0-1 in the series with their number one ranking on the line and having seen Sri Lanka amass 642 in their first innings in the second Test, the master batted out of his skin to make a monumental 203, thereby batting India to safety in the company of debutant Suresh Raina.

“To be out there for whatever number of hours I have been, it was a good effort and I am quite pleased about that, that I was able to be there in these conditions for a long time,” Tendulkar said of his 516-minute stint. “It’s been challenging. Yesterday after play,
I had a long ice bath. Then I did some stretches, had early dinner and was in bed by 8.30 pm. When you are off the field, time flies. When you wake up in the morning, it’s time to go back to the ground again.

“But that’s what Test cricket is all about. For almost all four days, I have been on the field. It’s been demanding on the body but it’s held up pretty well.” There was a huge pat for Raina. “Both our innings were important,” he remaked. “When you’re chasing a total of 600-plus, it’s equally important to build partnerships and occupy the crease for long periods. We could achieve both the targets. Raina showed tremendous character, tremendous all-round game. The way he batted was fantastic. It didn’t appear that he was playing his first Test. His Test debut, he came out to bat at a critical stage and got into a big partnership. You can’t ask for anything more.

“I was very happy for him when he reached hundred,” Tendulkar carried on. “Many guys doubted whether Suresh was a good Test player or not. All I told him was, enjoy this moment. You have earned something special. This will always be the highlight of your career.”

Thought process

Calling the track a ‘batting paradise’ and not ‘result-oriented’, Tendulkar pointed out that it wasn’t his game alone that had changed with time. “With age, you obviously change your thought process. It’s not only in cricket, but generally in life. You just have more experience, more exposure and make decisions differently. You get to know more about cricket and the learning process never stops. If you are prepared to learn, you can grasp a lot of things.

“I’ve always gone out and just played. People look at records, not me. I want to score as many runs as possible,” he parried a question on an elusive Test triple ton. “Whenever it comes, it comes. It is never too late. I will keep trying, but that is not the end of the world to me. There are many more things to cricket and that is where the focus is. It’s not on records. If it has to come, it will come.”

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