Want to perform for India as long as I play: Sachin

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2010, 23:27 PM IST

Bangalore: Senior India batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday said playing for the country has been his childhood dream and that he has enjoyed every moment during the last 20 years.

“I have always been focused towards my game. When I started playing cricket, I never had any goals but always wanted to perform for my country and as long as I play for India, my focus will remain so,” Tendulkar told the official broadcasters . He added, “Playing for India for 20 years has been magnificent.”

The batting maestro said he has worked hard along with Gary Kristen for the last couple of years and the team is doing fantastically.

“It has always been a fantastic feeling to be a part of a successful team,” said the batsman who has scored the most number of runs and centuries in Tests and ODIs.

Talking about his fitness, Tendulkar said he tries to work hard and lead a disciplined life but there are bound to be niggles in between.

On India’s chances in the ongoing Test match, Tendulkar said, “It is going to be a challenge for us. The wicket is slow and has uneven bounce. We need to try and get good partnerships. We need to stay at the wicket but it is going to be hard work.”

Meanwhile, as cricket lovers globally applauded Tendulkar’s feat, his teammate Murali Vijay and Marcus North of Australia paid rich tributes to the batting icon.

Vijay said, “I am living my dream now. Sachin was my childhood hero and I am lucky to bat along side with him now. It is unbelievable. I am just enjoying that feel. It is a different kind of feel for me.”

On the other hand, North referred to Sachin as an amazing player and said, “His feat of 14,000 plus runs is very special. I guess it is a credit to his career.”

“In the pressures of Test cricket, he has had a long journey. He has proven to be a class player.”

North also spelt out his team’s strategy to get the master batsman out”.

“We are somehow work hard and remove him pretty quickly tomorrow. Playing against someone who has had 14,000 plus runs as I have just got in to my first 1,000 runs, speaks as to how is respected,” the Australian added.

PTI