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Legend advises kids to enjoy the game, chase their dreams
By IPL desk
Mirpur 16 March 2012
Mumbai Indians skipper Sachin Tendulkar finally scored his landmark hundredth international century, awaited by fans, experts and the cricketing fraternity, in the fourth match of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh. The 38-year-old spoke to Ramiz Raja in a TV interview after his 147-ball 114. Excerpts from the mid-innings interview
On the momentous century
It’s slightly tough knowing that I started off the season batting reasonably well. In Australia, at times I felt luckless. It doesn’t matter how many hundreds you score; you still have to put your head down and grind it out and do the job for the team.
On whether he was thinking about the milestone in the lead-up to it
I was not, to be honest. Precisely a year ago, when I got my 99th hundred, no one spoke [about the impending landmark] during the World Cup. And then it was the media, I guess, who started all this. Everywhere, wherever I went ¬– at restaurants, the [hotel] housekeeping, room service – all were just talking about the hundredth hundred. And it became a little difficult mentally because I am not just playing for my hundredth hundred. The 99th hundred that I scored, nobody spoke about that. Everyone has their opinion but eventually I had to do what was important for the team.
On what was going through his mind batting in the 80s and 90s
It was slightly different because I felt the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat and when I was talking to Virat [Kohli], he was also [saying] the same [thing]. The total that we had in mind was about 275-280; if we could get to that total, then that would be a good [score]. I didn’t bat much in the last match but what Virat had to say was that the wicket was a bit slower than the last one.
On his achievement
It hasn’t sunk in, but I definitely lost about 50 kilos. On being asked to send a message to kids who want to emulate him
Enjoy the game and chase your dreams; I think dreams do come true. I had to wait for 22 years to win the World Cup. Don’t stop chasing your dream.
DD skipper confident his team will do much better in IPL 2012
By IPL desk
Mumbai 15 March 2012
Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag, who is recovering from a back injury, is eager to set the record straight in IPL 2012. While his team finished last in 2011, the dashing right-hander is confident that an improved squad, along with newfound enthusiasm among the players will ensure that the Daredevils come out on top in IPL 2012.
Excerpts from an interview with delhidaredevils.com
On getting the team he wanted
I clearly told the DD team that I want these players and I got them; especially Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and Andre Russell. So hopefully, we’ll deliver and live up to people’s expectations. Yes, they were disappointed last season, but this season people are excited about the DD team. On being the captain of the Delhi Daredevils
Whoever is leading the side doesn’t matter. [Doesn’t matter] if it’s Sehwag, [Kevin] Pietersen or Mahela Jayawardene. They understand that I got the job from Delhi Daredevils, and they have to listen to me and have to cooperate with me. I know all these star batsmen very well, and I have a very good relationship with them. So they can help me and guide me so that I can discuss a lot of things about cricket.
On the Daredevils’ bowling attack
It’s good that we have a lot of Indian bowlers so I can give the overseas batsmen [a chance] to play in the eleven. I am confident that Umesh Yadav and the others can do the job for me as a bowing unit. Basically, T20 is a batsman’s game and if your bowlers do their job, we can restrict the opposition to under 150, 160 or even 180. With the kind of batting we have, we don’t have any problems chasing those totals.
On the spinners in the team
We tried everything, but we didn’t have the kind of money to buy world-class spinners. So we spent all the money on top-class batsmen. We needed some batsmen [more] than one good quality spinner. Yes, we can rely on our fast bowling department, which I think is very good. Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron did a good job last year, whenever they played. So, I am relying on my fast bowling attack rather than on my spinners. You can’t ask for everything in your team, so you have to make do with what you have.
On the chances of him bowling in IPL 2012
Last year I was playing with my shoulder injury and this year my shoulder is absolutely fine. I’ve bowled many overs in Tests, ODIs and T20s, so hopefully I’ll bowl for the Delhi Daredevils as well.
On the young Indian players in the team
One thing I tell them is that there is opportunity for them. Whenever they get a chance, they have to perform not for the Daredevils but for themselves. If they deliver for themselves, then the whole world will know about their performance. On the IPL experience
You can share a lot of moments with players from outside India and get to know their culture. You get to know how they prepare themselves before games, what they do when they are free. I think it’s good that the IPL is happening in India and that our youngsters, who are playing in domestic cricket, are also playing in the IPL. They get an opportunity to play along with big international stars and the stars also share their experiences with the youngsters. On his fitness levels
I got some inflammation in my sacroiliac joint [lower back] which I found out in Australia. So that’s why I got this break from the Asia Cup, and I am recovering at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be fine very soon.