Four years ago, he had dedicated his match-winning century against England in Chennai to the inhabitants of Mumbai, who had been ravaged by the terror attack of November 26. The Mumbai Test started two days after the sole surviving gunman of those attacks, Ajmal Kasab, was hanged in Pune’s Yerawada Jail.
“It had not struck me. I must tell my teammates. It will charge us all up. But that one was an unbelievable game. I had felt that even if for a moment we had been able to make people smile because of our victory, we had done our duty as India players.”
The World Cup victory in 2011 remains Tendulkar’s “greatest moment”; and 2000-2010 “the great decade for Indian cricket”. Indian cricket’s future, he said, is in the hands of “some good players”. “Five years from now, well, we have the talent and the resources.”
And retirement? “The mind and the body know when it is the right moment to go.”