Sachin Tendulkar is not just the senior, and hugely successful star, but also an elder brother to players and a respected statesman of Indian cricket.
Most young players address him as:
He calls Yuvraj:
What did he scrawl on the thigh pad he gifted Harbhajan?
‘Smack them all’.
How Sachin sprung a pleasant surprise on his teammates, and his explanation:
He went around the team bus getting a bat signed by all the players, and said, “This is for Nelson Mandela.”
How many net sessions did he have during the entire World Cup?
Just one regular net — before the Zimbabwe match in Harare.
Sachin’s usual practice routine:
Gentle knocking just to keep the rhythm going, and to check the mechanics of batting.
Advice he gives his son:
“Just hit the ball!”
What he said to a nine-year-old who could barely walk after being hit on the thigh by a cricket ball?
“Don’t worry, injuries bring luck. And next time, hit the ball instead of letting the ball hit you!”
What’s in his kitbag, apart from cricket gear?
A picture of Ganapati, the Indian flag and a good luck message from his kids.
Sachin on tension:
Some tension is good because it increases concentration. But when it becomes too much, you can’t sleep. Maybe, in the match against Pakistan, I was cramping because of nervousness.
His bat weighs:
2 pounds 10 ounces, down from 3 pounds.
Sachin’s memory of Newlands, Cape Town:
Being caught by Adam Bacher after pulling a short ball from McMillan. “I thought it was a six but Bacher somehow caught it at the square-leg boundary. I could not believe it, it was incredible.”
The maestro to a net bowler who apologised after hitting him on the arm:
“Don’t worry. Make me uncomfortable — that is what I want.”
When Leipus prescribed a three-minute ice bath after he got a hundred, he said:
“Only a minute and a half, or I will freeze!”
After he was dismissed playing a sweep to Muralitharan, and missed another ODI hundred:
“Doesn’t matter. Centuries are made by muqaddar.”
Items he invariably carries while travelling:
Oakleys, his ipod, a mobile and a light Adidas bag on his shoulder.
Reason why he was optimistic about defeating Australia:
India had stopped Australia’s unbeaten 16-match win streak in Tests and thus could be the team to halt their run in the World Cup.
What Holland players did after the match against India:
Took autographs/photographs with Sachin.
What he does with undivided attention?
Rahul Dravid on Sachin’s batting:
“He is always highly motivated. The only change I notice in his batting is he is more determined now.”
Amrit Mathur takes us back to India’s journey through the 2003 World Cup.