My favourite Sachin innings
His first double hundred, 204 for Mumbai against Australia at Brabourne Stadium (Mumbai) in 1998. It was an unbelievable innings and I watched it from 22 yards away. It was hitting at its best and the ball travelled from his bat at supersonic speed. I have never seen a cricket ball being hit so hard.
He went in to bat one hour before lunch and 30 minutes after tea, he had a double hundred. My other favourite innings was the 233 for Mumbai vs Tamil Nadu in the 1999-2000 Ranji Trophy semifinal. The manner in which he got the double was out of the world.
His greatest strength
His mind is his greatest strength. His greatest quality is the way he thinks out of the box, only a genius can be that way. If he sets his mind on something, he has to achieve it.
What weakness can you point out about Sachin? His only weakness, as far as I know, is his passion for cars and the fact that he drives so fast you have to fasten your seatbelt and hold on tight. He has a fascination for speed and is often drawn into long, intense discussions on the speeds of BMWs and Ferraris.
Sachin & me
He is very mischievous. About 10 years ago, he was coming to my place for dinner and we had prepared a lot of things and were eagerly awaiting his arrival. He called me from downstairs to say he could not make it. I was completely zapped because this was so unlike Sachin. Two minutes later, my doorbell rang. I was very upset and did not answer. In walked Sachin and made my day. I was so happy that I still remember his face and the bright red T-shirt he was wearing. The aura around him is something unbelievable, this despite knowing him from our school days.
My message to Sachin
Just carry on, but please, a humble request! Leave one odd record for someone else to get to!
(As told to G. Krishnan)