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Representing India the absolute honour: Tendulkar

After becoming the first player in the history of cricket to gather 17,000 runs, Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar said that he was glad to have the honour of representing the country in international arena for 20 years.

cricket Updated: Nov 06, 2009 00:45 IST

After becoming the first player in the history of cricket to gather 17,000 runs, Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said that he was glad to have the honour of representing the country in international arena for 20 years.

Tendulkar, who was chasing the milestone from the onset of the series against Australia, achieved the feat during his 141-ball 175, which he made for a losing cause.

"It's the passion of representing India in international cricket that keep me motivated all the time. It's always a dream to play for my country. I am absolutely honoured to do that for the last 20 years," Tendulkar said after the fifth one-dayer in Hyderabad on Thursday.

However, Tendulkar was quite disappointed after losing the crucial game to Australia by only three runs.

"We started off very well, there was a good partnership between Suresh (Raina) and me at one point of time. But we lost few crucial wickets and also the game itself. So it's disappointing at the end of the day," Tendulkar said.

The Mumbai cricketer also praised young Suresh Raina, who scored run-a-ball 59 to make the battle interesting and shared a 137-run fifth wicket partnership with the batting maestro.

"Suresh is a terrific talent. We were trying to push the game as close as possible. We were chasing a big target, there was constant pressure on us, but we managed it well to bring the match quite close," Tendulkar said after being adjudged Man of the Match.

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting also lavished praise on Tendulkar.

"It's one of the best knocks I have seen. Sachin was playing beautifully today." Ponting said.

"And I think, the wickets was also great here and a enthusiastic crowd all around as well," he added.

On his strategy during the match, Ponting said, "I was keep talking to the bowlers about sticking to their plans. We have been continuously improving during the seven-match series and looking forward to do so in the coming matches also."

India captain Dhoni was not ready to blame the pitch for the close defeat.

"Wicket can't be an excuse. It was a fantastic wicket, perfect for ODIs. In fact, it was one of the best pitches I have seen in India," Dhoni said.

"We had a good start but lost a few wickets," he added.