Sachin Tendulkar wants to take his Test scoring record past 15,000 runs and help India to win the 2011 World Cup before he considers retiring from cricket.
“I have given it no thought at all,” Tendulkar said of retirement. “I am good at cricket, so I will play a while longer. I still love the game as much as ever. It is my job but it remains my passion too. This is fun. Cricket remains in my heart.”
The 36-year-old ‘Little Master’ has already hit 12,773 Test runs since his debut 20 years ago but is determined to spend at least another two years facing down the world’s best bowlers. Tendulkar said former opener Sunil Gavaskar, an all-time great for India, had urged him to carry on playing and stretch his lead in the scoring charts over the retired Brian Lara and current Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
Lara scored 11,953 before stepping down from Test cricket three years ago and the 34-year-old Ponting is on 11,193 after surpassing Allan Border as his country’s all-time leading scorer during the present Ashes series in England.
“I am not pleased yet with what I have done,” Tendulkar said in an interview with The Wisden Cricketer magazine to be published on Friday. “Sunil Gavaskar has told me that I have to get to 15,000 runs; he said he would be angry with me, he would come and catch me if I didn’t.
“I admire him so much and to score that many would be a terrific achievement but that is not the only aim.”
Tendulkar’s trademark has been his ability to play each batting stroke with equal precision and ability, but former Australia coach John Buchanan has suggested he might be less confident against short and quick bowling.
“It is only his opinion,” Tendulkar said. “John Buchanan doesn’t have to be right all the time. If I couldn’t handle short deliveries, then I wouldn’t still be scoring runs.
“Maybe he needs to change his opinion. There must be something very wrong with all the bowlers around the world that they have allowed me to score so many runs.”