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Cricket is not burden yet: Sachin

The maestro asserts he is not finished and Thursday's ton will silence critics.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 19:08 IST

Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said his unbeaten 141 against the West Indies in the DLF Cup tri-series in Kuala Lumpur showed he was not finished as a batsman as yet.

"Cricket has been my life, I am living a dream," the 33-year-old Indian star said after hitting his 40th one-day hundred, which went in vain as the West Indies were declared winners on Duckworth-Lewis method following a rain disruption.

"If it is a burden, I would know when to step aside, step back and say it is the end.

"But I am still enjoying. Every time I go out there, there is enthusiasm. I just want to continue with that."

Riding on Tendulkar's ton, which contained 13 fours and five sixes, India made 309 for five in 50 overs.

West Indies were 141 for two in 20 overs when rains forced the play to be called off, and the Caribbean total was 29 runs more than the par score of 112 for two at that stage.

Tendulkar rated his knock highly for a combination of reasons but said he was disappointed because the team did not win.

"It will be a special hundred because it came on a difficult surface and after so many months (of being away from the game)," said the Mumbai batsman who was playing in his first match since undergoing a shoulder surgery in March.

It was Tendulkar's 40th hundred but he said the numbers did not matter to him.
 
"It was a very good innings but I am disappointed because we did not win. 40 is just a number," he said.

Tendulkar said the innings should silence all doubts about his fitness.

"I am absolutely fine. It is a challenge coming back after serious injuries, one has to be mentally strong."

Tendulkar admitted that the bowlers lacked discipline - conceding 26 extras - but also defended his teammates.

"Discipline is an extremely important factor which we lacked today. But it is not the first time nor is it going to be the last," he said.

"Bowlers are not machine. It is not easy to bowl at that level everyday. The body and the mind has to co-ordinate. We are always trying."

He said India could have been in a better position, vis-à-vis the D/L method, had the match gone beyond 20 overs.

"Field restrictions would have got over after 20 overs and runs would not have come easily," he said.

Tendulkar, however, did not blame the D/L formula.
 
"Rules always favour one team. These calculations are done based on a well thought out formula, it is difficult to find a perfect formula," he said.

West Indies skipper Brian Lara said his team had their gameplan ready after India put up a huge total.

"We always had an eye on the total. We still had 30 overs to go and India had runs on the board.

"The match was well poised but unfortunately it was spoilt by rain." Lara also paid rich tributes to Tendulkar.

"He has come back after six months and showed us what a genius he is," Lara said.

"You just had to watch and appreciate it. It was a very special innings."