I'm not 17 years old anymore: Sachin | india | Hindustan Times
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I'm not 17 years old anymore: Sachin

India's star batsman Sachin Tendulkar says one needs to be brave to accept the changes and learn to use it smartly.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 19:48 IST

Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar concedes that his body is not of a 17-year-old anymore but says he is brave enough to accept it and use it smartly.

"There are things which I sometimes think I can't do and end up doing. Over the next two days your body starts telling you it's no longer 17 and actually is 33 years old," said Tendulkar after he surprisingly received best bowler's award for 2004-2005 at the Castrol award function in Johannesburg on Thursday.

"I guess changes happen to everyone and you got to be brave to accept it and learn to use it smartly."

Tendulkar, who has been a bit under the weather because of his inconsistent form in recent months, said he was unaffected by the expectations of others as long as he could fulfill his own expectations.

Tendulkar received his award from batting legend Sunil Gavaskar who urged him to widen the gap between a certain Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting "who are snapping at his heels."

"In 1988 I heard about this special talent. So one day when Mumbai team was practising and Sachin was one of the probables, I went to the ground and sat in a corner."

"There was one shot he played off the backfoot, a flick not exactly a pull off a good length delivery which is extremely difficult to play. That was enough for me and I knew we had seen a rare talent."

Gavaskar hoped that Tendulkar would catch up with his "century-making habits from this series onwards and widen the gap between him and Lara and Ponting who are snapping at his heels."

While Tendulkar was adjudged best bowler in one-day cricket, the best batsman's award went to Mahendra Singh Dhoni who was however absent, much to the chagrin of organisers.

Interestingly, even Indian coach Greg Chappell chose to give the function a skip.

In Test cricket, it was Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble who were adjudged the best batsman and bowler.

Dravid also went on to win the Cricketer of the Year award.

The Indian captain chose the occasion to assert that his side had a good chance in the forthcoming series if the players could play to their potential.

He also downplayed the pressure and expectations which are building around the next World Cup.

"It's a big event but life wouldn't stop, it goes on. We would try to do our best and can turn things around like in 2003 (World Cup) when not many rated our chances but we went on to reach the final."

Shaun Pollock, who along with other South African greats such as Jonty Rhodes and Gary Kirsten attended the function, said at this stage of his life he was trying to be as accurate as possible.

"There are others who can bowl fast" in his team, he said.