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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014
Getting close to the real Sachin
Amrit Mathur
March 03, 2007
First Published: 02:50 IST(3/3/2007)
Last Updated: 12:40 IST(27/3/2007)

Sachin Tendulkar is not just the senior, and hugely successful star, but also an elder brother to players and a respected statesman of Indian cricket.

Most young players address him as:

Paaji.

He calls Yuvraj:

Young.

What did he scrawl on the thigh pad he gifted Harbhajan?

‘Smack them all’.

How Sachin sprung a pleasant surprise on his teammates, and his explanation:

He went around the team bus getting a bat signed by all the players, and said, “This is for Nelson Mandela.”

How many net sessions did he have during the entire World Cup?

Just one regular net — before the Zimbabwe match in Harare.

Sachin’s usual practice routine:

Gentle knocking just to keep the rhythm going, and to check the mechanics of batting.

Advice he gives his son:

“Just hit the ball!”

What he said to a nine-year-old who could barely walk after being hit on the thigh by a cricket ball?

“Don’t worry, injuries bring luck. And next time, hit the ball instead of letting the ball hit you!”

What’s in his kitbag, apart from cricket gear?

A picture of Ganapati, the Indian flag and a good luck message from his kids.

Sachin on tension:

Some tension is good because it increases concentration. But when it becomes too much, you can’t sleep. Maybe, in the match against Pakistan, I was cramping because of nervousness.

His bat weighs:

2 pounds 10 ounces, down from 3 pounds.

Sachin’s memory of Newlands, Cape Town:

Being caught by Adam Bacher after pulling a short ball from McMillan. “I thought it was a six but Bacher somehow caught it at the square-leg boundary. I could not believe it, it was incredible.”

The maestro to a net bowler who apologised after hitting him on the arm:

“Don’t worry. Make me uncomfortable — that is what I want.”

When Leipus prescribed a three-minute ice bath after he got a hundred, he said:

“Only a minute and a half, or I will freeze!”

After he was dismissed playing a sweep to Muralitharan, and missed another ODI hundred:

“Doesn’t matter. Centuries are made by muqaddar.”

Items he invariably carries while travelling:

Oakleys, his ipod, a mobile and a light Adidas bag on his shoulder.

Reason why he was optimistic about defeating Australia:

India had stopped Australia’s unbeaten 16-match win streak in Tests and thus could be the team to halt their run in the World Cup.

What Holland players did after the match against India:

Took autographs/photographs with Sachin.

What he does with undivided attention?

Sign autographs

Rahul Dravid on Sachin’s batting:

“He is always highly motivated. The only change I notice in his batting is he is more determined now.”

Amrit Mathur takes us back to India’s journey through the 2003 World Cup.


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