Johannesburg: Sachin Tendulkar says he is focussed on helping India win the World Cup after one more record was shattered by his blazing blade.
Tendulkar's man-of-the-match award against Zimbabwe on Wednesday for his innings of 81, was his sixth in the World Cup, the most by any player in the 28-year-old history of cricket's showpiece. It surpassed the five awards won by Lance Klusener of South Africa, England's Graham Gooch, Mark Waugh of Australia and Tendulkar's childhood hero Vivian Richards of the West Indies. Down the list with four awards each are four other cricket greats: David Boon and Shane Warne of Australia, Brian Lara of the West Indies and Aravinda De Silva of Sri Lanka. Tendulkar, a veteran of 306 One-dayers, is already the most successful batsman in the history of Limited Overs cricket with 11,715 runs and 33 centuries. "I've never played for records and Ill say the same thing now too," the 29-year-old said Friday when reminded of the new benchmark he had set. "You will get runs one day, you may not get runs on another day. The important thing is to go out there and give your 100 percent. "My job here is to see India do well. Everything else is secondary." Despite India's lean start in the tournament, Tendulkar pulled his weight with scores of 52, 36 and 81 in the first three games. His batting overcame a harrowing period for his colleagues as India failed to bat 50 overs against the Netherlands and were shot out for 125 by world champions Australia. The batting finally came good against Zimbabwe after Tendulkar anchored them to 255- 7 before the opposition was bowled out for 172. India must defeat England and Pakistan to seal a berth in the Super Sixes after a relatively easier outing against Namibia in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday. Tendulkar, who surpassed Pakistani Javed Miandad's record World Cup aggregate of 1,086 runs in the first match, needs a century to catch up with Mark Waugh's feat of four tons in the tournament. India has won every time Tendulkar picked up the man-of-the-match award at the World Cup, the first being against arch rivals Pakistan at the 1992 event in Sydney when he hit 54 off 62 balls and claimed one for 37 with the ball. He also took the award twice each against Zimbabwe and Kenya and once against the West Indies. The award against Kenya in the 1999 World Cup was a very emotional moment for Tendulkar when he hit 140 after returning from the funeral of his father, who died in Mumbai five days earlier and forced him to miss the previous game against Zimbabwe. A visibly shattered Tendulkar looked up at the heavens as soon as he reached the century as if sharing the moment with his departed father. Now each time he secures a landmark, Tendulkar lifts his head in silent prayer. Millions of Indian fans, in turn, are praying that he makes this his own World Cup. Copyright AFP 2001
Pleasure to watch Sehwag from the other end: Sachin