Tendulkar still rues the loss at Barbados

Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2004, 20:54 [IST]
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New Delhi:India's failure to score 120 to win a Test in West Indies seven years ago still "troubles" Sachin Tendulkar who lists it as the most disappointing moment of his career.

India lost the Test at Barbados by 38 runs and as a result the 1997 series under Tendulkar's captaincy. "Even today when I think about it, it troubles me," he told ESPN-Star Sports in an interview to be telecast on Friday.

The batting genius finds its tough to single out his greatest cricketing moment but said reaching the World Cup final last year was "special for the whole team" and from a personal point of view, beating Australia in Sharjah in the final in 1998 on the strength of a dazzling century by him.

The recent victory against Pakistan in the Test series was also very exciting for the master blaster.

Recalling his delivery that dismissed last man Danish Kaneria, marking India's historic triumph, he said he was so excited that he did not even see who took the catch.

"Just before I bowled the sixth ball, I could hear the players from silly- point and short-leg and slips saying that bowl a quicker one but I said this guy is in no mood to block so I am going to toss it up and I tossed it up.

"The moment I saw the ball right up in the air and a couple of guys standing underneath, I said no one can drop this catch. But I didn't see who took the catch. I was so excited I first grabbed the stumps," he said.

Tendulkar conceded that 15 years of cricket was beginning to take a toll on his body and said he would work hard to maintain his current level of fitness to prolong his career.

"I think one thing people have to understand is that I have been around for 15 years. Even though I am 31, I started at 16 so there is a fair amount of wear and tear. All I have got to do is keep myself fit so that my fitness can actually prolong my career. It's going to be hard to improve upon what my fitness is but I can always maintain it and for that I would have to work hard."

Giving full credit to the support staff for his fitness, he said, "fitness is the key in any sport to survive at the top level. Full credit goes to Adrian (le Roux), who had been with us, and of course to Greg (Allen King) and Andrew Leipus, who has been terrific. It is hard to imaging life without him.He knows our injuries inside out."

Talking about his 31st birthday that he celebrated last week, Tendulkar said the best gift that he received was the one presented to him by his daughter Sara who drew a card for him.

"She made this card for me which is I think is the most precious gift. This is something which will always be with me ... It's priceless."

On his role as a father, Tendulkar said he tries to pass on to his two children whatever he learnt from his parents.

"I think Sara is very good and very disciplined and all credit goes to my wife. She's the one who brought them up. She (Sara) is a good girl and I don't need to be strict with her. She realises how she has to behave and the upbringing is so important and whatever my parents taught me I want to pass on the same."

Tendulkar, who owns a restaurant in Mumbai, also spoke about his love for cooking.

"I like to cook when I am free and not doing anything. It's a good form of relaxation. You spend a lot of time with your family -- also in the kitchen doing whatever you want. It's exciting, and if you ask my wife, the best fish curry she's had in life is cooked by me!"

On the void created after he lost his father, he said, "it's difficult not to think about him. He's played such a big role in my life. My mood changes immediately when I start thinking of him, but all I can say is it's beyond our control. No one can change what has happened, we all miss him."

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