Playing against Pak is most thrilling: Sachin

Published: Friday, October 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:An intense player who plays each and every match, whether against the world champions or minnows, with utmost focus, Sachin Tendulkar admitted any match against Pakistan gives him the best of thrills.

In an interview with NDTV 24x7, first part of which would be telecast on Monday, the batting maestro admitted he is not immune to the customary hype and hoopla associated with an Indo-Pak match.

''It's like playing the Ashes...the feel is totally different. There are so many emotions involved,'' he said.

Tendulkar, meanwhile, sought to put the lid on the controversy during the 2004 tour of Pakistan where the then stand-in skipper, Rahul Dravid, had declared the Indian innings with the Mumbai batsman on 194.

''I got a message from the dressing room that I should get my 200 as soon as possible. We had decided on a target...and we declared before the target.

''Yes, I was surprised because we had decided something else. Later, Rahul and I sat together and decided we were not going to take this beyond that evening. The matter is over,'' he said.

Tendulkar, who has single-handedly revived the team's sagging fortunes umpteen times, says he detests defeat.

''I hate losing. It bothers me. The only person I don't mind losing to is my son."

''Even my daughter is older now...so I don't give in to her when we play. She has to understand defeat,'' he explained.

Talking about the current squad, Tendulkar admitted small-town players like Munaf Patel and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have made a big impact.

''It's a different culture now. The players are quite dashing, I would say. They are aggressive they want to go out to win, which is what matters,'' he observed.

On his wife Anjali, who he rarely speaks about, Sachin said, ''She is far more mature than me and wiser than me, that's for sure. Because sometimes I lose my cool and she says 'just keep quiet and play'. ''

Tendulkar was nostalgic when asked about his early days and he recalled his friendship with Vinod Kambli.

''We never used to call while taking a run. I would just look in his eye and I would know if it was Yes or No. The opposition found that quite tough to manage.''

Clearly upset at Kambli's meteoric rise and fall in and from the cricket horizon, Tendulkar said, ''I feel sad. Such an immensely talented player. It was rather unfortunate. Certain problems in his life, injuries at the wrong time...didn't help him.'' Second part of the interview will be aired on Tuesday.


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