Sydney: Shunned comparisons with cricket's immortal Don Bradman after giving India the edge over Australia with his record 38th Test century at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
India's champion batsman wrested the initiative away from world cricket's number one team in the second Test of the series with an undefeated 154, sculpted in almost seven hours at the crease off 243 balls with 14 boundaries and a six.
Supported by some determined lower-order partnerships, Tendulkar rallied India to 532 and a handy 69-run innings lead with two days to get a result.
Australia went to stumps on the third day at 13 without loss with Phil Jaques on eight and Matthew Hayden not out five.
Bradman, who finished his Test career with a 99.94 batting average, said he considered Tendulkar the closest to himself in technique and temperament shortly before he died in 2001.
Tendulkar is constantly compared with world cricket's greatest-ever player, but he reverentially brushed aside talk of being compared with Bradman.
"I don't think anyone can be compared to Sir Don," he told a press conference.
Tendulkar raised his arms in the air and looked to the heavens with relief upon reaching his eighth century against Australia and third century in four Tests at the SCG.
"It was a little different this time because in 2007 I missed a lot of hundreds and I didn't want that to continue," he said.
"I wanted to move on into 2008 and it was extremely important that it came at the right time so I am happy about that."
Tendulkar, who was given a rapturous ovation by the appreciative Australian crowd as he reached his century, extended his SCG average to a stunning 326 runs from six innings with four not outs.
On India's last tour to Australia in 2003/04 Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 241 at the SCG and he also hit an unconquered 148 in the drawn 1992 Sydney Test on his first tour of Australia.
"It was truly a pleasure to be out there in the middle and get runs in front of the Australian crowd," he said.
"Australians are known for enjoying good cricket. They enjoy competitive cricket and they know and understand the game very well."
Tendulkar followed teammate V.V.S. Laxman's knock of 109 on Thursday to restore confidence to the Indian team after their ignominious 337-run hiding in last week's Melbourne Test.
"We believe in our ability. We knew that one bad match doesn't mean we can't bounce back," he said.
"We've got faith in the team. It's so important. It's a long tour, it's going to be a tough tour. We're prepared to be mentally tough.
"Australia are the best side in the world. It's good when you perform well against the top side in the world. It's a great challenge and I've enjoyed the competition.
"It's a challenge to rise up to the occasion and beat them. That's what the whole (cricket) world is trying to do."
Tendulkar revealed he had been troubled by a facial allergy in the days before the Sydney Test that required a trip to the hospital.
"I had this terrible allergy on my face. If you'd seen on the 30th and 31st (December), you wouldn't have recognised me," he said.
"It was all over my face. I had to go to the hospital and settle it down. I'm quite happy it's ended up OK."
Tendulkar, halfway through his 144th Test match, has now amassed 11,520 runs and he is just 433 away from retired West Indian Brian Lara's world record of 11,953.
He stretched his world record number of centuries to four more than Lara and fellow Indian Sunil Gavaskar.