London, July 13: Indian batting demi-god Sachin Tendulkar may be a mere one century away from chalking up a 100 international tons and has the chance to achieve the same during the historic 2000th Test encounter when India take on England later this month. But the Little Master, who has notched up 51 centuries in Tests and 48 in ODI, says he is not salivating to make the record.
"I am not thinking of records," Tendulkar told a leading British newspaper. "I am just thinking of enjoying this tour. The secret to any performance is not in chasing records. I think about, "What is the best way to enjoy the game, and how can I enhance that enjoyment factor?"
He says that so long as he relishes batting in England, all the accolades and achievements will follow.
"If I enhance the enjoyment then, naturally, the standard of play becomes higher. To me, that is more important. If I am playing well, things can happen. I don't need to go around chasing them. It is a process. You construct a solid foundation and build on it."
Tendulkar decided to sit out India's tour of the West Indies, where the visitors won the ODI series 3-2 and the Tests 1-0. It was India's first international engagement after their World Cup win, of which Tendulkar was an intrinsic part. "I was extremely delighted. It was something I had always dreamt about," Tendulkar said of India's victory in his sixth World Cup. "You start playing cricket, and one day you walk away as part of a world champion team.
"I took up playing serious cricket because in 1983, we won the World Cup, and that was a big turning point in terms of considering cricket a full-time profession. That moment was a decisive one."
When questioned about his plans for the future, Tendulkar said it was imperative he left behind a strong legacy whenever he chose to quit the game. "For me, it's not about breaking records or creating new ones. It's about adding value to my team."
He also expressed his realisation that his records would not last forever, but he hopes they will at least galvanise some Indian youngsters in trying to emulate his feats.
"They're not going to stay permanently. But the impression that I leave on people will last forever, I feel. The impression that I leave behind - to me that is important. If I can motivate the next young cricketers, that will be a big contribution."