New Delhi, Mar 22: "My critics haven't taught me my cricket," Sachin Tendulkar has said in a rebuttal to those who were calling for him to retire.
The day he feels "a little less passion" when walking out to bat for India, "I will give up the game", the master batsman said, adding, "critics didn't need to tell me to do so."
Tendulkar said he had played cricket because he loved to do and there was nothing better than playing for India.
"I still get goosebumps as I stand with my teammates when the national anthem is on. I still feel the same passion when I pick up my bat and go out," he said in an interview carried in the latest issue of 'Open' magazine.
"They (critics) can question but none of them have answers to their own questions. None of them has been in my predicament and it is impossible for them to understand what I have been thinking and feeling," said Tendulkar, who scored the historic 100th international ton in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh last week.
When asked whether the final hurdle of scoring the hundredth century was the most difficult, the veteran batsman said: "There is no doubt it was. The 100th hundred was the most difficult to get. I really don't know why but it was."
"May be because it turned into a national obsession. May be because I wasn't able to escape talk of the 100th hundred and it was affecting me at a subconscious level. May be God was trying me harder," he said.
Asked whether the thought of retiring from ODI cricket had crossed his mind after India won the World Cup last year, Tendulkar said such a thought had never occurred to him.
"A number of my friends have also asked me why I didn't retire from ODI cricket after winning the world cup, they may well be right. It would indeed have been a grand exit, emotions were running high and the timing could not have been better but to be honest such a thought never occurred to me," he said.