Hunger for runs drives 37-year-old Tendulkar on
He made his test debut as a 16-year-old in 1989, so Sachin
Tendulkar has 21 years in international cricket to reflect on. This
year has been one of his best.
Tendulkar, now 37, capped 2010 with an unprecedented 50th career
test century for India on day four of the first test against South
Africa on Sunday. He now has 11 more centuries and over 2,000 more
runs than his nearest rival.
With a record 175 tests and more than two decades at the crease,
he should be slowing down or winding up. Not the little master.
Tendulkar began this year by making 200 in a one-day
international – also against South Africa – the only time a batsman
has achieved the feat.
He became the first man to 13,000 and then 14,000 test runs. He
already has over 3,000 more ODI runs than anyone else.
In 2010, he passed Steve Waugh’s 168 test appearances to become
the most capped player ever. And he won the International Cricket
Council’s player of the year award. Now he’s scored test century
The appetite for runs – and success – hasn’t been sated.
”Every innings I want to go out and score runs,” Tendulkar
said after Sunday’s century. ”There has never been a match when
I’ve said, ‘If I get out early, it’s OK.’ I’ve never thought like
that. So it’s extremely important to have that hunger and it’s the
hunger that keeps one going.
”I’m glad that it’s still there.”
So is India.
Tendulkar has been a key part of its recent rise to the top of
the test rankings. He is the world’s most worshipped cricketer, the
biggest sporting star in India, and the game’s most successful
His post-match news conference on Sunday was carried live on TV
back in India. Indian reporters said the 50th hundred was what the
entire nation was waiting for, what all Indians were hoping
They weren’t exaggerating.
Tendulkar has carried the expectations of a country of cricket
fans for the best part of two decades. It hasn’t appeared to affect
his run-making – and certainly didn’t in 2010.
In tests, he has powered to seven centuries this year, two of
them double hundreds, for the second-highest return in a calendar
year after Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf’s nine 100s in 2006.
Tendulkar still has one test to play this year.
”I’ve just been batting, and enjoying my batting,” he said.
”Sometimes you are striking the ball really well and that is the
time you need to cash in as much as possible. I’ve tried to do
”Every time I go out, the country needs me … it’s never, ‘If
I don’t score it doesn’t matter.”’