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867 runs this year... Tendulkar juggernaut rolls on

Last updated on: September 30, 2010 10:06 IST

The 2nd Test against Aus in Mohali turned out to be memorable

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Bikash Mohapatra Mohali

When the Aussies toured India two years back Sachin Tendulkar completed 12000 runs in Test cricket in Mohali. Ahead of the opening Test against Australia, the Master Blaster stands on the threshold of yet another landmark.

It was memorable by all means. That second Test at the PCA stadium in Mohali when Australia toured India two years back.

Yours truly had been assigned to cover it and little did he, or for that matter any one else, realize that it would be turn out to be such a memorable one.

The opening Test in Bangalore had ended in a draw and there was some not so good news for the home team ahead of the Mohali Test. Incumbent captain Anil Kumble had been ruled out with an injury, ensuring Mahendra Singh Dhoni his second Test as captain -- MSD had made a winning debut against South Africa six months earlier.

And Kumble missing the Test had also ensured a long-awaited debut for Amit Mishra, the leggie making it a memorable one.

However, all eyes were on one man. Sachin Tendulkar.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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Sachin was 14 runs short of Lara's record Test aggregate

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The Master Blaster, playing in what was his 152nd Test, was 14 runs short of Brian Lara's existing world record Test aggregate (11, 953).

More than the record it is the anticipation that makes a batsman more anxious, and perhaps a tad gullible.

Tendulkar was no exception.

He wasn't in the best of form, having not scored a half century in his last 10 innings, and critics had gone overdrive with regard to his future.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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He took alomost three years to surpass Lara

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Tendulkar had missed out on the opportunity in Bangalore, throwing away his wicket at a time when he was comfortably settled at the crease. So when a second opportunity came, he was more than keen to let the monkey off his back.

The Master Blaster scored 88 in the first innings. More importantly, when he reached 16, he also got to the desired landmark.

It had taken Tendulkar almost three years to eclipse Lara as the world record holder for the highest number of runs in Test cricket.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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'It's one of the proudest moments of my career'

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A few hours later, he achieved yet another landmark -- the feat of being the first to surpass 12,000 Test runs, his 88 also being his 50th Test half-century.

"It's definitely one of the proudest moments of my career. However, even though everyone was talking about the record, I was concentrating on the team's requirements," he had said soon after.

"What they [critics] give are opinions and I don't take opinions seriously. I have always believed that success is a process where there are stones thrown at you and you have got to turn them into milestones," he had added, the reference palpably towards his critics.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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Sachin has created his own record since becoming highest run-getter

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If anyone thought the veteran will be content with that achievement -- considering he had most of the records in his bag already, they were wrong. 

Two years have passed since and Tendulkar has played in 17 Tests thereafter. The Master Blaster has broken many records -- like Steve Waugh's record of most Test appearances at 169, and created a few of his own, like becoming the first batsman to surpass 13, 000 Tests runs, against Bangladesh earlier this year.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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'There are ups and downs in one's career'

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And he is close to completing 21 years -- in November -- in international cricket. But the enthusiasm remains intact; the will to succeed firm as ever.

"It is not that you are always at the top," explained Tendulkar on Wednesday. "There are ups and downs in your career (and in life) and it is important to complete that circle.

"And that's what has happened in my career," he added.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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'I don't like to talk about records'

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Ahead of the opening Test against Australia, the Master Blaster stands on the threshold of yet another landmark.

With 13, 837, he is just 163 runs adrift of becoming the first batsman ever to surpass the 14, 000-run mark in Test cricket.

Not quite a tall order, considering the fact that Tendulkar is in prime form this year -- with 867 runs, including five centuries, in seven Tests (@ 86.70).

Will Mohali, the venue that witnessed a milestone (the 12, 000 runs) see yet another one?

"I don't like to talk about records," said Tendulkar, in a diplomatic manner as ever. "Let others talk about it. I will keep scoring runs," he added.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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'As long as I am enjoying, I'll continue playing'

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If not record, then what inspires the Master Blaster to carry on with his already illustrated career?

"I have worked hard over the years to be part of the Indian team," he reasoned. "The key thing is to continue to work hard and try to get better and make sure that you enjoy every moment.

"That's what I try to do. And as long as I am enjoying, I'll continue playing," he added.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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