Sachin dedicates 36th century to his late father

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali


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Chittagong : Sachin Tendulkar Saturday dedicated his 36th Test century to his father, whose eighth death anniversary was a day earlier. The maestro scored 101 on the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh here.

"I would dedicate this to my father as it (Friday) was his eighth death anniversary," Tendulkar told reporters at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium.

His century – the second against Bangladesh – and that of Sourav Ganguly's helped India to 384 for six wickets in their first innings to take a firm grip on the match.

Tendulkar, 34, said it was "important" for him to score a century here in a match that has been badly affected by rains over both days.

"It is really good to get a century after a long time. I was looking forward to playing here. The century has come at the right time. I am looking forward to playing such important innings (in future too)," he said.

Tendulkar also pointed out that he never plays for records, nor does he play to prove a point.

"Scoring a hundred is always satisfying as the team wants me to do well. And every batsman wants to go out there and score runs. Players don't play for the numbers; players go out to score runs, and I am no different," he said.

"I had no point to prove. After so many years I did not have any point to prove."

Tendulkar disclosed that the strategy was to score briskly.

"The plan was to score quick runs. The target was to achieve four-and-half to five runs an over. And I got out mistiming a ball," he said of his pull shot off pacer Shahadat Hossian that resulted in the ball landing in Mohammad Ashraful's hands at cover.

"Today's plan was to bat for four and half hours and tomorrow it will be a lot of aggression."

Eventually, only 20 overs of play was possible because of rains that left the outfield soggy.

On batting with Ganguly, who scored his 13th century, the Mumbai maestro said that it had been "always a pleasure".

"We have been together for so many years now. Sourav is a wonderful player. He knows how to take runs and it's a pleasure to bat with him," he said.

"We had fun in the middle. We basically remained focused. We tried to keep each other going. The conditions were tough. You have to encourage each other."

Tendulkar also complimented the Bangladesh team, saying they are a "good side" and they showed it at the recent World Cup, where they stunned India and entered the second round at their expense.

On the selection of a new coach, Tendulkar steered clear of making a comment, but he did say that the board should consult the players on the issue.

"We did not have a meeting with the BCCI (board) and we hope that our inputs would be considered," he said.

On the role of interim cricket manager Ravi Shastri, with whom he has played in the 1990s, Tendulkar said his positive attitude has helped.

"Ravi has been a great help as I know what he expects from me and he knows what is to be expected from me. He has a good cricketing brain."