Tendulkar dedicates his ton to Mumbai terror victims (Lead)December 15th, 2008 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Dec 15 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar dedicated his match-winning 103 not out against England to the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks while rating his 41st Test century as one his best ever.”What happened in Mumbai was unfortunate. It was an attack not just on Mumbai, but on India. I would like to dedicate my century today to the victims of Mumbai. In this context, this century was very special,” Tendulkar said after India’s six-wicket win against England.
“I know that by India winning or us scoring centuries will make them feel any better. But if we can only help in any way, we would like to contribute. I would like to thank the England team for agreeing to come and play the Test series,” he said.
Asked whether his century meant his career has come a full circle in the context of the Test match at the same venue in 1999 against Pakistan that India lost by 12 runs despite his century, Tendulkar said: “Yes, in a way (my career has come a full circle). It (the defeat to Pakistan) will always be there at the back of our minds.”
Tendulkar rated his knock as one of his best. “I would rate it up there. I always wanted to get a century in the fourth innings and help India win. Today, considering the pitch conditions, the weather, the circumstances and the target, it was very satisfying,” he said.
On the Indian team’s thoughts when England set them a target of 387 on the fourth afternoon, Tendulkar said: “We knew that we can if we played to our potential and believed that it was not beyond us.”
He praised man of the match Virender Sehwag, whose knock of 83 Sunday set the Indian chase. “Without any doubt, it was Viru (Sehwag) who set it up brilliantly.”
On his match-winning 163-run unbroken partnership with Yuvraj Singh (85 not out), Tendulkar said the two were constantly assessing the situation.
“Yuvraj Singh proved today that he is a good Test player. There was a lot of loose talk that he was not fit to play Tests, but he has scored three centuries (in Tests). Today, while we were batting together, I told Yuvraj to play his natural game and not to think too much about anything else,” Tendulkar said.
When asked about Yuvraj farming the bowling so as to enable Tendulkar to get to his century in the final moments, he said: “I told him that if there was a ball to be hit, he should.”
Tendulkar batted solidly for out-of-form Rahul Dravid.
“Rahul (Dravid) is a great player. Every player goes through these phases of ups and downs and I am sure, he will get some runs soon.”