Sachin Tendulkar spent an afternoon interacting with kids in Mumbai, who were the participants of an interactive game simulator named ‘Smaaash’.
Kids in all their excitement asked a variety of questions to the legend and he was equally enthusiastic to answer them.
Exceprts from the interaction:
Who were your heroes?
Every person likes his own identity and that is important. It is good to have heroes. I had Viv Richards and Sunil Gavaskar as my heroes and I wanted to be a combination of them. You try and get close to your heroes. Have dreams and chase them. Don’t look at the watch while you practise. Boys or even girls... whoever want to become cricketers, should be passionate about the game. Cricket has to be in your heart and the rest will follow.
Do Ricky Ponting and you share batting secrets?
Yes, we do. Since we are part of the same team, our goal is the same. I know our domestic players more than he does so we share thoughts about that as well. It is basically about sharing our knowledge and giving some background about the bowler. There are things that spontaneously come to your mind and you share your thoughts and that is how a team should work.
What do you think when you go out to bat?
I cannot think of anything else other than thinking about how to respond to the questions, which bowlers are constantly asking. You must have positive energy in your body. Your thoughts lead to your results. You must believe that this place belongs to you.
What is most treasured by you apart from cricketing achievements?
I am into music. I have met some great personalities in that field and they have given me some gifts which are unique.
Lata Didi has promised me something which should be reaching me shortly. Asha ji has given me something which has a special place in my music room. I have got a guitar signed by the band U2 and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits has gifted me a guitar as well.
Do you train your son?
No, I do not interfere with his cricket. I occasionally share my thoughts. He has good coaches around him. Sometimes, he gives me advice, but that is the beauty of having children.
If 10 runs are needed off the last over, how to go about it?
There is no set formula. Figure out the bowler’s strengths and weaknesses and set yourself up. You must have the awareness of the situation and field placements.
Why don’t you bowl much nowadays?
There are better bowlers than me doing a great job. I was never a regular bowler. I would usually come in if there is a long partnership. If it works, it works. If it does not, then no stress as there are main bowlers to take the responsibility. I did bowl often in ODI cricket, but now I have retired from that version of the game.
What is the secret behind your straight drive?
Head position is the key with right body balance. In cricket, everything needs to be done with perfect body balance.
In spite of achieving all this, how do you stay so humble?
It won’t be humble if I talk about myself. But I am just being myself.
How can we be like you?
Be a nice person. My father told me ages ago that everything in life is temporary, but your nature stays with you till your last breath.