Mumbai, March 25 (IANS) India's batting legend Sachin Tendulkar Sunday said it would be tough to predict when and who will break his record of 100 international centuries but hoped to see an Indian surpassing it.
During an hour-long media interaction here, Tendulkar spoke on a wide range of issues and also said that no one should tell him when to retire.
Asked if his record of 100 international centuries will ever be broken, Tendulkar said: "I don't know. I don't think you can predict that (whether it will be surpassed). I guess all the records are meant to be broken but I hope it's an Indian."
Tendulkar said after getting his 100th international century against Bangladesh he looked up at the sky and asked God why he had to wait for 370 days to achieve the milestone.
"When I reached my 100th 100, I looked at my bat and looked at the sky and asked God what wrong did I do, why did it take so long," said Tendulkar during a felicitation programme here to commemorate his 100th international ton that he achieved during the recently held Asia Cup.
Tendulkar, however, said that there were no celebrations after scoring the 100th century since India lost the match against Bangladesh.
"I don't think that we are celebrating that one match. Where I am right now took 23 years and not one match. I feel the result was very important. It was very disappointing. The day I got the hundred there was no celebration," he said.
The 38-year-old Tendulkar also said that no one should tell him when to retire.
"I will play till I have the desire. I feel that when I retire is something that I would decide because when I started was not decided by someone else. Those who are advising me about retirement did not bring me in the team," he said.
Tendulkar also said that it would be selfish on his part to retire on top.
"When I feel I don't have that, on that day, I will think of retirement. I feel those who say you should retire at the top are selfish because when you are at the top, you should serve the country instead of retiring. I play for the team, not for my personal records", said Tendulkar.
Tendulkar also said that being named in Don Bradman's all-time Test XI was the biggest compliment.
"I think the best compliment was from Sir Don Bradman when he announced his all-time Test XI and I was part of that squad. That would be the best compliment," he said.
The batting maestro draws strength from his coaches and family and said that his late father Ramesh Tendulkar was his hero while growing up.
"I get my strength from my coaches and family. My hero is my father because he is the one with whom everything started in my life," he said.
Tendulkar said said he doesn't need to prove anybody anything now.
"I don't think I need to prove anything right now. I started playing this game because I loved it, I enjoy it. The passion for cricket was there. The dream was to play for India and win the World Cup, I don't think anything can be bigger than that. I can't think of milestones," he added.
Tendulkar said the 370 days between his 99th and the 100th international ton were the toughest period in his life.
"At the time of the World Cup when I got to 99 hundreds, no one was discussing about my 100th hundred because the focus was on the World Cup. But after the World Cup, the media built on it and started asking. I was only focused on playing cricket like always. I just wanted to score runs. I felt cricket should be the focus and that is what I kept telling myself," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar was confident that India will again get back its No.1 spot in Test cricket that it lost last year during the disastrous tour of England.
"When you lose the number one ranking, it means someone is playing better cricket than you, you need to perform better and win. It is a rough patch but we can overcome that obstacle, we require hard work and we will do that. When we became number one, it was a process and we will have to repeat that," he added.
On his own form also, Tendulkar said that sometimes the luck factor was missing.
"I can say that there were patches when I didn't bat well, there were patches when I felt that I batted my best. I felt that sometimes you need luck to be on your side. Sometimes that luck factor was missing because as far as preparations were concerned, my commitment and passion was in place. I did not lose hope. Here I only waited for a year but for the World Cup I waited for 22 years and it happened," he said.
When asked to compare the situation he faced after scoring his debut hundred and the 100th hundred, Tendulkar said: "I think in 1994 when I did a press conference, even half of the journalists present right now were not there. There were few expectations. Today the expectations are a lot more. Even if I score 70-80, it is a disappointment like in Delhi last year against the West Indies," he said.
Tendulkar said Test cricket should remain the priority.
"There has to be more importance to Test cricket. This format is very challenging for which you need planning. You need to play at a different pace at different times," he said.
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