Sachin Tendulkar Curated

Indian Cricket Superstar


  • Tell us about your journey as a cricketer. How did it all start?

  • What was the best innings ever?

  • You’ve had your highs and your lows and you’ve been magnificent throughout. How does one get up off the deck when things aren’t going well?

  • One of your big dreams was to get your hands on the World Cup. You’ve been to 6 World Cups, and you finally won the last one. What was that like? What are your views on how the Indian team is doing at the moment?

  • When Pakistan played India in Adelaide, and it was reported that 1.8 billion people watched that match – the biggest audience for a cricket match in history. Tell us how you felt.

  • What was your experience like while training kids in ‘Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy’?

  • Where does coaching stand in your life now?

  • How is coaching kids different from coaching the senior players?

  • What is the mission of Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy?

  • Why did you choose Middlesex for your academy?

  • What should today’s kids aspire to play? 

  • Shall focusing solely on techniques be helpful?

  • What is your way of coaching?

  • Would you like to share some stories of the kids in your academy?

  • Do you have women cricketers in your academy as well?

  • You are known as God by a lot of your fans. How easy or difficult is it for you to deal with the comments and the compliments that you keep receiving from everyone? What is it like for you dealing with the perception the public has of you?

  • After retiring from cricket, what is your life like?

    Life after retirement is hectic, but I'm enjoying it. I'm getting to know a different side of life. For 24 years I was focusing on cricket and nothing else. I feel the first innings of my life was playing cricket and chasing my own dream - and the dream was to win the World Cup. The second innings of my life, the post cricketing years, is to try and give back something to the people who have wished well for me.

  • What was the best moment in your career?

    To win the World Cup was my dream. I was patient. I didn't want to wait for 22 years to lift the trophy. We came close a couple of times. Finally, 2011 was a golden moment for me in my career. That is the best moment I experienced in my career. To be able to stand there in the middle of the ground with the entire nation celebrating and dancing, I can barely describe how excited I was. To put it into words is just not possible.

  • Was the pressure ever too much?

    Playing cricket was never a burden, it was a joy to be out there in the middle. People expected a lot from me and I enjoyed that because people felt that I could deliver. That inspired me to go out and push myself harder. If I did something well I wanted to better that. I was trying to find a reason to push myself hard and people helped me to push harder. Once I got out in the middle I forgot [the pressure]. It was just the bat and ball.

  • What is your take on the future of Test Cricket?

    Test cricket is like a main course, and always will be - the other versions are like starters and desserts. Out of 10 cricketers, if you asked, I wouldn't be surprised if eight say that Test cricket is the top, then comes the rest.

  • Will your son Arjun follow in your footsteps?

    First cricket has to be in your heart, then it gets to your brain. The key is to be madly in love with cricket, which he is.

  • How do you feel about getting the 100th international century?

    Hundreds don't come easy - you've got to go out and get it. It was a difficult phase in my career [getting from 99 to 100, which took from March 2011 to March 2012] because everyone had started talking about it. People had become obsessed with 100 hundreds. The focus was only on hundreds and that started affecting me.

  • What are your thoughts on the West Indies series that is coming up next?

  • What was the toughest phase of your career?

    Tennis elbow was really bad and a number of my friends have had tennis elbow after that. When they didn’t have it, they used to say how painful can it get; it can’t be that bad that you can’t hold a cricket bat. I said you need to experience it once, then you’ll know. If you are locked inside a room, you’ll not be able to open the door, it was that bad,

  • How your family supported during those tough days?

    Tennis elbow was really bad and a number of my friends have had tennis elbow after that. When they didn’t have it, they used to say how painful can it get; it can’t be that bad that you can’t hold a cricket bat. I said you need to experience it once, then you’ll know. If you are locked inside a room, you’ll not be able to open the door, it was that bad, Mine was really bad, I tried everything that I could: taking an injection, numbing this in the morning before the Test match. But nothing worked and the only option was to get operated. I was pushed in the corner so badly. All my physio friends and doctors tried but then certain things need to be done. I realised after my surgery I wasn’t able to pick up a cricket bat, I was really depressed. I would call my friends 2o’clock in the night, 4 o’clock in the morning saying c’mon lets go for a drive I can’t sleep. And they would join me and without their support, my family’s support, Anjali’s parents. Of course At home Anjali was there who’d be constantly be telling me you know the good things that have happened in my life to focus on those things

  • How did you feel to be able to get back to field after Tennis Elbow surgery?

    Just the other day I was playing with some kids who were playing with plastic ball and plastic bat and it reminded me of my tennis elbow. Because I was starting to again play with a plastic bat and with that I could barely hit a ball. And my first outing after 3.5 months there were 12 year old kids stopping full-blooded cover drives that I was looking to hit at literally 10-15 years. I thought my career was finished, it was done. And all I would pray to god was: please don’t stop my career like this, let me get back on the field again. That feeling, I remember after 4.5 months we played a one-day match vs Sri Lanka in Nagpur. I can never forget that feeling. I looked up and thanked god for that moment. This is all I wanted (to get back on the pitch

  • Your opinion about quality of bowling nowadays?

    Rivalries which people invariably looked forward to are no longer there because there are very few world-class fast bowlers right now. That element I am sure is missing. The quality of fast bowling can surely be better without any doubt,

  • if the competitiveness, as far as Test cricket is concerned, is confined to only three countries (India, Australia and England)?

    The standard of cricket has gone down which is not great news for Test cricket. The standard needs to go up and for that, I would again say that the root cause is the playing surfaces,” “I think it has also got to do with the kind of pitches that are provided. If we provide fair pitches where fast bowlers as well as spinners get help, then balance between bat and ball will be restored. “If the balance is missing then the contest becomes weak and it fails to grab eyeballs. Test cricket must have good wickets

  • What do you think a standard pitch should look like?

    I feel this year’s Ashes had some of the best Test pitches in recent times. Magnificent I would say. The only time they moved to Old Trafford, you saw that Test wasn’t as exciting as the ones at the Headingley, or the Lord’s Test or for that matter even the one at the Oval. I thought those Test matches were exciting,

  • Do you think IPL performance as being good enough to merit selection in the ODI and Test team?

    I think if somebody has done well in the IPL, then he is fit to represent India in T20 Internationals. It is absolutely fair. But if somebody does well in the IPL and because of that performance he is picked for Tests and even ODIs, I think there would be a question mark. “I don’t support that unless there is an exceptional talent, who can be good across formats. Jasprit Bumrah is one example. Otherwise normal players, if they do well in IPL, that performance should only be considered for T20 formats

  • How did you prepare to face Shane Warne in test matches?

    The series was built up as Tendulkar vs Warne battle. Somehow, I knew Warne would come round the wicket in that series. My homework started by getting Mumbai teammates – (leg-spinner) Sairaj Bahutule and (left-arm spinner) Nilesh Kulkarni at the nets

  • Which are the most memorable 100's in your career?

    I have never liked comparisons but if you ask me, that century at Perth on that track made me realise that I was ready to play any attack on any surface. It was like I announced my arrival at the international stage Having said that, the Chennai hundred against Pakistan (1999), when I was battling back-pain or not hitting a cover drive during my double hundred in Sydney (2004) or those couple of spells against Dale Steyn in Cape Town in 2011, had their own beauty and challenges

  • He has now been a retired cricketer for six years. So what does Tendulkar miss the most about not being an active player?

    I am probably one player, who has played with five generations. One before me that had Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Krish Srikkanth, Dilip Vengsarkar and Mohammed Azharuddin. It was followed by my generation of players like Sourav (Ganguly) and Rahul (Dravid). Then came Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Ashish Nehra. After that was Suresh Raina’s generation followed by Virat (Kohli), Rohit (Sharma) and Ajinkya (Rahane). I miss the laughter, the seriousness, the celebrations. Dressing room was like a temple

  • Most Indian batsmen have limited to no match experience with the pink ball. In such a scenario, what would you have focused during practice sessions?

    As conditions change, you will have to understand what the pink ball does. I have heard from some of the cricketers who have played with the pink ball that at twilight, they find it difficult to sight the ball. I look at it slightly differently; it’s about picking the seam. Seeing the seam in that light becomes difficult sometimes. It becomes important whether the seam of the pink ball is visible or not because the seam gives away everything. Good batters are always watching the wrist, fingers and the seam. So the seam position should be visible. That is a critical factor. You look at the release of the ball. Be it a fast bowler or spinner, you have to be able to see the seam, which way the seam is going. The revs on the ball; which way the ball is spinning in the air. That becomes really critical.

  • Ajinkya Rahane, after a practice session with the new SG pink ball, said it does a lot more and spinners got more revs on the ball.

    It could swing more. I am not too sure on more revs on the ball because the spinner would spin the ball the same way. In comparing the Kookaburra and SG balls, gripping challenges will be there. But I don’t see gripping challenges for Indian bowlers because all their life they have bowled with the SG ball.

  • The dew factor is expected to play its part.

    We haven’t done it before. But if we don’t play, we will never know. So it’s good something different is being tried out. We need to be aware there could be dew, and if there is then what time it would set in and how much it would affect the game.

  • Do you agree day-night Tests are a must to draw crowds?

    In terms of drawing in crowds, there will be early excitement. But it’s the kind of surfaces we provide that would make Test cricket exciting. The balance between bat and ball has to be there without which cricket can get slow. Talking about watching Test in different parts of the world, people come to watch a few spells of the game as well. The first session of a Test becomes an important session. So the balance between bat and ball is key to take Test cricket forward, whether it is a pink ball or red ball or fluorescent ball.

  • The last session daily in a day-night Test could become crucial, the ball could seam and swing more?

    It will be interesting because the sun’s position is such the light changes quite a bit. Good floodlights I am sure will help. Having said that, only when we go out and experience shall we know how it would be. But it’s not a bad move. Sometimes you have to jump in the pool to figure out if you can reach the other end or not.

  • Talking about the health of Test cricket, does the World Test Championship excite you?

    It’s not a bad concept to keep the spectators engaged. Fans would want to know who is leading the ranking charts. All that is fine, but eventually I would like to believe all this is being done to generate more interest in Test cricket. My question is how are we enhancing the game? Is the standard of play getting better? Are we making it more competitive to revive interest? Reviving excitement in the current generation in Test cricket is really important. People keep talking about Test cricket being important and a number of guys have advocated that, which is good. But it is the surface that will determine if people want to come and watch. They want to watch a fair contest between bat and ball.

  • Isn’t lack of competition in Tests also a worry? During your playing days, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka were all stronger sides.

    Yes. If you start looking at recent Test records, with very few can you say they are strong teams. It is alarming without any doubt. The standard of play has dropped and we can see that. Something needs to be done about it.

  • Are you happy with how the points system is designed? A team stands to win 120 points in a two-Test series and fewer points in a closely contested five-Test series.

    Winning a series gives you a certain number of points (120). But there would be certain teams with whom a five-Test series would be difficult to arrange, because you need to fill up stands and logistically also it has to make sense. People should come, there should be spectator interest. With no disrespect, can some teams generate interest for a five-Test series? It’s difficult for the board administrators as well. So, it is up to those teams to start producing better standard of cricket to be able to get a five-Test series. If you play good cricket, you will fill up the stands. The whole idea is about lifting your standard to be able to play more Tests.

  • Virat Kohli suggested doubling points for away Test wins.

    As times goes by, the points system can also change. More options will always help and they will be explored to arrive at a better system. The more we play, the more we will understand what we need to do and where changes can be brought in.

  • On the state of 50-overs game, you have suggested introducing 25-25 formula?

    I had done that some time ago. Look back at the World Cup final of 2007; that’s the biggest match one can play and Sri Lanka played under street lights. In 2002, we played two Champions Trophy finals, and both the games got washed out. Sri Lanka batted first, and we batted two overs in the first game. In the second, we batted eight overs (8.4) after their batting. So, 110 overs were played without a result (trophy was shared). In the format I am suggesting, Sri Lanka would have batted 25 overs, then we would have batted 25 overs. Again repeat that. If it rained during half-time, both the teams would have batted 25 overs each. Whoever scored more runs in the first 25 overs would have won the trophy. So you plan your innings differently, decide you would bat differently. If it is likely to rain post lunch, you prepare to make 220 or 240 runs in the first essay and say it’s okay even if we lose eight wickets. There are many venues where dew is a decisive factor. In the current format, toss basically decides who will win, unless one team is playing terrible cricket. If you bat second and sensibly, the bowlers have very limited chance with the wet ball. There one side has full advantage because they have won the toss and bowled in dry conditions. The other side has to fight the opposition as well as the conditions. How do we neutralise that? In 25-25, the side bowling first will get to bowl third, so they will also bowl under lights in the second half but there will be less dew. It might still be 60-40 advantage but it saves a situation where one side has to bowl in the dew and the other doesn’t. The most important part is you have only 10 wickets in the entire match, not 20. Earlier when I proposed, they misunderstood that I was talking about mini-Test cricket with 20 wickets. I am saying if you are out, you are out of the entire match.

  • Planning the innings becomes important?

    It is about planning your innings; it takes away the dull moments from the game. At the moment in between it becomes so predictable with nothing much going there—keep picking singles and hit boundaries off field restrictions. In 25-25 for example, myself and Viru were batting and in the 23rd over a wicket falls with eight balls to go. In the 24th over, would you send in a Gautam Gambhir against two off-spinners or a Harbhajan Singh or Zaheer Khan who can tonk the ball? You treat that like a 49/50 overs situation. That changes the game completely.

  • Is the 50-over game getting monotonous?

    There is monotony in the one-day game without doubt. That is why I made the proposal; to remove monotony and more to neutralise the dew factor advantage. Should world events be spaced out? Are there are too many of them? It’s okay with different formats. Now with Champions trophy becoming 20 overs (World Cup), the T20 World Cup is also there. It should be one T20 World Cup and one 50-over format.

  • Sourav Ganguly is BCCI president…

    Sourav has the experience on and off the field. On field for what he has contributed to Indian cricket and off it having been in administration for four-five years. This combination is going to help him. Like he did his best on field, he is going to try his best in his new capacity.

  • Would it help that he can think as a player?

    I am sure he would understand what the players are trying to say. When someone is discussing something with Sourav, he will have his on-field experience to make his decisions. Not to forget there have been some great administrators who have done a great job in Indian cricket and have always been supportive of cricket and cricketers. I wouldn’t say only cricketers make good administrators. Many others have done a good job for the game.

  • Rahul Dravid now heads NCA…

    With Rahul, he is slightly different. He has been coach for India A and U-19. That is a proper coaching job. So heading NCA is a perfect fit for him. Besides, he himself comes from Bengaluru where the NCA is based. It’s rare that so many leading cricketers are involved in administration and coaching. Sourav and Dravid and Ravi Shastri as India coach… On coaching, we have had good coaches. I don’t want to disrespect anyone. They have all come in and tried. But the current combination we have is very good.

  • Would you want to come in and contribute in any capacity?

    I have in an unofficial capacity been accessible to everyone and I will continue to do that.

  • You have been mentoring many young cricketers. Prithvi Shaw is one of them. Are you worried, he started with a bang (U-19 World Cup) and now has had this set-back (doping suspension)…

    Prithvi is a talented player and has a sharp cricketing mind. I am sure he will pull through and work harder.

  • When you retired, you tipped Virat and Rohit to take Indian batting forward. How good is it to see Rohit find success as a Test opener against South Africa?

    He has done well in a different capacity. To open in Tests is a different thing altogether. He has just played three Tests as an opener and given reasons to smile and appreciate his batting. One hopes he continues to do so. Whenever he goes out to bat, one enjoys his batting. His bat swing, smooth bat flow; the more runs he scores, the smoother his bat swing becomes. It’s fantastic to watch him play. We’ll be touring as well, he’ll have an important role to play there.

  • Do you see him making the switch successfully in overseas conditions?

    That no one can predict. It’s not that he has never faced a moving ball. He has and scored runs and that’s why I am saying when India start touring places like New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa, Rohit’s experience will come in handy and he’ll have an important role to play.

  • Does Steve Smith’s success show irrespective of style or technique, it all comes down to run-making in the end?

    If you look at Smith’s success with the technique he has, he’s extremely organised with his mindset. He knows what are the areas he should be attacking and the areas where he should leave or block. And very smartly he keeps changing his plans. That’s why I say he has got a complicated technique because nobody’s technique is like that. Eventually technique is only to have your basics right and to have a solid foundation. Why do people talk more and more about technique? So that you don’t miss those deliveries. By using his own technique if he’s not missing those deliveries, then how does that matter? Eventually, it’s all about how consistently you can hit those balls. That’s why you want to develop certain technique. There are certain guys with Malinga’s or Bumrah’s action, these are not classical fast bowlers’ action. It’s different altogether but they have gone on to become leading bowlers in the world. Sometimes you have to back your natural style of play to produce results, which is something Malinga, Bumrah and Smith have done.

  • Smith’s competition with Kohli is a talking point like yours was with Brian Lara.

    It’s good to have batsmen at a level where there is indirect competition. I am sure that would be the case here (Smith-Kohli) also. Also with Rohit there, it produces good standard of cricket more consistently. That’s the case with bowlers too. When you have two world-class bowlers bowling in tandem, they both want to show what they can do.

  • Do players look at it that way? Did you have an eye on Lara’s performance?

    I never followed what Brian did so closely. But special performances we would all follow and that’s what I did too. It wasn’t as if I would keep a tab on how many runs he has scored and how many runs is he ahead. Eventually you have your targets and expectations. I had more to do with my own expectations. If I had reasons to keep myself motivated to give my best, than I was happy with that. It was not about competition. Competition should only be with yourself. Whatever you are, you can make yourself better tomorrow.

  • What’s the lesson India can take from how they prepared for the World Cup in England as they prepare for the T20 World Cup next year?

    If you look at our team at full strength, it is very, very strong. Eventually what we will have to take care of is the dimensions of the ground. Sydney is different from Adelaide and Melbourne is different from Brisbane. Dimensions will need to be studied, and that will come into play. Because everyone has played in Australia, they know what to do. But which side of the plot the pitch is, that comes into play. What are the shorter lines and which bowler should bowl from which end, that kind of planning. Closer to the tournament, those elements will come into play.

  • India could not identify a settled middle-order in England. Is there a need to find a settled team a lot earlier this time?

    Having a settled team is really important and there has to be consistency. If we keep changing squads, the confidence level also takes a hit. With some consistency, the players also build confidence. That would be something one needs to look at.

  • Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are injured. Their workload management will be very important…

    I am sure the management will look into that because that will be a huge factor. Bumrah is going to be a key bowler and we need to look after him.

  • You acted in ‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’. From the field to the screen, how different has it been? What were the challenges? Did you get the heebie-jeebies on the first day of shoot?

    When I was first approached for the movie I told them once a sportsperson, always a sportsperson. I cannot act and it took a lot of convincing to get me on board. But I have always loved challenges, and I enjoyed this new experience of being in front of the camera too.

  • In most other biopics, actors portray the role of the lead. How did the idea of you acting in the movie ‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’ come into play?

    Everything about my life is real and cannot be a made-up story. So, the movie captured more of what was going on in my mind, during the highs and lows, that nobody knew about that but me. I am a private person, so it surely took some convincing before I agreed..

  • How was your experience recreating those real-life moments in the film ‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’?

    I have been able to relive all those beautiful moments of my life once again during the making of this film. Ravi, James and the entire team were very passionate about this project and it was an exciting and a fruitful experience working with them. James has weaved his magic into ‘Sachin - A Billion Dreams’.

  • How happy were you when your team won the 2011 Cricket World Cup?

    Those moments are special moments which will stay with me for the rest of my life. 2011 World Cup! It doesn't get anything bigger than that in cricket. The whole country was celebrating. Needless to say that the dressing room was flowing with champagne and photographs being taken with each other and every individual, that beautiful trophy and that's when I called Anjali. Anjali saw the match on television because she is superstitious and then rushed to the stadium only to realize that guys were jumping on cars on the road and on rooftops, dancing and celebrating our victory. The moment they recognized her, they said not this car, let's jump onto another one. Fantastic experience and after that with all those happenings in the dressing room, we went back to the hotel.

  • What prompted you to say yes to ‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’?

    Many people approached me for acting, but not for a film on my life. This is the first time somebody came to me to make a film on my life. Even then I said don’t force me for acting. I said to Ravi (the producer) ‘once a sportsman, always a sportsman’. Acting wagairah se chodd do mujhe (laughs). He assured me it’s not about acting, but about what’s been happening in 24 years of my life.

  • How was Greg Chappell as a coach for the Indian National Cricket Team?

    Well, I think when John Wright was there with the team, the team, I felt, was in a terrific space and we had done well. Greg took over and the initial bit was all right. I was injured in the first couple of tours and that's when the problem happened with very senior players in the team. And a major problem then was with Sourav [Ganguly], who was actually instrumental in bringing Greg Chappell as a coach for the Indian Team. He targeted senior players because somehow he was of this opinion that senior player is no good, whereas senior players had done brilliantly and at 30-31 years old, I mean they were not too old to continue in the team, just that the thought process was not something that we wanted and there were differences in opinions. There was not enough transparency and I have no doubt that out of 15 odd members, maybe two or two and a half players might be with him and then the rest 13 players would agree with what I am saying. Cricket was least enjoyable, I've never had that experience in my life. Even if I was playing under my building, it was enjoyable and a lot of fun.

  • Would you like to share your experience when you played as a captain for the Indian National Cricket Team?

    I thought the first phase was a difficult one and there were differences in our opinion and the selectors were thinking something different and I was thinking something different. I wasn't given the team I wanted; there were a few individuals that I wanted in the team, which did not happen. It was a big setback and a big disappointment because my only goal was to win matches for India; I did not want anything else. I felt we were not on the same wavelength. We were thinking differently and if our captain has to go out in the middle and take his team and want them to play the way I want to play cricket, then I get to have players which I want, which did not happen. That was the first thing in my captaincy. The second one was also a challenging one. We went to some tough places. We went to Australia, we went to South Africa as well and things were not happening according to the way I wanted. All in all, I felt that we were not putting enough runs on the board. I don't think we scored 300 even once in three Test matches in Australia. Six innings if you don't score 300 even once, so you are not likely to win. In fact, even ending up in a draw would be a great result because Australia being the top side in the world, we would have been happy with that, but that did not happen, more so because there were not enough runs on the board.

  • In the trailer of ‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’ you were looking very emotional. How would you feel if you had to go back in time?

    It was a very different feeling. When you’re playing, you try to focus on different aspects of the game… You look to correct your mistakes. You’re also thinking forward, how I am going to play. I looked back to my dismissals to understand how could I get better. Otherwise, you don’t go back to assess your life. We had to cover not just 24 years of my playing career, but from the time when I was only 5. It starts from my old house. My brother stays there. We shot there. We didn’t recreate any set. It’s actually my house that you’ll see in the film. The actual playground where I grew up. The first ball I played. There’s also Shivaji Park Kamath Memorial pitch. I played on that very pitch.

  • In your farewell speech you talked about the times when you simply went silent at home after a defeat. How did your family deal with it?

    A few days before a series or when I returned from a tour, it took me some days to unwind, relax and be normal, because I was so much into the game. Anjali has spoken about all these things.

  • How has your experience been as a cricketer?

    It has been great. It has been a collective performance from the team. And that is the reason why this victory is great, because different players have made contributions to the win. Someone scored a quick 10 runs, someone got a run-out and the team clicked as a whole unit.

  • What made you go for a director like James Erskine for Sachin – A Billion Dreams?

    James has done a number of sports-based films. With all due respect, Indian directors who grew up in India were always surrounded by Sachin’s aura even if you are not a big fan of cricket. I thought an objective take would come for somebody who hasn’t seen that kind of madness.

  • How is the Pakistan bowling attack compared to the bowling attack you played 15 years ago?

    This is a good bowling side with a good blend of youth and experience. Shoaib Akhtar has been playing for 5, 6 years and is an experienced bowler. Along with Mohammad Sami and Shabbir Ahmed they form a formidable team. Saqlain Mushtaq has done well against us. But the attack in 1989 had Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. That attack was more experienced. Imran Khan did not become Imran Khan overnight. He worked hard to become a legend. Wasim and Waqar were amazing bowlers. I would put them right up there with the best in the world.

  • You seem even busier after your retirement. What initiatives are you involved in?

    It has been quite good. I cannot complain about anything. Occasionally, it has been hectic. There are various initiatives I have been involved in. I am the UNICEF ambassador for hand wash and it is a critical issue here because people take their health for granted. It is about a simple issue of washing your hands before eating meals, after visiting washrooms. Even when a mother feeds her baby, we need to spread the message to wash hands so we stop diarrheal diseases. Every year one lakh lives are lost and we need to bring the number down and save every child. The other initiative is of spreading happiness. There are villages without access to electricity and we go there and use solar lighting to light up their houses. It is nice how the transformation has taken place from the pre-light day and post-light days; their whole life changes. It is difficult to imagine this in 2018 but they don’t have access to electricity. I am also supporting ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Road Safety’ as they are critical to our nation.

  • शॉट लेते समय अपना सिर नीचे करने के बारे में बताएं, जो कई बच्चों के लिए एक पिक बन गया है।

  • Virender Sehwag used to enjoy batting with you because all the bowlers were finding ways to get you out and there Sehwag easily makes a century

  • There were incidents in the middle of the game when you used to argue with Sehwag that before making a shot he should visualize it. Any moments would you like to share with that?

  • You had a one-on-one chat with Nelson Mandela. Anything interesting you would like to share with us?

  • Did you ever become out with a duck score?

  • Tell us about the attention you received from Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengasarkar in your younger days.

  • When did you start taking cricket seriously?

  • Were you very punctual during practice sessions or during international cricket matches?

  • What is the story of your Right Hand use and Left hand use?

  • You were the turning point in sports marketing in India. What would you say about this?

  • Did it hurt you when people are saying that now he is running behind money and fame, which you weren’t interested in it alot?

  • Life after retirement, we are sure that it would be less hectic?

    Life after retirement is hectic, but I'm enjoying it. I'm getting to know a different side of life. For 24 years I was focusing on cricket and nothing else. I feel the first innings of my life was playing cricket and chasing my own dream - and the dream was to win the World Cup. The second innings of my life, the post cricketing years, is to try and give back something to the people who have wished well for me.

  • Let’s talk about your connection with cinema. As a child, were there occasions when you were tempted to bunk a practice session to watch a movie as most kids would do?

    I wasn’t allowed to bunk practice because my coach would come home or my brother would take me there. Yes, there were practice sessions I would think of bunking because my friends were going for a movie but I couldn’t! At that time I would feel sad that I wasn’t getting enough time to spend with friends but when I look back at all those sessions I didn’t bunk, I realise I learned so many things I wouldn’t have, had I missed them. Those are the things that were very important for my growth as a cricketer. So, no I wouldn’t bunk. I would feel like, but I wasn’t allowed (smiles).

  • From a sports star to a movie star. How does it feel?

    I will always be a sportsman at heart! Acting doesn’t come naturally to me so that was one of things I told the makers – as long as there is not much acting involved, you can capture whatever you want (laughs!). I wanted it to be as natural and normal as possible.

  • For a shy and reclusive person like you, how did you decide what parts to include about your life and what to exclude?

    We wanted to show something to people which they have not seen or heard of. There are two sides to a coin and people have not seen the other side of the coin so I wanted to leave something behind for them when they leave the theatres. Yes, before putting out family videos, I spoke to my family to ensure they were comfortable. They too understand that people would like to know more about me and get closer to me and even I feel I should be closer to them. So we reached a meeting point where the audience feels they have got something to remember and we have also given something to them that we were comfortable with.

  • Which is that portion of your life that you would like to revisit again and again?

    The 2011 World Cup was really special for me and I am talking only about my cricketing career. Otherwise, there have been many private moments but when it comes to an on-field moment, it is priceless for me. The whole country came to a standstill. The celebrations thereafter were something else. The journey from the Wankhede stadium to the Taj Hotel which normally takes 10 minutes took us 2.5 hours to reach because of people on the streets and those hours were incredible.

  • After the release of Sachin: A Billion Dreams, what kind of response would make you most happy?

    I will be happy if people appreciate the hard work that has gone into it. Also, through this movie, I want to let the current generation know facts about the game and the passion it requires. When I started playing cricket, I didn’t have these cars and other fancy things happening around me now. I started my career travelling by buses and trains, carrying my kit around. There were occasions when I got pushed around. Sometimes I would miss the bus. My cricket started from there, but slowly and steadily it progressed. And it all happened because of the passion and love for the game. So, I hope that people, especially the young generation, whatever they want to be in life, realise that they need to be passionate. It should not be your profession, it should be your passion. The journey should begin from your heart and then, as time goes by, your brain starts guiding you to discover avenues to reach your destination. But whenever the journey begins from your heart, you’re prepared to accept challenges and overcome those obstacles. However, if it begins from your brain and then you try to introduce your heart into it, that’s when things don’t work out.

  • वीरेंद्र सहवाग एक और व्यक्ति हैं जिनके साथ आप खुल गए थे और आपको उनके साथ ऐसी कोई समस्या नहीं थी। वह क्रीज पर कितने गंभीर थे?

  • वीरेंद्र सहवाग एक ऐसे खिलाड़ी थे कि अगर आपने उनसे कहा कि गेंद को एक निश्चित दिशा में न मारें तो वे इसे एक चुनौती के रूप में लेंगे और उसी दिशा में मारेंगे। हमें और अधिक बताएँ।

  • What did you see in MS Dhoni in his younger year which made you feel that he has the potential in playing good cricket?

  • Who kept you grounded? Or what kept you real? Is it your family, friends or wife?

  • In your 200th test match you made an effort to invite everyone to watch him play in the Wankhede Stadium. How did you feel that day?

  • Your wife Anjali does not come to see you playing your game in the stadium. Why?

  • How emotional were you at the time when you were giving your retirement speech?

  • 100 एमबी जिसका अर्थ है “100 मास्टर ब्लास्टर” जो आपका ऐप है। इस ऐप को बनाने का विचार कहां से आया?

  • Participating in sports is such an integral part of a student’s life. How can its importance be emphasised more strongly today?

  • What makes “World Children Day” very significant to you?

  • How can the society find a pragmatic way to integrate sports and studies, keeping them balanced to a student’s life?

  • There are many children in the world who do not take part in any sporting activities. What are your thoughts on this?

  • In your opinion, both girls and boys have equal opportunities nowadays, but a section of society doesn’t take it seriously. What are your thoughts?

  • Was Sachin Tendulkar born to be a cricketer or has he trained, worked hard to be one of the world’s finest opening batsman? Or was it a God given talent?

  • When you watch your contemporaries playing for the Indian team today, do you ever feel that if you practice a bit you could join them on the field too?

  • Was there something in your early years that made you become ‘the’ Sachin Tendulkar today?

  • What is the best and the worst thing about Sachin Tendulkar?

  • What would be the three things that make Sachin Tendulkar?

  • What was the biggest regret that you have made in your cricket career? Something that you regret.

  • What is that one secret thing in you that the world does not know about it?

  • Is it one regret for you that you couldn’t become the best captain for the Indian National Cricket Team despite being one of the world’s best batsman?

  • Has your life changed dramatically after your retirement?

  • You said you would like to give back to the society. Is it by being a member of the Rajya Sabha or by taking initiatives?

  • Not many people know that your coach Achrekar Sir has rejected you in the start. What would you say on this?

  • How did you feel when Waqar Younis made you out on your first test against Pakistan in Sialkot?

  • Describe the over Shoaib Akhtar delivered against you when you played against Pakistan in 2003

  • Describe the over Shoaib Akhtar delivered against you when you played against Pakistan in 2003

  • You being an icon for the country’s youth. What is your message to them?

  • Cricket has undergone a lot of changes – from test matches to One Day Internationals and now Twenty-20. What is next?

  • What came into your mind that you decide to retire from all formats of cricket game?

  • You have gained the celebrity status by just playing good quality cricket. Why is that so?

  • With so many fans and followers you have. Do you think that there is something that you must give them back?

  • How to play an excellent straight drive shot?

  • Can you tell us about your first experience you had in playing cricket.

  • What preparation do you do before the cricket match?

  • What does a 100 century mean to you?

  • Describe us about your cricket journey since childhood.

  • What was your best innings ever in your international cricket?

  • How would you describe your experience against the fast ballers?

  • Describe to us about one moment when your decision during the game didn’t go right.

  • Give us a little insight as to how you felt when you won and lifted the World Cup of 2011.

  • How would you describe the match against Pakistan in Adelaide which was watched by a total of 1.8 billion people, the most viewed match in cricket history?

  • How do you feel when people comment upon you as the “God of Cricket”?

  • How difficult would your life be if you weren’t a cricketer?

  • How important was your father’s support in pursuing your career?

  • Do you miss being on the field after retiring from your cricket career?