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10 down, go for 15000

Calcutta, March 16: For somebody who didn't begin his career with a target, Sachin Tendulkar has enjoyed tycoon-like success.

Indeed, a shade over 15 years after his first Test run (the maestro can't remember the bowler) at the National Stadium in Karachi, he posted his 10,000th at the Eden this afternoon.

This time, too, off Pakistan.

Sachin, of course, fell far short of a 35th Test hundred. Yet, as he pointed out, 'there's more to life than getting that hundred' I won't be able to play if I keep thinking about it' I'm not impatient.'

While Sachin is the fifth to join the 10,000-club, he remains the only one to have scored at least that many in one-day Internationals as well.

'I'm very happy the 10,000th run came in a big series' This achievement is right up there. Equally, I value my ODI runs, too' Whatever the form of cricket, runs don't come easy. I look for a hundred each time, but that's not possible' he remarked.

Asked by The Telegraph whether he was relieved that at least one of the two major milestones was out of the way, Sachin answered: 'Well, people are always going to have expectations' I try not to get affected'

With just a hint of emotion, Sachin revealed he 'first' thought of his parents (Rajani and the late Ramesh) when he glanced upwards on getting run No. 10,000.

Sachin began the second Test requiring 27 to join Sunil Gavaskar, Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Brian Lara in the exclusive bracket. Once there, he charmingly described it as a 'different league.'

Sachin was two short at tea and got to 10,000, at Abdul Razzaq's expense, soon after the break. Sadly, no more than 40,000 were there to cheer at the Eden.

'I was pretty relaxed and didn't try to play differently, but the crowd's reaction changed,' Sachin said.

Predictably, he 'thanked' his family, coaches and teammates for helping him scale what Gavaskar termed as an Everest-like summit when he got there some 18 years ago.

Team India vice-captain Rahul Dravid, who was at the other end, raised the bar for Sachin ' his captain when he was still finding his feet at the highest level.

'This 10,000 is only the first step' 15,000 is the real target,' is how he congratulated Sachin.

Dravid himself is the one closest ' 7,523 ' to the maestro. Not far behind is Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq on 7,195.

For the record, with jumbo contributions from Dravid (110), Virender Sehwag (81) and Sachin's 52, the hosts reached 344 for six by stumps on the opening day.

The bottomline would have been different had soft dismissals not facilitated Pakistan's last session claw-back.

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