The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Opening still Sachin’s choice

Colombo: Given a choice, Sachin Tendulkar will prefer opening the innings in one-dayers. The Little Master has come down to No. 4 after Virender Sehwag’s promotion to the top of the order.

“Personally speaking, if I were given a chance, I would open the innings as it’s where I have felt most comfortable and scored the maximum number of runs,” Sachin, who shares a world record 252-run opening stand with Sourav Ganguly, said Friday.

“When I used to open, I had a chance to dictate terms. Now when I go in, the terms are set for me (by the bowlers), and I have to play accordingly,” he said. “But I am willing to adapt to that because it can lend solidity to the middle-order. It’s going to take time in this adjustment and I’ve to be patient.

“At the same time, I am cutting down on risks. I have probably played less lofted shots (recently),” he admitted.

Sachin, whose devotion for his family is well known, added that marriage had changed him personally, and, he misses his kids while on long tours.

“There are no boundary lines when it comes to your family. It helps when you are on the field because it gives you the peace of mind,” he said.

“You would like to have a free mind, so that you can fill up your mind only with cricketing thoughts and nothing else. It (marriage) is the key.

“I’m sure marriage has changed me as a person. You have got another person to discuss all your problems with. It has balanced my life for sure, and obviously kids are something very, very special.”

Sachin has two children, daughter Sarah and son Arjun.

Sachin also spoke about his faith in God. “I do believe there is someone above who controls everything. Before any big event in my life, and not just cricket, I visit a temple.”

The master batsman said motivation has never been a problem for him since his Test debut in 1989 in Pakistan. “I just want to go out there and bat and live up to my expectations,” he said.

But has he ever got bored playing virtually everyday' “Not really. Once you’ve crossed the rope you forget all that. You are so involved that you tend to forget what the body has gone through — unless the conditions are extremely hot.”

Sachin also paid rich tributes to coach John Wright, and said he was sure from the start that the former New Zealand captain would do a good job.

“He was so determined and focussed. It has inspired the team,” he said. “The players might have an off day, but John is always out there working with the youngsters. He understands the players now.”

The hunger in the side has made him hopeful about the forthcoming World Cup. “This team has produced good results. It’s hungry,” was his candid remark.

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