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Saturday, March 12, 2011

‘I’m sure it’s very difficult being Sachin Tendulkar’ - Harbhajan singh doffs his hat to The Master

Nagpur: Having spent 13 years with Sachin Tendulkar in the Team India dressing room, Harbhajan Singh has an insider’s take on The Master.

Harbhajan recently spoke to The Telegraph, exclusively on Sachin, who has become the first to scale the 2,000 runs peak in the 36-year history of the World Cup.

The following are excerpts:

Q Some words on Sachin...

A (Grins) Difficult to find the most appropriate words... He is a very humble person. I’ve not seen many guys who can actually stay that humble and be so simple even after achieving so much... Plus, he’s very supportive and is just one phone call away... If you need advice, he’s there.

What’s the influence he has had on you?

Just by being with him, you can learn a lot... I’ve made mistakes in life, but one learns from them... One learns from watching a Sachin... His career has been without any drama at all. Why? Because he has stayed so humble and kept things simple.

How long did it take you to be comfortable in Sachin’s presence? To not be overwhelmed by the aura around him?

Three years, perhaps... I think I was pretty comfortable with him after that remarkable series against Australia (2000-01).

Is there some advice you recall which made a difference to you as a person and/or as a cricketer?

I remember Sachin telling me that ‘your focus should only be on what you want to do.’ That having played and achieved a bit, I shouldn’t get distracted, for there would be distractions left and right... That I should keep going forward instead of going this way or that... That my dream wasn’t just to play for India, but to also consistently do well... That it was up to me alone to decide how far I wanted to go... I’ve kept that in mind.

Are you amazed at how he has been able to handle the pressure?

Yes. I don’t know how he does it. I’m sure it’s very difficult being Sachin Tendulkar... I don’t know what goes on in his mind. All I’ll say is hats off to him.

What can today’s generation learn from Sachin?

Oh, a lot... To start with, staying simple. You won’t become a superman by doing anything... Even if you set records, you will still remain a human being... I mean, you can’t become God. So, just be humble, like Sachin... And, thank God for giving you the opportunity to do well and the opportunity to be recognised.

Finally... Your thoughts on Sachin’s records...

(Smiles) They say records are meant to be broken, let’s see... But what a collection he has!

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