Sachin Tendulkar
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Sachin Tendulkar wants to take Test record to 15,000 runs 

Sachin Tendulkar wants to take his Test scoring record past 15,000 runs and help India to win the 2011 World Cup before he considers retiring from cricket.

"I have given it no thought at all," Tendulkar said of retirement. "I am good at cricket, so I will play a while longer. I still love the game as much as ever. It is my job but it remains my passion too.

"This is fun. Cricket remains in my heart."

The 36-year-old "Little Master" has already hit 12,773 Test runs since his debut 20 years ago but is determined to spend at least another two years facing down the world's best bowlers.

Tendulkar said former opener Sunil Gavaskar, an all-time great for India, had urged him to carry on playing and stretch his lead in the scoring charts over the retired Brian Lara and current Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

Lara scored 11,953 before stepping down from Test cricket three years ago and the 34-year-old Ponting is on 11,193 after surpassing Allan Border as his country's all-time leading scorer during the present Ashes series in England.

"I am not pleased yet with what I have done," Tendulkar said in an interview with The Wisden Cricketer magazine to be published Friday. "Sunil Gavaskar has told me that I have to get to 15,000 runs; he said he would be angry with me, he would come and catch me if I didn't.

"I admire him so much and to score that many would be a terrific achievement but that is not the only aim."

Tendulkar's trademark has been his ability to play each batting stroke with equal precision and ability, but former Australia coach John Buchanan has suggested he might be less confident against short and quick bowling.

"It is only his opinion," Tendulkar said. "John Buchanan doesn't have to be right all the time. If I couldn't handle short deliveries, then I wouldn't still be scoring runs.

"Maybe he needs to change his opinion. There must be something very wrong with all the bowlers around the world that they have allowed me to score so many runs."

Nothing succeeds like success. Though indisputably one of the legends of our time, is Sachin Tendulkar a real match-winner? 

This question indicates there are others far more consistent in winning matches for their countries. Admittedly, not many can beat Tendulkar where consistency is concerned but his contribution to winning matches takes a beating compared to Inzamam-ul- Haq and Ricky Ponting.

The yardstick obviously is how many of his centuries have been winning centuries. And how many of these centuries have been scored in the second innings of the match. This, the pundits feel relates to handling of pressure when it matters.

Inzamamís total number of centuries is 25 but 17 of his centuries helped Pakistan win Tests and the percentage amounts to 68. Ricky Pontingís 24 Test match-winning centuries are from a total of 38 and the winning percentage is 63 whereas though Tendulkar scored 42 Test centuries, only 16 have helped India in winning Tests. The percentage is as low as 38.

The most important comparison is the number of centuries scored in the second innings. Out of six centuries scored by Ponting five resulted in Australia winning Test matches. Thatís 83 per cent. Inzamam had four winning matches out of six centuries ó the percentage is 66 but while Tendulkar scored ten centuries, only three saw India win matches. The percentage is 30.

If the styles of these three batsmen are compared, aggression is a common factor but why Tendulkar is not able to convert his second innings centuries into winning ones is something very intriguing looking at the class that he possesses. Is it because of the load of expectations of the country that agitates his mental make-up or perhaps he is unable to handle pressure in the middle?

If one argues that Ponting played for a stronger team, Inzamam certainly didnít. It was late in his career that Mohd. Yusuf and Yunus Khan added strength to the batting line-up.

In Tendulkarís case he seemed to enjoy his first innings batting rather than second innings. Apart from the first few years, Tendulkar had the support of Azharuddin, Dravid and Ganguly. Later Laxman and Sehwag joined to make the batting line-up strong.

Kapil Dev feels that Tendulkar seems to think that the more he accumulates runs, the more he will be comfortable, but in cricket when you change your approach you are inviting trouble. Tendulkar on the other hand has gone on record saying that people shouldnít expect him to do what he was doing a decade ago.

Though one has to agree with Tendulkarís comment, the fact is that he is unable to do justice to his class by not getting India to win more matches.

This is definitely not a blot on his career but not scoring a triple hundred and not increasing the percentage of the winning matches calls for some introspection before the new season begins.

In ODIs Tendulkar has to set milestones. There is no competition there but the class of a player is judged by the winning percentage in Tests and not in ODIs and T20. 

Hopefully Tendulkar will devise a new strategy to work on the winning percentage and if the strategy clicks, the 2009-10 season will be a great one for India.

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Tendulkar's new home
Sachin Tendulkar's long-cherished dream of having his own dream home finally seems to have realised. The ace batsman purchased an old villa near Carter Road, Bandra West, in suburban Mumbai.

According to reports, Tendulkar purchased Dorab Villa from its owners, the Satra Group, for around Rs 35 crore. 

"We sold Dorab Villa to Sachin Tendulkar in December," Dr Vijay Satra, brother of managing director Praful Satra, who had purchased the property, told a Mumbai newspaper.

Dorab Villa was built in the 1920s and originally occupied by a Parsi family -- the Wardens. It is a one storey structure, measuring around 9,000 square feet, but the property is spread over around 10,000 square feet.

Tendulkar spent all of his growing up years at Sahitya Sahawas in Bandra East before shifting to the plush La Mer building in Bandra West in 2001.

Tendulkar's new home

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