Adelaide: How long will Sachin Tendulkar prolong his illustrious career may be a matter of speculation for experts and fans alike, but the champion batsman says he just 'wants to live in the moment' and enjoy the game without thinking too much about retirement.
"To be honest, I haven't thought about it (retirement). Basically, I just want to go out and enjoy the game. I just want to live in the moment, enjoy it all to the best of my ability," Tendulkar said.
The Adelaide Test starting on Thursday will be Tendulkar's 146th, but the veteran batsman does not want to think about how long he can go on.
"I don't want to waste my time thinking about when I will stop. I don't want to think about whether I have two, three or even four years left," said Tendulkar at a pre-match dinner hosted by the South Australian Cricket Association at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
Tendulkar, who began his journey in 1989 as a callow 16-year-old in Pakistan, is already in his 18th year of international cricket. He holds the record for most runs in one-day cricket — he is only 38 shy of completing 16,000 runs — besides having scored most centuries and could be on his way to overtake Steve Waugh's world record of 168 Tests.
If Tendulkar indeed goes on for a few more years, he would have played more years of international cricket than some of the biggest names the game has seen, when he calls it a day.
Among others, this would include somebody who he has admired a lot all through his career — Sir Donald Bradman — who lasted a good 20 years in international cricket though, admittedly, a few good years of his were wasted because of the Second World War during 1939-45.
The Mumbai cricketer clearly appears unfazed by the fate of his senior fellow batsmen in the team like Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, who have been ignored for the forthcoming Commonwealth Bank one-day series.
Nor does he appear mindful that his captain on this tour, Anil Kumble, has gone on record to proclaim the ongoing tour as his last visit to Australia.
Still, the kind of reception Tendulkar gets every time he comes out to bat in Australia, conveys that everyone thinks it is his last visit to these shores.
"Australia is a fantastic place to play cricket. I have always enjoyed playing here as people understand the sport. It's competitive and a great challenge, I love it," said Tendulkar, who presented his jumper on the occasion to the Bradman Museum, Bowral, a moment that brought the house down with a huge round of applause.
Apparently, the jumper is the one Tendulkar wore the last time he was in Australia. Talking about the fourth and final Test starting
tomorrow, Tendulkar claimed India was not taking its eyes off the present Australian team after beating them in Perth last week.
"We know that Ricky Ponting's team will come hard at us. They have always done that in the past. We don't want to take anything for granted," he said.