New Delhi: The man Indian cricket missed in Ahmedabad against South Africa, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, has said that he will now weigh his career options series by series without setting a timeline for retirement.
Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN's sister channel IBN Lokmat Sachin said, "Winning the World Cup is certainly still an unfulfilled dream and I would love to play in it."
Talking about his career and goal Sachin said, "I am enjoying my cricket at the moment, but don't want to think too much into the future. I have been playing almost non-stop for 20 years and want to focus only on the present."
About Harbhajan Singh controversy in Australia he said, "I defended Harbhajan because he had never said what he was accused of and I felt that if we players don't defend him this time, then when will we stand by him? It was not just important for us as cricketers, but it was important for all Indians staying abroad, not just in Australia."
"I just felt that Harbhajan was a teammate who needed support and I should take the lead," he added.
Asked about sledging on the field, Sachin said, "There are limits to everything which no cricketer should cross. Some things will happen on the field of play, everyone wants to win, and we should be prepared for it, as long as it is within limits."
When asked about the auctioning of players and will it destroy the soul of the sport he replied, "No, I don't think so at all. I never played the game thinking about the money I would make out of it, and neither do the youngsters today. This game has given me sleepless nights, just thinking of how I will play the next day. That excitement can never be measured in terms of money. Right from the start, all I wanted was to play well and score as many runs as possible. That has been my motivation, not money."
However, Sachin was critical of the media, saying that it had unfairly created the impression of a rift in the Indian team.
"These reports of senior-junior rift are totally false. In the team, seniors and juniors respect each other, and we all realise the importance of playing for the country. The media is damaging its credibility by giving stories without authentic information."
Sachin said that Brian Lara was the finest batsman he had played with or against." Ricky Ponting is good, especially when he is playing South Africa or West Indies, but not against India. Lara is a great player, a once in a lifetime player. He had amazing ability."
Sachin also said that he is very keen spending more time with his family, but will in some way be connected with cricket.
"The only thing I have known in all these years is to play cricket and I would love to be always associated with the game."
On Harbhajan controversy
First of all, Harbhajan hadn't said it. And what better time for the team to stand behind their team mate? Everyone's support was needed. It's just that I started it.
On Life after Retirement
Obviously, I'd like to stay associated with cricket. I don't know yet in what capacity. But cricket is my strength. I would like to stay with the game.
I think it's more difficult to take care of me than my kids. I tend to lose my temper sometimes but my wife Anjali understands me. Everyone at home knows that nothing can come between me and my cricket.