Mumbai: It's no secret that Sachin Tendulkar meticulously goes about preparing himself before every international match but ODI specialist Suresh Raina today revealed that the intensity and fierce competitiveness reaches 200 per cent when he is competing against arch-rivals Pakistan.
"His intensity reaches 200 per cent against Pakistan. I remember when we were playing our world cup semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali, we all were tense. It was a high-voltage match for us with Prime Ministers of both sides present. The body language of players on both the sides was aggressive.
"After the toss, paaji (Sachin) had told every player to remain focussed on the job. He said 'the wicket is good and our record against Pakistan in world cup is perfect'. He had a meeting with the batsmen and fielders as our fielding unit was very strong. Paaji told us 'let's trouble them, they don't perform when put under pressure'. This showed his intensity," said Raina.
Raina said it was amazing to see the same kind of hunger in Tendulkar during the 2011 World Cup as he showed throughout his long career.
"He was keen to win the world cup. When we were playing the final (against Sri Lanka), we did not get a good start and players started roaming around for tea and snacks. At that time, paaji told everyone to be seated and watch the match.
"That shows his involvement. When we won the world cup, and the way his family, fans and the whole of Mumbai rejoiced, it was a touchy moment for every player. Paaji became so emotional after winning it. It showed how much desperate he was to win the Cup," Raina recalled.
Another ardent admirer of Tendulkar and his longtime team-mate, pacer Javagal Srinath also paid rich tribute to the legendary batsman and recounted many indelible moments.
"One thing which I liked about Sachin, he was so tightfisted with his compliments. He would never compliment you so easily. It's quite tough to get a compliment from him. If at all you want to know what he has said about you, it could be from others," said Srinath.