Mohali: Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to score more than 12,000 Test runs during his innings of 88 in India's first innings against Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.
In doing so he also broke Brian Lara's (11,953 runs) world record for most Test runs, when the Little Master took three runs off rookie pacer Peter Siddle after the tea break.
Tendulkar's greatness is without parallel, but how much longer is he willing to endure the treadmill of constant cricket?
"I can be 100 per cent sure that Sachin will never play for a minute longer if he is not enjoying himself. He is still so eager to go out there and play. So he will continue as long as he feels he can play," Dr Anjali Tendulkar, Sachin wife, said.
It's a journey that has overcome roadblocks at every step. Sitting at the top of the pile was inevitable. Now with little left to achieve Tendulkar can finally relish his remaining time in the game.
"Every now and then answering this question I am little bit fed up. I said just leave me alone. I want to go out and play my cricket and enjoy my game and not worry about breaking this record or breaking some other record. So I am quite relieved that I don't have to answer this question anymore," Tendulkar said on Friday.
But a body ravaged by 19 years of international cricket, will the world record of most Test runs satiate the appetite or will Tendulkar find new energy?
"When he got past Lara's aggregate, straightaway the body language changed. You could feel he was lighter on his feat. Earlier he might have been just been feeling a little bit heavier simply because the burden was there," former India skipper and the first batsman to score more than 10,000 Test runs, Sunil Gavaskar, said.
The next few months will be tricky for Indian cricket as some of its pillars make way for a new generation and Tendulkar's presence in a young dressing room will be vital.
"Don't forget we are going through a transition phase> this is the time you need guys like Sachin Tendulkar to guide all the youngsters, which is very important for Indian cricket and its future," former skipper and now Chairman of Selection Committee Krishnamachari Srikkanth said.
Even as fans celebrate Tendulkar's latest shot at glory, they knew the likes of him will never be seen again and to relish him for a few more years is only a natural desire.
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