Sachin brought joy to India and the cricketing world Friday when he finally made his 100th international century in an Asia Cup match against Bangladesh.
Responding to comments that he should have called it a day after the high of World Cup, Sachin said it would have been “very selfish” had he done that.
“My belief is if I feel that I can contribute, if am mentally there and contribute to the team, then I should be playing. It is a very selfish thought to retire when you are the top. When you are at the top you should serve the nation. When I feel I am not in the frame of mind to serve the nation, that is the time to back out,” Sachin told Times Now Saturday.
Greats like Kapil Dev and Imran Khan were among the ones who said that Sachin should have left the game after the Word Cup as he struggled to get to three figures in England and Australia.
The master blaster said he did not bother too much about the criticism.
“There are certain people I respect and there are certain people I don’t respect. So I don’t get affected by the ones I don’t respect. They have there opinions but it doesn’t matter much. They should remain where they are.
“I have got a bigger job of playing for India. To score runs and win matches for India and I focus on that job instead of reacting to what people are saying,” said Sachin.
The 38-year-old admitted to the pressure of scoring the 100th century and said it was his toughest three-figure knock.
“The toughest hundred was obviously the 100th one. It took a lot of time. During the world cup, I got my 99th ton but nobody noticed it as the focus was on the tournament. Once it was over, the focus shifted to my 100th hundred.
“Earlier, I did not have anything on my mind but as the time went by I started thinking about it (the hundred). I knew I was batting well but the big innings was not coming. There were moments I was frustrated, I got injured as well. The past few months have been tough,” said the legend.
He dedicated the memorable innings to his brother Ajit.
“I dedicate this hundred to my elder brother Ajit. We shared the same goal and he sacrificed his life for me.”
The master blaster still wants to carry on after 22 years of international cricket and said the highlight of his illustrious career will be the win in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka.
“The biggest dream was to win the World Cup for India. I don’t think there can be a bigger achievement than that. As as child, I wanted to play for India and lift the trophy which I have been able to do. After that everything is the second best. I have broken records here and there but the biggest dream has been to play for India,” he said.