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"My targets are confidential"


NEW DELHI: In the midst of an amazing run, one of cricket's all- time greats, Sachin Tendulkar still wants to learn to curb risky shots to maintain a cool 80 per cent success rate for certain ``confidential targets'' he has set for himself.

Tendulkar, whose success and failure not only determine the Indian team's fortunes but swing the national mood from euphoria to despair, understands the sentiments but wants Indian fans at times to learn to accept failures.

The 25-year-old Indian batting genius regards West Indian master blaster Vivian Richards as his role model and reiterates that comparing him with the legendary Don Bradman was ``unfair'' to Bradman.

In a candid interview to Star Sports, he refused to mull over his brief tenure as captain. ``I really don't want to think about it or to even regret anything. I just want to leave it behind,'' he says.

Repeating his stand that an Indian win is what eventually matters than his own exploits, Tendulkar says it was for rival teams to give him the tag of world number one. ``Sides playing against me should say I am number one. I am pleased when they are planning strategies against me. And that's because I am batting this well.''

On comparisions he has drawn ever since he burst into international limelight in 1989 as a 15-year-old in Pakistan, Tendulkar said: ``In 1991-92 I was compared with Inzamamul-Haq, in '93 with Vinod Kambli, in '94 with Brian Lara after he broke the world Test batting record and now it is with Shane Warne (after Tendulkar's duel with the blonde leg spinner). ``It might go on and on,'' he said.

On his being equated with the Don, Tendulkar says with all humility that ``as an ordinary cricketer I am thrilled. I have only dreamt of such things. But when Bradman himself discussed my batting, it was very pleasing.''

Elaborating on his punitive blade that has consistently laid low the best of attacks in the world, Tendulkar admits he is very touchy about his cricketing gear, bats in particular.

``It is the shape and balance (of the bat). If I feel I have a right bat I pick it up and go out there in the middle and test it out. It's all about the feel. Tendulkar does not rule out switching over to lighter bats (he now uses bats close to three pounds) at a later stage of his career.

Asked about some audacious shots that have brought about his dismissals, Tendulkar says ``at times I play shots I should not be playing. Maybe I should not be trying too much. That's where I've got to learn and try to be consistent in future.''

Tendulkar, who has already struck 16 Test and one-day hundreds, refused to divulge his career goals. ``I do have targets, but there are confidential. The day I achieve I will come out.'' But he has a special place for his centuries in the 1991 Australian tour, though India lost the series 0-4.