New Delhi, Mar 22: "My critics haven't taught me my cricket," Sachin Tendulkar has said in a rebuttal to those who were calling for him to retire.
Sachin said: "The day he feels "a little less passion" when walking out to bat for India, I will give up the game" adding, "critics didn't need to tell me to do so."
Tendulkar said he had played cricket because he loved to do and there was nothing better than playing for India.
"I still get goosebumps as I stand with my teammates when the national anthem is on. I still feel the same passion when I pick up my bat and go out," he said in an interview carried in the latest issue of 'Open' magazine.
"They (critics) can question but none of them have answers to their own questions. None of them has been in my predicament and it is impossible for them to understand what I have been thinking and feeling," said Tendulkar, who scored the historic 100th international ton in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh last week.
When asked whether the final hurdle of scoring the hundredth century was the most difficult, the veteran batsman said: "There is no doubt it was. The 100th hundred was the most difficult to get. I really don't know why but it was."
"May be because it turned into a national obsession. May be because I wasn't able to escape talk of the 100th hundred and it was affecting me at a subconscious level. May be God was trying me harder," he said.
Asked whether the thought of retiring from ODI cricket had crossed his mind after India won the World Cup last year, Tendulkar said such a thought had never occurred to him.
"A number of my friends have also asked me why I didn't retire from ODI cricket after winning the world cup, they may well be right. It would indeed have been a grand exit, emotions were running high and the timing could not have been better but to be honest such a thought never occurred to me," he said.
"There's Sir Donald Bradman and Sir Garfield Sobers, two of the greatest ever cricketers to have played the game. In my time, there have been Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid. Each of them is a great player," Tendulkar said.
"The one thing my journey has taught me is that however good you are and however talented you are, you have to be ready to grind it out in times of difficulty. You must be prepared to work hard. Keep working hard. And harder.
"There was never and never be a shortcut to success and it is important to know this and pursue your dream with passion, determination and intensity. That has been my belief right through my career," he said.
Tendulkar said he wanted to see India playing well in Tests and be a part in the resurgence.
"I want to see India start playing well in Test matches and I would want to play a part in the resurgence. We played very good Test cricket for five to six year before we lost the series to England and subsequently to Australia.
"I can tell you losses hurt, they hurt really badly. The entire team is keen to stage a turnaround and give fans a lot more to cheer about when we play England in October/November this year. It is important to overcome the really bad phase and move on and I want to do my bit to ensure that Indian Test cricket is back on track," he explained.