Rated better than even Don Bradman by the likes of Nasser Hussain, Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday said he does not believe in comparisons and has a lot of respect for all cricketers.
After his historic knock of unbeaten 200 in the Gwalior ODI against South Africa, former England captain Nasser Hussain and a few others had described Tendulkar as the greatest batsman in the history of the game, even better than the iconic Bradman.
Tendulkar, however, refused to be drawn into a comparison.
"I never believed in comparisons. I respect every individual off the field too and it's not about only Sir Don. I respect them all. I'm happy to play for the country and am particularly happy when I do well and the team wins," said Tendulkar who became the first batsman to hit a double century in a one dayer.
Talking about his double hundred, Tendulkar said he considers the record a national mark and not an individual milestone.
"When I started the innings I did not know I will get 200. I will say it is an Indian record and will be happy it stays as an Indian record," he said.
That historic knock also prompted former India captains Ajit Wadekar, Kapil Dev and Dilp Vengsarkar to demand the coveted 'Bharat Ratna' for the batting genius but Tendulkar said he was not thinking about it.
It's a rare honour and whosoever have got it are not only my heroes but the heroes of the entire country. Who would not like to join that list, but my focus is on cricket. If it has to happen it will happen," the champion batsman said.
Looking ahead, Tendulkar was sure that the entire country was waiting to support the Indian cricket team when the 2011 World Cup unfolds in the sub-continent.
"I'm (eagerly) waiting for it. The entire country would be rooting for us," he said.
Tendulkar lost his cool when a scribe sought his reaction on Virender Sehwag's desire to take over his number four spot in the Test line-up when he quits the game.
"Once I'm done (called it a day) I will let you know," said Tendulkar, who addressed the gathering as the brand ambassador of "Give India' - a NGO headed by former ICICI chairman N Vaghul.
Tendulkar was delighted at the Indian hockey team's superb 4-1 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the ongoing Hockey World Cup in New Delhi and he offered his full support to the team.
"Day before yesterday I also watched the match. It was an exciting match and the Indian team did very well. In the closing stages like everyone else I was also very tense. I'm very happy the team won," said the batting maestro.
Tendulkar wished the the team well for the remainder of the tournament and promised them full support.
"On every Indian's behalf, I would say that we are always with you. Performance keeps fluctuating but our support for them remains consistent.
"In fact, the support should be stronger in times when the team is going through tough phases. We will support them during that time," he said.
Tendulkar said since he was not a hockey expert, he would not comment on India's chances against Australia in today's match.
"I'm not a hockey expert but will always support the team. My good wishes are always with them whether they perform or fail to live upto expectations," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar sounded very happy with the time he spent today giving tips to underprivileged children as part of the charity he supports.
"When I knew I could do this camp I was very happy. I can't improve technique in one day but can talk on basics. I'm extremely proud to be part of this incredible movement," he said about his association with "Give India". PTI