New Delhi:In a two-decade long career, the only bouncer Sachin Tendulkar found tough to negotiate came from his own son, who would refuse to speak to him on phone during tours out of sheer annoyance over his absence from home.
Tendulkar, who will complete two decades in international cricket in November, disclosed that his son did not like him leaving home frequently and wouldn't come on phone until six years of age.
"It was tough initially because my son did not like it when I left home. For the first five-six years of his life, he did not speak to me on phone. That was difficult for me," Tendulkar said.
"Now he (Arjun) knows what I do and he appreciates that; so that's nice. I am a family man and they now know that I play cricket for India," he added.
Asked whether he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and become a cricketer, Tendulkar said he would not force Arjun to play the game.
"I have left that to him. He has started playing cricket and my daughter plays tennis. I don't want to force them into cricket or tennis. It has to come from their side. Eventually, it's their life," he told a news channel.
The Mumbai batsman has all along been saying that he doesn't play the game to break records, but conceded that he had one in mind while starting out and that was to surpass his idol Sunil Gavaskar's 35 Test hundreds.
"Records are mere records of what I have contributed for the country. While playing, if records are broken it's great." he said.
"The only target that I can say I was given was 35 Test hundreds because we grew up watching Sunil Gavaskar. In every step in our cricketing life, we have used his example. And if you wanted to be regarded as one of the greatest players, then you have to get to 34 hundreds and go past that."
Tendulkar said he considers himself a mix of Gavaskar and West Indian batting legend Vivian Richards.
"My two batting heroes have always been Gavaskar and Viv Richards and I have always felt I should be a mixture of both. When it comes to attacking, I should be able to play shots like Richards and when it comes to concentration, mental toughness, determination and guts, I should be Gavaskar."
Talking about the current Indian side which according to him is one of the best he has played in, Tendulkar said it can become number one in the world.
"We have the ability, spirit, desire and the hunger to get there. We have been working towards it. If you look at our performance in the last couple of years, it has been terrific.
"And a couple of hiccups here and there are always going to be there. I see good times ahead of us. We have had some terrific times in the past and we are likely to continue that. We have our target and we want to achieve that," said the 36-year-old.
Quite opposed to his own demeanour, Tendulkar said temperamental tennis great John McEnroe has been his sporting idol outside cricket.
"I think there is something wrong with me because my sporting hero has always been outside cricket and it has always been John McEnroe. I like his style and his aggression and he always expressed himself. I liked his mannerisms and there was something that caught my eye at the age of five or six when I started watching him."
On the future of Test cricket and Twenty20's rising profile after Indian Premier League, Tendulkar said the emergence of new formats gives cricketers, who are not good enough to play the longer version, a chance to play the game.
"I don't think Test cricket is in any danger. It's the ultimate test of a player's character, his peripheral awareness and vision. You should be able to realise playing on the second day what the wicket will play out in the fifth day. So, the Test cricket is the most challenging format.
"I don't think any changes are needed because most of the Test matches are producing results. Earlier, there were complaints that most of the matches are drawn and there are no results. But we are consistently getting results."