I can't survive without Test cricket: Tendulkar

Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has said Tests were the "main course" of meal and he cannot survive without it.

updated: November 08, 2009 16:50 IST
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Likening Twenty20 cricket with "dessert" which is delicious but could not satiate one's hunger, Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has said Tests were the "main course" of meal and he cannot survive without it.

"Twenty20 is like desserts? It tastes good but you can't fill up your stomach with it? You have to have a main course and that's Test cricket? I couldn't survive without main course," Tendulkar was quoted as saying by 'The Times'.

The 36-year-old Tendulkar said the longer version of cricket will always be the number one format of the game for any player.

"From a cricketer's point of view Test cricket will always be Number 1. In Test cricket, the bowler is always trying to get you out and you have to be on top of your game for five days. You have to be at your best to sustain it," he said.

"Twenty20, you might never have heard of a guy who swings around for 20, 30 minutes and he's done wonders for his side? It's easier to be successful."

Showering all affinity on Tests, Tendulkar, who has amassed a record 12,773 runs at an average of 54.58 in the longer format, however, still dreams of winning an ODI World Cup, which has eluded him in last five editions.

"I watched the final at my friend's place. My friends who were much older were celebrating, jumping around? I joined in but I was clueless about what was happening," Tendulkar said.

"That is when I started taking cricket seriously? Until then it was fun messing about with a tennis ball? I saw from those celebrations that cricket can change the mood of the entire nation. That is why it is my dream," he said.

Incidentally, Tendulkar's nine-year-old son Arjun is more excited by the slam-bang cricket.

"My son already loved cricket but Twenty20 has taken it further. It's not really the music or clothing, it's the number of sixes? He just wants to go out and smash it? That's what excites him," admitted Tendulkar, who captains Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

Tendulkar said he would like to use T20 cricket's mass appeal to globalise the game.

"I would like to take it to new nations, perhaps America. It won't happen tomorrow but let's try. For so many years we've had audiences who didn't bother to watch the result never mind watch the game.

"Now this has captured the imagination all across the world, even in non-cricket-playing nations, this format has regenerated interest," he said.

Tendulkar also said he wanted the Test format to benefit from worldwide growth of the game and that the next generations take to it with renewed interest.

"Someone said that first sensation of cricket, walking inside the stadium, will stay with you for ever. It was definitely that way with me. I remember walking in the Wankhede Stadium when I was 10, the West Indies playing in Mumbai.

"It was fabulous. I couldn't imagine how the ground would be, so packed with people, full of noise. I couldn't imagine how fast the ball was flying. (Sunil) Gavaskar and Vivian Richards, my heroes there, too. It was a special sight. On TV you can't get that feeling," he said.

"Mostly children will see Twenty20 on television so it is a real challenge educating them, allowing them to understand the different forms.

"All the Test grounds, may be they should clear three, or four hundred seats for schoolchildren so that they can come and watch. They are the ones who will fill the stands in the future so give them a taste of Test cricket and it will be in their minds for ever," he added.

Referring to West Indies captain Chris Gayle's remark that he "wouldn't be so sad if Test cricket died out", Tendulkar just said Gayle "can have his opinion, he's a nice guy".