Sachin Tendulkar of India overtook retired West Indian captain Brian Lara on Friday to become Test cricket’s highest run-getter.
Tendulkar (35) crossed Lara’s tally of 11 953 runs from 131 Tests when he passed 15 on the first day of the second Test against Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association ground here.
He made 88 before being caught in the slips off debutant pace-bowler Peter Siddle with the second new ball, returning to the pavilion with 12 027 runs against his name.
Tendulkar, a veteran of 152 Tests, is already the world’s top scorer in one-day internationals (16 361 runs), and has more Test (39) and one-day (42) centuries than any other batsman.
He is also the most senior active cricketer, having made his Test debut as a 16-year-old on November 15 1989 against Pakistan in Karachi.
”It is a good achievement because it took 19 years to reach there,” Tendulkar said in a television interview after the day’s play.
”My focus today was just to watch the ball. I was not that excited to be honest. The focus was to continue and not lose concentration.
”Sourav [Ganguly] and me were focused on batting out the day. I did not really think of the record too many times. I try to keep the records out of my mind and my aim is mainly to contribute.
”But when you come near a record, subconsciously you think about it, but the important thing is to play your best for the country. It’s nice that it’s come at the right time because the Australians are a quality opposition.
”I planned to stay till the end but that did not happen. I thought I did not use my feet well but that’s the beauty of the game. The ball changes and so does the game.”
Tendulkar, asked how he dealt with the criticism of taking so long to surpass Lara, quipped: ”There are stones thrown at you and you turn them into milestones.”
Tendulkar, who received warm applause from about 15 000 home fans when he walked in to bat at the fall of Rahul Dravid’s wicket, needed an hour to score the 15 runs required to break the record.
He was on four at the non-striker’s end when Australia dismissed Gautam Gambhir and Venkatsai Laxman in quick succession.
As Ganguly took time to settle down, Tendulkar was stuck on 13 when the tea break was called with India on 174-4.
He reached the landmark off the first ball after resumption, gliding Siddle for three runs to third man and raised his bat to acknowledge the wild cheers from the crowd and teammates.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting shook hands with a visibly relieved Tendulkar, as did the other fielders. — Sapa-AFP