Tendulkar hails special win
Little Master completes 41st Test century with winning runs
Last Updated: 15/12/08 2:36pm
Tendulkar: 41st Test century
Sachin Tendulkar has hailed India's "very, very special" victory in the first Test against England.
Chasing a target of 387, Tendulkar hit the winning runs to cap a remarkable fightback in Chennai, the 'Little Master' completing his 41st Test century in the process.
India's successful run-chase was the fourth highest in Test history and also the highest ever achieved on the Subcontinent.
"I think this is very, very important because I've always said if the team wins then the hundred becomes very, very special. This hundred is right among the top ones," Tendulkar told Sky Sports.
Tendulkar made 103 not out in the Chepauk Stadium and combined with Yuvraj Singh (85 no) in a brilliant 163-run unbroken partnership.
According to Tendulkar, India's gameplan was: "to look for opportunities of scoring runs. You can't get bogged down. This was the kind of wicket where, because of the bounce, people always play some shots.
"Basically we were looking for those loose deliveries to put away.
"This becomes a very, very special victory because 387 runs is something and on a track where the ball was bouncing and jumping off of me. I thought the atmosphere in the dressing room was just fantastic.
"Those things really matter and because of that you can go out and perform."
Of his partner at the crease, Tendulkar added: "Yuvraj batted like a champion, I thought he was just fantastic."
Dream come true
Yuvraj, who has been struggling to establish himself in the Test arena, said that pushing India to a five-day win alongside Tendulkar meant that his "dream has come true".
He added: "As a young kid I used to dream that, when I saw him bat on screen, I just thought, 'One day I'm going to win a Test match with him'."
Of his own performance, he said: "I was not happy at first with how things went and Sachin said 'Just play your natural game'. So my mindset was to just go and play my natural game and take my time."
Mumbai-born Tendulkar also placed their success in the context of the recent terror attacks in the city, atrocities which forced a switch of venue to Chennai.
"What happened in Mumbai was extremely, extremely unfortunate. These hundreds and all these things will give a certain amount of happiness but what has happened in Mumbai... it's very hard to recover from that," he said.
"Cricket is a lesser thing compared to what has happened but whatever we can contribute, in whatever small manner, we are right with those people who have lost their dear ones."
Despite the performances of Tendulkar and Yuvraj, it was Virender Sehwag who was named man of the match following his blistering 83 from 68 balls on Sunday.
Paying tribute to the opener, India captain MS Dhoni said: "We raised our standards and do not forget the playmaker in Virender Sehwag, without his innings we would have been defending this Test match.
"His innings gave Sachin and Yuvraj the opportunity to win. Sachin was brilliant and Yuvraj amazing, because there was pressure."