x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Tendulkar's secret: 'using body cleverly'

India's Sachin Tendulkar passed another major milestone but a dogged century from Marcus North, the Australian, put the touring side in control of the second Test yesterday.

Batsman explains how he got to 14,000 Test runs yesterday India's Sachin Tendulkar passed another major milestone but a dogged century from Marcus North, the Australian, put the touring side in control of the second Test yesterday. North's career-best 128 was the cornerstone of the Australian first innings which folded for 478 at tea on day two, but not before their lower half had added 193 runs to their overnight score of 285 for five wickets.

In reply, India made a feeble start, losing the explosive Virender Sehwag (30) and bail-out specialist Rahul Dravid (one) in quick succession. Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 44 with opener Murali Vijay (42) at the other end with India still trailing Australia by 350 runs. Playing his 171st Test, Tendulkar became the first batsman to amass 14,000 Test runs, hitting Nathan Hauritz, the off-spinner, for a boundary in the 27th over of the Indian innings.

The 37-year-old backed away to cut Hauritz crisply to the boundary, triggering euphoria at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The crowd kept roaring and Tendulkar acknowledged the thunderous reception with a raised bat as his teammates in the pavilion rose to applaud him. Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, the second-highest run-scorer in Tests with 12,178 runs, came forward to applaud his Indian rival in the final session.

Tendulkar later said "using his body cleverly" had helped him reach the milestone. "[For the] last 20 years I have pushed myself really hard ... challenges are always going to be there for me. All I need to do is to focus as hard as possible, work on my fitness, lead a disciplined life and use my body cleverly," Tendulkar told Neo Cricket channel. Since his 1989 debut in Pakistan, Tendulkar has come a long way, amassing more than 31,000 international runs, including 94 centuries. Named ICC [International Cricket Council] Player of the Year four days ago, he has enjoyed a prolific season with more than 1,000 Test runs in 2010.

Asked if things have changed for him in the last 10 years, Tendulkar said: "Nothing has changed. [I am] finding the centre of the bat and enjoying the game. There was a phase in between when, because of injuries and lot of other things, it was a little difficult to move the way I wanted to. Now it's been good." Earlier, North's 149-run sixth wicket stand with Tim Paine (59) defied the India bowlers in the morning session and took the visitors past the 400-run mark.

North mixed caution with occasional aggressionto complete his fifth Test century before eventually falling to Harbhajan Singh, the off-spinner. Australia trail the series 1-0.