Mumbai: For Sachin Tendulkar, an ideal coach is like a friend to the players and it makes no difference if he is an Indian or a foreigner since it only his performance that matters.
"I don't think it is about whether it is a foreign coach or an Indian coach. It's more about how consistently one can bring about results. A proper coach is one who understands the players and is more like a friend," Tendulkar said in his first interaction with media as a retired cricketer.
"We all know how to play the cover drive but when you have a technical problem, one should be able to sit and sort out with the coach. It's what you put between those two ears," Tendulkar replied to a question on whether he preferred foreign or Indian coaches.
In 24 years, Tendulkar has played under managership of Bishan Singh Bedi, Abbas Ali Baig, Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil, Anshuman Gaekwad, John Wright, Greg Chappell, Chandu Borde, Lalchand Rajput, Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher to name a few.
He believes that a coach-player relationship should be sacrosanct.
"A coach is a coach. It doesn't matter as to where he comes from. A coach should be one in whom a player can confide his feelings. Confidence is so important in a coach-player relationship. To know that there is nothing that is leaked out," Tendulkar stated.
For Tendulkar, guiding his juniors as well as learning from them is a process he finds enriching.
"Even before I have retired, I have spent a lot of time with the India U-19 players (in Bangalore). I never made them public. Sometimes there are problems also but I have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them. I would continue to guide them but also keep a low profile," Tendulkar explained when asked as to how he would like to help the upcoming generation of cricketers.
He feels that it's not only about giving advice to the juniors but also about listening to what they have to say.
"It's not that whatever I am saying is 100 per cent correct. I should also be prepared to listen to what they are saying in order to become a better student. Someone like Bhuvneshwar wasn't even born when I started playing for India. I would joke that 'Say Good Morning sir', when I enter the dressing room. Sharing my experiences and observation is something that I have always enjoyed. I would love talking and breathing cricket till the last day of my life."
As always, Tendulkar refused comparisons when questioned as to whose success among the current generation of players has he enjoyed the most.
"I have enjoyed each and everyone of their success. It's a team sport and it doesn't matter which individual performs. It's not that all guys would deliver in the same match. There would always be two to three good performers and others would rally around them. It's about maintaining the consistency."
A British journalist asked about his memorable performances against England, sachin answered, "My first Test century at Old Trafford and my century in the 374-run chase against England at Chennai."
Tendulkar said that it's very difficult to fight injuries as he has done a lot of times in his career.
"I think one should respect and not fight with nature. When I had tennis elbow, the doctor told me that I won't be able to play competitive cricket for four and half months. I tried playing earlier but simply couldn't.
"You need to respect time also. It was a time when I wasn't even able to lift Arjun's plastic bat. I went to the field and tried to hit a ball against 10-12 year old kids and the ball refused to travel more than 10-15 yards. It was a difficult phase and at times I felt that I won't be able to play cricket again."
Someone asked that how he felt that all those who belong to his generation feel that they have lost their childhood with his retirement.
"Well, I have heard people say that 40 is the new 20 and feel like a 20-year old if it works for you. Cricket brings that child-like exuberance in me when I have been on the field. You should have that energy and bubbliness in you," he concluded.