"I like people who do not need everyone to like them."
"I like people who do not need everyone to like them."
"When you are fit, you feel as if you can do anything."
"Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success."
"I should play and enjoy the game and inspires the next generation."
"No cricket team in the world depends on one or two players. The team always plays to win."
"Never give up. Today is hard tomorrow will be worse. But the day after tomorrow will be sunshine."
"I like to be myself, and I do not pretend. For instance, I do not dress up for occasions, I am what I am."
"They picture me as someone who is wrong, and eventually that becomes right after a certain point of time."
"I always dreamt of holding the bat and winning games for India. That was my inspiration to take up cricket."
"I am a guy who likes to play with intensity. Once that is gone, I do not know what I am going to do on the field."
"Whatever you want to do, do with full passion and work really hard towards it. do not look anywhere else. There will be a few distractions, but if you can be true to yourself, you will be successful for sure."
"If you can stay positive in a negative situation you win."
"The more centuries that I am able to score, the happier I will be."
"I love playing under pressure. In fact, if there is no pressure, then I am not in the perfect zone."
"The bat is not a toy, it is a weapon. It gives me everything in life, which helps me to do everything on the field."
"I get really motivated when I put on the India jersey. It is a responsibility, so I want to perform in the best way I can."
"I want to be relaxed in my personal life. I really do not like to be hassled."
"Becoming an inspiration for kids is great. I want to inspire them to do whatever they want to."
"You have to stay fresh and blank in your mind when you go out to bat. You complicate things, and you are gone."
"A fit body gives you confidence. And there is nothing more impressive than a great attitude, which you can wear on your sleeve. But you will have to remember the difference between being rude and being confident."
On the field, aggression can sometimes be a positive emotion. It boosts performance and can lift your game. But over the years, I have learnt that restrained aggression is a better animal. That way, you will conserve your energy and won't spend yourself quickly.
The people you choose to have around you make all the difference. My family and close friends keep me grounded. You have to have a mind of your own and a strong head on your shoulders. Cricket is the most important thing to me, so the rest of it pales in comparison.
I do believe in God. But you won't find me visiting temples every now and then. I believe in self-realization. Peace of mind matters a lot to me. What's the point in doing something just for the sake of it? I'd rather do something I like doing as long as I'm being true to myself.
I don't really focus on these things - on what tags are given to me or what people think of me off the field - stuff like that. My main focus is always to do well on the field for the Indian cricket team. When people say good things about me off the field, I am more than happy to accept them.
In cricket, my superhero is Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been my hero and will continue to remain so. Apart from him and outside cricket, my mother has remained my inspiration. Whatever difficult time I had faced, she was always there for me. She has given me all the strength. She maintained her composure and supported me in tough times.
Unless someone wants to look funny, I'll not recommend anyone to copy my bowling action. But on a serious note, with the confidence that I have got from the amount of runs I have been scoring, when I'm thrown the ball to bowl, I am pretty sure of what I have to do. I may not be the most attractive to watch while bowling, but I can be effective.
I love soccer, love tennis... Roger Federer has been a favourite for a long, long time. The kind of consistency he has shown, 16 Grand Slam titles... The way he handles himself in pressure situations is admirable... He is so calm... In soccer, I'm a huge fan of Barcelona... I like watching Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and David Villa.
I've never fought with anyone. A lot of people talk to me, and they're like, 'Oh, you would have been fighting all the time when you were younger,' but I'm like, 'I never fought with anyone because I always knew that if I hurt myself, I might lose important time in my cricket career,' so I never got into any fight, ever in my life.
My focus had always been the on-side. My coach wanted me to work on the offside strokes since he was convinced of my ability and timing on the leg side. I worked hard and firmed up my defensive technique. I am happy getting runs all around the wicket now, and getting a lot of boundaries. No one calls me a 'leggie batsman' anymore.
I love tattoos. And mine symbolise who I really am. I have a Samurai on my left arm. At a subconscious level, I connect to this warrior and model myself on his discipline, skills and honour. There is also a tribal tattoo and a Chinese symbol of faith. I have seen a lot of people getting tattoos just because it's a trend.
As a kid, I used to see how Sachin Tendulkar used to win matches under pressure for India in Sharjah or other places. So I was always keen to repeat the same in similar situations. I don't take pressure on myself when I am in the middle. I love pressure, and I always believe that pressure makes you more focused.
I'm not comparing myself with anyone, but I am very confident about my captaincy, as I have already led India and in the IPL also. I have confidence I can bring out each player's ability fully and also give them a lot of confidence... I would like to stick to what I know best and what I have confidence in.
A lot of people tell me a lot of things about my conduct, my game, my future... but I try to stay away from their words of wisdom. I don't let it distract me. On the field, you will be facing the ball alone. If you fail, you will the only one to blame. So, you should be the one deciding for yourself.
I feel really blessed when people start comparing me with Sachin, but I keep myself focused on my performance and not on such comparisons. I literally worship him, so I don't see too much in this comparison. No cricketer has been able to score one hundred centuries like Sachin.
Music, for me, is vital. Punjabi, Bollywood, Sufi, RnB... I listen to it all. When I'm not listening to music, you will find me chatting with friends. Off the field, I just let my instincts take over. I certainly don't think about batting, or which bowlers I'm going to face.
I always had a sense of discipline in me. However, there was a time when I couldn't divide my time properly between off-field things and on-field assignments. The focus would be missing at times, and that would affect my preparation for matches. I managed to change that.
I don't think there is anything wrong in earning money from the sport you love. If you work hard and get benefits from it, there is no harm. The day you feel that you are not working hard and are only looking at the benefits, that's where the problem is.
I do not abuse players. I talk to myself; I abuse myself. It's my way of letting off steam. I do it after every century; I do not do it always. I keep telling myself: 'Improve, improve from the previous match, the previous shot. You can do it.'
My superhero has always been Tendulkar, and it will be Tendulkar for life. He is someone who has inspired me immensely. Just watching him play for India, I used to dream of winning games for India, because he used to do it single handedly.
My priority is cricket. Everything that I get apart from it is a result of the effort on the field. Everything else follows. I am pretty aware of my priorities, and I don't really focus on things that are not as important to me as cricket.
It was a personal decision for me to stand and say that cricket is all I have in life, there's nothing I need to do other than cricket. If I want to achieve whatever I thought as a kid, I need to work hard and not let it go to waste.
I don't believe in signing anything and everything that comes my way. I leave it to my agency to help narrow them down for me, but I do research it myself before signing. The image of the brand and its ambassadors go hand in hand.
In the game of cricket, a hero is a person who respects the game and does not corrupt the game. The one who doesn't or corrupts the game, they are the villain. They should be punished, and they have been punished in the past.
I wasn't sure of the exact mindset you should have when you go into a Test match. So I probably became too defensive when I played my first Test match. Short balls in one-day cricket, I have never thought of just defending.