Tendulkar has been playing Test cricket for India since 1989
India's Sachin Tendulkar has set a new record for the most runs scored by a batsman in Test cricket, overtaking the mark set by West Indies' Brian Lara.
Tendulkar, 35, scored the 15 extra runs he needed to overtake Lara's aggregate of 11,953 on day one of the second Test against Australia in Mohali.
Already the holder of a record 39 centuries in 151 Tests, Tendulkar hit the landmark runs off Peter Siddle.
A rapturous but sparse crowd in the Punjabi city stood to applaud him.
Afterwards, having been dismissed for 88 - and becoming the first man to 12,000 runs - he said: "It's definitely the biggest milestone because it's taken me 19 years to get - it's not something that can happen overnight.
"The journey has been fantastic. There have been ups and downs. So many times there have been stones thrown and you have to turn them into milestones.
"I knew I was 14 runs short [when Friday's innings started]. I have just been trying to focus on the game but whoever I see in front of me they have an opportunity to remind me.
"I decided to keep it simple and keep watching the ball."
Tendulkar insisted he had no plans to end his career in the immediate future.
"As long as I'm enjoying it I will play. I don't need X, Y or Z to tell me when I should stop or continue. When I started playing nobody told me that. So nobody need to tell me now either," he added.
He spent the tea interval on 13 not out, just one run away from Lara's record. But after the 20-minute break he hit his first ball for three down to third man and saluted the crowd before the Australian fielders went to shake his hand.
Tendulkar celebrates record achievement
Fireworks were set off around the ground.
India's President Pratibha Patil later said Tendulkar had "given joy to millions of Indians", while the country's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, described the batsman as a genius.
"I congratulate Sachin Tendulkar on becoming the highest run-scorer in Test cricket," said Singh.
"Sachin is truly worthy of the mantle of the greatest run-scorer in Tests. I have been following his cricket and there is no doubt that he is a genius."
Former India captain Kapil Dev says his compatriot is a hero to a cricket-loving nation and admire the way he has dealt with the adoration.
"I think he is one of the finest batsmen the world has ever seen," said Dev, who was once the world's leading wicket-taker.
"Millions of people in this country love him. Every kid wants to be come Sachin Tendulkar.
"He has set a standard for those young people to follow him. The country needs heroes like him.
"It is not easy to play for 19 years with the pressure he has had throughout his career. People love him. He can't go out, do the things he wants to do.
LEADING TEST RUN-SCORERS
SR Tendulkar (India): 12,027
BC Lara (ICC/W Indies): 11,953
AR Border (Aus): 11,174
SR Waugh (Aus): 10,927
R Dravid (ICC/India): 10,302
RT Ponting (Aus): 10,239
SM Gavaskar (India): 10,122
Names in bold current players
"Every simple thing he does in his life, people notice. Hats off to him for still coming forward to play cricket."
It was fitting that Tendulkar established the new mark against Australia, the overwhelmingly dominant team of his era - and a side against whom he has achieved distinguished success.
A prodigy as a youth, his century as a 19-year old on an ultra-fast wicket in Perth is often regarded one of the best innings ever to have been played in Australia.
He was only 16 when he made his Test debut, in 1989 and scored his first Test hundred, a match-saving one against England at Old Trafford, a year later.
Tendulkar was regarded by the late Sir Don Bradman as the one batsman of the modern era who most reminded him of himself.
A tremendous performer in the one-day arena, Tendulkar is also the highest scorer and century-maker in that format.
Former England batsman Geoff Boycott, who became the first Englishman to score more than 8,000 Test runs, breaking West Indies all-rounder Sir Garry Sobers' batting record in the process, told BBC Radio 5 Live that Tendulkar will hold the record for years to come.
But the 67-year-old still regards Bradman as the greatest batsman the game has seen, saying: "There's none of us who have come near him."
"Tendulkar's handled publicity very well. In India where they're mad on cricket it'd be easy to get sucked into it, but he's managed to keep a private life and kept that at arms length from his public life and it's nice for him," said Boycott.
"There'll always be people who break records because nowadays they play more Test matches than ever, more one-day internationals.
"It was inevitable that people like Lara and Tendulkar - two of the great players of the last few years - would break records of some distinction almost every other year or two.
"I broke Garry Sobers' record and I said at the time that if you play enough Test matches and you're pretty good at what you do then you'll break records.
"But it didn't make me a better player than Garry Sobers and it won't make Tendulkar a better player than Bradman, a genius - the best batsmen of the lot."
Former England batsman Allan Lamb paid tribute to Tendulkar's feat, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: "He's very classical. He's a batter who keeps very still at the wicket. That's something that every youngster is told to do.
"He's got all the shots in the book. He can play all round the wicket and he's got a lot of time to play his shots, and that's what makes him such a great player.
"Lara got his runs in 131 Test matches, so you've got to say that's an incredible achievement.
"Tendulkar's probably not the player he was two or three years ago, so he will probably hang up his boots in a year or so. But then you've got Ricky Ponting steaming up from the back so I don't know how long the Indians will hold that record."
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