I don’t believe in time machines but this post would act as a time machine for everyone who is reading this, yes we are gonna go back 20 years from today and will come back to the same year at the end of this post. This post is going to be one my lengthiest post I would ever create in my life, yes I can never be short of words when I have to talk about my role model, my unseen mentor, my philosopher, and guide. I may have not spoken to him, but the delight of seeing him injected a chemical reaction inside me which is to be felt and not to be explained, this man, is in me in every flesh and nerve and he can never be separated from my thoughts until my last bone is burnt to ashes. I learnt the art of having a "LIFE" from this genius, everyone in their life will have a person as their yardstick when they grow up and fortunately for me, I have this person as my yardstick and I know I did not make a wrong choice. I don't see this gentlemen as just a cricketer, he is much more than a sports person, above all he is a great human being ... Yes, let’s celebrate Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who is completing 20 years of international cricket for INDIA ...
A Child Prodigy ...
Just when the Berlin Wall was being broken down 20 years ago, the cricketing world started talking about a boy wonder who would rise to be a cricketing colossus. One a cold November morning of 1989 a young lad who does not seem to have had a hair-cut for months, walks into the ground and does this traditional salute of worshipping the SUN god and walks calm and steady towards the crease to take guard, and the world did not knew that a "willow" genius is being incarnated. While that 16 year old lad walks into the ground to play against the arch rivals Pakistan and to face one of the deadliest attacks during that time, in the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waquar Younis (also made his debut) and the legendary Abdul Qadir. When he walks past that legendary leg spinner Pakistan has ever produced, he tells Sachin - "Dudh Pita Bhachcha ..ghar jaake dhoodh pee" (hey kid, go home and drink milk), and from that day onwards that little guy was used to sledging on the field and we did not know that his answers to those sledging would never be thru words, it will always be through his bat. Sachin took guard for the first time in his life and fulfilled his dream of playing for the nation, he did not stop there.
Arrival of a Genius ...
Mushtaq Ahmed who was a little elder to Sachin Tendulkar came into bowl and was sent back with a over stats of 0-2-0-4-0-4 and this was the most expensive over of that day and this irritated Abdul Qadir and when Sachin was changing ends to face Abdul Qadir, Abdul said - "Bachchon ko kyon mar rahe ho? Hamein bhi maar dikhao" ("Why are you hitting kids? Try and hit me."). In an interview with a news channel Abdul Qadir accepted that he made that remark and also accepted that he tried all his best skills to get Sachin out that over, but he proved that he is a prodigy, when Abdul Qadir completed his over, the over stats read 6-0-4-6-6-6. This is the over which made the world to come to the edge of their seats and pinch their hands to believe that an "INDIAN" is playing like this to a Pakistan bowler and this is what Abdul Qadir has to say during that interview - "The game was being played in the festive spirit. I had just bowled a maiden to Krishnamachari Srikkanth and I went to Sachin, who was the non-striker, and told him that when I bowled him the next over he shouldn't treat me as Abdul Qadir, but just as any other bowler from his galli or school, and go for his shots, as that would be good for his future. He was just a young boy then and I wanted to give him confidence, he just smiled at me and didn't say anything. Next over when I came on to bowl to him, he stepped out to hit the first ball for six over long-off. He was dropped at midwicket later in that over as he tried for another big one, but he managed three more sixes. It wasn't like I was just feeding him: I was trying my best to get him out, but he was just so talented that he gave me no chance"
Dear Critics ...
That is the day the world started to notice that a child prodigy has entered the world of cricket and every other experienced bowlers started to watch his batting videos and try to work out a strategy to get him out, but the poor guys did not realize that the little "willow" genius is a university for cricket and every shot he plays is unique and he invents new shots as well and there is no way they can adapt a strategy to bowl him out. When the name Sachin Tendulkar spread like wild fire in the cricketing fraternity, it made some big eyebrows to be raised and there were some great cricketing legends who were baffled to see the kind of technique this young prodigy adopted in his game. We all now celebrate Sachin and there are few insane folks who live in this planet who claim to be Sachin "critics" and if I have to be so polite in expressing my anger on them, I would just say "BALLS". Those critics have no rights to even talk about Sachin. Sitting on an easy-chair and having a pack of onion pakoda's and then saying that "Ah shit, he should have played Akram like this, why the hell he went for that cut shot, I seriously don't understand why people call him a genius when he gets out so cheaply", Dear friends, talking cricket is the most easiest thing in the world, but to go out on the field and play for the nation and face some fierce attacks needs some serious balls soaked in brandy, and I am sure you critics does not have that.
The Making ...
The amount of hard work that has gone into Sachin's 20 year journey is something every individual should learn. If you have a dream, and if you want to make that dream a reality, then the person whom you need to look up is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. On and Off the field that "willow" genius has set some standards for himself and he is bettering that every day. As a kid at the age of 12, he cultivated a dream and worked for 12 hours a day to make that dream a reality. You and I would probably be going through those text books and mugging up something about "Einstein’s Law" or working out a not for any use "Calculus or Trigonometry", but the funny thing is, we did that without a passion and liking (at least I did not have any passion towards studies) and hence we could not excel and come out shining. Sachin's father told Sachin that he should take up Cricket as his profession as his heart likes that the most, so the lesson Sachin taught us is, do the things in life which you like the most and do it with 100% dedication, success automatically follows you. Sachin actually had a dream of becoming a fast bowler, but thanks to one of his school mate who blasted Sachin for 5 consecutive 6s in his first over and that’s when Sachin decided that bowling is not his cup of tea. Oh my GOD, what would have happened if he would have taken a wicket in his first ball, the entire world would not have seen a "GENIUS"
The Difference ...
There is always a huge difference between a "Genius" and an "exceptional" performer, this definition holds good for any profession you wanted to substitute with and the reason why the cricketing world is stunned and respecting Sachin is just because he is a "genius" and he thinks much differently from every other player who is carrying a bat and coming to the crease, and that make this "little master" stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Let me tell you guys a very interesting info which I found in one of Harsha Bogle's interview. We all cannot forget the 2003 WC collapse where we succumbed to pressure and gave away the cup to the Aussies. Australian's set a massive 360 runs to win and Ponting was very sure that the cup belongs to his team even before the start of Indian innings. During the innings break, Ganguly called up the team and said "Guys, we all have given the best we can and it is a great feeling to be in the FINAL's, so no hard feelings even if we lose this game, being in the finals matters the most to us, so just go and play your natural game and don't think of a result", and that is the time Sachin the little master, the "willow" genius stepped in and thru a different dimension to the run chase, he just told the players this "If we could take one 4 a over, we would easily make 200 runs in 50 balls, and the balance is just 160 runs in 250 balls, don't you guys think that it is not achievable ?" this statement brought a new lease of blood into the other players and the entire team got charged up. It is just the matter of "genius" thinking differently from. Sachin kept his words by smashing Mcgrath for a boundary in the very first ball of the innings and the very next ball he got out attempting for another boundary and the reason for that is, he wanted to upset the rythm of Mcgrath right from the word go.
Understanding Sachin ...
There has been this common complaint on Sachin saying that he is not a match winner, I am asking the question the other way around, and Why should he be a match winner ? Cricket is a team game, when one single player is expected to do everything for them, then why the hell we have the other 10 in the team ? to scratch their butt ? Why those critics point finger on that one individual ? If you want to take statistics of the games where Sachin has not won the match for INDIA, you would notice that on all the matches Sachin's score will be more than half of the overall chasing total. When one person can score more than 50% of the target, can't the rest of the 10 folks try to play and win the match for our country ?? Why the hell the blame is always put on Sachin's shoulders ? Cricket is not a one man game like Tennis or Racing, where Sachin could be like a Roger Federer or Michel Schumacher, if still the critics say that Sachin is not a finisher, let him be that way, we admire the GOD not for anything except the talent and technique that "willow" genius brings in when he plays a shot. Every shot is education for the youngsters. I am not a great cricketer during my street / college tournament days, but I had the passion to play and I would try to imitate Sachin when I wanted to do a pull or a cut shot, I never succeeded though, it's is a different story, all I am trying to say is, playing cricket is different and talking cricket is different.
Definition of Commitment ...
Another thing, people comment on Sachin's commitment, saying that he plays only for records and he does not play for a win to the nation and stuffs like that. The folks who talk about Sachin's commitment, can you please answer this question. Let's assume that you are a player like Sachin and you have travelled to a foreign nation which is 12 hours flight journey from INDIA and you are there to play one of the most prestigious tournaments like the World Cup and when you reach that foreign land and playing the game, you get a call saying that your friend, mentor, philosopher, guide, supporter, motivator, your FATHER died, how will you react ? Will you ever think of cricket ?? Won't you hate that game from the bottom of your heart that it made you travel away from home and did not allow you to be next to your dad when he died ?? But our little "willow" genius showed the nation what is the definition of "COMMITMENT", he flew to INDIA, did the last rites for his dad, and before even the tears which rolled over his cheeks dried, he took the next flight to England, and played a scintillating knock against the Kenyan's of about 140 runs and when he raised the bat and looked up above, all he saw was his DAD's face and our modern camera's wouldn’t have captured the tear drops which would have flown into this helmet when he looked up and thanked his DAD for blessing him to play such a knock. That is what I call "commitment" folks, playing for the nation and not playing for mere records. Since he played for the nation, he was able to set all those records.
The Human Being ...
We INDIAN's are a greedy lot when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar. We always wanted him to play well, score centuries and win games, did we ever treat Sachin as a human being on the field ? Carrying the pressure of 1.2 billion people is not a joke my dear critics, and that too doing that with your head over the shoulder and feet on the ground is next to impossible. Why do you guys think that Sachin is one of the most respected cricketers in this world ?? Do you guys think that it is just because of his on field performances ? Not at all, it is also because of the way he conducts himself off the field as well. I would like to bring out a very beautiful incident which happened very recently when India took on the England at Chennai after the Mumbai TAJ hotel attack. India needed some 400 odd runs to chase and Shewag setup a wonderful platform for victory and Sachin scripted a marvelous century to see India through. After the test was won, and after the formal hand shaking between the players got over, Sachin walked towards the ground staff and then spoke to them for a while shook hands with them, and even hugged the curator of the ground and while walking back to the pavilion, a physically challenged boy who could not walk, was inside the ground after he got special permission to see Sachin. Tendulkar stopped there, sat next to that boy, tapped him on his shoulders, and gave him the stump he carried with him, you should see the joy on that boy's face, that is the magic Sachin weaves in every INDIAN heart and that is what is making that genius "extra" special.
Standing Ovation ...
Cricketing world have seen lots of great legends in the past, if we have to pick just 5 all time greats of the game, Sachin would be there in that list and the order does not matter there, because you cannot differentiate much between "genius's". My pick of top 5 players of that gentlemen's game would be (in no specific order) - Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Vivian Richards, Garry Sobers, Shane Warne and Muttaiah Muralidharan, the reason why I conveniently left Sir Don Bradman out of this list is, I have not seen the game of Don and I am sure, during his days the game wouldn’t have been this competent nor the pressure wouldn’t have been this much, again no offence meant on that great batsmen's technique or skill, he is a cricketer who is truly respected even by my great Sachin Tendulkar. That being said, no one can be a "genius" and also a "humble" person, it is very difficult to keep your feet on the ground when the entire planet is going "gaa-gaa" over you. After the greats of Don and Sunny Gavaskar, I have not seen a "standing ovation" being given to any cricket player by the Australian or English crowd, but today, Sachin is by default is getting that whenever he walks into the field. I still remember his knock of 241* against the Aussies at Sydney, after batting and tormenting the Australian bowling attack for 10 hours and 42 minutes, when Sachin walked back to the pavilion unbeaten, the Australian crowd stood up for nearly 8 minutes and applauded the "master" and when the man-of-the-match award was given, the entire crowd stood up when Sachin came to the dais to receive that. The world would easily sense a "genius" and I leave all Sachin critics as dead flesh and they don't exist in this world.
World Admiration ...
Entertaining the entire nation for 20 long years and still counting on, is not an easy joke. Everybody would have its wear and tear and let's all be realistic in our expectations when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar, he is also a human being and he is bound to do mistakes. Let’s be proud of the fact that we all are lucky enough to have born in an era where Sachin played cricket and fortunate enough to grow along with Sachin and learning the game from that genius. There were many accolades that have come in Sachin's way, no, I am not talking about the number of awards he has received, I am talking about the compliments, his fellow cricketers have given him and lets touch base on few of the compliments which were given by the great's of the game and let's feel proud to have such a respectable person in our country. Here we go with that list.
It is never a shame to be beaten by such a great player, perhaps he is only next to Don - Steve Waugh after losing the "Coca-cola" cup Finals at Sharjah in 1998. Sachin scored back to back centuries to win that cup for INDIA.
Any day, I would not mind spending 1000 dollars to watch this guy play the game, even if he gets out in the very first ball. It is just the magic he adds into the field that matters a lot - Sir Vivian Richards (W.I)
I used to go to bed by having nightmares as if Sachin steps down the track and hit’s a SIX straight over my head - Shane Warne (Australia)
Don't bowl him bad balls, he puts the good balls for boundaries - Michael Kasprowicz (Australia)
"Sachin always brought with him an amazing sporting presence. It was a captain's nightmare to set a field for him when he was in full flow. It was akin to getting stuck in a tornado -- the noise made it impossible to communicate with the fielders, The bowlers looked demoralized and you could sense that Sachin himself was delighted at the disarray he created in the opposition. Whether in India or elsewhere, there were always enough fans to create a deafening din whenever he was at his best," - Steve Waugh at the ceremony of "Best Cricketer of the Year" award to Sachin Tendulkar.
"Sachin rarely gets into verbal duels and soon we too realized that sledging at him only strengthens his concentration and resolve. No wonder then that some of the most talkative Australians went quiet when Sachin was in the middle." - Mathew Hayden (Australia) in his blog
Sachin is arguably the best batsmen in the world, the kind of cricketing shots he has invented when he plays, is something we folks wouldn’t have even attempted to play during our times - Barry Richards (Australia)
If I have to bowl to Sachin, I will bowl with my helmets on, he is such a hard hitter of the cricket ball - Jeff Thomson (Australia)
Sachin's Top 5 One Day Innings ...
Every Sachin fan has his rights to rate some of the best innings Sachin has played and I am sure there would be a storm of debates on this list, but I would like to say that these are my favorite chosen innings and this does not mean that these were the ONLY best. So let me first start with his top 5 best one-day innings.
FIVE. 175 at Hyderabad Vs Australia - November 2009 - Arguably this is one of the best innings from Sachin after he was ruled out by the critics saying that he cannot play power shots anymore. This particular innings of Sachin, rejoiced all his die-hard fans like me and we were all taken back to 1998 where Sachin was at his prolific best.
FOUR. 134 at Sharjah Vs Australia - Coca Cola Cup at Shahjah 1998 - Man what a knock it was, just a day before this match, he scripted an epic match where he murdered Kasprowicz and just a day after that, he came back to the crease from where he left and produced another brilliant century and denied the Aussies the cup and that is where Steve Waugh said, Australia did not lose to INDIA, they lost to Tendulkar.
THREE. 88 of 42 Balls Vs NZ at Christchurch in 1993- His first one day international match as opener and he got this opportunity as Siddhu was not fully fit to open the innings and the way he played that knock, developed jitters amongst all opening bowlers and there born one of India's most successful opening batsmen.
TWO. 143 Vs Australia - Coca Cola Cup at Sharjah 1998 - This innings of Sachin is famously called as the "Sand Storm Match". What an innings that was. India was in a situation where they should achieve a certain target to etch Newzealand out of the tour on run rate basis and Sachin's first target was to achieve that and then win the match. When India were 143 or 2 there came a "Sand Storm" which covered the entire ground by dust, Sachin was standing inside the pavilion and watching the "sand storm" and biting his nails, no one knew what would have been going thru his mind. D/L method was introduced and India has to now face a revised target to win the game and qualify for the finals. "Sand Storm" got over and then "Sachin Storm" started, this particular innings of Sachin would be etched in the memory of every Indian cricket fan till he dies. What a classical performance, he exhibited sheer ruthlessness, arrogance, grit and determination in that knock, and virtually murdered a bowler by name Kasprowicz. Geffory Boycott was extremely animated in his commentary when Sachin was murdering the Aussie bowlers. Though INDIA would have lost that game by 26 runs, India still qualified for the finals and that night every INDIAN went to bed with a sense of pride and satisfaction. That electrifying knock of Sachin is my all time favorite game.
ONE. 98 - Vs Pakistan at Centurion during 2003 World Cup - Who will forget the way he greeted Shoaib Akthar the first ball he bowled, an effortless cut shot towards the deep third man boundary which reached the stands like a lightening for a SIX and followed by two boundaries to end the over. His quick fire 98 of 75 balls paved the way for INDIAN victory and also it made sure that INDIA holds the record of not losing to Pakistan ever in a World Cup encounter. This knock was so special to me because of the fact that this being a World Cup clash and that too it was against Pakistan who was playing to their full strength in the likes of Waqar, Akram and Shoaib.
Sachin's Top 5 Test Innings ...
FIVE. 119* vs England at Headingly (his first test ton) - This was Sachin's first international test century and it came at the right time where INDIA were tottering at a meager 138 for 5 and Sachin played a match saving innings which eventually made the test draw.
FOUR. 103* vs England 2008 in Chennai - This innings of Sachin is very special to me because he stayed there till the end to see India win, he already had the bad memory of INDIA losing in Chennai to Pakistan 10 years back and he made sure that he is not going to repeat the same again. He played a sensational knock and dedicated that to all the Mumbaikar's who have lost their loved ones during that 26/11 attack.
THREE. 114 Vs Australia at Perth in 2001 - This would be an innings which would be etched in every Sachin fan's memory as he played this unbelievable rescue act where wickets kept falling at the other end and he was playing all the balls in the middle of the bat with ease that too on the seaming tracks of Perth when bowlers like McDermott, Merv Huges and Whitney trying their best to gun him down. With that patient knock, Tendulkar denied a possible Australian victory. I still remember that leg glance of McDermot which went dissecting the fine-leg fielder and the fielder at point. What a classic shot.
TWO. 241* vs Australia at Sydney in 2002 (he played 10hrs & 41 mins) - This one knock from Sachin ensured that Steve Waugh is not going to retire with a smile on his face. That being the last game for Steve Waugh, the Australians wanted to give their captain a winning note exit and they tried their level best by scoring 450 odd runs in their first innings, but Sachin had different plans. He walked into the middle and toyed every Australian bowler and no one has any clue of how to get him out, eventually the match ended in a draw and that is what Steve Waugh should take home.
ONE. 136 Vs Pakistan at Chennai in 1999 where India will lose by 13 runs - Every chennaite will have a pain in his heart when this match is being discussed. What a brave one man show by our little master. In spite of his nagging hip pain, he managed to bring India to the jaws of victory and our famous Indian line-up that is even more famous for slipping a game from a near victory to a pathetic loss, fumbled once again and INDIA lost to Pakistan by 13 runs. That was one bad day in Sachin's career where he wept like a child in the dressing room. Not only Sachin, the entire nation wept along with Sachin and I was one amongst them, I just did not know when I stopped crying that day.
Best of the Best ...
Everyone will have a "Best of the Best" as well and my choice for that will be his innings that he played against the "Kenyan's" after he came back from his dad's funeral. With a swollen eyes and cheek, Sachin took guard and played a cameo knock of 140 and thanked his DAD for blessing him for that century. The entire nation saluted this hero for his commitment and respect to our nation.
I know 20 years have gone by and the images of Sachin taking guard on Nov 15th 1989 is still fresh in my memory and right from that day to today, that person continues to mesmerize me and my respect and affection for that great person has increased leaps and bounds. The one last thing I wanted to see as a fulfillment in Sachin's career is a World Cup, I am sure GOD too will want to see his counterpart on earth to kiss the World Cup. Sachin has said that "If God's willing, he will play the 2011 world cup and I hope the prayers of a billion people will be answered and GOD keep this GOD with good health and fitness as long as he can and the more he delays his retirement, the more I could save all my tears. The day when Sachin hangs his boot, that day, my tear dams will open for sure and I will be lost for words to explain that grief. Indian team without Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar would never be the same again. Thanks a ton Sachin, for all the sweet memories you have given to this nation, I salute you and your achievements on this glorious day and may you live longer, happier, healthy and peaceful all the time.
He is GOD man....We revere GOD for every thing abt him
Pity the same Mumbai produced ppl like Raj n Bal Thackerays.
tharmar sir..range tribute..i still remember the pak match we lost. my frist match in chennai..worst it was,given how thala played thru..and to speak against the thackrey required a bit of courage too.. if they say anything against sachin the whole country will that jai maharashtra movement.. that much power no person in our country has..vazhga thalaivar..atleast for him we should win the next world cup.. imagine a player such as this without a world cup..freeReplyDelete
As usual awesome. This is spl :-)ReplyDelete
hey... this look even better than "WIKI"...:) they shud consult you awesome article:) ahhaah u know better than anyone else... truly hez god for you i guess...
i love sachin too...
so CHEERS!! for the Legend!
i thought he has only made india proud... but after readin this... i think... hez made the world proud... his fans are all over the globe!
we all love you Sachin!
I stopped watching cricked after my sons birth and this really made me to think the misses i made. And a very well written post as u said about ur "GOD"ReplyDelete
Hey, I stopped watching matches some time back, but my daughter knows your GOD!!!. I asked her to identify the person in the first photo of this blog post and she clearly said "Sachin Tendulkar". So, there you go.ReplyDelete
Post this quote of Mathew Hayden which is more appropriate to GOD.ReplyDelete
"I have seen God. He plays at number 4 for India"
- Matthew Hayden on Sachin R Tendulkar
Superb. Hats off to sachin. i love him too.ReplyDelete
join 20-20 cricket becoz u shd be present in all modes of cricket to be called as a LORD of CRICKET.