Sachin Tendulkar and the 17,000 runs saga

Thursday, December 10, 2009 Dr. Vishaal Bhat 0 Comments

Sachin smilingImage via Wikipedia

Pakistani off-spinner Abdul Qadir cast a look of mockery at the young padded and helmeted man all set to face him armed with a willow. 'Man'!!! It would have been rather suitable to call him a kid. Aged sixteen and standing at a puny 5 feet 3 inches, the kid couldn't even reach Qadir's shoulders. Playing in a 'practice' match after rain had washed out play during the Indian tour of Pakistan in 1989, Qadir decided to teach the young kid a lesson in spin bowling. Six balls and twenty runs later, Qadir was the one who was taught a lesson in the art of playing against spin.

Twenty summers ago when a 16 year old was selected to play in the Indian cricket team, it was just the initiation of the world to the genius of one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. It was the d(o)n of a new era - Sachin's era.

In India heroism is a virtue treasured and often worshipped. and in a cricket crazy country like India, its cricketers are nothing lesser than immortals. 'If Cricket is Religion, Sachin is its God' - This is often what we read on T-shirts, placards and posters during a game.Sachin could have been easily carried away in that cacaphony of possessed fans, of glittering lights and cash rich matches. Even after years of toil and performance, a single bad series is enough to dent your image and following. Similarly a single misdeamenour off the field can endanger your career (as Tiger Woods has found out recently and as Shane Warne found out earlier).

Taken at SCG, 3rd Day, Australia vs India, 4th...Image via Wikipedia



Yet after 30,000 runs and 87 centuries, we still find this kid from Mumbai still has his skills honed at the peak. His recent knock of 175 against Australia at Hyderabad was one for the Gods. India lost the match by a narrow margin chasing a mammoth 350, and 10 other team members together couldn't muster 175 between them - yet the media in the comforts of their press seats wrote - Shouldn't he have finished the match?

A man who had shouldered India's batting line up single handedly in most of the last decade, till Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid came along, one who has a century against every test playing nation, and with 17,000 runs in ODI's with 44 centuries, isn't it a bit harsh to still doubt his commitment and temparament??

'Before Elvis there was none' is one of the famous quotes of John Lennon. In Indian cricket - 'Before Sachin there was none and After Sachin there'll be none.
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