Kallol Sarkar | SIMC Ink
For 21 years, he has entertained millions with his sublime batting prowess. From a blue eyed teenager to the GOD of world cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has always been revered by his fans across the globe. As he reached his 50th Test century, he wrote a new page for himself in the annals of cricketing folklore.
Cricketing legend M.L.Jaisimha had once said of Tendulkar: “The more I see of him the more confused I’m getting to which is his best knock”. As the Little Master notched up yet another record, yours truly felt why not look back into his top ten qualities and ten of his greatest knocks that make him the living legend of Indian cricket.
a) Talented: Without a shadow of doubt, Sachin is immensely talented. And the world got a first glimpse of this talent when he became the second youngest player in the history of test cricket to score a century. As he scored an unbeaten 119 against England at Old Trafford in 1990, courtesy some astonishing cover drives and fine flicks, he announced his arrival onto the World Stage.
b) Fearlessness: The greatest treat for any fan is to see Sachin standing up to a challenge. On a bouncy Cape Town wicket, a charged up Allan Donald led the South African attack. They tormented the Indian batting line up and bowled some nasty beamers to Sachin. Instead of getting bogged down, Sachin rose to the challenge, dispatching the bowlers all round the ground. He hit 26 boundaries, on his way to a gritty 169, as the Proteas scampered for cover. For an Indian batsman to create havoc on a home side was unthinkable. But, with Sachin, impossible really is nothing.
c) Game-changer: Tendulkar has the inherent ability to change the course of matches and time and again he has proved that. One such game was the test match against the Aussies in Chennai. India were on the backfoot, having conceded a huge lead to Taylor’s men. But, in came the Master Blaster and toyed with the Aussie attack to race to his century. As he smashed 155 off just 191 balls, he put India in the driver’s seat, and the match was ultimately won.
d) Confidence: Yet another amazing feature of the great man is his confidence. This is best described by his 114 against an Aussie attack that had India reeling at 159/8 at Perth. The way he battled and thrashed Merv Hughes and Craig McDermott to boundaries, was a great example of his ability to never back off from a challenge. This innings is considered to be one of his finest ever.
e) Never Say Die: It has been over two decades but Tendulkar’s attitude towards the game hasn’t changed. Come what may, he has always treated each match as a new challenge and given it his best. His 136 against Pakistan in the Chennai Test stands testimony to that. With a target of 271, India were staggering at 82/5. Sachin however fought on but fell 17 runs shy of the target, after having battled for nearly a day. India lost the game by 12 runs, but Sachin’s innings could never be forgotten.
f) Perfectionist: Watch him closely and you will learn every shot that a cricket manual would have. According to experts Sachin is the most complete batsman of our era. His balance, feet movement and steady head, are in perfect coordination. The brightest demonstration of this came at Headingly in 2002 when he scored 193. Purists refer to it as a batting display made only in heaven.
g) Inspirational: Sachin’s biggest asset to Team India over the years has been his sheer presence that inspires the rest. His match-winning knock of 103 against England in 2008 at Chennai might not have been his brightest innings, but the way he guided Yuvraj Singh, speaks volumes of the kind of effect the great man has on his teammates.
h) Dedicated: Sachin’s dedication to the game is unparalleled and no wonder, he has achieved all that the game has to offer. His 116 against Australia at MCG in 1999 reflected the man’s determination to succeed and help the team to victory. That India were demolished by 180 runs is a different case altogether, but Sachin, the batsman, was simply brilliant.
i) Team-man: Sachin has forever been a team-man. He has always placed his team above himself. The biggest example being his 194 not out against Pakistan. 6 runs short off a landmark double century, Sachin walked back to the pavilion as then Captain Dravid declared the innings. Any other player would have felt insulted and gone to the press bad-mouthing his captain. But not Tendulkar and to this day he and Dravid remain the greatest of team-mates.
j) Ambitious: Last but not the least, is his ambitious nature, with help of which he not only made numerous records but also succeeded in breaking the already existing ones. Anyone who saw Sachin get his 50th ton, and the sheer emotion with which he raised his bat, would say that he still has it in him to go on and get runs.
Sachin has been nothing less than a magician with the cricket bat, dazzling the opponents and pulling off great wins for the country. Anything written about the great man can never be enough. But on a concluding note, as one of his million admirers, I can only say ‘I Will See God When I Die But Till Then I Will See Sachin’ . 50 is just another number, there are many more to come. Surely.