October 15, 2013

Indian cricket

Awaiting Tendulkar 2.0

With Tendulkar calling retirement after a sustained period, where even "his well-wishers wished him to retire," V Ramnarayan, writing in his blog, Ram's Cricket, ponders over Tendulkar's career and the significance it had over the greater good of the game. He also speculates as to what will be next for the little master? Perhaps a career in administration? Or as a mentor for one of the IPL teams? Or will he join his illustrious country-men into the commentary box to offer the world a rare glimpse of his accumulated wisdom?

As Ian Chappell has said, Sachin Tendulkar is the reason why millions watch cricket today; every Test cricketer in the world owes him for that. Millions will probably stop watching the game (Test cricket, at least), the way they used to desert the stadium in an exodus the moment he was dismissed in a match.

Everyone is wondering what cricket will do post Sachin Tendulkar and of course, what he will do without the game. Rohit Brijnath, writing in the Straits Times, explains his musings, which also tread on possible methods to felicitate the man who united a nation.

If India truly cares it should strike a medal in his name, given not for hundreds scored, but to the young man of any given year who wears his excellence unpretentiously. Greatness is common; in wearing his greatness gently and his legend discreetly, for so long, Tendulkar was uncommon. Will he please agree to some tests of heart, brain, muscle so we can map his genius and unravel how he wore pressure so persuasively? And what pressure it was.

Kunal Pradhan, writing in India Today, highlights the impact Tendulkar has had on cricket and on India, contesting he is one cricketer whose statistics transcend their usual definition.

Sachin's story can be told through scorecards alone. If W.G. Grace was the first batsman to play both on the front foot and back foot, and Donald Bradman the perfectionist who made the bat a natural extension of his limbs, Sachin took batting to a statistical high-point where the sheer volume captures the entire story. He did so much for so long that he made class tangible.

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