October 24, 2013

A touch of Viv

In his youth, Tendulkar was the kind of attacking batsman who would have set T20 ablaze, had the format existed
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A young Tendulkar: at his best when pitted against another individual © Getty Images

I was privileged to watch, from very close quarters, a child prodigy go on to become a true legend of the game. A batsman who stunned the world with his voracious appetite for the game and for making hundreds.

Sachin Tendulkar has only played a single international T20. His exploits in the format were all in the IPL and at the Champions League. You will agree that his impact on the shortest format of the game has been less than that on the others.

T20 cricket came into Tendulkar's life a little too late and cricket is slightly poorer for that. Had T20 come into the game when Tendulkar was in the youth of his batting career, he would have been one of the most dangerous T20 batsmen in the world. Sure, he would not have hit the ball as long as Chris Gayle does, but he would have given the bowlers the same kinds of nightmares.

Brian Lara in a TV chat recently confessed that he would have struggled in T20 cricket because it just did not suit his temperament; for starters, he needed a bit of time to get going while batting. Not Tendulkar. The Tendulkar that I saw early in his career was as much a master in the short formats of the game as he was in the longest.

In the early '90s we used to play lots of privately organised tournaments, among them various single-wicket, double-wicket and six-a-side affairs. These were typically two, three, or a maximum of five overs. Away from the glare of TV and the other media, we saw some mind-boggling innings from Tendulkar in these games. Whatever target was set, he would achieve it, single-handed. Yes, even in a double-wicket match or a six-a-side tournament.

I noticed that Tendulkar was at his best when he was pitted against another individual. This happened a lot in such tournaments, where it was a battle between one bowler and one batsman that decided the fate of a match.

I have been witness to some breathtaking hitting from Tendulkar in such events. The most memorable instance was in a double-wicket tournament played at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, when he took Manoj Prabhakar and Kapil Dev apart to reach an almost impossible target to win yet again. Vinod Kambli was the lucky beneficiary as Tendulkar's partner in that tournament.

During that contest I saw some well-aimed yorkers from two highly accomplished India bowlers disappear over the midwicket boundary for huge sixes. It was the first time I had seen yorkers being dismissed in that fashion. That innings was played away from the international arena but the bowling was international-quality and the intensity very high. The strokeplay that night from Tendulkar left all of us in a daze.

Tendulkar was never the showman, like Viv could be, but that is not to say that he was less combative

This trait of Tendulkar's was also seen in the nets, where too the one-to-one combat brought the best out of him, and we would stop everything we were doing to watch. Sometimes Javagal Srinath, towards the end of one of Tendulkar's batting stints in the nets, would throw him a challenge: "Okay Sachin, last four balls from me, 12 runs to win." Tendulkar would come up with a counter offer: "No, eight runs in four balls." The negotiations would go on for a bit and then a number like ten would be agreed upon. The stage was nicely set: four balls from Srinath and Tendulkar had to get ten runs to win the "match".

Srinath would then set an imaginary field, and after every ball bowled, this field would be adjusted. All this would happen while the other net bowlers continued to bowl normally at Tendulkar. But when Srinath ran in to bowl, you could see Tendulkar's demeanour change. It was not just net practice now.

I saw this little contest take place many times during my career, and I never saw Srinath win. And the same went for the other bowlers who attempted it. Tendulkar was just too good for Srinath. He would play around with him and his "field". Often, to add salt to the wound, he would deliberately hit the ball into areas from where Srinath had just removed his "fielders". Tendulkar would walk off, pleased as punch, having won another bout with a bowler, and Srinath would be seen standing in his typical arms-crossed stance, having accepted defeat, but you could see his eyes were full of admiration for the little fellow as he left the nets to take off his pads.

When Tendulkar was growing up, he idolised Sir Vivian Richards, and it was obvious to us that he also wanted to bat like him in his early days. Tendulkar was never the showman, like Viv could be, but that is not to say that he was less combative.

I remember another game that wasn't on TV. Mumbai were playing Baroda in a Ranji match at the RCF cricket ground. Tendulkar walked in at the fall of a Mumbai wicket*, and we saw as he got up that he was not looking very motivated.

Tendulkar and Manjrekar after a defeat to Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup © Associated Press

Baroda had this pace bowler called Mukesh Narula who had a bit of spirit. He liked to play hard, and in this particular innings he took that fighting spirit to the next level.

Some bouncers were sent Tendulkar's way, and along with them some glares and words under the breath too. I suppose Narula wanted to show his team-mates that he was not overawed by the man, as they were. All of us in the Mumbai dressing room were thinking: "What are you doing, Mukesh?"

The inevitable happened. Bored till then, Tendulkar got charged up. The faster Narula bowled, the harder the ball bounced back from Tendulkar's bat to hit the sight-screen. I still vividly remember the force with which the ball thudded into the wall next to the sight-screen. This was not Tendulkar just scoring runs, this was Tendulkar showing disdain for Narula without uttering a single word.

After the match, I spoke to Kiran More, who was captaining Baroda. "Your best chance of getting Tendulkar out was to keep him bored. Your Narula gave him a reason to bat."

This was the Tendulkar of the early days. Obviously over his long 24-year batting career, he changed, but the Tendulkar with the ghost of Viv in him was my favourite Tendulkar.

03:54:17 GMT, 23 October, 2013: The article originally said Tendulkar's performance against Narula was in the second innings of the match

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 25, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Well Sanjay - thanks for reminding of that Ranji match between Baroda and Mumbai. I know that Sachin batted truly brilliant that day as he always does. It has been a pleasure playing against him and also sometimes with him. I wish him all the very best in his future endeavors.

  • cricketlover_crazy on October 24, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Who can forget that memorable one day innings, when he was asked to open for the first time in 1993-94 season. He took all the kiwi bowlers apart and the bowlers who suffered most on that day was Danny Morrison and Gavin Larsen and that was 2nd or 3rd one day of that series and before that game all the Indian batsmen were struggling with the swing and seam movements. In that particular match kiwis batted first and set a target about 175 and in those days 175 in swinging conditions were tough chases and this bloke made scoring look so easy and India won the match with close to 20 over to spare and scoring rate dipped after he got out and Sachin never looked back after that innings. Hats off to the batting genius.

  • on October 24, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    People who watched their cricket in 90s will acknowledge talismanic batsmanship of little master....one of those many memorable instances is Sachin's 38 when he toyed with mcgrath in mini world cup quarter final match in 2000....still there is no regrets that he didnt play T20s in his prime....who knows we might not have seen the phenomenal run scoring that happened for 24 years if there is influence of T20s at that time...I will any day take Sachin we have seen for all these years than one we might have missed....his fans adore him unconditionally

  • Unmesh_cric on October 24, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    I remember 'that' Tendulkar. As a 16 year old kid, he hit 3 consecutive sixes to Abdul Qadir in an unofficial 20 overs match (a reduced overs match due to rain). He was not overawed by Qadir who was one of best spin bowlers in the world at that time. Watching that match on TV, everybody was stunned by Tendulkar's strokeplay. We were watching a prodigy who would go on to become the best comtemporary batsman in the world.

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 30, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    For the Folks who missed the point...

    Sachin we will miss you... Since 1990 you and Lara are the best two Batsmen we have seen PERIOD.

    When someone is the PRIZE WICKET of a team, that says how great that Cricketer is... And you Sachin, was that wicket of the Indian Team.

    But to be honest Sanjay is getting carried away here a bit with his emotions when he compares you to being having a touch of Viv... Honestly the only batsmen who had a touch of Viv from this generation is Lara... Even though he was in a weak team he came to bat trying to dominate the bowling. Who else would go for a six to tie the current Test Batting Record of 380? I doubt Sachin would do that...

    Let's applaud Everyone on His merits rather than compare them to another Legend or a God which tarnishes the Legend Himself.

    Let me put it this way...

    Bradman was BRADMAN. Sobers was SOBERS. Viv was VIV. Lara was LARA. Sachin was SACHIN. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY... GOD is, was and ever will be THE ALMIGHTY GOD.

    PERIOD.

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 30, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    @alarky... I appreciate your comment...

    I wasn't sure whether you were AGREEING with me OR NOT?

    I do see your point...

  • on October 30, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    A le gend of a batsman. A true gentleman on and off the field. If you want to call cricket by any other name call it SRT.

  • on October 29, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Dear sanjay, You have missed the best, 1. His anhiliation of Abdul Qader in a 20 over match , he made 53 out of 18 balls & 4 sixes & a boundary came from a single Abdul Qadir over. During that period only the middled ones used to sail over the ropes . Nowadays the bats are so good that even the mishits travel the distance & that is what the Gayles , Warners & the Finchs enjoy.

    2. In the 2002 series in New Zealand, he scored 72 from 27 balls in 'Cricket Max' match & he was playing it for the first time http://www.espncricinfo.com/newzealand/engine/match/112812.html

    'SACHIN' ,THE NAME SAYS IT ALL, HE IS THE SYNONYM OF BATSMANSHIP

  • alarky on October 29, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    SL-USA-Lions, You really have a gist of the hyper-emotional man that Sanjay Manjreaker is! He jokingly said that Sachin had a touch of Viv. It appears that Sanjay doesn't even know who was Sir Viv! Umpires used to try to stop the fastest bowlers in the world from intimidating Viv with bouncers. But Viv used to stop the umpires from interfering with bowlers - they were free to bowl what they wanted at him, he would defend himself with his bat, and that he did WITHOUT ONCE WEARING A HELMET! but from the time Waqar Younis hit Tendulkar in his mouth with a bouncer, Sachin spent the other 23 years bobbing and weaving from bouncers, until the comment from the box was, "he does not play the hook"! And, since that time, Tendulkar has been the most protective batsman of All Time! Ask the young 20 year olds, if they have ever seen him batting at anytime, without being fully garbed in every piece of protection paraphernalia there is - against even the spinners! Sanjay always gives me a laugh!

  • Vaibhavman on October 29, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Sanjay,

    There is no proper match report on one of the greatest Sachin innings I have witnessed. Fortunately you got to witness it from the pavilion in your last game in first class cricket. Is there anyway you could jot down a report on this. I am sure Warne can help you.

    It was also the first time Sachin made a double hundred in first class cricket I believe.

    http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1997-98/AUS_IN_IND/AUS_BOM_24-26FEB1998.html

    Thanks in Advance, Vaibhav

  • on October 25, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Well Sanjay - thanks for reminding of that Ranji match between Baroda and Mumbai. I know that Sachin batted truly brilliant that day as he always does. It has been a pleasure playing against him and also sometimes with him. I wish him all the very best in his future endeavors.

  • cricketlover_crazy on October 24, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Who can forget that memorable one day innings, when he was asked to open for the first time in 1993-94 season. He took all the kiwi bowlers apart and the bowlers who suffered most on that day was Danny Morrison and Gavin Larsen and that was 2nd or 3rd one day of that series and before that game all the Indian batsmen were struggling with the swing and seam movements. In that particular match kiwis batted first and set a target about 175 and in those days 175 in swinging conditions were tough chases and this bloke made scoring look so easy and India won the match with close to 20 over to spare and scoring rate dipped after he got out and Sachin never looked back after that innings. Hats off to the batting genius.

  • on October 24, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    People who watched their cricket in 90s will acknowledge talismanic batsmanship of little master....one of those many memorable instances is Sachin's 38 when he toyed with mcgrath in mini world cup quarter final match in 2000....still there is no regrets that he didnt play T20s in his prime....who knows we might not have seen the phenomenal run scoring that happened for 24 years if there is influence of T20s at that time...I will any day take Sachin we have seen for all these years than one we might have missed....his fans adore him unconditionally

  • Unmesh_cric on October 24, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    I remember 'that' Tendulkar. As a 16 year old kid, he hit 3 consecutive sixes to Abdul Qadir in an unofficial 20 overs match (a reduced overs match due to rain). He was not overawed by Qadir who was one of best spin bowlers in the world at that time. Watching that match on TV, everybody was stunned by Tendulkar's strokeplay. We were watching a prodigy who would go on to become the best comtemporary batsman in the world.

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 30, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    For the Folks who missed the point...

    Sachin we will miss you... Since 1990 you and Lara are the best two Batsmen we have seen PERIOD.

    When someone is the PRIZE WICKET of a team, that says how great that Cricketer is... And you Sachin, was that wicket of the Indian Team.

    But to be honest Sanjay is getting carried away here a bit with his emotions when he compares you to being having a touch of Viv... Honestly the only batsmen who had a touch of Viv from this generation is Lara... Even though he was in a weak team he came to bat trying to dominate the bowling. Who else would go for a six to tie the current Test Batting Record of 380? I doubt Sachin would do that...

    Let's applaud Everyone on His merits rather than compare them to another Legend or a God which tarnishes the Legend Himself.

    Let me put it this way...

    Bradman was BRADMAN. Sobers was SOBERS. Viv was VIV. Lara was LARA. Sachin was SACHIN. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY... GOD is, was and ever will be THE ALMIGHTY GOD.

    PERIOD.

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 30, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    @alarky... I appreciate your comment...

    I wasn't sure whether you were AGREEING with me OR NOT?

    I do see your point...

  • on October 30, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    A le gend of a batsman. A true gentleman on and off the field. If you want to call cricket by any other name call it SRT.

  • on October 29, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Dear sanjay, You have missed the best, 1. His anhiliation of Abdul Qader in a 20 over match , he made 53 out of 18 balls & 4 sixes & a boundary came from a single Abdul Qadir over. During that period only the middled ones used to sail over the ropes . Nowadays the bats are so good that even the mishits travel the distance & that is what the Gayles , Warners & the Finchs enjoy.

    2. In the 2002 series in New Zealand, he scored 72 from 27 balls in 'Cricket Max' match & he was playing it for the first time http://www.espncricinfo.com/newzealand/engine/match/112812.html

    'SACHIN' ,THE NAME SAYS IT ALL, HE IS THE SYNONYM OF BATSMANSHIP

  • alarky on October 29, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    SL-USA-Lions, You really have a gist of the hyper-emotional man that Sanjay Manjreaker is! He jokingly said that Sachin had a touch of Viv. It appears that Sanjay doesn't even know who was Sir Viv! Umpires used to try to stop the fastest bowlers in the world from intimidating Viv with bouncers. But Viv used to stop the umpires from interfering with bowlers - they were free to bowl what they wanted at him, he would defend himself with his bat, and that he did WITHOUT ONCE WEARING A HELMET! but from the time Waqar Younis hit Tendulkar in his mouth with a bouncer, Sachin spent the other 23 years bobbing and weaving from bouncers, until the comment from the box was, "he does not play the hook"! And, since that time, Tendulkar has been the most protective batsman of All Time! Ask the young 20 year olds, if they have ever seen him batting at anytime, without being fully garbed in every piece of protection paraphernalia there is - against even the spinners! Sanjay always gives me a laugh!

  • Vaibhavman on October 29, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Sanjay,

    There is no proper match report on one of the greatest Sachin innings I have witnessed. Fortunately you got to witness it from the pavilion in your last game in first class cricket. Is there anyway you could jot down a report on this. I am sure Warne can help you.

    It was also the first time Sachin made a double hundred in first class cricket I believe.

    http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1997-98/AUS_IN_IND/AUS_BOM_24-26FEB1998.html

    Thanks in Advance, Vaibhav

  • on October 29, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Despite his selfishness, he produced 34 match winning ODI 100s (Ponting 22 2nd) @ match winning 100 every 14th game (2nd only to Richards) and won man of the match (MOM) most time 65 @ MOM every 7th match (2nd only to Richard's 6). Given that unlike Richards who had great bowling to make Richards inns match winning, he like all Indian batsmen had to be content with poor Indian bowling, that makes his effort superior to even Richard's, therefore he is the biggest ODI match winner despite being selfish.

    He was too good therefore he could afford the luxury to be selfish. eg In his 100 he scored 1st 80 runs of 80 balls, even if he wasted 15 deliveries to get to 100, his selfish 100 would be at 90 S/R; Considering 250 avg team totals, his 100's always produced above par totals & he did it consistently. eg selfless Dravid had got MOM every 24th game & had only 6 match winning 100s @ 60 % win rate because Dravid's dedicated inns often fell short in S/R & total runs to Sachin's Selfish inns

  • on October 28, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    I was one of the lucky lot to see Sachin from his first series till date.As mentioned elsewhere we grew up with Tendulkar and cricket was our religion. I still remember the article by the sports writer in the Hindu mentioning the following : We are truly gifted to be in the era of Sachin Tendulkar like the gopikas had the chance to live in Brindavan with Krishna. There is no better word to describe the feeling of a tendulkar fan. Yes, there was a period when we all suffered the agony of his lean form and physical condition, but lucky to see some more hundreds and the swan song innings thereafter. Hariharan

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 27, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    I wanted to comment on the Cricinfo All-Time World IX, but the comment section is closed...

    It's a very good team. Bradman, Sachin, Viv and Sobers are Shoe-ins without a doubt. Hobbs and Warne got in based on the Merit of being two of the five Cricketers of the 20th Century. Wasim and Marshall would be deadly duo of a Left and Right fast bowling combination. Grace on being the Father of the Game. Knott and Barnes.

    I personally believe Lara should be in for Either Hobbs or Grace. It's a shame but Lara is Better than both. Warne out trumps Murali just because he's Leg Spinner. Hadlee for Barnes. And Dujon would be a better fit than Knott.

    So my All-Time World XI:

    Grace, Sachin, Bradman, Lara, Viv, Sobers, Dujon, Wasim, Marshall, Warne and Hadlee. In that order.

    Had to pick Grace because he's the Father. Sachin would be a magnificent opener. Bradman a solid rock. Lara the dasher. Viv the Destroyer. Sobers the Magician. Dujon, Wasim, Marshall, Warne and Hadlee.

    WHAT A COMBINATION.

  • CricFan24 on October 27, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar - The Greatest there was , is and ever will be. The best that may be said about some of his contemporaries - Lara,Sehwag,VVS, etc is that a few of their top inniings may perhaps be better. Thereafter, it is simply impossible to look beyond Tendulkar..Any where, any conditions, any time, an bowlers, any format- There is only one Master...And forever the Greatest batsman of all time.Period. Farewell Tendulkar...and thank you for the irreplaceable memories.

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 27, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    Sachin we will miss you... You are one of the best two batsmen of this generation since 1990, the other being Lara...

    When someone is the prize wicket of a team, that says it all how the great that Cricketer is... And you Sachin, was that prize wicket of the Indian Team.

    But to be honest Sanjay is getting carried away here a bit with his emotions when he compares you to being having a touch of Viv... Honestly the only batsmen who had a touch of Viv from this generation is Lara... Even though he was in a weak team he came to bat trying to dominate the bowling. Who else would go for a six to tie the current Test Batting Record of 380? I doubt Sachin would do that...

    Let's applaud Everyone on His merits rather than compare them to another Legend or a God which tarnishes the Legend Himself.

    Let me put it this way...

    Bradman was BRADMAN. Sobers was SOBERS. Viv was VIV. Lara was LARA. Sachin was SACHIN. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY... GOD is, was and ever will be THE ALMIGHTY GOD.

    PERIOD.

  • on October 26, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    Sachin- The Greatest batsman ever. Cricket will never be the same again.

  • on October 26, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    I never saw myself play but this guy plays like i used to play - Sir Don Of all the batsman i have seen tendulkar is the greatest - Sir Viv Is this enough for all those who keep barking that he is over rated

  • on October 26, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    The Tendulkar of 90s, at his destructive best is the one i would always pay to watch

  • on October 26, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    thats cuz he played in the shorter format against indian bowlers n on indian pitches lol

  • Emancipator007 on October 26, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    Want to inform youngsters & non-Indian cricket aficionado here that Tendulkar came VERY CLOSE to playing Test cricket on 25th March, 1989 in West Indies as a 15 year old against Bishop,Ambrose,Walsh,Marshall !!!- so outrageously talented & fearless was he as a teen. In an interview with Indian actor (available on YTube) Tom Alter for a news program, he expressed disappointment that he was not picked for the WI tour(reports are that he cried inconsolably when not selected despite a very good debut domestic season) & that he was OK with facing the dreaded WI quartet! But then selection committee was wary of blooding him against WI pace &the traumatic effect it would have on a fragile teen if he was hit or failed(WI tours then were the bloodiest for all batsmen for 2 decades).Waqar did hit him in debut series but the teen fought back. In all of cricket history, SRT has been the ONLY batsman who was a Test- ready batsman at the age of 15 & showcased the same sound Test game till age of 40.

  • on October 26, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    All great cricketers are different class and Sachin also in that list. HE has given life to Indian cricket not only as a batsman as a sportsman too.Cricket is a gentleman game and He follow through that.Every individual should give respect to this gentleman and give Him great farewell.Long live Sachin , when I wrote this tears are rolling down my cheek.I won't be able to see him again in cricket pitch.

  • on October 26, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    Viv was able to hook and pull bowlers who were by most accounts faster than most of the bowlers that Sachin faced and that too without a helmet or any other protective gear. There were bowlers who were absolutely petrified when it came to bowling to the King, the great Imran Khan was one of them. He has mentioned this on several occasions over the years. Sachin might have been a great attacking batsman as a young player, but he was no Viv. Like Earl mentioned, the only other player with that kind of ability was Sir. Garfield Sobers.

  • K_RAJEEV on October 25, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    Good riddance sir. He was one of the most over hyped player in history. The only major achievement is prolonging his career for so long. Most of his big scores come from some useless matches or against weak opposition. I am trying to count some significant test innings he had played over the last 20 years which contributed to India's win - hum.. I can count them using one hand. I remember going to Australia to see India play in 2000 series - perhaps during the peak of his powers. What a disastrous tour it was. Then in England last year, much awaited series, under perfect cricketing conditions - another complete failure. In many ways his records resembles that of Gavaskar, who whenever scored a century, the test match ended in a draw.It is a shame that other players like Dravid, Laxman who played some incredible test innings never got the same limelight. Who said world is a fair place!

  • on October 25, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    The greatest of all time. But i am sad Sachin one day record will be broken from Virat Kohli and test record will be broken by Kallis & Cook. Although i am sad but they deserve it.

  • on October 25, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    Don't compare Sachin with Viv. Both were in a class of their own.But Sachin could never be a Viv because he seldom hooked and he prospered in the one bouncer per over protective times on placid wickets when all scales are tilted in favour of the batsman.In Viv's time we have even seen him take on a fiery len Pascoe bowling intentional beamers and bouncers from mid-pitch without a helmet and without any fear.Nowadays we are in the habit of comparing Sehwags and Gilchrists with The King.But there will rarely be another such fear less batsman.

  • Al_Bundy1 on October 25, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Sure, in his youth, Tendulkar was a great batsman, and the closest thing to Viv. But now, in his old age, his batting is pathetic and he bats like a tailender. Even Ashwin can bat better than Tendulkar these days. He should have retired after World Cup 2011.

  • on October 25, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    I find it interesting that while Tendulkar only played 1 T20 international, the person who I have always thought was the greatest cricketer only played 1 ODI. Sir Garfield, take a bow.

  • ppk1 on October 25, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    I have been Cricinfo follower for 10+ years. This is just 2nd comment on the site. 1) The little man deserves all the rich tributes. We salute you Little Master!

    2) But Manjrejkar ji... hats off to you. You wrote the famous "Elephant in the dressing room" article when none of the other commentators/editors/sport writers had the guts to say anything about the little man. You knew you would get lot of flak for it. But, you still questioned what needed to be questioned. Hats off!

    3) Again today .... since this is more of a Tribute Article. You maintained your dignity and highlighted whats great about little man. But, not his flaws. You are Gentle man

    4) One BIG request for you .... can you one day write an article about who according to you served the Indian Cricket most. Top 10 contributors please.

    Love your guts. Lot of people have lost them .. for commercial reasons

  • on October 25, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    thank u mr manjrekar for sharing ur thoughts & facts which were pleasure reading. I was nine & barely started following cricket bcos i started playing gully cricket. The first time i saw him bat on telly was 1990-91 tour of england & this goobly haired cricketer came at no 5 & second ball flicked chris lewis for 6 over fine leg. it was test match though. he made 16 odd but i was impressed. And after that the more i followed cricket the more i started adoring him & joined legions of his fans world over. Truly mesmerising. I always felt sachin looked best only when he attacked. Though he was solid in defence, attack was his strength. V will miss u sachin !

  • spinkingKK on October 25, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Well said, Sanjay. Tendulkar with the ghost of Viv was also my favorite. I still remember Tendulkar ripping the Australian bowlers apart after India lost 3 early wickets in a Test match (Sorry, can't remember the date. But, it was in India).

  • on October 25, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    I still think we could have seen many many best innigns from Sachin Tendulkar had india played more tests during the 1990s period. Remember Tendulkar in his prime that period and India hardly played many games, may be 5-6 tests a year. When Tendulkar was in his promp in 1998, India played only 6 tests in 1998. Look on the other side, Lara had played much more 4-5 matches test series in that period. It is the BCCI's money hungriness that deprived his fans to see more and more Tendulkar's special. I still think he could have achieved much much more as a player. No triple century, not many 4th innings century etc. But he had no weakness in his prime really. Oh, I think Tendulkar should have achived much more. I do love this man, but still think he is a underachiever because he did not use his full talent. I know many people comment on that, but it is true!

  • on October 25, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    Nice one from one of sachin's biggest critics, same as mine! Tendulkar was hands down the greatest batsman ever and we critics don't mix him with don or Lara or whatever, we know he is the best but at the same sane moment we always know he is just a human with individual brilliance, difference between us and the religious followers of sachin. Period!! PS: that 1999 test match sachin could not win and then he broke like all of us hiding in a back room, unable to fathom a defeat against pakistan, was the turning point in his career, yes I a critic and believe that had Tendulkar won that match, he would have been the greatest player or that immortal god, somewhere down the line sachin was never the same as he was post 99. It was a commercial sachin with his record exploits! I will miss him any which way! Good luck sachin!! :-)

  • CherryWood_Champion on October 24, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    I remember that sandstorm which came in at Sharjah to stop Tendulkar against the aussies ... but hail lord ... it was like watching a Sci-Fi movie with him hitting the Aussies as well as the storm out of the park. Unbelievable innings. Take a bow SRT the master blaster.

  • vish2020 on October 24, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Sachin played against two of the Wisden XI's all time list. He also played against many who didn't make the list like Mcgrath, Murli, Steyn, Embrose, Walsh, Waqar etc. And all of them unanimously say sachin is the best batsman they bowled too. So please when you compare bradman to him, you are disrespecting sachin. Be quiet!

  • on October 24, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    What side of bed I (and Billions) got up today? Of course, it was from wrong side! Do I need to say why? First news in morning was Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar Retired! That's why.

    We knew its coming but still it was a body blow. Sadness was my first natural reaction, Appreciation of his greatness, fantastic career, statistics and mainly being a gentleman was the second reaction, lucky to be born in same era was the third reaction and then flow of following words was instantaneous fourth reaction:

    Oh Sachin! -------------

    To me, the last name in cricket used to be Gavaskar Only until horizons were lit up by Sachin Tendulkar Crossing all the barriers n records, what a fantastic career Billions switched on TV n put off chores to see this cricketer

    Let us give sincere salute to beloved little Giant master Other than thanks, pigmy's us have nothing else to offer Steady in tests, booming in ODI is our master blaster Take a bow Sachin, from this misty eyed Mumbaikar

  • on October 24, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    the best article Sanjay Manjrekar has ever written and the only good one

  • on October 24, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    There is an example of how Sachin went after a bowler even at the International arena. This was in, I guess, a Sharjah tournament against Zimbabwe. Henry Olonga celebrated like all hell broke loose when he got the wicket of Sachin. But when India faced Zim again in the next match of the tournament, Sachin went after Olonga hammering him all over the park. That was quite a sight!

  • on October 24, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    would like to see sachin having a good partnership with virat in upcoming tests.would be a grt passing of the torch moment for us fans

  • MaruthuDelft on October 24, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    Oh Great Piece Sanjay! Very Very Very True. Tendulkar was world class an I think from 1990-1994 and joined world's best between 1992-1994. After that he was just a good player.

  • srikanths on October 24, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    Great to hear from s person who has played with the great man in his formative years and watched him at the very early stage of his career. Most ex cricketers, experts and definitely fans have always liked the attackin and dominating SRT of yore. So fascinating . One never gets tired of reading these up. The greatness of the man lies in the fact that he later adapted to the needs of the team and changes in his own body with tighter defence and strokes of such great purity and joy , it was as much a sight to behold as SRT Version I. The only drag , and a matter of trepidation and fear to his fans was the absolute last phase of 8-10 test matches when it was quite clear that age did indeed badly catch up with the master. Let is recall the great moments and joy he gave us all in the 22 out of the 24 years.Never been a greater joy than watching a Tendulkar bat.

  • on October 24, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    Thanks for the lovely piece. We would love to hear more events like this from lucky people who were part of those non televised games. People love Sachin because of the memories he has left for us to savor. Everyone of us have a special imprint of Sachin's innings which left us in awe and etched the love we have for him for eternity. Those special innings are many, so many that we are not even able to compile the list of them. For example, I do not see the mention of 1997 Independence Cup tri-series played in Bangladesh where he blasted all the Pakistan bowlers including Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed on low and turning wickets throughout the series who were at the peak of their powers then for couple of 90's. the 46 of 26 balls in the finals set up the game for us to chase 316 which was the highest chases at that time. There were many gems played all over the world. no other batsmen dared to think of reaching the "Zone" in which Sachin existed. Thankyou Sachin for being Sachin!

  • Naresh28 on October 24, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    @Alestar - I remember those games. Sachin was in great form then. His achievements were on the fast SA pitches with fiery pace bowlers at him. The anti-climax was India losing the final, their bowlers let them down terribly. Anyway we were entertained well.

  • truthfinder on October 24, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    I dispute Sachin Tendulkar would have been that much successful in T-20. Here Sanjay is forgetting the completion. As T20 doen not test anyone's technique rather power and strategy, there would be plethora of big hitters. In his contemporary, Kambli, Jadeja, and Azrauddin were much more explosive than him. Sachin always excels as a combination of Techniq and Stroke making and consistency. Apart from very few innings he never played an out of the world inning (around strike rate 200%) So his relative fame in T-20 w.r.t others would not be as prominent as in other format.

  • HK_Sachin on October 24, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Lovely trip down memory lane! Sanjay doesn't speak about the double-wicket shivaji gymkhana matches in late 80's ..... that had some of the matunga gymkhana bowlers shocked for days, where I actually used to show up at the Dadar Parsee Cyclists & Cricketers hit-me-pitch, too little to understand, but easily to be excited by. Double-wicket was the T20 of those days.

    NOBODY combined the power of Sir Viv and the technique of Gavaskar & grace of Azhar, nobody probably will. If someone does, that'd be amazing.

  • CricketChat on October 24, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    On the flip side, SRT may not have scored as many test runs if T20 had come any sooner. Is the game poorer because he didn't play many T20s? No, no one is. He could have played T20s for a couple yrs around 2007, but he chose not to. Let's remember that.

  • on October 24, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Had 20/20 existed back then neither Sachin Tendulkar or any other batsman would have really flourished. You are speaking of the age of some bowling greats McGrath,Ambrose, Akram, Walsh, Waqar Younis, Murali, Warne. Really do you think he really would have flourished. 20/20 would not have a batsman game as it is now. There were too many truly great bowlers who would changed that. Manjreka is forgetting that era of bowlers. 20/20 flourishes now because there are soo few truly good bowlers in the world today. IMO only Steyn will be regarded as one of the greats in this generation.

  • Amit_13 on October 24, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    One can never know what might have been. But I am confident as I can be that 'that' Sachin is still here in those ramp shots over the slips. The run down of the face of the bat to third man just as mid off drops out and third man comes up. The push behind point when third man moves fine.

    Away from the boundaries and the other glamour shots, I am not sure how much television couldn't capture when he was simply manipulating the match situation. The push to the fence that tires the fielders out, making captains look silly because he could have always played that shot but waited till the fielder moved out of position.

    The cheek of the boy!!!

  • Elrond on October 24, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Woulda Coulda Shoulda

  • on October 24, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Interesting insights. Good to read. brought a smile on the face and gladdened the heart

  • Alestar on October 24, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Want to know why no bowler likes 2 sledge Sachin? Ask Andrew Caddick & Shoaib akhtar about the 2003 World cup incidents. All the prematch talks, & guess what happened. I think nobody ever made them feel(worthless) the way sachin did...!!

  • priyranjan on October 24, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    who can forget henry olonga episode, when he single handly destroyed him in zimbabwae in india -zibabwe final, Henry olonga just disturber the hornet nest in prev match,

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Sanjay Manjrekar is spoton in his observation on Sachin Tendulkar.Every bowler worth his salt openly or secretly admitted to being intimidated by his sheer presence at the crease.The list includes allmost all the alltime great bowlers.Sachin is on par with Viv and Lara, if not better, when pitted against another individual. Genius's need a challenge all the time, otherwise they get bored. Majority of Sachin's dismissals are those that are gifted to the bowlers out of boredom or bad umpiring decisions.In spite of all that he still managed those unbeatable stats.For once,THE INDIVIDUAL IS GREATER THAN THE GAME.

  • blthndr on October 24, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    outside the comfort zone....

    avg in AUS in ENG in SA ponting 41.79 46.85

    kallis 35.33 48.23

    lara 41.97 48.76 46.72

    sachin 53.20 54.31 46.44

    still hav doubt why he is considered the best......be fair....okkk...dont stop criticise him....u can hav ur opinion...

  • Rodc on October 24, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    although he might not be the same sachin of 90 but even now he is better then many of the current Indian lot.

  • jimbond on October 24, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    In his pre-tennis elbow days, he was phenomenal. Heavy bat, electric timing, unafraid of hitting out at any bowler, he was indeed great. Post 2001, he managed to keep his average at a steady level, but his level did go down, but by then India had other stalwarts to support him and he could afford to play one notch lower.

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    "T20 cricket came into Tendulkar's life a little too late and cricket is slightly poorer for that." Cricket would have been immensely poorer if T20 had come earlier.

  • TheScot on October 24, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    This guy was awesome in Nineties and early Noughties. When Sachin used to be on crease, the usual sound pattern in my area during his inning, big or small, was - a curfew like silence and then a sudden roar, then again a curfew like silence followed by huge roar. The crowd's reaction to his single was at least 10 times bigger than any other player's 4 runs. He was just too good a player, devastating at his best. On HIS day he would not spare even the best bowlers on the planet. Statistics and YouTube footage don't do justice; neither do articles like above; you had to live in India from 1992 to 2003 to understand how good Tendulkar was. And during that time, he was bigger than Viv or Don ever were.

  • bijendrasinha on October 24, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    and there was another instance in 1998 coca-cola cup final when he took on Henry Olonga after succumbing to him previous match.. he just destroyed the bowler in that match.. and another instance in Challenger trophy when Sreesanth was bowling to Sachin. somehow Sreesanth succeed to beat tendulkar with one of his deliveries and in his follow through he came a bit close to sachin giving him a intense glare.. Next 2 deliveries were dispatched to the ropes with fierce authority and sachin said just one line "never come that close to me".

  • Naresh28 on October 24, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Why cannot some people stomach the fact that "STATS ARE ONLY BROKEN ALONG THE WAY TO GREATNESS" Sachin did not play for stats, ask any sportsman whether it is Usain Bolt or Federer. These are milestones that are there to pass/ better or challenge themselves!!!!

  • on October 24, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Although I've started watching cricket after 2000, I just cannot say how happy sachin made me. Just can't forget those days when i bunked my school to watch Sachin hit a century. and man! did he oblige me..Thanks for all the memories.. Nothing gave me more happiness than u did sachin!! Thank you so much.

  • on October 24, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Good article. Manjrekar is right. If T20 would have come in the 90s, he would have at least made more 5000 runs.

  • on October 24, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    After winning the orange cap in 2010 IPL people wanted him to walk out of his T20 retirement, so selectively he did set the T20 arena ablaze.

    However being an all time great in both ODIs and Tests would be a much bigger satisfaction for him as well as his fans.

  • Cool_Jeeves on October 24, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Manjrekar never runs out of new ideas when it comes to his objective of praising tendulkar.

  • blthndr on October 24, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    those who r following cricket since 90s only they know what this guy is made of....u just cant hate this guy....indian cricket owe this man more than anyone....i dont think bcci would be so much rich without him....of course its the fans who made it possible bt its sachin who made the huge base of fans ....

  • Naresh28 on October 24, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    Nice article by Sanjay. Its good that some writers will pull out gems of Tendulkar like this one. Here he concentrated on ranji games. Its a great tribute to a master and legend. I read a negative story from Mukal kesavan on Tendulkar which only looked at a old, vintage Sachin and criticized him. Sachin in his youth days was a splendour to watch. Some people tend to forget his great innings early on and only look at his last two years where he faded badly. We owe him respect for what he was able to achieve in the 22years of his 24 year career - very few sportsman could achieve this.

  • on October 24, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    yeah.. who can forget the 1998 Sharjah semis and finals and many other such knocks

  • on October 24, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    many things will be said about this man but when he faced Pakistan at home wit the 2 W and imran Khan and got hit he did not quit a boy thrown to the wolfs he did not back down

  • on October 24, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Why people always talk about 90s batting of Sachin, just see below score post the age of 35. 117* @ 97.5 SR Vs Australia, 2 March 2008 163*@122.55 Vs New Zealand, 8 March 2009 138 @103.76 Vs Sri Lanka, 14 September 2009 175 @124.11 Vs Australia, 5 November 2009 200* @136.05 Vs South Africa, 24 February 2010 120 @104.35 Vs England, 27 February 2011 111 @109.90 Vs South Africa, 12 March 2011 114 @77.55 Vs Bangladesh, 16 March 2012 Though some of them were in loosing cause, thanks to our bowlers and its a team game. One man can not win the matches all the times.

  • on October 24, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    Many a innings and many a battle. I personally saw one which even today is etched in my memory. In a group match of a triangular ODI in Sharjah SRT got out to Henri Olango to a short ball and while walking back he was practicing his Imaginary pull and cut. Come the Finals the first short ball from Olango thudded in to point fence. Then on SRT was unstoppable and made the match a no contest with his century. He treated Olango like a novice and a net bowler. No words are enough to praise this GOD. S R T your memories in my mind will never retire.

  • on October 24, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    In this context I would like to add a very particularly memorable instance when Tendulkar made it over a hostile loud-mouth of a bowler. Shoaib Akhtar had predicted, before the 2003 India Pakistan match that he would intimidate the Indian batsmen with his speed and bouncers. Cometh the hour, cometh the man !!!!! It took just one over from Shoaib Akhtar for Tendulkar to prove who the master was. Who can ever forget that square cut six over gully ? And three more delectable boundaries in that over. 18 runs off Akhtar's first over, and he was pleading to his captain Waqar Younis to take him off the attack.........

  • cricketlover_crazy on October 24, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Who can forget that memorable one day innings, when he was asked to open for the first time in 1993-94 season. He took all the kiwi bowlers apart and the bowlers who suffered most on that day was Danny Morrison and Gavin Larsen and that was 2nd or 3rd one day of that series and before that game all the Indian batsmen were struggling with the swing and seam movements. In that particular match kiwis batted first and set a target about 175 and in those days 175 in swinging conditions were tough chases and this bloke made scoring look so easy and India won the match with close to 20 over to spare and scoring rate dipped after he got out and Sachin never looked back after that innings. Hats off to the batting genius.

  • on October 24, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    @spotnis. It is wrong to say that the bowlers of the 90s lacked the same class as that of the 80s. If the 80s was the era of fast bowlers, the 90s was that of spinners and reverse swing. The likes of Murali, Warne, Saqlain, Mushtaq, Anil Kumble, Paul Strang, Akram , Waqar Younis, Shaun Pollock, Allan Donald, Mcgrath, Amrbose, Walsh, Aaqib Javed, presented a different set of challenges.

    In the earlier days a set Tendulkar was as dangerous as Viv during the slog overs in ODIs. It was such hitting that made us expect him to win matches single handedly, something which never happened, except for in a few ODIs. In fact, we all waited for about 10 years, and were still hopeful till the Chennai test against Pakistan in 1999, where he came close to winning a test on his own. Unfortunately it never happened and by that time the likes of Dravid , VVS and Sehwag came and began to do it regularly. Thats when the Golden Period of Indian cricket started.

  • on October 24, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    @SPotnis - Did spinners like Warnie and Murali exist in the 80's? :S

    Oh, and there are also a few videos of him batting against the likes of Marshall and Sir Hadlee (look it up on YouTube).

  • tickcric on October 24, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    You know its not a surprise that Tendulkar likes one to one combat. I remember reading in an article, that in his childhood he wanted to play tennis and his hero was John McEnroe. Those contests with Srinath were like tailor made conditions for Sachin to express himself.

  • Romanticstud on October 24, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    I think there are a lot of batsmen that would have done well in T20 ... Graeme Pollock ... Clive Rice (and his bowling) ... Adrian Kuiper ... Lance Klusener ... Viv Richards ... Barry Richards ... Gordon Greenidge ... Kapil Dev ... Donald Bradman ... I can imagine with these guys skill of batting you might get 300 on the board in 20 overs ...

  • Akshay_mehta1 on October 24, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    One of the best article on Schain ... hope more to come Mr. Manjarekar

  • on October 24, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    indeed he was a genius from the word go..i remember he came to TN and played couple of charity matches against local teams in some small towns in early 90s. the difference between him and others were too far and visible. he hit only 4s and 6s and literally toyed with the bowlers.

  • on October 24, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Manjrekar - same guy who wrote in 2006 that Sachin is past his prime and should retire. Since 2006 till today (2013), Tendulkar has averaged around 50 in both ODIs (48) and Tests (52)!

  • on October 24, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    @Worrell, SRT has 8K more runs at higher average (+4 percentage points) and better strike rate (+8 percentage points) compared to Brian Lara in shorter format of the game. Clearly SRT is head and shoulders above Brian Lara as far as ODI is concerned. So, clearly the same cannot be said for Lara/Pointing etc.

  • SPotnis on October 24, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Sanjay - point well taken and no question about Sachin is one of the best. However I would like to add that the quality of bowlers with exception of Akram, Waqar, Warne and McGrath was not of the same class that existed in 80s. Holding, Garner, Roberts, Lilllee, Thomson, Marshall - their class was way too high and only Gavaskar, Gooch, David Gower, Vishwanath of this world could face that relentless attack without getting intimidated. I am sure Sachin has the technique but not sure if we can really compare the quality difference I am referring to. You know because you have played against some of those names I have mentioned and you know what it takes to face Marshall - one of smartest bowler world has ever seen. He was not lightning quick like Holding and Thompson but he was nothing but scary. Holding and Roberts were one of the lethal pairs we have seen in history of cricket. I cannot recollect anyone with that fear factor in last 20 yrs.

  • subbuamdavadi on October 24, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    We Indians, are quick to elevate people on pedestals and even quicker to pull them down from their perches...I (and many others) remembers Sachin from his early days (90 - 96) where his stroke-play was simply breathtaking. With time, he had to change his approach - from the youngest member of the team he became the senior pro, with more responsibility....the captain of the team. He sacrificed his flamboyance for consolidation. His team was weak .... he carried the along till the time the Fab Four came into existence....but then the mantle of the 'basher' fell on Sehwag...Saurav became the flashy stroke-maker...yes, he slowed down with age, lost some of his skills with time...but he was still better than the Rainas and Rohits...Let us - if we can't respect his achievements, at least not abuse him!

  • satzzz on October 24, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    lol.. Sanjay, totally contradicting statement with the match's scorecard. Seems like Narula haven't bowled a single ball in the 2nd innings. Either of your memory or scorecard or the match should be wrong.

    But otherwise it is a good article. Lucky that you have watched Sachin from close quarters :)

  • TATTUs on October 24, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    From that scorecard it doesnt seem Narula bowled in the second innings. And he bowled only 5 overs in the first innings. But I get what you are saying. A 175 and 97 and I can imagine what sort of knocks they would have been. He showed glimpses of that Tendulkar even as late as 2007 in a match vs England Lions and against Australia in 2009 in that knock of 175.

  • Kays789 on October 24, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Wow is this guy overrated or what? Enough already with the overblown praise for a guy who just played for personal achievements. Only thing he's done that no one else has is hang on to his place in the team for 20 odd years even when he wasn't performing.

  • on October 24, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    Manjarekar saab, it has been so nice of u bring some lesser known moments from the Legend's life. I wish more of such writings come up by the people who were fortunate enough to see him from close quarters. Believe me these small incidents or the unrecorded events elicit as much excitement as any of those replays which are played repeatedly on out televisions or social media .

  • Minimus on October 24, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Mukesh Narula, seems like, did not bowl in the second innings!

  • on October 24, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    the same can be said for Lara, Pointing, Viv. etc. Guys release Tendulka. His time has come, let it Lie.

  • on October 24, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    the same can be said for Lara, Pointing, Viv. etc. Guys release Tendulka. His time has come, let it Lie.

  • Minimus on October 24, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Mukesh Narula, seems like, did not bowl in the second innings!

  • on October 24, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    Manjarekar saab, it has been so nice of u bring some lesser known moments from the Legend's life. I wish more of such writings come up by the people who were fortunate enough to see him from close quarters. Believe me these small incidents or the unrecorded events elicit as much excitement as any of those replays which are played repeatedly on out televisions or social media .

  • Kays789 on October 24, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Wow is this guy overrated or what? Enough already with the overblown praise for a guy who just played for personal achievements. Only thing he's done that no one else has is hang on to his place in the team for 20 odd years even when he wasn't performing.

  • TATTUs on October 24, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    From that scorecard it doesnt seem Narula bowled in the second innings. And he bowled only 5 overs in the first innings. But I get what you are saying. A 175 and 97 and I can imagine what sort of knocks they would have been. He showed glimpses of that Tendulkar even as late as 2007 in a match vs England Lions and against Australia in 2009 in that knock of 175.

  • satzzz on October 24, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    lol.. Sanjay, totally contradicting statement with the match's scorecard. Seems like Narula haven't bowled a single ball in the 2nd innings. Either of your memory or scorecard or the match should be wrong.

    But otherwise it is a good article. Lucky that you have watched Sachin from close quarters :)

  • subbuamdavadi on October 24, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    We Indians, are quick to elevate people on pedestals and even quicker to pull them down from their perches...I (and many others) remembers Sachin from his early days (90 - 96) where his stroke-play was simply breathtaking. With time, he had to change his approach - from the youngest member of the team he became the senior pro, with more responsibility....the captain of the team. He sacrificed his flamboyance for consolidation. His team was weak .... he carried the along till the time the Fab Four came into existence....but then the mantle of the 'basher' fell on Sehwag...Saurav became the flashy stroke-maker...yes, he slowed down with age, lost some of his skills with time...but he was still better than the Rainas and Rohits...Let us - if we can't respect his achievements, at least not abuse him!

  • SPotnis on October 24, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Sanjay - point well taken and no question about Sachin is one of the best. However I would like to add that the quality of bowlers with exception of Akram, Waqar, Warne and McGrath was not of the same class that existed in 80s. Holding, Garner, Roberts, Lilllee, Thomson, Marshall - their class was way too high and only Gavaskar, Gooch, David Gower, Vishwanath of this world could face that relentless attack without getting intimidated. I am sure Sachin has the technique but not sure if we can really compare the quality difference I am referring to. You know because you have played against some of those names I have mentioned and you know what it takes to face Marshall - one of smartest bowler world has ever seen. He was not lightning quick like Holding and Thompson but he was nothing but scary. Holding and Roberts were one of the lethal pairs we have seen in history of cricket. I cannot recollect anyone with that fear factor in last 20 yrs.

  • on October 24, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    @Worrell, SRT has 8K more runs at higher average (+4 percentage points) and better strike rate (+8 percentage points) compared to Brian Lara in shorter format of the game. Clearly SRT is head and shoulders above Brian Lara as far as ODI is concerned. So, clearly the same cannot be said for Lara/Pointing etc.

  • on October 24, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Manjrekar - same guy who wrote in 2006 that Sachin is past his prime and should retire. Since 2006 till today (2013), Tendulkar has averaged around 50 in both ODIs (48) and Tests (52)!