India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi, 3rd day

Sachin gets the Tendulkar treatment

No one quite knows what the future holds for Sachin Tendulkar, but just in case this was his final Test in India, the Kotla crowd let him know just how much he is adored by the average Indian cricket fan

Sharda Ugra in Delhi

March 25, 2013

Comments: 224 | Text size: A | A

The Kotla Test proved again that Tendulkar's people are not to be easily silenced © BCCI

We were at the Kotla for two reasons. One, this Test between India and Australia was going to be the final step towards 4-0, with India dominant in the one-sided series, and the Kotla's would be the last Test of the home season before the high-volume insanity of the IPL.

The other reason belonged to a place agnostics would recognise. The area covered by 'what if…' and 'just in case…'

The question that no one had the answers to, and therefore needed the 'just in case' fallback, was whether the Kotla Test would be Sachin Tendulkar's last in India.

As of now, India's FTP lists India's next home Test series in October 2014, against West Indies. Tendulkar will be 40 a month from now and the calendar is tight - the only gap available to India to possibly fit in other matches comes between an ODI series in Zimbabwe, ending in mid-July, and the Champions League T20 that is slotted for September 2013. If there must be the business of a farewell at home, that's when it must be arranged. August-September, some place where it doesn't rain.

But what if? We didn't know so we turned up at the Kotla and so did he. First up, as Australia batted, out on the field, in his broad-brimmed white hat, the only one wearing that head gear on the field other than the reedy Ishant Sharma. Fingers taped, eyes peeled, neck pushed forward when closing in as the bowler began his run-up. Tendulkar fielded along the boundary line or on the edge of the 'ring'. In between overs, he would roll his shoulders, flex his neck, chat to the bowler, exchange a word with the umpires, shine the ball on his trousers.

He would throw himself at the ball, fall over it or scamper around to stop it. Once he put in a sprint that gave him a good chance of beating R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha over 50m. The batsmen stole a single easily from those two, but when Tendulkar swooped down on the ball from the outfield they shouted "wait!" for the second. The throws still came in flat and precise. Whatever happened to the tennis elbow, his 40-year-old throwing shoulder looked in good shape.

Every time Tendulkar would pick up the ball, the crowd cheered. Every time he turned around to walk to his mark near the fences, hundreds of arms waved at him. It is difficult to remember whether he normally does what he did in Delhi. Respond to every stand with a flick of the wrist or the raised palm, by holding up his hands or giving a quick wave. I hear you, every gesture said, I see you. Out there in the heat, every person who waved at him no doubt believed he did. Each one of them, in the massive arc from east to west, past the club house.

This adulation generated by Tendulkar has led to teeth-gnashing and lip-curling, mostly from those who do not belong to the less-expensive seats. This is not right, this is not the way, this is blind worship, they are not like this in England/Australia/South Africa. As Tendulkar's form dipped over the last two years, the hundred hundreds milestone turned from shiny trophy into get-lost albatross, the teeth-gnashing rose in intensity. There are debates about the fading of skills, the appropriateness of the moment, the ebbing away of legacy, the timings of retirements, the impotence of selectors.

But, the Kotla Test proved again that Tendulkar's people are not to be easily silenced. Even if India are battling against the Australian bowlers on a track born in the netherworld.

Virat Kohli knows exactly what that means. In both innings, India's No. 3 for the game, Dilli ka ladka (Delhi's own boy) was suddenly being told his presence was not required. He became the batsman frozen in the white headlights of a crowd that had lost its bearings and was driving with foot on floor, all brakes of rationale severed.

It happened two days in a row at the same time of afternoon. When the heat was turned up high and the crowd had filled into all but the highest uncovered stands on three sides of the Kotla. Any sniff of Kohli's wicket falling lit the blue touch paper that set the crowd off, in full vocal and emotional force. It put itself behind every leg-before appeal, as if it were India that were bowling.

In the first innings, when Kohli tried to turn one around the corner, which fell short of leg gully, the caterwauling couldn't be contained. On both occasions, there was someone else they wanted to see.

In the second innings, along with the sublime Cheteshwar Pujara who was playing on some other pitch in some other town in some other match, Kohli had tried to secure himself for more than an hour. Glenn Maxwell spilled the simplest of return catches and there came a roar of disgust and the rattling of a cage, as if an Australian had been granted a reprieve.

That heat from the stands was disorienting. It was not beautiful, it was far from logical but its ferocity sounded and felt uncontrollable. Like anything could happen if the beast was not fed.

Down in the centre, Kohli experienced the unthinkable for two days in a row. The sound of Indian jubilation at his dismissal. In India colours. The sound was so shrill, old Delhi's medieval window panes must have quivered. As Kohli traipsed off in a huff, it was impossible to hear oneself even think. Nothing made sense.

It was the tall, looming, uncovered, unforgiving eastern stands that saw Tendulkar first, positioned as they are right opposite the makeshift tunnel that brings batsmen onto the ground. Their reception was amplified around Kotla and from it rose a chant that has been familiar for more than two decades: "Sah-chin, Sah-chin".

The umpires may have prodded people along, but it felt like five full minutes before Tendulkar could do what they were making such a noise over: bat. In the first innings, he spent more than an hour and a half at the crease, 99 minutes across lunch and tea; in the second he played only five balls. Leg before both times by Nathan Lyon, who was disheveled and wrung out but bowling the best spell of his life in spinners' Utopia.

In the first innings, Tendulkar was fortunate to survive an lbw appeal on 1 before he settled in; among the five boundaries on his way to 31, he produced an inside-out cover drive defying geometry and physiology in a microsecond and a sweep of risky intent. In his second innings, with India still short of the target by 28, he tried to turn Lyon over on to leg and was hit on the pads, in front of the stumps, dead centre. Tendulkar's Test was over. The Kotla didn't know what else had ended, but just in case...

Tendulkar walked out to the presentation, chatting in between David Warner and someone who looked like Phillip Hughes. When it was time for the winner's photo he was pushed to the front and centre of the group. He then led the team around the ground on a victory lap, surrounded by photographers and cameramen, security guards and hangers-on. At the far end of the ground, he was dwarfed by taller men. As the posse drew closer to the Eastern Stands, Kohli, bless his largeness of heart, handed over the Border Gavaskar Trophy to Tendulkar and tried to rev up the crowd, pointing at him. Louder, he was saying, cheer louder. For India's victory? To say goodbye? We don't know but what if…

Tendulkar's arrivals on the field were seized and, at one level, even orchestrated by the Kotla crowd. His departures at various points of the match, though, told their own tale. On day one, he was closest to the dressing room entrance as the teams went in for lunch. He slowed down as he neared the rope, letting the rest of the team catch up with him and ensuring his captain took the first step across the boundary line. At stumps on Friday, he was the last man off the ground. After the players had melted into the tunnel and umpires had wandered in behind them, Tendulkar ambled off the field. He turned his head to look at the stands right behind him and then looked up to the skies. A good day at the office.

Late on Sunday afternoon, the crowd left the ground one last time from the Test. They walked along the ochre medieval walls of the real Firoz Shah Kotla fortress. The sun was heading southwards, the light was melting into gold. Curled-up dry leaves were falling lazily over our heads, a confetti of faded brown floating down in slow motion. This season we call vasant, India's spring, is almost over. Summer's full blaze is coming.

India had won so, striding and strolling, we were buoyant, chatty. Fathers instructing daughters to hold their hand, teenagers loudly debating what Dhoni said to Pujara in the penultimate over, older men murmuring, women talking. They did not know if it was his last time in international cricket, his last time for India in India or merely in Delhi. The crowd headed home trying to find individual contentment and closure.

I came to see him bat, you know. See him bat in person. Never again for India? Possible? Maybe not? IPL is fine, but India? Not in white clothes? How?

The last sighting of Tendulkar from the Kotla stands was of him disappearing into the Perspex tunnel, towards the dressing room at the end of the victory lap, dressed in his blue training shirt. But that wasn't to be the abiding memory.

It was the walk back to the pavilion, out for 1 in the second innings, bat tucked under his arm, head lowered, gloves coming off. Tendulkar with a long shadow attached to his heels, leaving behind a vast expanse of green. The crowd rising to its feet, their shrill, manic voices silenced, their applause growing into the booming crack of a gun salute. No one said anything to each other but, just in case. As he walked back into the shadows of the dressring room, Kotla engulfed him with acknowledgement, appreciation and an aural embrace.

Even when he may not have wanted it, Sachin Tendulkar has always had the crowd around him. He has never walked alone.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

He walks his talk. in today's world of run fast , grab everything and do anything for publicity, we have a man who stands firm, refuses to bow down and just repeats one statement over and over again- my country and my team comes first. Rarely has a man with only his hard work, honesty and irrefutable spirit led such a blemish free life and still reached pinnacles at a global stage. He as a living embodiment dispells any doubts one might have about achieving success without taking shortcuts Hard work is the cornerstone of success and fame. HE proved it.Thats why he is no less than a demi-god for us.

Posted by Pattu5 on (March 27, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

In my previous posts, I have not complimented Sharda properly, this is definitely one of the best soul-touching article. I am sure you would have taken a photograph of this moment.....(After the players had melted into the tunnel and umpires had wandered in behind them, Tendulkar ambled off the field. He turned his head to look at the stands right behind him and then looked up to the skies. A good day at the office.)...I will be extremely grateful if you can send that to me or if this can be posted on cricinfo, will be great to see that.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

@Benn Kempster - Touched by your concern. As pointed out earlier , every one NOT from India seems to be more concerned about the future of Indian cricket than Indians in general themselves. There was this same retirement ruckus about Tendulkar in 2006/07 when headlines such as "Endulkar" were common...The Master should play till it is absolutely certain that there is no magic left...You will never see such Class again..

Posted by hoatzinaname on (March 27, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

Despite my having taken public transport to any of the Test matches I've been to between 1975 (GRV's 97 n.o) and 2002 in Barbados, I have to admit that I belong to the "expensive seat" label per this author's classification. Of course, I would use a kinder, more appropriate phrase rather than teeth-gnashing. From the comments posted, it is clear that the Tendulkar treatment comes from a deep seated need that cannot be wished away. However, I am alarmed enough to sound a warning note - lets not make Kohli a victim of the Tendulkar treatment. But for his presence at the wicket during his 2nd wicket partnership with Pujara, India may have struggled to make 155. While his fluency may not have matched Pujara's, his solidity put a dampener on Australian hopes. Who knows, may be he assumed his "Alive is Awesome" persona even during a home test. It would have been understandable if he had succumbed to the heartbreak that the less expensive seats meted out to him. I am thankful that he did not

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

@Kshitij Sathe, RE "i dont think you got the emotion behind the article." I do - BUT THAT'S THE PROBLEM. India's team is being held back by by the *emotions* surrounding an *individual*. Regardless of how much people love and respect what he has done and stands for, the reality is that he needs to be moved aside for the betterment of everyone else allowing the team to move on. Mike Hussey and Andrew Strauss are shining examples of people who thought more of what their retirement would ALLOW their respectove teams to do +without them+. I hope that it is the selectors who are at fault for keeping Tendulkar hanging on and not Sachin himeslf. The BCCI seem to approach it's responsibility to Indian cricket as a business and - as we all no - there's little room for sentiment in business; perhaps their inability to deal with this situation is endemic of wider problems with their administration and influence over the global game...........?

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Masterpiece on the Master!

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

He may mean a lot to his fans. But people like Ranatunga are thoroughly mistaken if they think test cricket survives on him.

Posted by Naresh28 on (March 27, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

HE HAS NEVER WALKED ALONE - reminds us of the team we love LIVERPOOL soccer team - THEY WILL NEVER WALK ALONE. Such adoring fans from across the world would support they favorite hero or team despite being from another country.I loved following the Indian cricket team from a very small age and became an avid fan when 'SACHIN" arrived for India.Now I realize that his time is up and I wait for a new hero. In Sachin's time there were other stars also which made following the team even more exciting:- Dravid, Laxman,Ganguly, Shewag,Kumble...

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 27, 2013, 3:06 GMT)

@ChrishKay - and as re.Lara - Tendulkar has a better away record than Lara in Aus, NZ , Eng .SA is the same. Lara has NEVER got a Hundred against real pace till the batting friendly conditions of the 2000s arrived. And that then he got 4 against Lee and Flintoff in a 2 yr period. Tendulkar has awesome Hundreds against practically every single bowler you have mentioned IN their own backyards. Right from 1992 vs. Donald in South Africa age 19, when Tendulkar scored 111 and the next highest score was 25....right up to 2001 and classic Hundreds against Dale Steyn in SA. Again, in SA there are some grounds he has done better. So what ? EVERY cricketer has some grounds he prefers. Tendulkar avg. Tendulkar avg. more than around 90+ on some 13 grounds...Imagine if he , like Bradman , had played on ONLY those favoured grounds. But , he has played on dozens and dozens of grounds- In such a case how much homogeneity is it feasible to expect ? You seem to be ignorant of the 1990s

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 1:39 GMT)

I couldnt stop myself from commenting for the very frist time on cricinfo after reading your article. Sharda.. you have excellently portrayed the real feelings of every Indian fan. It looks stupid when somebody watch us being happy for Kohli's wicket, but we can't help ourselves. That's because of our enormous addiction towards Sachin. My mom couldn't get an auto to home when Sachin was playing that stupendous 175 at Hyderabad. There were so many autos at road but no autowala was ready to go even though that is their livelyhood. Everybody stuck to tvs on road. Seeing Sachin bat is something bigger for many of us. I cherish every moment of being a Sachin fan.. Longlive SACHIN..

Posted by deepak226 on (March 26, 2013, 23:38 GMT)

Every cricketer has to retire one day. That's the harsh reality of life. no use crying over it really. and having played more than two decades one should reflect that yes it's been an illustrious career but I think enough of the emotional melodrama. cut it out and reflect on a great career. it's time the team gets more prominence also. this talk around one player all the time is idiotic. one shouldnt forget India lost 8-0 in Australia and England and also to England at home. Even the other greats like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid retired too. how come such sympathy was never there.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

Impeccable! The best I've read in a while. Firstly, accolades for such an article; I felt I was in Kotla for the match. To me, Tendulkar is more than just a cricketer. His innings could easily have an impact your mood for the day. If ever there could be a synonym for "Code of Conduct", the name "Sachin Tendulkar" would win hands down. I think it's only fitting we give him the best farewell ever for all his contribution towards our nation as a whole, not just cricket. I have probably used all adjectives drawn out of Oxford Dictionary about Sachin, still it never seems to suffice. It would be a sin if I would not thank the author for such a brilliant article, thanks Sharda. Million other cricketers might come and go, but there would never ever be another Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Posted by akc5247 on (March 26, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

I still remember the "Power', 'MRF' and the most loved - 'V12' cricket bat posters of Sachin. Before I came to the US, I think it would be fair to say that Sachin dominated more of my sports life than any cricketer/ sportsperson / sport did. He still has, albeit in a diminished - in a 'human' sort of way. He has been a great ambassador of cricket and his fitness shows he can still beat 20+ year old guys easily. He breathes cricket, and it shows everywhere, most importantly in us - the spectators.

It is difficult to put sentiments aside, and that's why I hope he goes on a high after beating SA in the coming series. Thanks to you Sachin - for everything.

No regrets for us, and we hope we did not disappoint you just like you never did.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Amazing Article.... Hats off....

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

awesome article.......i am literally crying within fearing he may not play for too long.........praying to GOD that he prooves me wrong

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

One of the best Articles on Sachin in recent Times. Sachin has actually earned this respect, that is why we love him so much.. Hope he keeps on playing for next few years...

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Funny....Folks from OTHER nations besides India have such concern for Indian cricket and it's welfare that they want Tendulkar to retire...But the majority of Indian fans don't ! Why ? Simple...A batsman like Tendulkar comes along once in a lifetime if not several lifetimes...Cherish and enjoy the Class for as long as you can.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

very touching article......THE GOD will remain in our hearts forever....

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

Nice article. @Benn - i dont think you got the emotion behind the article. This article is not about Sachins ability to win matches or what did he do in the series etc. Its about how a person inspires and effects lives of so many individuals by just doing the task he knows best.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

Heart touchy article We (Indian) must be Great full to Sachin Tendulkar. It was he who taught us how to play in the sprite of the game and how to win against strong opposition.

Posted by ravi_b on (March 26, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

My 12 year old son was ecstatic when appeal was made against Kohli. I asked why? Obviously he knew the batting order. He was sad for not out. I asked what if India lose. No matter, he wanted to see Tendulkar for the first and last time bat ( IN THE STADIUM AS WE WERE IN ONGC STAND) as he read that this may be his test in India. For me, I was very excited to see Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev and Sunny Gavaskar for what they did for Indian cricket when I was 12. For Tendulkar, my life's journey seems to be along with his career.I may become less sport friendly after his career. Tendulkar makes us move no matter he scores or not. Hopefully he plays a test again in India.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Simply one of the finest article on Sachin and I do agree with the every word written by Sharda and my fellow followers of Sachin. The only thing one can think of the Maestro is RESPECT, a true representative of Gentleman's game, playing for 24 years without any controversy, carrying billions of hope all alone. Every single run he scored, was a personal victory for every Indian, we boasted his landmarks like ours. A big Salute to the Master, truly Priceless. Once again, thanks to Sharda for such a poetic and beautiful compilation for one and only SACHIN.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

Excellent Article Sharda Ugra, I am having tears in my eyes just by reading the article and don't know if it is because of the sheer fact that soon Sachin won't be part of the whites or playing the Game we all admire so much or was it because of your narration.

Hats off to you to have portrayed the Indian Demi God in a way Kalidasa and other great authors have portrayed Indian gods.

Posted by amit.chippa on (March 26, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

"Even when he may not have wanted it, Sachin Tendulkar has always had the crowd around him. He has never walked alone."

Above lines brought me to tears again.

May be God has left the Indian Mandir but he will appear in South Africa and I'm going to see him there.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Week after week we have articles about Tendulkar and they get more gushing by the day. Fact is that he's been 'stuck' at international level for quite some time now and his star is rapidly fading; did he look like winning a game for his team throughout the ENTIRE series? Nope. Still, with all these words, hopefully, journos will have run out of them when he eventually decides to do himself, his team and Indian fans a favour and pull up the ladder.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

very well written...It has been a long time since I have read such a detailed and poignant description of a test match with respect to one player...It would be interesting to know Virat Kohli's perspective on what he faced when he was on the crease !!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

its indeed difficult to perform with so much pressure ourside th stadium.. its difficult to concentrate.. if crowd is happy to get your teamate out and see you batting.. imagine the kind of presuure u r in to perform... man.... its not easy

Posted by SajidMukadam on (March 26, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

Sachin, its really so difficult to talk about him I just don't know where to begin and where to end. To be very honest for me Sachin batting was always like a beautiful poetry a poetry with no error of any kind whatsoever. And his biggest achievement other than his game in the field was his character, the way he carried his success in public life. Not for a single moment I saw any kind of arrogance or pride in him which could be very easily found in boys like Kohli and Yuvraj so early in their career.

Not for a single moment he did something which would harm the emotions of 1 billion people. All he was perfect perfect and perfect in every aspect of his life, if he would have not been a cricketer he is an ideal candidate to be a priest saint or whatever we say to a Holy God Fearing Person. We Indian as whole truly love him even the ones who don't love him they definitely respect him.

There won't be another Sachin Tendulkar, and I really mean it when I say that.

Posted by DonPerignon on (March 26, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Sorry but he's past his sell by date!!

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa ....And frankly , it doesn' t MATTER what avg. Tendulkar retires on finally.What if Tendulkar had retired, pre injury ,say end 2002 on an avg. of around 59 and Kallis got injured when just about starting to avg. 50? A well time retirement may be a matter of good judgement , but does not necessarily indicate superior cricketing skills. Richards ,too, went on far too long and so dented his stats- for any proper cricket follower in the know that hardly affects his legacy or a determination of his true quality.............................. In his best DECADE the differential between him 59.4 and the "next best" Steve 53 was around 12 %. This is the highest ever differential for anyone besides Bradman. Kallis has never had this much of a differential between him and the "next best" and never will..

Posted by india26 on (March 26, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

On a dry, hot Chennai afternoon crowd gathered at Chepauk, to watch the master laboriously crafted 80s and I was a part of it too. I cannot remember a single non Tendulkar run cherished by the crowd than a run coming from Tendulkar's bat. People of all ages were there for only one reason, THE TENDULKAR. He his the slogan of the spectators, energy among crowd, inspiration of the indians....hmmmm is the player for, of the Cricket.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Headley avg. 91 against the only decent team of the era Englang (besides Aus) when batting at No.3. Bradman had some 10% more . SRT avg. 55 vs. Aus ( the best team of the generation- over 21 yrs) inspite of the last 2 horror tours against Aus. Sure, Tendulkar is fading...But before the last two tours he avg. around 58 vs. Aus...the next best was 51 for Lara ( BTW in Aus itself Lara avg. 41)...So, the diff between SRT and the next best was similar to DGB and the next best ....the problem is injuries cut down Tendulkar, as also the risks brought about by ODIs etc, innovative shot making, the importance of not having too many dot balls etc...Playing ONLY one format in well known conditions such as DGB did is one thing...For eg. Look at Pujara - the WORSE thing for him will be to be selected for ODIs and have to adapt his game to a more risk taking style for his format....

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

@ TommytuckerSaffa ...Very simple logic. For batsmen who batted for the WHOLE of the 1990s , (Excluding Ban and Zim) SRT avg. almost 60, the next best was Steve 53...CLEARLY batting was MUCH more difficult...Look at the 2000s - every Tom ,Dick and Kallis avg. 50+. ....

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 26, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

@CricFan24 Your argument is flawed, you say batting was more difficult in 1990....on what facts is this statement based on???? If you ask me it was probably more difficult batting in the era's of uncovered pitches or no helmets. The fact that Sachins average has dropped since 1990 goes against your argument if you say its easier to bat now....The way Sachin is going he will probably finish on an average of 45 by the time he retires !!!

Kallis is a far more a valuable cricketer than Sachin will ever be. Why? Because he scores more runs everytime he bats - fact, because he has taken 288 Test wickets and because he made over 192 catches. Im not going to go into argument that Kallis played most of his cricket on more difficult surfaces too - bouncier, seamer friendly pitches like they have in SA, thats a whole new conversation.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (March 26, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

When people question Sachin's God-like status and him being "un-droppable", people must care to look at his profile here on cricinfo.

He deserves special status as he has been India's greatest cricketer and second best batsman the world has seen.

Moreover, no other person has been as criticized in any other country or sport as he has been. For last 6-7 years, his place gets questioned after every loss despite being the best in the game.Remember "Endulkar" ?

Most Indian fans haven't forgotten his exploits of past 23 years as compared to "neutral" and "practical" people like the author herself.

Over the past 23 years, his good years(16-17) would overshadow the careers of 99.9% of the batsmen who have played the game.

Posted by mskanth on (March 26, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

First time I am deeply touched specially with the comments and some part of the article because, Feeling veryl lucky to be in 28-35yrs old generation of Indian class..I have been bought up with father shutting me down every day with words like "Sachin is not going to feed you when you are hungry and you would never become like him" even though I very much like the 2nd one which tells my father's inherited love towards his worship for this sport..We all know how it feels 'when you get your 1st Month Salary and 1st time when you enter into parenthood' and the same way the love and worship for Sachin and to his work ethic can't be explained...An Indian flag on his helmet makes me proud for some reason.Please do not write such articles which causes many tears of deepest admiration towards him..

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

Awesome article i ever red.. my eyes is filled with tears by only thinking he is going to retire. i am the one person who is going to think cricket is dead from the moment our GOD retire from his show.. i born a year later sachin started his carrier and hoping to die a day before he retire.. i can't bear his retirement. No matter he score 100 or 0, i uased to watch entire match just to see him til the end in the filed.. you gave me all the reason to follow cricket and it is going to end when you go away from that... You will never ever retire from a million hearts like me...

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

The article brought back all the good memories of sachin smashing bowlers all around the world.. and somehow eyes got moist.. can't imagine test cricket without sachin...May GOD give us the strength to see that day..some day..later...(started watching his 175 vs AUS at HYD for 10101010th time...)

Posted by SRIDWI on (March 26, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

very good article. Even if a person is not sachin's fan, he still would love to read this article about the genius. Everything has to come to an end one day or the other. So does, sachin's marathon career. I don't find any one in the vicinity to score 100 hundreds. Lets salute this great icon of cricket, not just Indian cricket, its for the world cricket.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

it almost brings tears into my eyes .. we sachinists never thought of test cricket without sachin on the day he retires ik am sire that many pairs of eyes remain moist for a long time .. who is kallis ??? and who is bradman ??? we dont know any one else we know only two types of cricketers in this world 1) SACHIN 2) others ..... _/\_ <3 <3 sachin <3 <3

Posted by FoollyFedUp on (March 26, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

If such poor numbers fail to bring in accountability, only fate can help youngsters in India. Only a couple of news channels / papers have dared to call for Sachin's immediate retirement. Force of the mob, I guess. But the South Africans will not be complaining. Six easy LBWs / Bowleds for Philaner or Steyn.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa - Tendulkar averaged 59 through the 1990s ( excluding Ban and Zim) Lara 52. Steve 53. Infact just 3 players who batted right through the 1990s ( the entire decade) average 50+. Conditions were tougher for batting then. Kallis wasn't even in the picture then. He made his runs through the 2000s when batting was far,far easier and most of the great bowling attacks were gone- Tendulkar by contrast went downhill post 2003 due to injuries which almost ended his career in 2006/07. By end 2002 Tendulkar was already recognized as the 2nd best batsman after the Don by consensus as well as by other stats bases like Wisden. Kallis had barely started averaging 50 the. Kallis is a great allrounder but he has never been second best after the Don and never will be . Anyone who has followed Tendulkar's career from its outset would be out of his mind to place Kallis ahead.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

This article brought tears in my eyes. Beautifully written.. Thanks a ton

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

One of the best articles I've read in recent times..very touching and beautifully written.I was there at the Kotla on Saturday and it was surreal to see the same emotions as mine,being felt,voiced and magnified by 30000 odd people.This article brings out aptly,the feelings of everyone in Kotla on those magical 3 days.Logically speaking,cricket is a game.But for Sachin worshippers,like me,cricket is an emotion called Sachin Tendulkar.We ride the highs and lows with him and celebrate his triumphs like one of our own has succeeded.I am sure,millions like me,started watching cricket because of Sachin and will also stop watching cricket when Sachin goes.Merely thinking of his retirement makes my eyes moist.The Sachin bashers won't get his,coz emotions have no logic and when Sachin plays,cricket is an emotional experience.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

"What if"... "Just in case"..!! These two are ruining my news watching moment every day whenever Men in White are out to play. :(

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

1. Despite achieving so much on the field, Sachin still remains humble. In the dressing room, with the younger players, he is still an eager learner.2. His work ethic, gentlemanly conduct and passion for the game is sure to rub off on the young brigade. 3. Youngsters admire him, respect him but they are not in awe of him. Due to this, soon, at least some of them will start thinking, if this simple man can achieve so much, why I can not do so ? And that is the huge, huge contribution of Sachin in the dressing room . 4. That contribution cannot be quantified and valued by any one. 5. By the way, I agree with @CricFan24: Most of the comments that Sachin is hindering the progress of Indian cricketing prodigies seem to emanate from across the border. :)

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

mcsdll.I agree with you very much.My question is?What else does Tendulkar needs?Trying to be an Immortal of which i think is out of the question at his age.Why stick around and bring down your average?He has all the atributes of one of the great batsmen of all times.He should just walk away and say to the Cricketing world Adios.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

Very Good Article Sharda, Great piece of Work, My heart just got heavier at the end, very emotional and true description of the not only the master but also their fans. Though I do also feel this might be his last test appearance but would love if BCCI could arrange a farewell test series in India in any window available which the master truly deserves.

Posted by Vasi-Koosi on (March 26, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

Nice Article - One correction; Sachin has always walked along - a cut from the rest; there has been a crowd following him everywhere he goes

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

People have been discussing his retirement for the last eight years. I cringe to think how much cricket would have missed had he retired then. Why can't we live in present? He will retire on his terms. It's time that we stop obsessing about his retirement. Let's enjoy every moment of cricket with him. Cheers to Tendulkar. Cheers to cricket.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 26, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

@cricfan24 Jaque kallis is the greatest cricketer of all time. 56 avg which is higher than sachin, 13000 plus runs, Plus 288 test wickets plus 290 catches !!!!!!

Posted by kapilesh23 on (March 26, 2013, 5:05 GMT)

My request to my fellow Indian brothers Move on now guys. I myself grew up watching Sachin going crazy over his shots, thinking as if Diwali came early as he hits a century. His centuries, his shots, his bowling and everything he did on the field was the only real thing for me all else was delusion. I prayed to god for sachin, when he use to come on the crease it use to give me jitters, I was anxious if he would get out. and when he actually got out early stopped watching the match all together. and also stopped thinking about the match result. But all that has stopped now I absolutely don't feel any of those emotions when he comes on field. I don't want him to retire because he still needs to mentor young brigade outside India. But this sort of crazy hero or demigod worship is over the top. I mean applause for Kohlis(home boy) wicket is over the top. Being emotional is good but this is Jingoism against ones own player.

Posted by Kart_in_Quartz on (March 26, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

He s 2 tests short of 200... About 160 short of 16000 runs in tests... He can achieve the ideal double in South Africa and call it quits... Another milestone of a kind and a fittingly perfect end !

Posted by CricketFan365 on (March 26, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

He will retire when he thinks team India doesn't need him anymore. I think he is waiting for the SA tour to decide his future. Even though he is not scoring runs, he is a big motivating factor for Pujara and others. He doesn't need to score runs, aren't India winning matches?

Posted by abhishek.kognole on (March 26, 2013, 4:16 GMT)

this is an awesome article... It forces me to see the match when sachin is on the team... thats what his power is... he should play as long as he wants to... no one can tell GOD of Cricket when to retire...

Posted by mcsdl on (March 26, 2013, 3:29 GMT)

Sachin is one of the all time great batsmen. I would even put him in my top 10 list...! 1. Don Bradman, 2. Garfield Sorbas, 3. Viv Richards, 4. Brian Lara, 5. Jacques Kallis, 6. Kumar Sangakkara, 7. Jack Hobbs, 8. Ricky Ponting, 9. Sachin Tendulkar, 10. Wally Hammond. So the guy deserves to retire in his own terms. India never produced great cricketers. Sachin is the only player from India to compete at the top level with other elite players. India should worry about their fast bowling not Sachin's form

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

On retirement Kumble, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman are prompt. Why Sachin is still not retiring. Do you thin at 40, he can play cricket. Dont quote Clive LLoyd. During his period consider the no of matches. Sachin should have a fitting departure from the ground. He should play his last match and announce the retirement. That will be great to him and nice.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

Oddly - the most "concern" for India's future ,and for wetting youngsters, seems to come from India's neighbours.

Posted by Rbak_SRT on (March 26, 2013, 2:28 GMT)

Oh no..ppl please stop this comments on Sachin and telling him to retire..without him these many days we would have ended up in following some other sport in India..he carried India just single handedly for more than 2 decades and he knows the time to call it..better be supportive...and to all those Rahane supporters to replace Sachin..OMG i hope u all witnessed him throwing his wicket in both the innings...Watever said or he has scored less..he is far far better than the youngsters waiting to replace him..please for heaven sake don ask him to retire again...he knows wen and wer!!!!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 2:21 GMT)

On performance, some might say "drop him", but I think there is a plan here to keep him for another year at least. His presence is very helpful for the new look team. He might not be scoring a lot but he always looks good while he is there and his presence on the field is acknowledged by all players. Without him it will be a really inexperienced team and will face the same challenge as Australia does. If Australia had Ricky Ponting with all the new players, it would have looked a very different side.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 26, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is without question the greatest batsman of all time : Ricky Ponting failed for almost 4 or 5 years before he was finally dropped. Tendulkar should keep playing till it is absolutely certain he has lost his magic. About the people claiming "patriotism" ...that is a complete joke. Batsmen like Tendulkar don't come along once in a generation - They come along once in a lifetime. Cherish him...

Posted by Natx on (March 26, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

I guess we had too much of "would it be his final" stories! Fact of the matter is, he is past his prime and it doesn't matter which one is his last! You would see one decent innings here and there but no more "strings of magic" anymore. For Christ's sake, stop these nonsense articles for good. Take it from me - he won't retire until SA tour and it would be his last. Good or bad, folks go there and have a final glimpse, take some photos He may score few 50s there, who knows may be a ton, but that will be it. If you can't go, make sure to catch on tv and chill off. He may get bowled or LBW 9/10 to Steyn or philander (as he bowls straight) but you can be sure he will be determined to go on a high so expect some decent scores.

Posted by MZEEM on (March 26, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

Oh please stop all these stories and let him go. Young blood in Indian team doing very well. Its time for him to go. Simple is that.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

Poor Sachin has has lost his feet movement especially playing back. He remains an enthusiastic player running well on the field. Maybe he should call it a day sooner.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

There is a talk going around that why Tendulkar should continue to play. He is now a spent force. I don't agree with this. I have attached scorecards of all the test matches we played against Australia at home which we won 4-0.

In the first test, Australia scored 380 and in reply Pattinson got rid of the openers and we were 12 to 2. Tendulkar arrived and in the first four deliveries he faced from Pattinson, 3 were hit for 4's and he was removed from the attack. He steadied the ship with Pujara and Kohli. When he got out, he gave Dhoni a perfect platform to attack the bowlers. In the second innings, while chasing 48 to win, India were suddenly 36 for 2. He struck the first two balls from Lyon for sixes and India won the match easily.

In the second test, he came at 387 for 2, so there was no challenge.

In the third test, there was a whirlwind opening partnership of 289 runs. After that Kohli was also dismissed a

Posted by Kulaputra on (March 25, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

What the writer forgot to add is that cricket is a team game. A crowd that wishes for an Indian wicket so that they can watch a 'has been' no matter how great is ridiculous.

I am an ardent fan of Gavaskar and reason to be so. Of all cricketers that played for India, The Nawab and SMG were the two who proudly wore the India flag on their sleeve. I had reason to idolise both. But that would never mean that I wanted to see them play for India way beyond their prime. I respect the Nawab for retiring when he did and SMG though both a little but later than they should have but still within the why realm rather than the why not boundary.

Selectors - if you are listening, please use logic, drop Sachin and spare everyone a lot of embarrassment. His hundredth hundred was embarrassing enough. Do not carry this drama further. Remember it is a team game and not an individual sport like tennis

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 23:46 GMT)

I would like to see both Sachin and Rohit play in SA and see who fares better. If either of them don't average more than 35, both of them should be dropped from the team and not picked again. It should give other talented youngsters a chance. As much as Tendulkar has done for his country, his image is being tarnished by his selfishness to carry on playing despite declining numbers over the past two years. Don't you have enough money already? We also need to tell the BCCI to get the DRS for Indian matches and feed our young boys some good meats to produce good fast bowlers.

Posted by VoxPopuli on (March 25, 2013, 22:18 GMT)

The image of Sachin most of us had through his long and celebrated career was that of an invincible batsman. We could never imagine someone being able to conquer him. Never at all! In the last few months to years that image of an invincible Sachin has been somewhat replaced by someone who, still being very good yet somewhat vincible. In that sense, by staying past his perfect exit, Sachin has lost some and all of us also have lost some!

All that is left for an objective supporter is to pray that he retires before we have lost completely the images of the world conqueror! Amen!

Posted by nareshgb1 on (March 25, 2013, 22:14 GMT)

Sorry - the man's gotta go now. Nobody has been such a pleasure to watch as this man in the last 20+ years. I will stop following cricket once he is gone - but that would be better than the oridinary performances he is turning out now. As for crowds adoring him - there is always the IPL. IPL will get special value if he retires (as he should) from all international cricket.

But I cant bear to watch the tests anymore.

Posted by amvm on (March 25, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

Very well described, the kind of sentimental attachment he received from his fans is unfathomable. Cricket watchers will always have respect for his game and behaviour on and off field. I wont be surprised if he announces his retirement in a few days but will live in the hearts of his fans and cricket history. How privileged we have been to see performances from a 16 years lad to a matured player with all sorts of records under his belt.

Posted by Fanof2020 on (March 25, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

It does not matter what sport it is players have to retire and leave the game when it is time. The smart ones leave when they are at the top. Others play and play to collect more money. They live in the past and not the present. As great a player Sachin was it is time for him to walk out of Indian team. Remember it is better to leave and people wish you hadn't left than continue playing and people wonder when are you going to quit.

Posted by Raj12345 on (March 25, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

Just drop him. I am not seeing value in this article. It doesn't matter for me, even sachin scores 0 or 100, I am going to be fan for him always. But think about India test future. These sachin scoring less than avg batsman.

Posted by AK47_pk on (March 25, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

Ask a deserving young player how he is feeling when he sees some batsman is just hanging around for his name nd contributing nothing at all. He might be a good cricketer but keeping a place of deserving young barsman crtainly moraly right nd he shud give it a thought.i know this wont be published.

Posted by AK47_pk on (March 25, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

His avg has dipped to 53. He is going to end up averaging in mid 40s if he carries on for couple of years.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

Regrettably, it is time for Sachin to announce his retirement. He has to do this on his own volition because the subtlest hint from the selectors would have his fans up in arms. Every mediocre series, such as the last one against Australia, does disservice to the memory of Sachin at his prime, and delays the opportunity of a young player of promise (Unmukt Chand, perhaps) to make his mark.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 25, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

looks like you cant say anything negative about sachin or your posts wont be published, interesting.

Tendulkar needs to retire, he hasnt scored a century for 2 years !!!! and 48 test innings, thats just not acceptable. India has a wealth of talent coming through (in batting and spin only), he wont be missed. Indias administrators are too scared to retire him because of political backlash, so you have a selfish player who will just continue to play himself. When he comes to SA, he will be retired forcibly - just like Stauss and Pointing before, who fell to SA's might sword.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

beautiful! .. We all discuss this, talk about this but we are never so elegant with the words.. in the discussion of retirements.. expert comments come in, national interests are debated... but in all this the simple average fan gets lost .. Thanks for giving voices to those average fans.. and in such beautiful words

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

My dear devoted Sachin fans, including Ms. Ugra, I presume, may I ask where is your devotion to your country. The Indian cricket team is selected based on current performances and future potential and not on the basis of sentiment or gratitude for past performances. On both counts (current performances and future potential - read 40 years of age), Sachin Tendulkar does not deserve a spot on the Indian cricket team. Selectors, show some spine and earn some respect by dropping him. Poor Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, they have done a lot better than Sachin in recent times and are far far younger to him, how could they be dropped, while Sachin continues to be retained.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

I am impressed more with the way this article has been written than what is being expressed through it. The article aptly describes what Sachin is to his worshipers, but not what he is to the admirers of his game. That Kohli pointed at Sachin to rev up the crowd, or that people cheered at Kohli's dismissal should not be taken as a reason for Sachin to stay in the team. Also, the article tries to make discussing Sachin's retirement a taboo. However it's a important point to be decided about. The only logical way to consider his place in the team is to compare his contribution to the team against his teammates'. The fact that he doesn't appear in the equation when we talk of building the team for the future also needs to be considered. It's not about when and how Sachin should retire, but rather about till when can Sachin contribute on par with his peers.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

As long as he can play, he will mostly like be there until the SA home series in Nov 2015 and then retire.

SA - 3 Tests NZ - 3 Tests EN - 5 Tests AU - 4 Tests SA - 3 Tests (Home)

18 matches in the next 30 months. It will be the saddest day when I can't see SRT on the field.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

Well to be honest, I really don;t care how many runs Murali Vijay scores, how many wickets Ashwin will take? Only thing I care is Sachin in the team. Even if he makes single digit scores in hundred balls it doesn;t matter to me. Because even in that 100 balls he will face it will be delight to my eyes to see him batting. Without Sachin the Indian test squad will look boring and watching those test matches will be a dull experience. We need him for SA series as well as NZ series.

Posted by Venkatb on (March 25, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

India is on a high and a compelling factor for SRT as he ponders retirement though he has not been scoring well. However, I do not believe India is ready for the rigors of overseas Tests and the youngsters in the team will fall like tenpins on faster wickets - SRT may have to be around to provide moral support but he would be around like a Wally Hammond or a George Headley, both of whom became shadows of their past selves in the last 1-2 series they played, and their teams were outplayed as well.

Posted by GrindAR on (March 25, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Btw, An article written about the beauty of certain charismatic character's presence in a familiar setup. Good piece of mesmerizing work from Sharda. I would like to see you writing match reports, may be in the name of "SUDO Report", with important sequence of events happened in the match. Hey... I gave you a task now...:-)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

After the end of 2nd day's play I was waiting on the road from where team's bus was going to cross,to cheer on our team.As the bus was crossing me,I saw Tendulkar sitting right on the front seat on the left with his feet up and cellphone in his left hand talking to some one,and I had an eye contact with him at max for a second or two.I still can't get that moment out of my mind!When I think of that moment now it makes my hair stand on end!

Posted by santhoo24 on (March 25, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

Sachin has been a great ambassador of the game, made us Indians proud on numerous occasions. Simply put, he is the model cricketer and maybe model human being. But all good things come to an end. Question is, how you end it. To quote from the Dark Knight movie "either you die a hero or live long enough to see yourself a villain".

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

I went to see this match,and believe me every over Tendulkar was waving back at us atleast 3 times to acknowledge our cheering.It was surreal!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

yes..!!! the article really portrayed Sachin's last innings on Indian soil...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

Amazing, brilliant, what an article. Thanks Mr. Ugra, I am pretty sure you are one of the devoted Sachin fans like all of us... I just hope he knows how much we want to see him play... Your article is another reminder to the readers here, No Cricket without Sachin for us.... :-(

Thanks again for the beautifully written gem.. :)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

I must say that this is one of the most touching articles I have read... U undoubtedly do have a way with words... even wen speaking abt a person whom words fail to complete... hats off to u

Posted by crindo77 on (March 25, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Best batsman I've ever seen, period. BEST. No disrespect to Sobers, Viv and the Don, but east or west , Sachin's the best. THE BEST. Get that, y'all?

Posted by remnant on (March 25, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

The article talks about the Tendulkar legacy, which is massive, however there is also another side to this myth building. what I remember from the last tour of SA was of Sachin trying more to protect his not out stat than shield the last man, well after scoring the century, but not bothered to save the Test match. Does anyone remember that bit? The problem is not Sachin. I won't blame him. It is the cult worship that is the bane, and which is article alludes to. This only demonstrates a lack of a healthy sporting culture where the game weeds out the dead wood by itself, and renews it. This is the bit which is lacking.

Posted by GrindAR on (March 25, 2013, 18:13 GMT)

He have enough time to call it in between the next match. A good chance to hang his boots on high. No sure, if he gets it again as big as this, even after 3 years from now. Lets give importance to the team than just one individual. Charisma was there... it can be back... but not holding on to his current position.... Cricket has many specialist positions.. including batting coach, commentator, bcci's director, etc.. etc... He can decide to give his place to a deserving candidate he recommends... (as mr. gavaskar did to him)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

Cricket will never be the same when Sachin retires. I still just cannot imagine watching cricket without Sachin. I have been an ardent follower of INDIAN cricket team since 1991 and so the Sachin haters would never understand..what Sachin has done for the country and to fans like me...Long Live master.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

But he walks a lonely road to records.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 17:53 GMT)

What an article, you have actually put it in the words what I have felt in the stadium, Sachin is a legend and that one hour whiche he batted on day 2 when he scored 32 runs was the most magical experience, every ball, very second we cheered for him, you need to be at the stadium to feel sachins presence, sachin can bring masses to any stadium, we all r very busy in our lives but just coz of sachin, we have left our work and came to see him bat live and its all worth in gold, that feeling of seeing sachin live cant be described in words. He is the golden cricketer, the best ever. No one can inspire like him.His persona is beyond imagination. The way he carries himself is stupendous and he is true leader in life where he inspires millions, not only in cricket but in every sphere of life.He teaches us to see dreams and fulfill them with ur constant hardwork n patience like he waited for his world cup.You are the true legend and honestly I want to see you to play for 2 more years.Greatst

Posted by AKS286 on (March 25, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

The good thing about Indian Cricket is The senior players retiring one by one slowly slowly in which it helps the rookies to learn & getting support. Seniors are like mentors in the ground more than the coach.Ganguly then Dravid then Laxman and next SRT. We have some examples in which younsters are given more preferences than seniors and forced them to retire those team never come back into the track even in last many years these teams are like lost civilizations. Like- WI, Pak, SL(thanks Sanga & mahela are still there), now AUS.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

So very thankful for capturing the mood as it was!! I was in the eastern stand on both days and for the first time in my life had the honour to welcome the master on to the crease... Really, when Kohli departed, Kotla erupted.. infact when he was batting, Sachin... sachin was in the air! I dont consider these innings of him as a failure.. no way.... a person trying is bound to fail.. but we are burdened under the memories that he has given us over two decades.. I dont know cricket sans SRT! And thats why, after 25 yrs in this planet, I went to Kotla.. on both days... in a dead rubber match.. just to welcome him in the Indian colours.. my way of giving him farewell.. something that I wish should never come.. I could say only two lines for the master.. that I showed from top of east stand throughout the afternoon... "We belong to SRT era" and "My child will miss see Sachin play"!!!

Posted by Pattu5 on (March 25, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

I am quite sure that all the people, who want Sachin to retire, do not understand the dynamics of a team sport (forget playing!!). In case of an icon like Sachin, off-field contribution is much more than on-field one. Somebody suggested that he can do that by becoming assistant coach or as a friend of mine said, he should be non-playing captain. People don't realise that responsibility does not sit well with Sachin, he can only motivate others when there is no pressure on him. And then, he is not a saint, he also needs motivation of playing to do the mentoring role. It's not that he is not performing, he is just not raking up the big scores that everyone expects him to. It's not that he is blocking any youngster's career; that youngster's career will not develop without a mentor. I fully agree with somebody, who pointed out that his innings in Chennai was immensely important from the point of view of setting a tone, which demoralised Aussies and they could never recover from that.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

Haven't seen better article on cricinfo than this.. !!

Posted by Scube on (March 25, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Thanks a ton, Sharda! No wonder, the article brought tears to so many fans on this forum! It's also sad that some of the poor souls out here would never quite understand why the fans coming to the ground are so mad about seeing him play despite knowing that he is past his prime! It's their small token of love for bringing them unmatched joy, hope & inspiration in equal measure for well over two decades! For all of us, life & cricket will never be the same again soon, hopefully not very soon!

Posted by rajkohli on (March 25, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

The Indians have focussed on T20 and ODIs to the detriment of test match cricket in recent years. Given the enthralling test match and performance turnaround in their positive 4-0 series win at home India will not play another home test match until October 2014! Will the Indians fans forget tests during this period as they will be overfed with pointless one day games and T20 IPL.

In the interim period they face challenging away series in South Africa and England, which based on overseas form is not going to bear fruit or progress their ratings in the ICC rankings. Sachin should have bowed out after Delhi as he has nothing further to prove, unless 200 tests and a drubbing in South Africa are the lure of hanging around for another year!

Posted by Batmanindallas on (March 25, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

Sharda I hope so that it is last time-there were legends and there will be more. Bradman, Sobers and Gavaskar has come and gone-no one is greater than the game. This lingering adoration of a legend who is way beyond his prime is so over the top...time to move on

Posted by gotmymojo on (March 25, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Take all this talk of Tendulkar retiring with a grain of salt. with all the chamcha commentators around, the BCCI in his back pocket, do you think any one of the selectors dare drop him? This is not Australia where Border, Steve Waugh were told that your shelf life is over. So, in reality, he will go to S. Africa, get another milestone of 200 tests, and pile up other useless statistics.

In India we make demi-gods left and right. To any impartial observer of the game, currently his batting is mediocre, fielding pathetic. But who cares, "Sachin", "Sachin",.....

Posted by Cricketfan23 on (March 25, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

@OAYAZ01-What world do you live in mate? which contemporary 'legend' has said that lara is better than tendulkar. Ponting, Warne, Donald etc have all said that tendukar is the better batsman.

Posted by POONAANAL on (March 25, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

Hats off to the article....a lovely melody.... a great honor to the greatest batsman of the game. Tears on my eyes while reading... No doubts Sachin's inspiration must definitely be in Kohli, Pujara, Vijay or any other in the team. Can't imagine without his presence in Indian Team. I'm sure he knows the time Because he's GOD of CRICKET.

Posted by srisri on (March 25, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

So, he gonna retire without a triple hundred? Hats-off to lil master... but now that India proved it got young talent, its time to retire for the Greatest batsman of our times.

Posted by likeintcricket on (March 25, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Sachin cannot be dropped like Sehwag and he cannot stop seeking the records. Despite his greatness he is only a human and sooner and later he will realize it. One advantage which Tendulkar has are home games on dead pitches otherwise it is hard for him to go on. His 100 centuries record might not be broken soon but his Test records are bound to be overhaul by Kallis or some other good players. I still think Kallis centuries worth more as they are scored on Fast wickets.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

@Sharda Ugra, I salute you on behalf of not only SRT but also cricinfo. I am one of those who read almost articles in cricinfo. This article made me up to drop my tears on the floor. I felt real shiver on my body when i completed this article.( He never walked alone) no words to describe this sentence, you said it and it inspires to all those are even no that much fan to SRT. In fact I am no die hard fan of Mr Blaster but his personality, behavior, talent and skill in all round job in cricket will always be remembered.He was duck in debut inning against Pakistan, and I probably thought he would be duck again in almost last inning of his carrier but managed not to be. In my point of view he deserves a farewell play in SA where physical presence even boos others as well. Best wishes for India and SRT.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Aren't Tendulkar worshippers sad though - to watch this colossus flounder against Lyon and Steve Smith and Anderson and Monty and all these averagish talents !

He plays them like he is playing for his life - none of the swagger of a Viv. Surviving is fine but what about dominating? It is most evident against spin - He dosen't dance down the tracks like Pujara and Siddle did - he is on the backfoot or at best stretched forward - conservatism at heart ! After 198 tests wouldn't he know how to bat on a surface like this?

So sad - to watch this master barely survive !

Posted by akhilhp on (March 25, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

Brought tears in my eyes... He was the motivation to watch cricket...

Posted by adicric on (March 25, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

such a brilliant piece of articles surely one of the best if not best this article tell story of me also whenever David comes out to bat I always wanted other opener to get out to see tendulkar to bat as soon as possible same is case on Delhi when India marched toward victory there is fear that we may miss him batting for last time so as for me I enjoyed a lot

and all tendulkar bashers all your dealike toward sachin is your jealousy bcoz u can't be as successful as he is u all r hypocrites

Posted by voosan on (March 25, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

I'm quite certain Tendulkar is not thinking about whether he has played last test in India or not. These types of analysis should excite only few analysts, not intended for general public or fan. It doesn't deserve any extra attention more than just a booking keeping detail. These types of analysis before the actual fact has occured is more dangerous. Imagine if this was playing in Tendulkar's mind if he knew that he was playing his last test in India. He can't be thinking so much. If he does, his game will get affected. If you want him to perform well and perform the way you expect him to do, leave him alone, don't burden with these types of unnecessary data mining mind numbing statistics and make this a big deal. When he announces his retirement, you can go back and update your books with the details on which all places he played his last test. These days there aren't many people in the stadium anyways, majority of people watch on TV etc. If this is true, Does it really matter?

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (March 25, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

@ Dubbs I agree with you..but 40 is a large figure. I would not have wanted Sachin in the team in India but I would never want to miss Sachin when India goes outside India. Sachin always played better than others when conditions got super tough. He played ugly, he played aggressive but he stuck around. You can see him become Sachin once again when you have tough fight at hands.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

People are getting carried away. Tendulkar is GREAT but after seeing his batting in this series, i think he should announce the retirement before people start questioning him again, may be after completing 200th test (another milestone). And i think India has many more to come, Tendulkar is Greatest till date but no record in the world in unbreakable, the way Pujara batted in last two series shows that he can become a great. So i think Tendulkar has contributed a lot to Indian cricket, but there is not much cricket left in him considering his age (that doesn't reduce his greatness), and he should retire respectfully and let some other "TENDULKAR" rise.

Posted by rtruth90 on (March 25, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

Where are all those comments which is against Tendulkar, I believe the moderator of this forum are Tendulkar worshipers. Tendulkar is choker who played all his life for creating useless records and worthless centuries. please cricinfo publish this.

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (March 25, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

Just because SRT has played in foreign conditions before doesn't mean he *HAS* to continue. Australia has had a lot of players who had toured India in the past (with greater success than SRT had in AUS), but they have gracefully retired now and allowed younger players to learn. A player who has scored only 2 50s in the last 14 months and 0 100s in the last 26, doesn't really DESERVE his place, now does he? If Tendulkar is still playing, he's only blocking other players from getting the same exposure that he has abroad. He's not really a match-winner anymore, is he? So we won't be any worse off with new players. SRT since 1 Jan 2011 averages 35.27 and since 1 Jan 2012 averages 26.14 up to 25 Mar 2013. It's better to have a youngster with these results and learn and improve.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

Lovely article. I am 27 and therefore from the time I can remember, Sachin has been a part of Indian cricket team. I did not watch tennis for a few years after Sampras retired. I will probably stop watching cricket for a long time once Sachin hangs up his boots. It isn't about the records or the statistics. It is about what he has meant for us. For those of us who followed cricket before the 2000s, cricket was Sachin and Sachin was cricket. It is the hope and joy he gave to a nation that was slowly rising from poverty and communal violence. When he batted, exams and tuitions and homeworks took a back seat. Who did we have to look up to in those days? Greatness isn't about having talent - but fulfilling those talents. Those who say he plays for records - have never played official sports in their lives. I have, and not once do you think about statistics or records. You play to win, you play because of love. So let him keep doing what he loves - whether it is Test or first-class cricket.

Posted by CivilGaurav on (March 25, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

About day 3- being there in the stadium, I can say it was a wonderful eventful day . It was a nice day to watch cricket, since even when sitting in the sun , the wind was cool and the Kotla grass was very green and the ground even. The pitch was the only ugly thing about the ground -it being full of cracks and dark patches around the crease. But the way Pujara batted it magically transformed into a batting beauty. For most part of the day, it was a hit or miss game with many runs being scored off edges, byes, overthrows, leg byes. Most batsmen looked no more than college level players - such was the nature of the pitch. Sitting in the stand I felt that even I could have scored one or two runs against these test level bowlers :-), at least won't have done too much worse than the players. The ground is small, so any well placed shot was sure to go to the boundary.

Posted by TrexTrainer on (March 25, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

Half the naysayers who want Tendulkar to retire and constantly gripe about how he is not good and how he is bringing the team down don't seem to know or forget that there is a reason why the fans support him now still. He stood lonely and fought bravely against all odds with no one supporting him for years. He was the biggest and sometimes the only reason India won. We can't forget that and never will. He still has the skill to play on tricky surfaces. Just cause India won 4-0 on spinning tracks doesn't mean all the youngsters are ready to go on pacy and bouncy surfaces in SA or Oz. Once they can prove that, Tendulkar can retire if he thinks he should.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

tendulkar has golden oppertuinty to call it day,after such a big win by india thou8gh his own performance was zero.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

I Test vs Australia, Feb 2013, Chennai: Pattinson was bowling at his fastest and both Sehwag and Vijay found him too hot to handle. Sachin walked in at 12 for 2 and hit 3 boundaries of the first over off Pattinson. In one over, with those 3 booming shots, Sachin changed the course of the test match and the series. When you watch him bat live at the stadium, you can notice that he still has a lot of time when playing his shots. He may score at the average of 40, but, he is still good enough to command a place in the Indian XI. So, Sachin haters, please shut up.

Posted by airbus380india on (March 25, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

I have been very lucky to watch the master bat. I have watched him batting in a one day match played in Christchurch, NZ where he score 167 retired hurt. But I am proud to say that I was lucky enough to watch him bat in nets very closely. I was standing behind the nets when Kirsten was doing throw downs to him on the same tour of NZ I mentioned. The dedication that I saw from the man who had 20 years of international cricket under his belt was amazing. Couldn't find the same amount from any other Indian players during that net session.

Whether he is retiring from cricket now or not, I am so happy that I was able to watch him live. Will miss him for sure but have to accept the fact that when if you go up a hill will have to come down too. What ever he has done for his country so far is far better than anyone has done for any country so far in sports.

Posted by CivilGaurav on (March 25, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

I was at the stadium on day three so saw all this first hand. When India had just 30 runs left for the win and looked like victory was certain the whole stadium started chanting 'we want Sachin' in unison and that very ball Virat got out. Maybe Virat got distracted, but anyway the whole stadium cheered Virat's dismissal and then cheered louder when Sachin walked in. Those were the loudest cheers of the whole day. Every time any player ( not just Sachin) turned around to walk to his mark near the fences, the crowd cheered - the Indian players would acknowledge it with the a small raise of hand while Australians were more expressive - like would raise both hands above the head and wave and a few times engage in conversation with the crowd. One Aussie threw back a piece of paper which had been thown at him, which the crowd promptly threw back again.

Posted by oayaz01 on (March 25, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

Sachin is now playing for 200 test, previosuly he was playing for 100th hundred, the guy needs to play for team and country and not for just himself. No matter how much records he make or break, every legend who has played against him and Lara, always ranks the Prince head and shoulders above him. Sachin should get that in his head and say Goodbye for India to move on else another hammering in SAF, NZ and Eng is waiting.

Posted by TRAM on (March 25, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

What is more important for the people of India? (A) India winning OR (B) Sachin's presence in the ground? If the answer is B, then it is easy to arrange. Every week we can have a Sachin-show in the ground and show in the TV. He can run throw the ball or bat or bowl. Let them be unofficial matches or IPL. No one cares about the results. Every one is happy. If the answer is A, then I am sorry, he has gotten old to play for India. I am sad too. It is not any one's mistake. That is the law of nature. Ask Bradman or Gavaskar.

The same people of India should also consider other facts as below: 1. There are more Tendulkars (different names of course) waiting and longing in the queue to play for India (please replay one Dhawan's & Pujara's batting against Australia). 2. Delaying the justice (to younger players) is same as "Denial of justice". 3. Love for nation is superior to the love for an individual. 4. Love for cricket is superior to love for cricketer.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

Wait and watch......for little master.......

Posted by hnlns on (March 25, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

While the crowds can get emotive and want to see him perform for ever, there is still the hard reality that he failed in both innings and performance-wise was a flop show right through the series except for the odd innings of some substance. After all he is a human being and has to accept that success and failure are part and parcel of everybody's life. That's why the best thing he could have done was to tell the whole world that this would be his last test on Indian soil. Given the wear and tear his body would have undergone over the last 24 years, it is hard to see him coming back anywhere near the magical genius that he was. He has to call it quits NOW rather than waiting to be DROPPED or "RESTED."

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

I am not an indian..I am from neighbouring country Nepal, but I have loved cricket watching this great man play.. In fact cricket is still developing in our country and i bet that 80% of those who like cricket likes it because of sachin.. so after he retires many may not tune into cricket for some time.. i get goosebumps when he plays.. i have my superstations for him.. and i am proud to say that i love watching sachin play..

Posted by Lucifer_Sam on (March 25, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Also, I'd like to add - (i know im contradicting my earlier post here) the onus is not on him to retire. People shouldn't be calling for his retirement. If he isn't doing well, the selectors and captain need to take a tough call and drop him. Maybe out of respect he can be informed that he is going to be dropped to allow him to retire before the media hear of the drop. Expecting him to retire is unfair. If you're in a job and not performing - the onus is on your bosses to fire you. If you;re getting a fat salary, why on earth would you voluntarily quit??? Its typical of our Indian attitude, expecting someone else to do our job. Its the selectors' job to drop him. Similarly, we crib about politicians - but barely any of us go and vote or become part of government. This situation is very similar.

Posted by SaidurRahmanSagor on (March 25, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

Only Sachin can make people wish that India loses but he hits a century! There are already hundreds of them; but anyone and everyone will die to watch more. Sachin is the biggest inspiration of modern cricket; that amazing cover drive, that bowlers back-drive, that straight drive; that century against Australia, that Sharjah innings, that World Cup innings, and those amazing moments! Salute!!

Posted by MalikAkhtar on (March 25, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

We should not be hypocrites in saying that Sachin would be needed to negotiate the pitches of SA, UK or NZ. The demanding overseas tours are coming and considering hi increasingly perceptible slow reflexes, it is difficult to imagine how he would be able to cope up. Therefore, he should call it quits gracefully and give all us a chance to give him a standing ovation..... I am already standing while writing this as a homage to one of the greatest sportsmen in any field.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

The word legend is thrown around very easily but for Sachin he is a true legend and in years to come will be regarded as the best batsman of all time.

Posted by CricFan24 on (March 25, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

All the Sachin deriders will not understand. I've watched Tendulkar just once live, Rest of the time on TV. I don't know him never met him, never talked to him...but I know that his batting is by far the most complete display of Art I've ever seen..And that along with his aura and sheer class for so very long make him almost like a family member. His retirement will almost be akin to the death of a family member to untold millions of fans. And , strangely, the true appreciation of Tendulkar will come long after he has actually retired ( I hope that day is far ,far away)...even by the mindless bigots, neighbourly or otherwise.

Posted by mcs81 on (March 25, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

To all those calling for Sachin's retirement, rewind back to India's 1st innings in Chennai. After Pattinson had cleaned up India's openers, Sachin came out and played 3 fantastic shots. That to me, was the turning point of the series. But for his 80 odd runs, the series could have gone either way. We definitely need him against Steyn and Co. After that, he can retire.

Posted by Lucifer_Sam on (March 25, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

I'm so glad i got to watch a Sachin century at Wankhede...that he scored at the Mohinder Amarnath Benefit Match. My favourite player of all time. But just as all good things must end, its time for him to retire. Sachin's expertise can still be shared in the role of assistant coach or some such. His inputs will be very useful in SA, as someone here has pointed out - but we need more guys like Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Dhoni etc who score the big centuries and doubles and win us matches. People talking about how we will win in SA need a serious reality check. We are NOT going to win in SA - we wouldnt win even if we had laxman, dravid and ganguly. Their pace attack is way too good and our inexperienced bowling will get mauled by Amla and gang. But it will be a tremendous test for the youngsters which they must face on their own and convert into a solid learning experience.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

Irrational crowd.... Indian fans. They dont wish that India succeeds and shines. They only want to hold back a 'HAS BEEN' (although he has been one of the greatest i the sport) at the cost of the team's future. What good is it if someone is not performing any longer????? Why would someone like Sachin wait for a disgraceful exit, given his outstanding records of the yester years????? C'mon Sachin, India has given you the honour of a member of parliament hoping that you would leave.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

sachin is probably the only person in India, who brings together all the Indians irrespective of their state, religion, caste or social status. His greatest virtue is he has given confidence to the new generation to stand tall in whatever they are doing.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Sachin is GOD of cricket and there is no doubt about this and when devotess knows this might be the last time that they see their god in action, these things are bound to happen. But for many devotees like me it's hard to believe that it was last time we saw him playing for India in India. This can't be end of the most loved child of the nation. he deserves a much grand and an unmatched farewell in India. We can't be left wanting like his ODI retirement left us in shock. I as a fan want to give a tremendous farewell and BCCI has to ensure that we fans know when he will play last test match whenever that happens. India wants to salute him in grand style , we can't be left wanting on this occasion

Posted by bigben_bigben on (March 25, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Great article. I went to the Kotla on Saturday for the sole purpose of watching Sachin bat. I left home after the fall of the first wicket, when it was clear there was a chance for Sachin to bat during the day (Pujara and Vijay could have batted all day and I didn't want to sit in the sun watching that!!). Scalped tickets and was in the stadium half an hour before tea. When Sachin and Dhoni got out after tea, half the people in our stand started trooping out. I waited till Jadeja got out and left with around 7-8 overs left for the day. Basically drove 1.5 hrs each way to watch sachin bat for 1 hr either side of tea.

Posted by Ganapati9 on (March 25, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

The time has come nay it is long past for Sachin to have retired honourably. Sentimentality has no place in competitive sport. Dhoni has been hinting about it quite often in a diplomatic manner. Sachin's batting no longer inspires confidence.He no longer dominates the opposition.He has become a burden to the team,an albatross around its neck. Sachin represents the past not the future.The behaviour of the Delhi crowd was irrational.What if Pujara had not held one end up?The sooner he leaves and a youngster gets an opportunity the better for the country.

Posted by mrihc on (March 25, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

I don't know why some people wish that tendulkar may retire ASAP. I think as a legend he may given the and opportunity to play as long as possible and that is the perfect way to honour a legend like him. I think it was very unfortunate for him to retire from ODI to release himself from the pressure of criticism.

Posted by smfaisalhussain on (March 25, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

It was a beautifully composed article, take a bow Sharda. As a Pakistani, I, along with many in Pakistan like me, have always thought of Sachin as the best ambassador for his country across all fields of life! I always rate Dravid as India's best batsman that I have seen in my lifetime, but Sachin's humility and down-to-earthiness is what makes him a true legend! I have seen so many of Pakistani star cricketers who were great sportsmen, but were full of themselves, such as Wasim Akram, Waqar, Imran, Afridi, Miandad, etc. None of them had the humbleness of Sachin. I can't even imagine a Pakistani cricketer to play under another captain, even after achieving half as much success as Tendulkar! But such is his greatness, he not only played under different captains (all of whom were way junior to him!), but never yearned for it or be jealous of his captains' success. Salute to this legend from Pakistan!

Posted by SRBW on (March 25, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

One of the best articles ever ! Loved every part of it... No one like Sachin. I watched this match live in Delhi and I can tell you when Kohli got out in the second innings I seriously felt that my eardrums would explode. I have watched Sachin live many times but this time it was something else . It was as if the people of Delhi knew that they are going to watch there hero live in a Test Match for the last time

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

I just hope the young men in the side pick the great man's one heck of a cricketing genius brain all they can and learn the virtues that made him such a tremendous sportsman.It is presently a time of transition in India's ranks,with the old being replaced by the new,and it's nice to see that the overseer of that rite is the grand old man of our cricket;there couldn't be a better guy for the job. I would love to see Sachin come out and play another series at home,but it seems higly unlikely.In which case I would just be praying while sitting glued to the telly during the Indian winter and SA summer that the master enthrall us all again with his style of play and his still boyish,unaffected by monies and adulation,unadulterated love for the game(of all his many qualities his undying passion to play the game,and be a part of it,to be involved,no matter which aspect,whether as a part time bowl,or a fielder in the outfield,is the one that always stood out for me.)Cricket will miss him sore.

Posted by indianpunter on (March 25, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Deifying the man, who is now a mere passenger in the test team. Someone who is blocking the path of a youngster. Only when India sheds its emotional xs baggage, can it compete at a higher level. In all fields. But we are like this only !

Posted by Nilesh_T on (March 25, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Brilliant Sharda has brought out the essence of what it means to be Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar as reflected in the microcosm of Kotla Delhi,mirroring the entire Indian psyche world over in terms of possessiveness of its national treasure. David Cameroon refuses to hand over the historical Kohinoor diamond set in the Royal British crown to India. Half the Indians care a toss about it, since the real Kohinoor batting at no.4 for the past 20 plus years has brought unbridled joy to millions of cricket lovers the world over with his stupendous achievements second to none, bringing a nation to standstill everytime he goes out to bat with the hopes of a billion people resting on his shoulders & the maniacal expectations of nothing but a hundred. An entire generation of cricket lovers having grown up with this inspirational respected national treasure as part of their daily lives will stop following cricket the day he retires. Never was,and never will be another like him to tread a cricket field.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

It made me cry out loud like a baby .. He meant Cricket to me if not more. Thanks for writing such a beautiful article and using such poetic words. You wrote it from heart and it reached our's in no time. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar will never ever walk alone, I can guarantee that. I was there on Day 2 and 3 and every eye was focused on him as usual and they all wanted to see him bat, field or just stand there. I love you Man, PLEASE PLEASE, I cant take your bye as of yet or may be after 10 years as well. Ms. Sharda Ugra, Thanks for such beautiful article .. it made me proud and made me cry too at the same time.

Posted by mm71 on (March 25, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

To the folks criticizing Sachin, you are almost like the movie critics who criticized '3 Idiots'. The world doesn't care for you. I was there in the Hyderabad test & trust me, most of the stadium turned up to see only Sachin. There is a reason, why Mumbai Indians games are a sellout everywhere. Just be reasonable. If I could speak for Sachin, " Guys, trust me when I say, I'm not playing to continue any contracts. By god's grace & fans love I have earned far more money than what I could have ever imagined. I want to continue this game for the love I have for this game. I don't know anything else. Cricket is all what I have done my entire life, I didn't study or I didn't build any cricket related businesses. Please be fair with me. I still believe, I'm among the best 5 batsmen of this country. The day I feel, I'm not, I myself would retire. I want to give a good handholding to the youngsters. I want to make our country proud. Please don't drop me just because of my age."

Posted by elgenioroshan on (March 25, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

@Tom Joseph - It seems you haven't followed cricket much. Sachin averages 54 in wins in tests, much more than his actual average. He never cared about records. He kept performing and records kept coming his way. If he was selfish he would have never scored more than 30000 international runs which no person has ever done it although cricket has been around for 120 years. If he was not great, he would never have got a standing ovation by English dignitaries at the Mecca of cricket Lords. You can search on the net for that pic. Only great people can understand greatness. If the late Don Bradman can himself say " I see myself when I see Sachin Bat", then who is Imran Khan to judge Tendulkar?

Posted by venkatr_11 on (March 25, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Fantastic article Sharda. It bought tears to my eyes. You have echoed the sentiments of millions of Sachin fans. His contribution does not end with cricket alone. He has inspired and transcended many generations with his sheer genius. Despite the fame he has achieved, he always has his feet on the ground and his story is a lesson for many Indians. When you are down and out, buckling under pressure look no further than Sachin. You will realize that your problem is only like a mole in a mountain in comparison to what Sachin has been facing day in and day out for the last 24 years. The best tonic! Thank you Sachin for everything you have given us. I sincerely hope he has a couple of tours left in him and gives us some more memorable knocks to cherish!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

First of All in response to Tom Joseph's comment about Tendulkar not being a great player quoted by Imran Khan, What does Imran Khan know about being great when it comes to being one of the 'best'? And when I say best I mean one of the top 3 players of ALL time. Secondly Tendulkar does not just play for the records. He could have stopped a couple of years ago and no one would still catch him. Thirdly if he did stop playing cricket a few years ago "when people sadi he should of retired" we would have missed him breaking the 200 mark in an ODI, indicating he still has it in him to play cricket. (that was just one example of waht he has done in the past few years).

None of us. And I mean no one knows how he is in the dressing room with the younger cricketers. He is the only player left within this team from the Dravid/Laxman era so it's crucial he is there in the team especially durign this transition period and more importantly within Test Cricket where India look very fragile.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

As a cricket fan, I hope he get to retire on his own terms and not forced out.

Posted by himohan007 on (March 25, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

@longlivewoodoo :"Sachin will always the most trending topic of all time in world cricket , regardless of his form"..

It would be still be a trendy topic for next Two decade comparing Promising or that time veterans with Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar.

The way even home crowd cherised home player wicket to see Sachin that to off Kolhi (one of most promising youngster and has lot of fans to his credit) shows no one can corupt Sachin's fan base.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

This is heart wrenching stuff from Sharda. Felt lump in my neck as the article closed. Why do cricinfo writers have to touch so many emotional chords of the readers. I still don't know why will I have lump in my neck on a possibility of a non-related cricketer retire. Was it because he was the greatest of them all or was it because I have adored him like millions others? Got to be the second reason. And as MSD said don't speculate on Sachin's career.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

He's been given a long rope, and should leave and start commentary now. He's always been the king of good times, and has never finished a game when the chips are down.

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (March 25, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

Becoming a superstar in such a cricket crazy massive nation is an absolute privilege. After the England in India series, even I thought that Sachin should retire but now I think that he should play atleast another couple of series purely due to his determination, hard work and passion about the game. Batting and fielding under that hot condition at his age is a madness! He deserves another go due to that madness. I don't know how many matches he has won single handedly. But his star-studded presence on the ground is enough for the game. When we give up our sportiness in our 30's , this guy is trying to improve his sportiness in 40's. Unbelievable hunger about the game! You're not in my favorite list, however your passion for the game and your readiness to be on the ground for 5 days under burning condition is unmatchable to me. All the very best from all the way from Sri Lanka.

Posted by Pattu5 on (March 25, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

I am surprised how some arm-chair analysts fail to do even that hing properly. If one would have followed the last 2 overseas series of Eng and Aus properly, he/she would have known that Sachin was the 2nd best Indian batsman and the best is no longer there. Then, if he/she would have looked at the stats, this would have been backed up equally well (even though I don't look at the stats as the one and only measure....as they say, stats are like mini skirts, hide the all important stuff.....!!)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

every time he fail people start taking about retirment.........is the last test.. i think he should good bye.........great player no doubt.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

It has always been a great experience watching Sachin at a stadium. In 2004 in Bangalore, he was not even playing the test. But the biggest cheers were reserved for him when he came out during a drinks break. Perhaps no one in history received so much applause for just running and fielding a ball in a match, all the time. In the Chennai test, they were showing SMS from the crowd on the big screen. More than 70% of the messages were about Tendulkar, even before he had batted. It is near spiritual, and to be fair to the man, very difficult for anyone to walk away from that.

Posted by longlivewoodoo on (March 25, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

Sachin will always the most trending topic of all time in world cricket , regardless of his form..

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

If somebody retire another good player will come. Sachin is a very good player. But as Imran Khan put it he is not a great player. Fans please forgive me, he cares too much about records. A great player is one who contribute to the teams victory without caring his record.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Great article Ms.Sharda. Very poetic, and a poignant description of most probably Tendulkar's last innings in his home. You seem to be getting better and better with every article you write. Keep it up !! Kohli's dismissal being cheered at his own home tells its own story. How fanatic the people are about Sachin. Same in Chennai too. Sachin gets a bigger cheer than Chennai's adopted son MS Dhoni. Wonder if the BCCI can arrange a farewell one-off Test with Pakistan sometime this year ? But no, that would not be right because Dravid and VVS Laxman , two legends who are no less, didn't get such privileges

Posted by himohan007 on (March 25, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

@ Fan1969 another great comment. But hope Sachin plays well in SA or has to make way for youngster. The amount of talent we have it is real shame for not giving the due chance like Chand,Rahane,Tiwary etc.

Posted by suresh_lv on (March 25, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

I agree with others that its a well written article. But I guess its becoming stale reading something about Tendulkar every other day. Understand - its media fodder considering the fan following he generates, but appreciation/adulation/compliment can be valued only if its provided in meaningful amounts and doses.

Am not going to start another debate about whether he needs to go, stay on because enough has been said.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

Thanks Sharda. Such a beautiful description of the phenomenon called Sachin Tendulkar. I was myself in East stands on the second day and while reading this article, I felt each and every feeling of mine has been penned down. Thanks once again for such a wonderful article.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

Superb article to express the adieu of such a wonderful career. Of course we will miss him dearly, but all good things have an end. Even this beautiful life will end one day. We have to accept that rule of nature. I am not an Indian, but I am definitely no less an arduous fan of Tendulkar than any other Indian, I strongly believe. So, it's not true that only Indians are hurt. The whole world is feeling the unbearable pain. Finally, Thanks to the Great Man for endowing so much pleasure to us all through his playing career.

Posted by ChandranSukumaran on (March 25, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Please don't ever think of dropping Sachin for another 2 more years. His performance will be during crucial situations. He is like a fixed deposit.

Chandran Sukumaran Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

When he was scoring, the team failed to reach the target or failed to set good targets for the opposition teams in the early and middle part of his career. Most of his runs on the losing course however this MAN deserves playing for the country longer (regardless of his scores) and enjoy the winning moments. He never thought/worried about his failure if India winning matches.... see the celebration after India won the Delhi test match!

Posted by its.rachit on (March 25, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

Sachin is living with the ghosts of his past and spent genius ... and so are you ... and what has been conveniently ignored in this idle-idol worship is his twin failures in this match, a rarity which has become a norm now ... and 80-odd here or there does not make a Tendulkar ... and just like the former greatest Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, Sachin is just playing for the records ....

Posted by realfan on (March 25, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

the way he waved his hand at croud made me thnk that he will announce his retirement, but he dint... may be this well be the last series in india..... a tour to SA should be the spot i guess...... that makes sense.... india's bad patch is fading day by day and they needed a senior mentor , more than mentor they needed a father like in cricket to tap on the back.... i personally think sachin was giving them all these days of bad patch.... remember he announced once that " he dont have much cricket left in him ".... what i thought is he would have made his retirement then itself but some guidance these new players needed which bcci thought that a senior player like sachin can give them.....thats why he delayed his retirement i think.......

never the less..... i personally want him to make some great innings in SA... coz i am going there to watch the entire series.....

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

Posted by Venkat Sraman This is a nice article.Tendulkar was aggressive right from beginning in the first test at Chennai.This has enabled him to score useful runs and partnership.In the balance three tests,he was not that aggressive.It is time for him to call it a day from test cricket.

V.Sethuraman(Sethu).

Posted by Selfishkar on (March 25, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

Tendulkar is currently the weak link in India's batting line up and one who has not scored a century in more than 2 years. To those who say India needs his experience in overseas tours of South Africa and New Zealand, please go back and check his role in 0-4 defeats in England and Australia. These days Tendulkar resembles more like a selfish Indian politician who refuses to retire until his heir is ready to carry his mantle.

Posted by amilag on (March 25, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

This is shameful! Why not retire after continuous failures? Give youngsters opportunity and be more generous towards future of Indian cricket...come on pls retire with due respect..

Posted by Fan1969 on (March 25, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

Most great batsmen have one great period of 5-6 years when they score amazing runs and improve averages. (I am using over 2000 test runs as qualification for a good period to ignore one off hundreds). Tendulkar had two such periods - 1996 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2011.

He will really be GOD if he manages another comeback with the bat from 2013 to 2015/6? For the sake of his many fans I hope his poor form ends soon and he starts scoring heavily.

Till he comes into his own as GOD, the present team with Pujara, Kohli, Dhawan, Vijay and Dhoni can support an average Tendulkar.

I am sure Tendulkar will not need that support for long and his average in next 10 overseas tests to SA, NZ and England will cross 50.

One has to worship his passion, honesty and untiring work on the field after 23 years of international cricket while coping with expectations of 1.2bn people.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (March 25, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

All adulation is fine. The narration of strokes he played in his short innings are fine. However, at the end of the day, scores count. Sachin has not been delivering runs in the last two years. At this age, the reflexes to stay on top of the game doesn't get better. While I admire his past performances, his fitness level, his commitment to continue to play at 40, simply on performance basis his time is up. He must retire now or be dropped from the team. One can't deny opportunities to young players.

Posted by somsaxena on (March 25, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

It was incredile..I was there...and could feel the goosebumps when Sachin walked in the middle. I dont know but have a feeling that people of only my generation (late twenties) can truly feel the importance that Sachin has in their lives..... I am privileged to see the master bat live, maybe for the last time.... Sachin, thanks for everything...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

Tendulkar's fitness is certainly FAR better than many in the team, especially guys like Ojha & Ashwin. Whether 50 m or 100 m sprint, he will be a 'front-runner', no doubt. In spirit & drive to play for the country, he won't be behind any one. But the problem is with his batting -- for which he had been the best for many years. But no more. His physical prowesses (other than sprinting) have wained. Quit a few in the 'waiting list' are far better batsmen, AS OF NOW, and is likely to be so FOR FUTURE. We don't select a great player like Sachin for substitute fielding! Do we?

Posted by King-Cobra on (March 25, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

A very vague and winding article. Pls try to be precise come up with lively articles than writing stories and tagging your vocabulary to them.

Posted by sportofpain on (March 25, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

Great article Sharda. I was a wannabe cricketer growing up, played for my state Junior team, knew every little detail about the players and watched test matches at the Chepauk. Saw Sunny score his highest test score live at the ground. Saw Vishy get his highest test score live at the same ground. Thought I had witnessed all there was to see about batsmanship. Then I grew up and took a job. Couldn't watch test cricket anymore. Vishy went first, Sunny retired. Sachin started. Saw his unbeliveable talent on TV. Watched a couple of ODI's in Bangalore where I was based- one against Asutralia where Kumble and Srinath saw us through. Sachin failed. Then saw the historic WC QF against Pakistan. Sachin didn't get many there either. So I feel a void. Haven't seen him live. Feel a void. In US the past 12 yrs. Time Zones and distance came in the way. So watched this series closely on TV knowing father time waits for none. Heck I think I'll go to SA. Must go. Last chance. Stay for a while Sach..

Posted by ClearView on (March 25, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Tendulkar is playing only for one reason and it is entirely selfish. Major endorsement contracts stipulate that he gets all those beautiful dollars only if he is in the national team. India is perhaps the most corrupt country on earth- so its cricket establishment doesn't escape it either. Selectors need to make money too somehow!

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (March 25, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

It's a shame when someone becomes bigger than national interest. I too have grown up watching Sachin but feelsl ashamed as a 'FAN of CRICKET'

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

@Anand It is not bad to be emotional, The love he got is exceptional and it is not a overnight phenomena. He earned it with hard work, I am not criticizing you for thinking logically. But the last thing we want from you is to hurt our feelings.Iam sure he will retire as soon he feels it is the DAY.

Posted by India_ANY_track_bully on (March 25, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Possibly the best article I've ever read on ESPNcricinfo. Well done, you have made me relive my last 25 years with Sachin in just one article... fond memories forever.

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (March 25, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Tendulkar has never walked alone - for sure. No one outside India(and a few Indians too) will never know what he means to the Indian cricket watching fan.

Posted by Pattu5 on (March 25, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

Very apt description of Delhi test, article tells you how fanatic Indian public is for Sachi. If someone does not need to read an article to know that because he considers himself an avid follower of the game, then stop reading such articles. It has tried to show the commitment & love Sachin has for the game and why he is still there, which some ordinary fans don't get to see, the ones who only look at the scorecard and pass the judgement that Sachin is a failure. People who want him to go at this point don't understand a team game like Cricket, where the importance of valuable tips off the field from an icon like Sachin can make huge difference. Why do you think Shikhar chose to name Sachin and others have done in the past? Sachin and others who have the best interests of Indian cricket at heart know how much Sachin is required for atleast another year on those away tours to build the team. I am not saying Sachin is selfless but his best contribution can only come when he is playing.

Posted by Christy1268 on (March 25, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

"The sun was heading southwards,. " forgive me for asking but, is this a fact or a poet's licence to write fanciful stuff as the Sun usually heads west in the afternoon ?

Posted by vatsap on (March 25, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Like mvcric, purchased terrace for the Chennai test and my day was made just for the reception he got. He did wave/acknowledge to the crowd a lot more than usual. We also had a smart person managing the large screen for comments on Sachin, when he was striding towards 81 that showed how much the little man is adored. What stands out is after all the so many years, he is so humble and hard working on the field. Indians will never know what hit them until the day it actually happens ... Oh and it is so sad to see him get out to the likes of Lyon (decent spinner that he is)

Posted by Princepurple1979 on (March 25, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

So sad to read another hollow, self declared "god of cricket" praising article. I was expecting to read at length on Pujara's brilliance or Ashwin's atristery, but instead this is what I get. I just hope that Sachin retires immediately so that others in the team get their rightful dues; at least they are the ones who are currently covering Sachin's failures!

Posted by Mukul.Sabhani on (March 25, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

The God Will Never Walk Alone....All of us are the Followers of A Great Religion Called Sachnisim.....He is Our God And no one Can take That Away From Us.....Sachin If u can read this....Remember....no matter what happens....we will alwayz be with you :)

Posted by CricketBirbal on (March 25, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

HAVELLS: Please have Tendulkar in your next advt saying" Mere fans mujhse koi nahin chheen sakta re".

Posted by jiten777 on (March 25, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

yes rightly said. we were there...It was a great feeling and surprising to see that we shouted when Kohli and Pujara batting ( We want Sachin --we want Sachin) ..sorry feeling for Kohli . And it took sachin a while to enter in the ground as it was a drink break till the time sachin came (3 -4 minutes) , everyone in the crowed (Including aussies) where looking towards the Indian dressing rooms as something big is coming out. Ant that was true as he came , a huge roar from the crowed. ...it was just an amazing feeling.People say that watching a match on TV is better than on the ground...100% wrong. Just go to the stadium and feel what you feel like...Cheers...

Posted by novice_Win on (March 25, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

Extremely Wonderful article Sharda! :) you have given words to what all of us have felt for past two dozen years approx. All those who still want to criticise Sachin are those 1. who want to show that they are different from others (read common man) 2. who themselves could never stay consistent for a week on a level but expect others to be at the top till eternity Also, all those who say Sachin is being given free-ride in the team, please go back and check the stats...calculate the avearages and you would find he is still in TOP-5 of our team... I humbly request you to Grow up negative people!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

I just cant imagine the day when Sachin is no more on the cricket ground. He is immortal to Cricket. He made us feel passionate to watch cricket. He has that charm to attract anyone who watches cricket even for the first time. Even in the last test series, I somehow couldnt stop turning off TV, the moment he is off the ground. His presence is enough to stick around. Just imagine, the boost the young cricketers would be getting with his presence. He is like a drug where every Indian is addicted to. Love you Sachin...I think Sachin Bashers loves Sachin more than us, and the reason is simple...they simply cant take Sachin getting out, even if he scores hundred. They want him to stay from start till end just to njoy his batting throughout...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

I was there on day 2 in the east stand when the din was deafening, i still get goosebumps recalling those 5 minutes before sachin walked in to bat. They were the best cricket watching minutes for me. I myself was part of a group of people with ages 65, 37, 31, 24 and 9 years, and all of us were equally vociferous. I had taken my 9 year old nephew so that he can watch Tendulkar one last time before he retires.

30,000 crazy delhiites packed into the stands with a not even an inch to move around shouting our heads-off ... all for one guy. because that one guy has played his heart out all his life ... all for the country !!! Respect Sachin. Respect

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

@Un_Citoyen_Indien: Because everyone is allowed to be a little irrational in love :-)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

this article is height of hero worship. i am also a big sachin fan following him religiously since i was nine. but this article is sheer waste of space. d author knows any thing abt sachin will b hot cake, & so this article. fail to understand what purpose does it serve. Under the victory garb was hidden his another failure. this series was ideal oppurtunity for him 2 quit good bye. Pls think rational & not emotional.

Posted by NavinChowdary on (March 25, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

what he has done in the Aussie series..did he score runs .Then why Sehwag and Gambir were dropped from team.no one in the selection team dare to drop him from team in spite of not scoring runs. ..Everyone know that he plays for records and endorsements..who cares about scoring most centuries and playing 200 test matches..he has to learn something from Mike Hussy.. Poor indian fans...keep on praising him....All the best Sachin..hope you will retired from cricket in 3013...

Posted by shekjain on (March 25, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

I hope he get a double century on his 200th test that's a great send of for him. on hindsight its a dream but dreams do happen for the immortal

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (March 25, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

He has never and he will never walk alone. His fans will be always with him.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

Beautiful article ...thanks...:)

Posted by karanjariwala on (March 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

just imagining the fact that he might not again play brings tears to my eyes :(

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

Pity if it was for the last time bcos he is still good enough as a few innings in this series showed us...but all good things have to end and there is no better sight in cricket than Sachin batting..he has given so much joy and thrill over the years to millions of us...God bless Sachin as he walks off into the sunset...only this time the sunset will feel happy to welcome him!!

Posted by Moin67 on (March 25, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

A great tribute to a legend .... but has the legend ever felt that the place he has earned should be cast in high ... not in low as it is now when Pujara, Dhawan and many others surpass him on field with ease where he clings .... so is it worth 200th test ....

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

Just a few months back I went to watch an India-Pak ODI at Eden Gardens, and I realized that even at the epicenter of the mass that is known to massively biased towards Dada (Saurav Ganguly), the biggest cheers were reserved for Tendulkar, who was neither playing nor was event at ground. Btw that day Gavaskar, Ganguly, Kapil, Shastri, Dhoni, Kohli almost all the past and present big names of Cricket were there, and yet people yearned and shouted for the one little master, our little master.

Posted by KingKongIn on (March 25, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

My eyes were in tear while I was reading this article, and were reading the comments. It really very hard to imagine watching cricket without the Big man ! he has give us lot of joy, and its very hard to replace him.true we may have better player in the country than him base on current form. but can anybody think we will be that happy to see those players as we do when we se Sachin batting. He is the man because we love cricket. decision should be left to him without any discussion when he wants to leave, till than we can enjoy him watching in white dress playing for INDIA.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

@Edassery , Yes we support him blindly. He has had two year dips before which followed by flurry of centuries. Even at this age by far he deserves a place in this team for that matter in any team. He is not just for India, he is a hero that cricket needed. He is the main reason why cricket has money now.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

Such an evocative piece of writing! Thanks Sharda Ugra!

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (March 25, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

@ Rajesh: not sure about him being "Mother India's Proudest Posession" as you put it. Gavaskar was certainly a better player.

Why is it that Indian fans are so sentimental to the point of being almost irrational? Tendulkar is only sticking around because it serves his 'business interests' (not to mention those of his hangers on) to do so. It is a matter of great tragedy that a batsman who has averaged just around 30 over the past two years has been allowed to continue despite his failures.

When will the BCCI find the nerve to "tap him on the shoulder"? Or is this man above even the BCCI? And that leads me to the next pertinent question: should a man be allowed to become bigger than even the legitimate sporting interests of his nation?

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

A wonderful article, showing the presence sachin had gathered over every indian's mind.Fans at kotla were quiet eager at times to show SRT that how much they adulate him. It is an rare phenomenon that an indian batsmen get out and still indian crowd cheering up. everybody got glimpse of this when Virat got out and sachin came in......SRT is the mst complete batsman that the world cricket had ever have...salute to maestro!

Posted by venkatesh018 on (March 25, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

There is more than a fair chance he will be back in Oct 2014 because Sachin knows nothing else. Also like responsible people we don't take "decisions" in India whether be it in sports or politics. We just let things happen. For the better or for worse.

Posted by sachislife2310 on (March 25, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

My tears rolled out after reading this. :-( Miss you bhagawan

Posted by baskar_guha on (March 25, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

For all fans of romantic endings, it would have been ideal if Tendulkar had slog swept the winning runs like only he can. But the game is bigger than any one individual, Tendulkar included. What I like about Tendulkar is that he seems to know that very well.

Posted by satishchandar on (March 25, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Whatever we might feel the delayed retirement of Sachin.. But it will certainly give you a huge amount of joy when you stand up and write a positive write up on him and his career, the response Sachin gets everytime he steps on the field, everytime he fields the ball, everytime he is shown in the dressing room and each and everything about him..

Certainly i can share 100s of names within my friends circle who will stop watching the game itself when the big guy leaves the stage. He is the guy who made fans for the game purely with his attitude and way of doing his job on and off the field.

If someone can see how he entered the ground for last innings, the way he had a smiling conversation with Pujara to cool himself off from the rousing reception was just awesome.. How hard one might feel dismissed for 1 and still get clappings when leaving. How bad he would have felt not to score for the guys around. This is the pressure he carried around.

Posted by Edassery on (March 25, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

Indian fans will keep supporting Tendulkar even if he's not making any runs. It's more than two years since he hit a test century!!! I think he's just waiting to set one last record of his career - i.e. playing 200 test matches that no one else in this world will be able to match.

Posted by deep2sha on (March 25, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

speechless.........so true....this is what i always feel for him.... he is above cricket.the sheer joy he has given to all of us cant be written in words. whatever sharda has written is the real love of sachin we all have for him....we all love him and more than that we respect him for nth reason....but one main reason is he gave us self belief that we can beat anyone....in late 90s his sheer presence at crease was more than enough for billion people....i know the end is near but i am very sure he will live in our memory for long long time......respect.....and salute to greatest batsman of an era.....

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

a legend who will keep on dragging himself just because of thew fact that people will love him whatever he do from now on....

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

Couldn't have put it better myself. Thank you for putting the feelings of the thousands who assembled at the Kotla this weekend into this extraordinary write-up.

Posted by PANKAJ_GOGIYA on (March 25, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

its impossible to imagine cricket without sachin..:-(

Posted by Rajesh. on (March 25, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

Beautiful article Sharda Ugra. The last line sums it all up -- Sachin has never walked alone. And he never will. He is the pride of India...... Yes, Mother India's proudest possession !

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