India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 2nd day November 15, 2013

Tendulkar's pulsating swansong

N Hunter
It was an emotional moment for Sachin Tendulkar as he walked out to bat on the second day, with the Wankhede crowd beckoning the man to one last century
  shares 69

Every stand was full. People sat along the stairs leading to the seats, they stood along the railings and the walls and whatever they could lean against or stand on. When Cheteshwar Pujara took a single allowing Sachin Tendulkar to face his first ball of the morning, the 40,000-odd fans at the Wankhede Stadium announced to the world who was batting.

It was an emotional moment, even for Tendulkar, as he walked in to bat late on Thursday afternoon. On his return, undefeated, as he climbed up the steps towards the Indian dressing room he'd missed a step and lost balance. Wankhede was heaving and chanting "Saacchinn, Saacchinnn." Before climbing the stairs, Tendulkar had waved the bat to the crowd to acknowledge their support. He had waved the bat towards his family to acknowledge their support - gestures he would never have made unless he had reached a landmark.

The fans were back today. In huge numbers. With one common expectation: 'God, get a hundred'.

The atmosphere was similar to that two years ago at the same ground against the same opponent. In the final Test of the 2011-12 home series against West Indies, Tendulkar had walked in on the third morning on an overnight score of 67, in search of his hundredth international century. As he breezed to 94, Wankhede screamed and begged their most beloved son to get to the milestone with a six. Tendulkar, instead, steered into the hands of Darren Sammy at second slip off Ravi Rampaul. A college kid, who had told his mom he was bunking class that day, cried in despair: "Kyun khela yaar (Why did he play that shot?)." It was as though Tendulkar had deceived him.

Today, thousands screamed at Tino Best, who had the temerity to bowl short balls at Tendulkar, who was attempting to guide the ball over slips. He failed on at least four occasions. On one such occasion, Best appealed for a caught behind, rushing towards cover with his arms splayed, dead sure he had his man. Tendulkar did not move. The umpire, Richard Kettleborough, was not interested. West Indies could not believe it. Wankhede booed Best in unison. "Tino sucks. Tino sucks," went around the ground like a Mexican wave.

On 48, Tendulkar tried to once again open the face of the bat against a Best delivery that was pitched short-of-a-length. The ball, however, did not rise as much as Tendulkar expected, and also moved into him. His wife Anjali cupped her mouth in nervousness.

Next delivery Tendulkar played the most beautiful straight drive with an open face, beating mid-on and getting to his half-century. Anjali clapped, but did not stand up. The crowd, though, did. Such was the cacophony inside the arena that a friend from Trinidad wrote in, saying: "That crowd's sounding extra loud even from the TV."

On 58, there was a minor blip once again when Tendulkar decided to attempt a slog-sweep, but fortunately the ball had hit outside the line. "Arre, bhai. Hundred dekhne ka hain! (What are you doing? We have come to see a hundred) said a man with a grey French beard.

The crowd had become Tendulkar's pulse, yet the man himself remained calm. In what could possibly be his last innings he played every shot in the textbook, barring the hook and pull, to perfection. A crisp back-foot punch that raced past the empty cover region moved him to 60.

The youngster with his cheeks painted received a phone call. "God is on 67. 33 minimum Marega (He will get it)," he told the person at the other end in a loud and confident voice. On cue, that trademark on drive, with just enough power, beat Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-on.

Two balls after drinks, Tendulkar moved swiftly inside the line of the ball to paddle sweep Narsingh Deonarine for two runs, taking advantage of no leg slip or fine leg. Two balls later, trying to play a wristy cut at the very last moment, Tendulkar was caught by Sammy at slip. The crowd were caught off guard. Initially it was met with silence, but a fraction later everyone rose as Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion, probably for the last time. Anjali stood up and clapped finally, eyes hidden by her black shades. His son Arjun Tendulkar, who was one of the ball boys near the boundary rope, stood up to join the rest.

Perhaps even Tendulkar understood that fact. The joy ride had come to an end in such a sudden fashion. Two yards before crossing the ropes, helmet on, gloves on, sucking his lips inside, Tendulkar waved around the ground to thank the fans one last time with bat in hand.

"End of an era" said a senior journalist in the press box, a man who had covered Tendulkar's Test debut 24 years ago to the day. North Stand did not empty out. So did none of the others. Tendulkar was yet to leave cricket for good.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY vvnclaivan on | November 16, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    I am a big fan of Sachin and keep track of his international records. In his last international innings he has scored 74 runs. If he would have scored 1 more run (75), one more record could have added to his international career. He has scored all international runs from 0 to 100 except 75 !!!. Perhaps he has not scored 58 also, but at least he has scored totally 58 (44+14) in both the innings against SA in Johannesburg Dec 15,2006. Hats up to Sachin. Thank you so much !!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 19, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    SRT 's last innings though short was carefree and aggresive reminding us of the sachin of yore. he was batting with gay abandon with serine pujara at the other end. though he failed to sign of with a century he's trade mark backfoot punch and crispy drives have got etched in every cricket fan's mind. thank u sachin ! ur farewell speech was nothing short of a summarised scripture ! always a leading light to every humanbeing irrespective of his professional field. GREAT PLAYER BUT A GREATER AND HUMBLIEST HUMAN BEING !

  • POSTED BY lahiru91112 on | November 16, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    AS a Sri Lankan I am really proud about u sachin......fantastic speech for every cricket and every one....I really like those words " Never Search Short Cuts and Never Give up" Thank u sachin...... Triple Gem Bless u

  • POSTED BY HDG1978 on | November 16, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @ Rajeshj. Agreed this current WI bowling unit was poor by any standards. Only Shillingford looked Test class. But to compare that with Steve Waugh's farewell in Sydney 2004 is preposterous. And to call that Indian attack barring Anil Kumble as strong to belittle Tendulkar's 74 is the biggest irony. Waugh had to score 80 to save that Sydney Test for OZ to avoid their first ever home series defeat against India. Waugh's dream to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in his final Test was shattered by a potent Indian batting line-up that won in Adelaide, smashed 705-7 in Sydney and went on to record India's first Test series win in Pakistan later that year. The only common aspect that I can see is that Tendulkar also seems to have been politely forced out and compelled to retire with at least a year of cricket (till England 2014) left in him by the current powers-that-be in the BCCI.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 16, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I Realy misss u sachin

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Sachiiin Sachin!! We will always miss you Sachin, Will always remember all the matches, centuries and even the wickets you took.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    my dear all cricket lovers this is for you.but dont forget in master blaster mr.sachin ramesh tendulkar

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | November 16, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @ Chan1966: First of all Richards, Lara & Sachin, all three are players of very very high class and diff ppl will list them in different orders as per their perceptions. You are saying as if the opinions of Indian fans are biased while the opinions of others are not due their own biases. Do you like Vanilla or Chocolate or both or none? Any of your answers will be due to your own biases & so would be mine.

    Why do you bring the Indian umpires into this? FYI it was an non-Indian umpire who gave Sachin lbw wrongly in the Kolkata test. So just cos he got one wrong is it fair for us to say he was biased against Sachin? If not then Indian umpires, being humans, can be wrong. Were there any Indian umpires in Sydney08 or in the prev Ashes or in the Kallis-DRS controversy or in the Ind-SL ODI where the umpires couldn't even count from 1-6?

    Regarding Lara, Lara got to 11k first but what about 12k, 13k, 14k,15k? Is summiting Annapurna or Aconcagua greater or summitting K2 or Mt. Everest?

  • POSTED BY jammy233 on | November 16, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    "My life spanning 24 years in those 22 yards!!" I think now cricket rules should be changed a bit and the pitch length should be made 24 yards!!! Sachiiin....Sachin!!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 16, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    no words to explain and i cant expossing my feelings 2years back my mum was passed away that the same pain again i felt this is great loss of indian cricket no one beat his record chances are more less he hadbeen with us past 24 years but upto my gravyyard i never forget this moment thanks for ICCBand BccB.

  • POSTED BY vvnclaivan on | November 16, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    I am a big fan of Sachin and keep track of his international records. In his last international innings he has scored 74 runs. If he would have scored 1 more run (75), one more record could have added to his international career. He has scored all international runs from 0 to 100 except 75 !!!. Perhaps he has not scored 58 also, but at least he has scored totally 58 (44+14) in both the innings against SA in Johannesburg Dec 15,2006. Hats up to Sachin. Thank you so much !!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 19, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    SRT 's last innings though short was carefree and aggresive reminding us of the sachin of yore. he was batting with gay abandon with serine pujara at the other end. though he failed to sign of with a century he's trade mark backfoot punch and crispy drives have got etched in every cricket fan's mind. thank u sachin ! ur farewell speech was nothing short of a summarised scripture ! always a leading light to every humanbeing irrespective of his professional field. GREAT PLAYER BUT A GREATER AND HUMBLIEST HUMAN BEING !

  • POSTED BY lahiru91112 on | November 16, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    AS a Sri Lankan I am really proud about u sachin......fantastic speech for every cricket and every one....I really like those words " Never Search Short Cuts and Never Give up" Thank u sachin...... Triple Gem Bless u

  • POSTED BY HDG1978 on | November 16, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @ Rajeshj. Agreed this current WI bowling unit was poor by any standards. Only Shillingford looked Test class. But to compare that with Steve Waugh's farewell in Sydney 2004 is preposterous. And to call that Indian attack barring Anil Kumble as strong to belittle Tendulkar's 74 is the biggest irony. Waugh had to score 80 to save that Sydney Test for OZ to avoid their first ever home series defeat against India. Waugh's dream to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in his final Test was shattered by a potent Indian batting line-up that won in Adelaide, smashed 705-7 in Sydney and went on to record India's first Test series win in Pakistan later that year. The only common aspect that I can see is that Tendulkar also seems to have been politely forced out and compelled to retire with at least a year of cricket (till England 2014) left in him by the current powers-that-be in the BCCI.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 16, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I Realy misss u sachin

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Sachiiin Sachin!! We will always miss you Sachin, Will always remember all the matches, centuries and even the wickets you took.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    my dear all cricket lovers this is for you.but dont forget in master blaster mr.sachin ramesh tendulkar

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | November 16, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @ Chan1966: First of all Richards, Lara & Sachin, all three are players of very very high class and diff ppl will list them in different orders as per their perceptions. You are saying as if the opinions of Indian fans are biased while the opinions of others are not due their own biases. Do you like Vanilla or Chocolate or both or none? Any of your answers will be due to your own biases & so would be mine.

    Why do you bring the Indian umpires into this? FYI it was an non-Indian umpire who gave Sachin lbw wrongly in the Kolkata test. So just cos he got one wrong is it fair for us to say he was biased against Sachin? If not then Indian umpires, being humans, can be wrong. Were there any Indian umpires in Sydney08 or in the prev Ashes or in the Kallis-DRS controversy or in the Ind-SL ODI where the umpires couldn't even count from 1-6?

    Regarding Lara, Lara got to 11k first but what about 12k, 13k, 14k,15k? Is summiting Annapurna or Aconcagua greater or summitting K2 or Mt. Everest?

  • POSTED BY jammy233 on | November 16, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    "My life spanning 24 years in those 22 yards!!" I think now cricket rules should be changed a bit and the pitch length should be made 24 yards!!! Sachiiin....Sachin!!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 16, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    no words to explain and i cant expossing my feelings 2years back my mum was passed away that the same pain again i felt this is great loss of indian cricket no one beat his record chances are more less he hadbeen with us past 24 years but upto my gravyyard i never forget this moment thanks for ICCBand BccB.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    it's been really painful watching cricket with out sachin. Now I realized that how important is YOUTUBE ? At least we can watch his old evergreen innings.. From here on I believe people would like to watch cricket on YOUTUBE as there only our favourite sachin would be playing for india.. Thanks sachin for entertaining us for 24 years.

  • POSTED BY vvnclaivan on | November 16, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Thank you Sachin.. We will miss you a lot :( Cricket without Sachin can't imagine.. Hats up to Sachin (Cricket God) !!! Whole nation salutes for you.. Thank you once again...

  • POSTED BY Rajeshj on | November 16, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    From a bowling attack which is so inexperienced and have a combined tally of around 40-odd test caps, I would not rate this as a special or classy innings.. For strange reasons, WI did not bring any of their best bowlers who could have given nervy moments to Sachin or any Indian batsmen.. It all appeared like a script being enacted rather than a genuine test innings or match... Anyway the euphoria is over and a good farewell to Sachin.. thanks for entertaining us for so many years.. Let Indian cricket at least now move on to playing genuine matches rather than such ill-advised series or matches.. I would have preferred a farewell similar to Steve Waugh, who played his last innings against a strong bowling attack and he did sign-off in true class.. rather than something like this..

  • POSTED BY vvnclaivan on | November 16, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    I am a big fan of Sachin and keep track of his international records. In his last international innings he has scored 74 runs. If he would have scored 1 more run (75), one more record could have added to his international career. He has scored all international runs from 0 to 100 accept 75 !!!. Perhaps he has not scored 58 also, but at least he has scored totally 58 (44+14) in both the innings against SA in Johannesburg Dec 15,2006. Hope india will get 1 run target and sachin will score that single run in 2nd innings as an opener. Hats up to Sachin. Thank you so much !!!

  • POSTED BY akpy on | November 16, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    frayninho...i love your kind. So, no test 100s for 40 tests and Rohit would have been picked?? After the WC11 in which he was the best batsman, we went to england and australia where sachin was our 2nd best batsman. Then when WI came here, he played two lovely knocks in delhi and mumbai. His failures started from next season when NZL came here. Still he has scored 51 100s in 200 tests, 4 tests for every century as you seem to be obsessed with stats...may be you score this every day in book cricket..enjoy moaning my friend

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Well played man. God bless you... A classy innings....We ll miss you for sure... But thank God ... young twinkling stars have started their routine...Proud to be an Indian..

  • POSTED BY cooljack_143 on | November 16, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    Good luck & Happy Retirement SACHIN UNCLE :-) We will all miss you. Bishop coton school

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    Tendulkar got himself out more often during 1989-2011 period. 2011-13 period it was the bowlers who started getting him out more often. Thankfully in last Innings it was not the bowler who got him out.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | November 16, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Bye Sachin We miss you

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    A dream that lasted 24 years ended in one of the softest ways. Cant explain the feeling. We wont be able to see the master ever again playing for INDIA, a country that he has made proud for so many years. I was literally crying to see him walking back for the final time. It was an emotional moment for very Indian who loves cricket, who loves SACHIN TENDULKAR.

    Thank you Master, for all the entertainment that who gave us. It was ahonour seeing you batting throughout your career. Always ready for new challenges. I looked up to you for inspiration in the life and fight all the problems and worries in the life..

    Your name will always be the first one to be called when anybody talks about cricket...

  • POSTED BY yoohoo on | November 16, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    @Frayninho21 - You can argue all around it, but the responsibility of the SA tour being short lies on one man - Lorgat. He should have come to an agreement with BCCI before making the announcement of the series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    It was no doubt an innings of class. But it ended in a very poor ending. The shot that he tried was not the right one. He played the ball a little too early and if he had late cut ( a Vijay Merchant speciality) it he could have got a four. Rohit and evne Ashwin used the late cut for similar balls. Or as he had doneealrier, he could have stepped back and square cut it. Unfortunately and strangely, Tendulkar has superb shots front of the wicket and midwicket but he has an ungainly paddle sweep to fine leg or a steer through slips - never a late cut. We will miss him!

  • POSTED BY shakthi1979 on | November 16, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    from Srilanka

    I am Shakthi

    Dear sir Sachin...

    I am 34 year old now . When I was 13 age I saw you first time in Srilankan tour I think 1994/1995 sesion.You scored 104..That s my first meet of u in cricket.You are my favirate crickter sir. No one cant match u..no one cant match ur back foot shots ,strate drive and cover drive.I miss ur shots in the future.. u gave such a great cricket to me..I love your batting every day. I miss you sir.Yester day i saw one of ur best to back foot shot to Wi bowler Best.. You my best bat man and favirate crickter will to my dead..

    God siva bless you.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    Comparisons are onerous Chan1966. The greatness of contribution should be valued in the background of so many factors. During Sunny's days the tail used to start from the time when 3rd or 4th wicket falls!!! During most of the times India's bowling resources were/are bleak whereas Sir Viv had a battery of fast bowlers. Accept SRT as a great batsman. Donot weigh him against any other batsman and results - how many times India has won when SRT scored tons? Remember cricket is a team game. All should contribute.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    What a Legend of the game !! We have respect and admiration for Tendulkar as much as any Indian fan, and it is more than the respect a Kholi will ever get from a rival fan even if he scores more runs. Thank for the entertainment Sachin!! From Sri Lanka

  • POSTED BY narenvs on | November 16, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Test batsmen greater than Tendulkar were few, and date back more than 40 years. I'd rate only three above him - Bradman, Hobbs, and Sobers. Perhaps a couple of others were on a par with him - Hutton (remember, he lost much of his career to World War II, and played after the war with a shortened arm) and Headley (who accomplished what he did with little support from the other end). Viv Richards was a better one-day bat than Sachin, but was too inconsistent in Tests after 1980 to be placed on a par with Sachin. I'm an Indian who enjoyed watching Lara more than Tendulkar; but I'd rank Tendulkar just ahead of Lara in tests though Lara played more long innings because Tendulkar stayed near the top for much longer; and Sachin was well ahead of Lara in ODI's. The only player of the past 40 years (post-Sobers) comparable to Tendulkar in value as a player was Marshall. Tendulkar was a shade superior to the best of the rest - Warne, Lillee, Kallis, Richards.

  • POSTED BY baskar_guha on | November 16, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    The genius of Tendulkar was his supreme cricket technique married to his unbridled precociousness. The combination produced many of the brilliant stroke-play out of nowhere as well as ways of getting out, also out of nowhere. This is why he never scored more than 241 but this is also why even his low scores were often memorable. This is why his dismissals were almost always anti-climatic. His last 74 captured this genius and we should all savour it for what it is.

  • POSTED BY RoshanF on | November 16, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Chan 1966 is absolutely right. Tendulkar was all class - batting, attitude, respect for others, dignity .... BUT he was not as great a batsman as Viv. He was a better run accumulator than Lara but Lara was slightly better. And please dont even bring the Don into the debate cos he was truly untouchable. A caveat - both Hammond and Hutton were all time great batsmen BUT (let me say again, BUT) they averaged 40 runs per innings lesser than Bradman. 40 runs per innings - that is another good batting career ahead of anybody who played more than 20 tests. Only an all out fool would even dream of trying to compare with the Don. Coming back to Tendulkar, no doubt he was oozing with class and its a sad day to see him go.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    I remember Sachin being a dangerous batsman since I was 6 and as a Pakistani always wanted to see the back of him Now as a grown up mature man still saw him smacking attacks to all parts of the grounds in 2010 & 2011 I'm sure no one can ever score even 80 international hundreds leave alone breaking his record of a 100 hundreds Great respect from Pakistan India you are lucky to have him

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    Sachin Lara and Dravid to the get knighted in the new years honors please

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    Great batsman on Indian Soil. Not many match winning innings but a classy batsman.

  • POSTED BY viru-319-219 on | November 15, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    @Chan1966 ..... Lara started his career after Sachin and retired well before Sachin, that is why Lara is a mere human and Sachin is God.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | November 15, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    There is simply no debate about who the best batsmen of all time in. In fact there is a very good argument to be made that he is the best sportsman of all time. I am of course talking about Bradman. The man is a statistical anomaly in sport and is so much better than the rest it's almost freakish. In no other sporting field does one player stand so far above the rest and therefore there is not a shred of doubt he is the best of all time. I have very much enjoyed Sachin, Lara etc but even these guys will concede to the Don. As cricket fans we should revere the fact that we have a guy who has dominated the sport he played like no other man (maybe Floyd Mayweather can be put in this category) but his stats do not lie. Freak, genius the best. All admire the Don.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    I am not disregarding the greatness of either Viv Richards or Brian Lara, but to me Sachin is the greatest batsman to ever play the game. Lara, although was still great in ODI's, never dominated the format the way Sachin did. Again, although Richards was legendary in both formats, Sachin is the more complete batsman. Because of his mastery over all formats of the game for such an incredibly long period, I rank him above both of them and Bradman (who was the greatest TEST batsman ever). I know rankings in this case can not be fully trusted, but Sachin is No. 2 behind only the Don in tests, and 2nd only to Viv Richards in ODI's according to Wisden's list of top 5 batsmen in both formats. Combined I think that makes him slightly better than both.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | November 15, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    @Ryan Seelochan:-The Queen isn't your head of state any more mate so she can't knight Sachin. That being the case you'll have to give him an Indian honour. When India became independent and dropped the English royals as heads of state that's the end of being knighted by them, so no knighthood for SRT.

  • POSTED BY shot274 on | November 15, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    Some of the comments here are beyond belief. How has Tendulkar dwarfed Bradman??!!Best batsman in the world? Im not a great one for stats but even on stats Tendulkars average is 20th in the all time batting averages. If Tendulkar is God what would Indians do if they produced a player who made over 13000 runs at an average above 55 and also took 288 wickets. Oh hang on there is such a player still on the cricketing scene-Jacque Kallis! No denying his ability but lets not get carried away. There is another person in Indian cricket who in my view achieved more but never had the hype -Suniil Gavaskar. Cricket has produced many greats and heroes. Its impossible to single one out without almost being disrespectful to the others

  • POSTED BY crikkfan on | November 15, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    @Harish Kalyanaraman you are not the only one to feel that way. A fitting finale would have been Sachin vs Steyn & co a la Cape Town 2010. Oh well ..

  • POSTED BY sk123 on | November 15, 2013, 20:46 GMT

    @Chan1966 - Also, I've lot of respect for Viv for his guts and confidence but as a batsman he was nothing more than an onside slogger who used his confidence to hide his flaws. It helped him that the cricket was played in the old fashioned way during his times and he was a little ahead of time. Just like Jayasurya in his early days. In the modern age, most teams would have sorted him out and I personally don't believe that he would have fared any good against the bowlers like Steyn and Akram.

  • POSTED BY sk123 on | November 15, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    @Chan1966 .. I remember all the Lara/Viv records but what I don't think YOU remember is that Sachin started his career as a SIXTEEN year old. I would give him a few years to come to terms with international cricket. He may have been the fastest to 11K runs if he had started playing in his 20s as most professionals do. You are well established as a batsMAN when you join a team in 20s and 30s and definitely in a better position than a 16 year old would be. You are like another Sachin hater who doesn't understand the pressure the man had to play under ever minute in his career. He could have been careless like Sehwag and played like him but then his record would have been like his as well.

  • POSTED BY TheDayDreamer on | November 15, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Guys, please stop the nonsense of knighting Sachin ! This knighting ritual is a low-valued and hyped ceremony for cultures other than Britain and is something we Indians don't need.

    Not sure why we still keep harping about the British connection as though its a superior reward : more than all the accolades Sachin has already received.

    I can understand British people getting excited about the Queen's granting of the knighthood, for the rest of us : please stop !

  • POSTED BY Pavan_2020 on | November 15, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Thank you, Sachin for giving me some of my best memories of life.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 15, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    My eyes wet,heart weeping...i am telling myself that GODS DONT RETIRE, i am quite emotionally moved today as my all time best hero is playing his final test. i hope gayle gets a big knock,and india need 50 runs and SRT opens with shikhar.

  • POSTED BY bp-s10 on | November 15, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    the wonderboy of mumbai is retiring as a god of cricket.....He was a real genius..... Purest technician of the game....Carried the burden of the nation for as many years... greatest ambassador of the game.....and above all what a humble character.... Miss you tendulkar....

  • POSTED BY cricketeria on | November 15, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    I stopped reading after you wrote "The stands were full." Sorry but I saw almost his whole innings, the stands were not full.

  • POSTED BY murali4 on | November 15, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    it is a pleasure watching sachin bat and we will miss him, thanks sachin for all the good times we had. from the time we were kids with no knowledge of cricket to the times we claim ourself as grown ups and ardent cricket fans .you have been an iconic figure and a great inspiration and are just amazing with commitment and hardwork you have towards what you do , i hope we take a leaf out of your book and show the same dedication with less talk and more work.... good luck

  • POSTED BY android_user on | November 15, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    everything seems silent.the wave of emotions has receded as reflected in comments too few to overwhelm.this silence speaks volumes of the buzz that was.getting ready for the final ceremony when the master bids adieu finally from cricket ground.no comparision please.let us enjoy the spirit of humanity at a juncture when one of us is redefining human excellence by making a grand exit from sporting arena.

  • POSTED BY IndCricFan2013 on | November 15, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    It was the score board's fault. It announced it was his 68th fifty and so it happened. Why did not they just congratulate him on reaching fifty rather say it was 68th. #Thankyou Sachin.

  • POSTED BY Frayninho21 on | November 15, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Farewell, Sachin. No test match century in his last 40 innings though. How many test hundreds would Rohit have scored over the same period had he been picked in the test team sooner ? Tendulkar has been a marvellous player but he has gone on too long and how his finale has been stage-managed (at the detriment of the FTP and tour to South Africa) leaves a really bad taste. It's such a disappointment that the West Indies haven't really turned up for this tour (bar the unyielding Shane Shillingford) and made more of a series of it but the performances and results of this tour have seemed secondary to everything but "Sachin mania"...

  • POSTED BY perl57 on | November 15, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    @Chan 66 This aint the swan song of Lara or Viv. When Lara or Viv themselves had accepted they were mere peevies before Sachin, why are you trying to compare mere mortals with the legend. Heck, when Bradman himself is dwarfed before Sachin, what are other players? It would be utterly impossible to realize how great is, was or will be. World cups may be won, # 1 statuses may be gotten and lost, but there will not be another Tendulkar for no one had carried a nation's hope so much since cricket was born. And no where else, even in India would you see again, the reliance on a single player for all eternity. Sachin was born to bat and batting he did, like a God. Thus he is the God of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    I would have loved to see Tendulkar signing of in style against SA in those difficult conditions against the likes of Steyn and Morkel . This seems to be a hopelessly one sided series not fit to be a swan song series of one of the greatest cricketer of all time .

  • POSTED BY sanapal24 on | November 15, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    hope he plays again in the second innings,it was a very emotional situation for all of us ,i was unable think of his absence in the field and crease after this match ,my eyes are filled with tears.i can't enjoy cricket any more after the retirement of the genious ,little champ.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Salute to Great Maestro Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar...for his great achievement in CRICKET...Will miss him truly in any India Cricket match.......God bless him and his family always and ever........Truly Indian...

  • POSTED BY Chak-De-India-Deux on | November 15, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    @ Chan1966 - absolute wrong.. Next. BTW you accuse us of being biased but take a moment to read your post.... if that is not the text book definition of Bias then I don't know what is

  • POSTED BY Centuries2020 on | November 15, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Wow!!!! What a day in my life. i will definitely put him way above Bradman. For me Sachin is the Greatest batsman in cricket history..more than all a wonderful human being!!! Long live Sachin.

  • POSTED BY kiruthigai on | November 15, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    My first oppertunity (as 9year old) to watch cricket is at my neighbour house was in 1992 WC sachin was playing, my next opportunity (as 13 year old) to watch cricket is at my house and was in 1996 WC, there too sachin was playing. I turned off TV and started to go to hostel for my semester exam preparation (as 20year old) when Sachin got out in 2003 WC final, I saw my first cricket match in stadium IndVsSA in chepauk (sehwag 309) fortunate to see sachin at batting crease. I was ecastic (28 year old) when india won the WC2011 then sachin was playing, today I saw the batting of sachin for one lost time probably( as 30 year old) along with my 4 year kid telling him about Sachin's achievements. I grew up watching sachin playing cricket, I Will definetely continue to follow cricket with the hope of seeing sachin in the commentary box but with the feeling of missing something on the field. Sachin Thank you and Wish you an Wonderful retirement life..

  • POSTED BY Chan1966 on | November 15, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Tendulkar is a great player, no doubt. But he is not the greatest batsman ever... because Viv Richards and Brian Lara were better than him. Remember Lara started his career a year or two after Tendulkar made his debut in 1989 but Lara was the fastest to reach the milestone of 11ooo test runs. He broke the record of Gavaskar's test match aggregate in less number of innings. Many Indian supporters are biased like most of their umpires. They don't want to hear /know the truth. Go to the you tube and watch the batting of great Viv Richards and see how he destroyed the bowling of Hadlee, Lillee, Thommo, Willis, Imran, Wasim, Waqar...etcHe was arguably the greatest test batsman the world had ever seen...

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    i was very happy to see Sachin among the runs in his final at bat, i only hope the queen was looking because this man be knighted for all that he has done for the game. long live Sir Sachin. i hope the queen is listening

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    Came in as a kid and going out as a Legend. Regarded as Greatest batsman of all time by some people and also has been commented upon as an extra weight to the team by few other people at times. But he never lost love for cricket, and he never gave up trying to get better and win matches and entertain 100 crores and more. He is a master in batting but a lover of cricket, enjoys every moment on the field. I guess he might have even fielded for opposition if they ask, just to be on the field and enjoy the action. Great man, Great player.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    When I was in my tenth std, one cricketer lofted the then famous abdul quadir for four sixes in a over, 24 years hence i saw him today trudging back after playing, probably his last test innings. I ve not seen another indian cricketer playing at 16 or 40, a single person achieving this is a tribute to his longevity. He may not be my favourite cricketer, he might be hyped but his greatness cant be questioned. I salute you Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

  • POSTED BY Amol_Gh on | November 15, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    I hope Tendulkar just ...almost just ...and well may ...and should...play against SA in SA. Nothing better than facing the best at the climax of one's career.

  • POSTED BY BigINDFan on | November 15, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    Someone mentioned that it is an exaggeration to call Sachin a god. Well he is a cricketing god. Why - he inspires devotion and provides assurance that everything is well with Indian cricket when he is at the crease. I grew up alongside Sachin remembering how weak Ind batting was and there was this one young kid holding it together. He thought he was just batting like he always did. We fans put all our hopes on him. People worshipped him, criticized him but everyone enjoyed his batting. There are lots of comparisons of past and present players with Sachin but he is a league of his own records or no records. He has played such a critical role in Ind becoming dominant in world cricket, now he has truly passed on the baton.

    There ends an era but he is leaving Indian cricket in far better shape than when he took it on 24 years ago.

    Sammy can forget his batting and bowling but he should be proud that he caught Sachin at slips.

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | November 15, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    With all the comments of unduly expectations and them being repeated in columns. Did anyone think that "hope Sachin enjoyed his last innings like he wished to ". Forget for a second what we wanted, just that tendulkar the cricketer, for whom batting is beyond passion ( more like walking or breathing for us) enjoyed his day out. Not getting a 100 is blessing, wouldn't have wanted to hear 10 years on from critics/ haters about how this series was organized so he can have a easy 100/ farewell. So here is to hope that Sachin had a good day and we are thankful for giving so much over 24 years !

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Was happy that he has played all his trademark shots which we used to whistle whenever he plays :)

  • POSTED BY PSandeepMath on | November 15, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    Wow.. Wonderfully written. I could not get hold of a ticket to see the match live at the ground. And judging by your description of the atmosphere at Wankhede, i'm sure i missed out on a lot. Would have loved to part of that historic moment..

  • POSTED BY sitaram58 on | November 15, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    I wish the BCCI had a rranged a Sachin farewell tour. One test against each of the other 9 test playing countries. An 9 test farewell tour would have been fitting (albeit a bit tiring). It would have goven enough opportunity for all the dignitaries to be on the dias and bestow honors upon Sachin. it would have given enough of a forum for all the world famous journalists and ex cricketers and others a chance to wax eloquent. Oh BCCI why did you deprive us of this year long farewell tour.

  • POSTED BY bigdhonifan on | November 15, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Bradman had an average of 99? If you allow Rohit Sharma or Kohli or Pujara to play only against Windies for 5 years they will have an average of 200 Atleast. So there is nothing exceptional for Bradman, he was a good batsman when all other batsman were just ordinary and bowlers were pathetic. Please dont come up with uncovered pitches and no helmet theories. There was bowlers bowling at 130K/hr. this Era you had Akram, Waqar, Akthar, Bond, Lee, Walsh, Ambrose. Lillee, MMerv hughes, Thomson, Donals, Pollock etc... And for spinners Warne, Murali, Saqlain, Mushtaq... even now Swann, Vettori etc ... Sachin will remain as always the BEST BATSMAN EVER Played. Played on 56 different pitches on different continents. Not just 9 Pitches on 2 countries.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    goosebumps and just goosebumps.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Thanks for everything, Sachin. When the game ends, a link is severed to a different era in Indian cricket. Whatever your views on the timing of his retirement, you can't deny he has played some truly memorable innings and has played a huge part in putting Indian cricket where it is today.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | November 15, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    The media exacerbates Tendulker achievement in cricket and makes him an mockery. But I like his disposition of being humble and professional .

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | November 15, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    The media exacerbates Tendulker achievement in cricket and makes him an mockery. But I like his disposition of being humble and professional .

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Thanks for everything, Sachin. When the game ends, a link is severed to a different era in Indian cricket. Whatever your views on the timing of his retirement, you can't deny he has played some truly memorable innings and has played a huge part in putting Indian cricket where it is today.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    goosebumps and just goosebumps.

  • POSTED BY bigdhonifan on | November 15, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Bradman had an average of 99? If you allow Rohit Sharma or Kohli or Pujara to play only against Windies for 5 years they will have an average of 200 Atleast. So there is nothing exceptional for Bradman, he was a good batsman when all other batsman were just ordinary and bowlers were pathetic. Please dont come up with uncovered pitches and no helmet theories. There was bowlers bowling at 130K/hr. this Era you had Akram, Waqar, Akthar, Bond, Lee, Walsh, Ambrose. Lillee, MMerv hughes, Thomson, Donals, Pollock etc... And for spinners Warne, Murali, Saqlain, Mushtaq... even now Swann, Vettori etc ... Sachin will remain as always the BEST BATSMAN EVER Played. Played on 56 different pitches on different continents. Not just 9 Pitches on 2 countries.

  • POSTED BY sitaram58 on | November 15, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    I wish the BCCI had a rranged a Sachin farewell tour. One test against each of the other 9 test playing countries. An 9 test farewell tour would have been fitting (albeit a bit tiring). It would have goven enough opportunity for all the dignitaries to be on the dias and bestow honors upon Sachin. it would have given enough of a forum for all the world famous journalists and ex cricketers and others a chance to wax eloquent. Oh BCCI why did you deprive us of this year long farewell tour.

  • POSTED BY PSandeepMath on | November 15, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    Wow.. Wonderfully written. I could not get hold of a ticket to see the match live at the ground. And judging by your description of the atmosphere at Wankhede, i'm sure i missed out on a lot. Would have loved to part of that historic moment..

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Was happy that he has played all his trademark shots which we used to whistle whenever he plays :)

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | November 15, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    With all the comments of unduly expectations and them being repeated in columns. Did anyone think that "hope Sachin enjoyed his last innings like he wished to ". Forget for a second what we wanted, just that tendulkar the cricketer, for whom batting is beyond passion ( more like walking or breathing for us) enjoyed his day out. Not getting a 100 is blessing, wouldn't have wanted to hear 10 years on from critics/ haters about how this series was organized so he can have a easy 100/ farewell. So here is to hope that Sachin had a good day and we are thankful for giving so much over 24 years !

  • POSTED BY BigINDFan on | November 15, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    Someone mentioned that it is an exaggeration to call Sachin a god. Well he is a cricketing god. Why - he inspires devotion and provides assurance that everything is well with Indian cricket when he is at the crease. I grew up alongside Sachin remembering how weak Ind batting was and there was this one young kid holding it together. He thought he was just batting like he always did. We fans put all our hopes on him. People worshipped him, criticized him but everyone enjoyed his batting. There are lots of comparisons of past and present players with Sachin but he is a league of his own records or no records. He has played such a critical role in Ind becoming dominant in world cricket, now he has truly passed on the baton.

    There ends an era but he is leaving Indian cricket in far better shape than when he took it on 24 years ago.

    Sammy can forget his batting and bowling but he should be proud that he caught Sachin at slips.

  • POSTED BY Amol_Gh on | November 15, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    I hope Tendulkar just ...almost just ...and well may ...and should...play against SA in SA. Nothing better than facing the best at the climax of one's career.