Sachin Tendulkar October 18, 2008

Beyond legendary

He has played for two decades, carrying the hopes of a nation, and done it with grace and class. Tendulkar has transcended every other cricket hero there is
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This is the first in a new series where Kumar Sangakkara looks at his favourite contemporary players.



Out of this world but down to earth: part of Tendulkar's greatness is how he has stayed humble and unassuming all through © AFP

As an international cricketer of the current generation, the Tendulkar era, I will always have one striking memory of Sachin that will be forever etched in my mind: his thrilling entrance onto a cricket field. The anticipation of him emerging from the pavilion, and his walk from the boundary to the centre, is almost surreal. The sound of a passionate Indian crowd all chanting "Sachin, Sachin" as they wait in anticipation, followed by the enormous roar when he emerges onto the field, is electrifying.

That experience also tells you much about Sachin and his special place in the game's history. He is not just the finest and most complete batsman of the past two decades. In a country that is cricket-mad, where players are deified and worshipped, he stands out and stands alone. In a continent of cricketing legends of the calibre of Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, and in a tradition of cricket that has produced other great heroes, Sachin seems to have transcended all of them and achieved a revered, almost superhuman, stature.

I remember playing in a charity game in 2003 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Thousands of people turned out to watch the match and the familiar chant filled the ground as he walked out to take strike with Virender Sehwag. However, two overs later, Sachin's dismissal was followed by pin-drop silence. As he left the field, the only sound was the murmur of the dispersing crowd. For me, that kind of pressure every single day, and the lack of a truly private life, would, I believe, prove too much.

But Sachin, somehow, has taken it in his stride for an incredible 20 years almost. To my mind that ranks as a higher achievement than the long lists of statistical records he has claimed. Playing for India is no easy task. The pressure to perform in every single outing, to win every single match, is tremendous. Magnify that a thousand-fold and that is what Sachin has to deal with.

He may have millions of fans, but he has his share of critics as well. Many times over the years India has failed to convert an appearance in a final into a win, and when this happens the first barbs of criticisms are invariably aimed at one man. "Sachin," they say, "does not win India finals." The man who has been rewriting the record books has been judged by some to have failed India in some crucial games that everyone seems to remember and talk about.

This criticism is totally unfounded and unfair. Sachin is extremely strong mentally. You have to be, to last 20 years at the top. That he is still able to carve out match-winning performances now, despite all the injuries and the physical and mental overload that comes with being a top-flight international cricketer, is testament to his mental toughness. India have not lost so many finals because of Tendulkar; they have lost because of poor team performances.

Therein lies the danger of having individual brilliance in your cricket team. Many are the times I have sat in the dressing room, watching Sanath Jayasuriya single-handedly win matches. However, without realising it, we reached the stage, at one point, where our whole confidence hinged on the rise and fall of Sanath. His early dismissal would sow seeds of doubt, and his continued presence in the middle would fuel confidence. We have succeeded now in breaking free of that dependence. It is a similar battle that India have fought with Sachin.

I first watched Sachin on TV when I was 12 years old, and for me the most striking thing about his batting has been its beautiful simplicity. The picture-perfect stance; the straight, measured back-lift; the neat forward-defensive and the checked-drive have changed little over the years. Of course, he was blessed with enormous natural talent, but that talent has been fulfilled because of a rock-solid technical foundation.

 
 
That he is still able to carve out match-winning performances now, despite all the injuries and the physical and mental overload that comes with being a top-flight international cricketer, is testament to his mental toughness. India have not lost so many one-day finals because of Tendulkar; they have lost because of poor team performances
 

His simple technique has helped him adapt to, and dominate, all formats of the game under all conditions. Use Cricinfo's Statsguru to assess his overall record and you can only marvel at the completeness of his career. He has scored runs in every cricketing country, on every type of pitch, against every bowling attack. Furthermore, his dominance extends from Test cricket to one-day cricket, and even to the newest format, the Twenty20 game.

Various teams have used different tactics against him over the years, probing his technique to find weaknesses. However, even if they did find any, he was always able to adapt and evolve his game to overcome the challenge. That is what great players do. To my mind, his only obvious weak spot has been against the ball that nips back in from outside off stump - a delivery that troubles several of India's batsmen, though for different reasons.

Since 2003, life does seem to have become tougher for Sachin, mainly because of injuries and the physical toll of the international treadmill. I sense that this - especially the injuries - has introduced a more cautious attitude to his batting. Which is why the appearance of Sachin today does not bring with it a cloud of doom for the fielding team, as it used to do. His increased conservatism has dulled his threat, although he remains very capable of compiling match-winning scores.

Despite his great achievements Sachin has managed to stay an unassuming, humble and very approachable human being. He is a family man whose life is steeped in good moral and religious values. His interaction with players, both in his own team and in the opposition, has given many a cricketer a humbling insight into the mind of this genius. He is always ready to accommodate his fellow cricketers in conversations that might range from cricket to his family, food, travel, and his two other passions: cars and watches.

This is all revealing because it helps explain where he gets his mental strength from. His simple private life, his clear values and strong ethics, and a very good support system in terms of his family and close friends, have given him the foundation and strength to be able to shoulder the hopes and expectations of millions. Underpinning him is a natural zest for life, a passion for cricket and also for humanity. To me, he is the embodiment of the gentleman cricketer. He does not need aggressive rhetoric or psychological battles to prove his worth. He has his bat and he lets it do the talking.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfans2cents on October 20, 2008, 19:27 GMT

    I was a Sachin critic once. After seeing his innings on last day of first test between Ind and Aus last week, I changed my mind. I realized that even though he did not score a century or half century rather, he still saved the match for India. Ofcourse with the help of Laxman. But if you look at his so called failures in critical matches, I wonder how many support acts you find as that of Laxman in the last match. Viv, Waughs, Pontings who ever you consider a match winner, take their match saving innings and you would find an equally important support performance, be it in batting or in bowling. Its Tendulkar's bad luck that he could not find such support in critical matches else you would have seen more Desert Storm innings. Sun always rises the same way everyday, but you have to have clear sky to savour such beautiful moment.

  • gung-ho on October 20, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    'His increased conservatism has dulled his threat' - I do not think that's the case. The way I look at it, Tendulkar remains equally formidable even now. Did he not have about six 90+ scores last year? He can take apart attacks like he used to in the past (recent ODIs in Australia proves that) and if he puts his mind to it, he can accumalate as well. I have not quiet seen any batsman amongst the current crop who has the ability to take apart an attack like Sachin can/used to. Agreed KP is a good player, but he's not quiet Sachin. Having said that, I believe KP is a better player than Ricky or Sangakarra himself... Of course, injuries have had its toll but Sachin still remains my favorite batsman and a true legend.

  • BHARATLIFE on October 19, 2008, 14:04 GMT

    Hey Kumar,good you are open mindedness.Okay he is a legend,as cited "...transcended Kapil Dev or Sunil.." Well India would not have cricket at such high levels(WC 83).They tamed the WestIndies and were responsible for opening gates in cricket,and as you know the rest is history.Well,Kumar might have watched Sachin play,he might have been no less that august at that time,but i think i dare say that these are comments in bit of haste.Have you seen Kapil play?I have read in all articles that his effort was always unfeigned.Sachin i agree is a great batsmen.But i feel a batsmen should be judged by his adapdability.Is Sachin good at 4 in an ODI?If he is a great GENIUS,what happened to his captaincy?How many times was he really involved in a terrific runchase?Honestly Kumar, in WC 2007,you must have been in the team meetings , why did you opt for Dilhara Fernanado,immediately after he arrived.Deja'vu,"slower delivery",why were so sure that he was going to get out?AGE is catching everyone!!

  • Gilliana on October 19, 2008, 12:30 GMT

    Wnen a player of Tendulkar's stature has been playing for such a long period, he tends to play for himself by accumilation. This is very important firstly, being an Indian he has to make the record stand for posterity with the most runs and centuries in Test cricket. Now that the Australian, Ponting is sniffing at his heels, Tendulkar wants to play as long as possible or till such time Ponting retires and there is no challenger.There are many in the Indian cricket hierachy that want to see this. But the Australians are just as determined to see their own achieve this honour. Let us wait and see. Seeing Tendulkar's performances in the last four or five years, I doubt he will survive. Ponting is still scoring those runs and centuries and it will be him ultimately. But it is sad to see that these two icons are depriving youngsters of a Test career. For the sake of cricket, it is time for both to hang up their boots and go.

  • lobster_man on October 19, 2008, 12:06 GMT

    Sachin is wonderful to watch - the Buddha-like calmness in the middle exhibits his self-confidence, and the strokes he plays is masterful. I just wish he won more matches for india.

  • Anushan_Jega on October 19, 2008, 9:19 GMT

    Words cannot describe the Genius that is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, however if it could, this article by Kumar Sangakara is as close as it could get. It's rare for legends to be so correct in what they do, so courteous, and to still be loved by everyone. Take Muttiah Muralidaran, so skillful, yet so unorthodox, Shane Warne, so good, but yet so wrong, Sourav Gangully (not quite a legend), loved by many, hated by so many more. Yet Tendulkar carries all the pressure of being a godly hero on his shoulders and remains to be a saintly human. He doesn't put a foot wrong, whether it be his cricket, or his modest nature, Tendulkar does everything so proper. When he talks he seems simple, no pride, no arrogance. A lot like his cricket, no pride, no arrogance. Plays every bowl on its merit, and every bowler with due respect. What makes Sachin Tendulkar the lovable champion he is, is the resemblance between his personality and his cricket, a humble little master.

  • duffydack on October 19, 2008, 1:17 GMT

    'His increased conservatism has dulled his threat' This one sentence should be enough to understand what his opponents think of him now. Tendulkar is no longer feared by his opponents. He might be able to contribute runs now and then, but how much the opponents weigh that contribution is clearly minimal.

  • Winfried on October 18, 2008, 23:27 GMT

    Hey Sanga, Maybe one day you will make as many runs. You too are a rare gem.

    - Indian cricket lover

  • s-cube on October 18, 2008, 23:21 GMT

    A well written article just goes to show the professionalism of the writer.

  • truthspeaker on October 18, 2008, 21:37 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara is a good cricketer from Sri Lanka - I hope Muralidharan will learn some modesty and humility in giving his due to sachin - Often, Murali has put down sachin saying sachin cannot dominate him the way Lara has and such

    Muralidharan is ungrateful to say such after taking the Indian IPL largesse

  • cricfans2cents on October 20, 2008, 19:27 GMT

    I was a Sachin critic once. After seeing his innings on last day of first test between Ind and Aus last week, I changed my mind. I realized that even though he did not score a century or half century rather, he still saved the match for India. Ofcourse with the help of Laxman. But if you look at his so called failures in critical matches, I wonder how many support acts you find as that of Laxman in the last match. Viv, Waughs, Pontings who ever you consider a match winner, take their match saving innings and you would find an equally important support performance, be it in batting or in bowling. Its Tendulkar's bad luck that he could not find such support in critical matches else you would have seen more Desert Storm innings. Sun always rises the same way everyday, but you have to have clear sky to savour such beautiful moment.

  • gung-ho on October 20, 2008, 18:49 GMT

    'His increased conservatism has dulled his threat' - I do not think that's the case. The way I look at it, Tendulkar remains equally formidable even now. Did he not have about six 90+ scores last year? He can take apart attacks like he used to in the past (recent ODIs in Australia proves that) and if he puts his mind to it, he can accumalate as well. I have not quiet seen any batsman amongst the current crop who has the ability to take apart an attack like Sachin can/used to. Agreed KP is a good player, but he's not quiet Sachin. Having said that, I believe KP is a better player than Ricky or Sangakarra himself... Of course, injuries have had its toll but Sachin still remains my favorite batsman and a true legend.

  • BHARATLIFE on October 19, 2008, 14:04 GMT

    Hey Kumar,good you are open mindedness.Okay he is a legend,as cited "...transcended Kapil Dev or Sunil.." Well India would not have cricket at such high levels(WC 83).They tamed the WestIndies and were responsible for opening gates in cricket,and as you know the rest is history.Well,Kumar might have watched Sachin play,he might have been no less that august at that time,but i think i dare say that these are comments in bit of haste.Have you seen Kapil play?I have read in all articles that his effort was always unfeigned.Sachin i agree is a great batsmen.But i feel a batsmen should be judged by his adapdability.Is Sachin good at 4 in an ODI?If he is a great GENIUS,what happened to his captaincy?How many times was he really involved in a terrific runchase?Honestly Kumar, in WC 2007,you must have been in the team meetings , why did you opt for Dilhara Fernanado,immediately after he arrived.Deja'vu,"slower delivery",why were so sure that he was going to get out?AGE is catching everyone!!

  • Gilliana on October 19, 2008, 12:30 GMT

    Wnen a player of Tendulkar's stature has been playing for such a long period, he tends to play for himself by accumilation. This is very important firstly, being an Indian he has to make the record stand for posterity with the most runs and centuries in Test cricket. Now that the Australian, Ponting is sniffing at his heels, Tendulkar wants to play as long as possible or till such time Ponting retires and there is no challenger.There are many in the Indian cricket hierachy that want to see this. But the Australians are just as determined to see their own achieve this honour. Let us wait and see. Seeing Tendulkar's performances in the last four or five years, I doubt he will survive. Ponting is still scoring those runs and centuries and it will be him ultimately. But it is sad to see that these two icons are depriving youngsters of a Test career. For the sake of cricket, it is time for both to hang up their boots and go.

  • lobster_man on October 19, 2008, 12:06 GMT

    Sachin is wonderful to watch - the Buddha-like calmness in the middle exhibits his self-confidence, and the strokes he plays is masterful. I just wish he won more matches for india.

  • Anushan_Jega on October 19, 2008, 9:19 GMT

    Words cannot describe the Genius that is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, however if it could, this article by Kumar Sangakara is as close as it could get. It's rare for legends to be so correct in what they do, so courteous, and to still be loved by everyone. Take Muttiah Muralidaran, so skillful, yet so unorthodox, Shane Warne, so good, but yet so wrong, Sourav Gangully (not quite a legend), loved by many, hated by so many more. Yet Tendulkar carries all the pressure of being a godly hero on his shoulders and remains to be a saintly human. He doesn't put a foot wrong, whether it be his cricket, or his modest nature, Tendulkar does everything so proper. When he talks he seems simple, no pride, no arrogance. A lot like his cricket, no pride, no arrogance. Plays every bowl on its merit, and every bowler with due respect. What makes Sachin Tendulkar the lovable champion he is, is the resemblance between his personality and his cricket, a humble little master.

  • duffydack on October 19, 2008, 1:17 GMT

    'His increased conservatism has dulled his threat' This one sentence should be enough to understand what his opponents think of him now. Tendulkar is no longer feared by his opponents. He might be able to contribute runs now and then, but how much the opponents weigh that contribution is clearly minimal.

  • Winfried on October 18, 2008, 23:27 GMT

    Hey Sanga, Maybe one day you will make as many runs. You too are a rare gem.

    - Indian cricket lover

  • s-cube on October 18, 2008, 23:21 GMT

    A well written article just goes to show the professionalism of the writer.

  • truthspeaker on October 18, 2008, 21:37 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara is a good cricketer from Sri Lanka - I hope Muralidharan will learn some modesty and humility in giving his due to sachin - Often, Murali has put down sachin saying sachin cannot dominate him the way Lara has and such

    Muralidharan is ungrateful to say such after taking the Indian IPL largesse

  • Azfar on October 18, 2008, 20:45 GMT

    Excellent and very balanced article by Sangakkara. He has a career in cricket journalism! Like most Indians, I have been closely watching Sachin since he was a 14 year old and combined with Kambli to create that record in school cricket. It seems only the other day in 1989 when he hit Mushtaq Ahmad for 3 sixes in an over and then followed that with another 3 sixes in one over from Qadir. That electrified the nation and signalled for us that here is a prodigy on display. It is amazing that he has carried on for nearly 20 years and now has virtually all batting record in the game. Though he has become a statistical giant, the fact remains that he never became the matchwinner he promised to become. One could always bet that Viv Richard would perform in any 'big' match in the World Cup or the WSC. Over the years Viv just knocked the wind out of the Lillees, Thommos, Imrans.The same can never be said about Sachin. And that would be the only criticism in an otherwise glittering career.

  • Ravint on October 18, 2008, 20:37 GMT

    Great Sanga. I liked your broad minded article about Sachin ,one of my two legends. Iam a Lankan. When SriLanka plays against India, I wanted Srilanka to win BUT always want my superstar Batsman Sachin to score an exciting century. Two players to me are like two of my eyes, they are SACHIN and SANATH. Someway I hate the IPLs dominance in world cricket BUT I thank them for one thing Sachin and Sanath opening for Mumbai Team. I wouldn't eat for months to watch these two go in the centre and blast the opponets. Sachin , changed the driving technique that was followed before his era. He started that Check drive. Now I see this check drive all over the world . Hats off to Sachin, Sanath and Sanga. Sanga, I kindly request you for one thing. I saw T20 Cricket that was played in Canada. WHY WHY WHY the Sri Lankan cricketers including Mahela Jayawardena could not be friendly and Charming. They look serious all the time? Show some happy faces to the crowd who came there for you.Thx

  • NormalHuman on October 18, 2008, 20:11 GMT

    Its as if Tendulkar got a full toss to hit and it was easy picking but it still had to b dealt with.Thats all,is the true picturesque of Tendulkar career. Tendulkar survived all these years bcz he had strong support from Selectors and an unknown (albeit) hand of Sunil gavaskar and his likes.He had soo many downs but he was definitely given too much of rope to make a come-back which other quality cricketers in Indian team had lacked. Manjrekhar,Ian & Greg Chappel and may b 1 or 2 other writers had the audacity to write against him which although was the truth.But they had strong back-lashes especially in case of Manjrekhar being an Indian and not in the ESPN group he has 2 stay with TenSports but yes he is quality analyst with cricinfo(as this site till now is unbiased).It would b very interesting to c how much of criticism did tendulkar received in his career during his waning times when compared to his contemporizes who left and those who r still playing.

  • SriUSA on October 18, 2008, 19:05 GMT

    Wonderful article on a wonderful human being and a matchless cricketer by another great champion of this era. Thanks Sanga for this article on our Sachinda. I am almost of Sachin's age and grew up watching his game and the thought of his leaving cricket one day almost kills me and many more Indians I guess. Don't know what to watch in cricket my only passion when this humble, simple genius and very human retires. His humility after achieving so much is exemplary and to be followed by everyone. Thanks again for writing this piece on our beloved Sachinda.

  • neerajthakurr on October 18, 2008, 19:03 GMT

    Well I think Sangakara is one of the most prominent wicket keeper batsman at the moment. I just love his offside play, specially his cover drives. I think you really are a great fan of Sachin, just like me. The things you mentioned about him are just appropriate as he is.

  • dadvoc on October 18, 2008, 18:56 GMT

    Very nice article Sanga G and the best thing about this article is the impeccably simple writing.

    Coming to Sachin, without a doubt he is one of the greatest Bat who have ever played gentleman's game. And what makes him even greater is humbleness. When you have billion people behind you, you are bound to get a bit proud, but Sachin as you said is very approachable.

    He is one of the best achiever and I hope he will continue putting his show for the years to come...

  • RaviNarla on October 18, 2008, 18:11 GMT

    A brilliant and timely article from Sanga to remind everyone about how great a person Sachin is and will be for years to come. One could never forget the knock that Sachin played against Pakistan where he scored 27 runs of an Abdul Qadir over at very tender age of 16. History was becoming to happen. That was his very first series. The very Good point Sanga made was, Indian team lost many a match not because Sachin was out so early but for the performance of the team. Absolutely true, the presence of Sachin was a morale booster to the team and the bowling team was ill at ease. I his absence India failed many time.s Such has been the influence of Sachin when he is around. Ask Rohit Sharma what inspired him to play that terrific knock against the Aussies in the First final. The answer is obvious. Sachin has left an indelible imprint in the memory of those whoever were fortunate enough to watch him play.

  • v-factor on October 18, 2008, 17:38 GMT

    Sanga, Hats off to you.The article written above reinforces the fact that you are not only a very good cricketer but also a very articulate writer. This is one of the best articles I have read about Sachin. The way you have analysed all the aspects ranging from his game to his social values is just superb. Hope to see a lot more coming from you in this space.

  • prashant1 on October 18, 2008, 16:16 GMT

    Thanks Sanga. Boy,if and when you quit cricket,please do try your hand at writing. You're surely in line for a Booker. As regards Sachin,I've grown up watching him. The very thought of him retiring is almost too much to bear.

  • questshanmuga on October 18, 2008, 15:02 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara,

    One of the most talented & elegant cricketer from Sri Lanka, your artilcle about tendulkar is one of the most interesting that I gone through recently. The way you indicated that India's failure in lot of finals is not because of Sachin is a true fact. As you revealed in your article that Sachins only weakness in his batting which is also widely discussed by lot of cricketing experts, I hope that the Master blaster knows about the same, I congratulate our own Sachin, I'm very proud as Indian of his all achievements & wish him all success for the coming years, hope he will continue playing at this level for another 5 to 6 years, my prayer to the Almighty is to provide good health to our legend & be with him throughout his life. Sanga as true Buddhism follower, who is from the land ruled by the King Ravan has very broad (as good as the king had) & open mind to write an article on Sachin one of his contemporary player.

    With salutation to both of you Shanmuga Su

  • Subra on October 18, 2008, 14:58 GMT

    When one's opponent praises you that is the true test of greatness. Sangakara's assessment of one of the finest cricketers is a wonderful piece, and I am eagerly looking forward to his other articles. 6 + 4 = 10dulkar read a banner when he was playing in Singapore. There wern't too many sixers but the fours were gems.

    In Tendulkar we have the epitome of a cricketer. There is nothing crass about him. He gets a bad decision, he just shrugs and moves on. How I wish that more youngsters would watch him and learn to behave like him. A true cricketer - let us savour him in his final years!

    R Sivasubramaniam from Singapore

  • sivakasibala on October 18, 2008, 14:44 GMT

    I agree with the Sri Lankan celebrity. His candid comments , though simple in language, is really a reasonably Good Assessment.No word in and out of dictionary can describe Sachin's stature in Cricket. Best of luck , for Sachin to prolong , freefrom injuries, till the next World Cup at least for India winning it

  • santrect on October 18, 2008, 13:50 GMT

    Kumara is an extremely talented cricketer. The words you have put in to describle the legendary Tendulkar is really great. With this you have shown to the cricketing world that you are not only a phenemonal cricketor but also a great individual who respects other great players in the Cricketing Arena. This is a very nice article.

  • Nishad on October 18, 2008, 13:39 GMT

    Very well written article. A great tribute to a great man. He is a cricketer beyond imagination. The people who critisize Sachin should read this article. I must also appreciate your writing skills, well done Kumar

  • Sukitha_Pitigala on October 18, 2008, 13:20 GMT

    This is an excellent article Kumar.I realy enjoyed reading it.It is great to see that a another brilliant cricketer writes about a legend and they are still playing against each other on the pitch.Kumar,I believe/hope that someone will write the same about you one day.well done!!!

  • UtpalITC on October 18, 2008, 13:20 GMT

    Sanga, Splendid Article. You have understood this Real Gem in a right way. Enjoyed each and every word of your article not because i'm a Big Fan of Tendlya but because you have written it from your heart, and that actually touch a reader like me..... FANTABULOUS............

  • donthaveaclue on October 18, 2008, 13:07 GMT

    Great article. What does better credit to a sportsman than to be admired by his contemporaries? What Sachin has achieved is beyond the scope of just statistics and records. My blog outsideedge.wordpress.com My own rudimentary attempt at paying tribute to the man. As a famous adidas ad once said "When Sachin bats...all else...is irrelevant"

  • mishra717 on October 18, 2008, 13:05 GMT

    its really nice to read one legend talking about another legend!!!

    sachin is great ,great is actually a word that i think is less for sachin......just we can't imagine indian team without sachin!!!

  • Sherlock on October 18, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    Wow one of the best articles I have ever read in cricinfo...Well done Sanga...You are truly a wonderful writer...And my hats off to Sachin as well...Playing international cricket for two decades is not an easy task to achieve... But here he is, still breaking and tumbling records as he wishes...

  • faircritic on October 18, 2008, 12:37 GMT

    hi sangakara you write as beautifully as you bat. Though i am a diehard sachin fan this is not flattery as i have read lot of your columns. you rock man. at this point of time sachin is beyound criticism, he has given the-game, the-billions of cricket lovers, his selfless committiment all these years. joy to watch. henceforth let him have the peace of playing his game uninhibited till retires on his own terms. the cricket game owes this to him. u keep batting great [against all other teams otherthan india - lol] keep talking and keep writing with regards jagan

  • SriramS on October 18, 2008, 12:28 GMT

    Excellent piece of article Kumar. It is a great tribute to a gentleman cricketer and the best/finest Cricketer the world has produced over the years. It is very difficult to keep one's mind, body, emotions under control amidst the distractions, adulation, fame, money, power etc of today and Sachin has maintained and controlled it as a machine with a soul for two decades. The more he grows in stature, the more humble he is. It is also nice to read this article from a contemporary cricketer who plays in opposition to him. Kumar is becoming a excellent writer. Best Wishes Sachin, We are with you always. Sriram Sankaranarayanan

  • rdnana on October 18, 2008, 10:37 GMT

    26 alphabets at everyones disposal and you had the knack to put them together in a beautiful eloquent manner. brilliant! enjoyed reading your article a tad more than sachin's record I should admit!

  • Leo777 on October 18, 2008, 9:44 GMT

    Its a real tribute to an immortal. Thanks Sanga for such an inspiring and heart warming article on Sachin. He is such an humble personality despite carrying hopes of a billion Indian across the globe. The joy of Cricket is in watching him in action where he answers all his critics through his bat. These milestones and records shall keep tumbling as he is still going strong. Thanks again and I wish you also the very best.

  • kaushal_mehta on October 18, 2008, 9:32 GMT

    First of all, Sir, excellent article.. I truly agree on what you wrote.. What makes Sachin special is not only his Bat, but also the way he carries himself on and off the feild. To motivate himself through out the 19 years of his "internation" career and that too with some "knowledgable" critics around is truly amazing. Its "only" Sachin in the entire cricketing fratenity who "Makes Headlines" when "He doesn't play well". Thats the leve of expectation we talking about. Imagine, he started playing with those whom he saw on TV as Childhood heroes and now playing with those who saw him on TV as childhood hero (some too small to even understand cricket when he started playing) This is the length of his career. We all just like to tell him.."Continue being Sachin Tendulkar" and make us proud to be Indian. So what if we won only few medals at Olympics. We have Sachin Tendulkar. Ask any country who knows meaning of Cricket, what it means "Not to have Sachin Tendulakr in your country"

  • PMDE on October 18, 2008, 9:31 GMT

    Kumar Sangakarra is a real cricket writing talent. This is one of the finest cricket article I have read, and the only comparison can be Don Bradman's autobiography

  • mnadar on October 18, 2008, 9:03 GMT

    This article by Kumar Sangakkara adds another feather to Saching Cap. I'm a great fan of Sachin like many others in India. But one this is sure that i have never criticised him no matter at what stage just because i some where in my mind i knew that even he a human. The point which Sangakkara made here states the same. People in India love Sachin so much that they think he should hit century every time he gets on to the pitch which is so unreal. I love adore him for whatever he is and the way he has played cricket. The best cricketer and more then that a true Human by all means i have seen in my life. I would like to Thank Sangakkara for his effort in speaking his mind out for the great Sachin Tendulkar.

  • Soliver on October 18, 2008, 8:54 GMT

    What could be more gratifying,more satisfying that one's accomplishments be recognised, be appreciated and be applauded by one's peers of equal stature. KS you have written a moving tribute of a person, a brilliant piece,and by giving Sachin the ultimate compliment of being the true embodiment of a gentleman cricketer you have shown us that you too are a noble and humble person. Hats off to Cricinfo for creating such a world that has no boundries or bortders,a world inhabited only by true lovers of cricket, with respect and admiration for achievers.

  • dimss on October 18, 2008, 7:45 GMT

    well well well, it was an awe-some article from Kumara who is one of the players I admire for his fluent style of batting :add to that, hei,I am calling it Brillant/Awesome because Sanga is writing about someone who's my idol in life,,Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.That great fellow is still making tonnes of runs for his country and for fans like me,,yet there are critics to blame him for some single failures which is bound to happen with everyone. So,kudos to My Sachin and thaks a lot Sanga..bye all..

  • Aditya_mookerjee on October 18, 2008, 7:43 GMT

    It is very unfair to compare Sachin Tendulkar to Mr Sunil Gavaskar. Mr Gavaskar was as accomplished as Tendulkar. In fact, both the star batsmen played one innings against Pakistan, where both got out in the nervous ninety's. However, the ninety's were not nervous, then, for Sachin, or Mr Gavaskar. However, Sunil Gavaskar got more runs than Sachin, in that similar situation. Sachin is however the shining light for the present generation of cricket lovers.

  • spin_maestro on October 18, 2008, 7:14 GMT

    This is a wonderful article by Kumar Sangakkara. The Points made by him are so apt. I never missed a match at the wankhede stadium and every time India are about to come out and bat, we are all up on our feet and chanting Sachinnnn Sachin..... ... We can never imagine the Pressure he goes through every time he comes out to bat. He is the True Legend of World cricket. He is the Master. Hoping to see atleast 50 centuries in each form from Sachin - THE GOD OF INDIAN CRICKET Everyone knows that Kumar is an excellent writer, but this time he has talked his heart out and thats what makes it even more special. I'd watched the test match in Chennai against Pakistan (Yr 2000?), when Tendulkar fell for a zero in the first innings to a Saqlain Mushtaq doosra. He treaded back very slowly and we knew the second innings would be a jem.

  • Melsangy on October 18, 2008, 6:46 GMT

    Wonderful Kumar!!! This was such a nicely composed article. It reveals how opponents thinks about him during all these years. Sachin is such a humbel person and to the ground personality that everybody likes him. The respect he gets is because the respect he gives to everybody. He is one year elder than me and I still wonder how fast and how skillfully he reached a legendary status. It makes all of Indians proud that our country man will always remembered in history and people's heart around world. All our hearty wishes to the legend to serve this country at his best for incomming years. I wonder Nostradamus thought about Sachin or not?

  • spreddy1 on October 18, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    A wonderful article on a fellow cricketer . You seem to have mentioned really good points about tendulkar. Yes, i agree completely with your view that the amount of pressure that he has carried all through his career is a greater achievement than his records....

  • bill123 on October 18, 2008, 5:39 GMT

    This is a terrific tribute to the legend by one of the best batsman of modern era. Wish Sangakara ends his career as successful as Sachin.

  • VishyWish on October 18, 2008, 5:19 GMT

    What an article? Everyone knows that Kumar is an excellent writer, but this time he has talked his heart out and thats what makes it even more special. I'd watched the test match in Chennai against Pakistan (Yr 2000?), when Tendulkar fell for a zero in the first innings to a Saqlain Mushtaq doosra. He treaded back very slowly and we knew the second innings would be a jem. It indeed was (scored 130+) and he took India closer to victory. When the tail failed to get the winning runs, everyone in the stadium was sad... but Tendulakar wept uncontrollably. Kumar's final comment that `Tendulkar does not need aggressive rhetoric' is very true. When the great Wasim Akram claimed that no one can hit him for a six, the same day Sachin hit a six in a one day match in Sharjah. Again the final comments have come from a man who is never afraid to challenge opponents verbally... Kumar please note I have refrained from using the word sledging..becuase you are one of my favourtie cricketers from S

  • Yash_Mumbai_Indian on October 18, 2008, 4:54 GMT

    This is a wonderful article by Kumar Sangakkara. The Points made by him are so apt. I never missed a match at the wankhede stadium and every time India are about to come out and bat, we are all up on our feet and chanting Sachinnnn Sachin..... ... We can never imagine the Pressure he goes through every time he comes out to bat. He is the True Legend of World cricket. He is the Master. Hoping to see atleast 50 centuries in each form from Sachin - THE GOD OF INDIAN CRICKET

  • doniv on October 18, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    Thanks for the wonderful article on my hero and shows how much a rival players respects sachin more some ppl in india. As you said, with sachin we need to take the records out of question as has got many of those and this justone more that gives pride to this nation. for me its those moments he provides when he plays the disbelief in my eyes when he brings out a straight punch, the cute late cate, the brilliant cover drive and his famous paddle sweep he continues to provide the joy. How much ever more he plays i would just watch for these sheer great moments rather than the scores and records. He entertained, he thrilled and he had done all for som many years and yet his love for cricket still keeps him going after so many injuries. I am proud to be a fellow country men of this great yet humble person.

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  • doniv on October 18, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    Thanks for the wonderful article on my hero and shows how much a rival players respects sachin more some ppl in india. As you said, with sachin we need to take the records out of question as has got many of those and this justone more that gives pride to this nation. for me its those moments he provides when he plays the disbelief in my eyes when he brings out a straight punch, the cute late cate, the brilliant cover drive and his famous paddle sweep he continues to provide the joy. How much ever more he plays i would just watch for these sheer great moments rather than the scores and records. He entertained, he thrilled and he had done all for som many years and yet his love for cricket still keeps him going after so many injuries. I am proud to be a fellow country men of this great yet humble person.

  • Yash_Mumbai_Indian on October 18, 2008, 4:54 GMT

    This is a wonderful article by Kumar Sangakkara. The Points made by him are so apt. I never missed a match at the wankhede stadium and every time India are about to come out and bat, we are all up on our feet and chanting Sachinnnn Sachin..... ... We can never imagine the Pressure he goes through every time he comes out to bat. He is the True Legend of World cricket. He is the Master. Hoping to see atleast 50 centuries in each form from Sachin - THE GOD OF INDIAN CRICKET

  • VishyWish on October 18, 2008, 5:19 GMT

    What an article? Everyone knows that Kumar is an excellent writer, but this time he has talked his heart out and thats what makes it even more special. I'd watched the test match in Chennai against Pakistan (Yr 2000?), when Tendulkar fell for a zero in the first innings to a Saqlain Mushtaq doosra. He treaded back very slowly and we knew the second innings would be a jem. It indeed was (scored 130+) and he took India closer to victory. When the tail failed to get the winning runs, everyone in the stadium was sad... but Tendulakar wept uncontrollably. Kumar's final comment that `Tendulkar does not need aggressive rhetoric' is very true. When the great Wasim Akram claimed that no one can hit him for a six, the same day Sachin hit a six in a one day match in Sharjah. Again the final comments have come from a man who is never afraid to challenge opponents verbally... Kumar please note I have refrained from using the word sledging..becuase you are one of my favourtie cricketers from S

  • bill123 on October 18, 2008, 5:39 GMT

    This is a terrific tribute to the legend by one of the best batsman of modern era. Wish Sangakara ends his career as successful as Sachin.

  • spreddy1 on October 18, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    A wonderful article on a fellow cricketer . You seem to have mentioned really good points about tendulkar. Yes, i agree completely with your view that the amount of pressure that he has carried all through his career is a greater achievement than his records....

  • Melsangy on October 18, 2008, 6:46 GMT

    Wonderful Kumar!!! This was such a nicely composed article. It reveals how opponents thinks about him during all these years. Sachin is such a humbel person and to the ground personality that everybody likes him. The respect he gets is because the respect he gives to everybody. He is one year elder than me and I still wonder how fast and how skillfully he reached a legendary status. It makes all of Indians proud that our country man will always remembered in history and people's heart around world. All our hearty wishes to the legend to serve this country at his best for incomming years. I wonder Nostradamus thought about Sachin or not?

  • spin_maestro on October 18, 2008, 7:14 GMT

    This is a wonderful article by Kumar Sangakkara. The Points made by him are so apt. I never missed a match at the wankhede stadium and every time India are about to come out and bat, we are all up on our feet and chanting Sachinnnn Sachin..... ... We can never imagine the Pressure he goes through every time he comes out to bat. He is the True Legend of World cricket. He is the Master. Hoping to see atleast 50 centuries in each form from Sachin - THE GOD OF INDIAN CRICKET Everyone knows that Kumar is an excellent writer, but this time he has talked his heart out and thats what makes it even more special. I'd watched the test match in Chennai against Pakistan (Yr 2000?), when Tendulkar fell for a zero in the first innings to a Saqlain Mushtaq doosra. He treaded back very slowly and we knew the second innings would be a jem.

  • Aditya_mookerjee on October 18, 2008, 7:43 GMT

    It is very unfair to compare Sachin Tendulkar to Mr Sunil Gavaskar. Mr Gavaskar was as accomplished as Tendulkar. In fact, both the star batsmen played one innings against Pakistan, where both got out in the nervous ninety's. However, the ninety's were not nervous, then, for Sachin, or Mr Gavaskar. However, Sunil Gavaskar got more runs than Sachin, in that similar situation. Sachin is however the shining light for the present generation of cricket lovers.

  • dimss on October 18, 2008, 7:45 GMT

    well well well, it was an awe-some article from Kumara who is one of the players I admire for his fluent style of batting :add to that, hei,I am calling it Brillant/Awesome because Sanga is writing about someone who's my idol in life,,Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.That great fellow is still making tonnes of runs for his country and for fans like me,,yet there are critics to blame him for some single failures which is bound to happen with everyone. So,kudos to My Sachin and thaks a lot Sanga..bye all..

  • Soliver on October 18, 2008, 8:54 GMT

    What could be more gratifying,more satisfying that one's accomplishments be recognised, be appreciated and be applauded by one's peers of equal stature. KS you have written a moving tribute of a person, a brilliant piece,and by giving Sachin the ultimate compliment of being the true embodiment of a gentleman cricketer you have shown us that you too are a noble and humble person. Hats off to Cricinfo for creating such a world that has no boundries or bortders,a world inhabited only by true lovers of cricket, with respect and admiration for achievers.