October 17, 2008

A blessing and a curse

Perhaps now, with all the records behind him, Sachin Tendulkar can enjoy a second childhood and bat with something of the insouciance that made Brian Lara so captivating to watch
21


What might Sachin Tendulkar have done outside of a culture so obsessed with the individual? © AFP
 

For Brian Charles Lara, the moment to capture in sepia came against one of the game's all-time greats. When Glenn McGrath drifted on to the pads on a belter of a pitch at the Adelaide Oval, Lara worked him down to fine leg for the single that took him past Allan Border on the all-time run-scorers' list. The record was the perfect way to end an Australian adventure that began with a sublime 277 at the SCG 12 years earlier.

Anonymous in the first two Tests of the series, Lara came alive on a pristine batting surface at one of the most beautiful grounds in the world. By the time he put AB in the shade, he had already gone past 200. The 226 that he finished with would have been a fitting farewell note to Australia if not for the fact that his second-innings failure and the seven-wicket defeat encapsulated the frailties that had seen the West Indies' star wane even as Lara continued to shine.

There was no legend confronting Sachin Tendulkar at the PCA Stadium the first ball after tea. The clock had just ticked past 2:30 when Peter Siddle set off on his long run to the bowling crease. A bustling workhorse rather than a pace thoroughbred, Siddle had done little wrong the first two sessions, but when the first ball of the third was pitched a touch too wide of off stump, Tendulkar opened the face and steered it down to third man as he'd done so many times before. Three runs scampered and history made, a generation after a similar stroke, albeit off an offspinner, took Sunil Gavaskar into hitherto uninhabited 10,000-run land.

The autumns of the two batting patriarchs of our age couldn't have been more different though. The last five years of Lara's career saw a batsman at ease with the world, freed of the burden that he had lugged around for a decade. The haplessness of those around him was probably a factor. Stadiums that were once island fortresses were easily breached by visiting sides, and away from home, West Indies had a record every bit as depressing as that of Bangladesh. With the team winning next to nothing and seldom coming close, Lara went out and expressed himself. In those 34 Tests, he averaged 57.50, well over his career figure, while scoring a staggering 13 centuries.

There was always something of the Caribbean joie de vivre in Lara's batting, an air of the carnival that brings his native Trinidad to a standstill. Even his Australian swansong was indicative of that, with the 226 runs amassed from just 298 balls in truly buccaneering fashion. The team may have been mediocre beyond belief, but Lara refused to be shackled by their limitations.

Tendulkar's journey took him in a very different direction. An often-solitary beacon capable of ravishing strokeplay when in his pomp, he has seldom enthralled over the past half decade. Injuries undoubtedly played a part, as did the fact that he was no longer the fulcrum of India's batting push. Virender Sehwag scored quicker, Rahul Dravid looked more resolute and VVS Laxman more elegant. And as India finally became a half-decent side away from home, the focus shifted to individual milestones. He has ticked them off one by one - 10,000 runs against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in 2005, the 35th century that took him past Gavaskar (against Sri Lanka in Delhi in 2005) and now this.

 
 
Long before he even turned 30 though, Tendulkar had ceased to be just a cricketer. For a developing nation, aspiration is the name of the game but even then the expectations of him were so outré as to be ridiculous
 

Along the way, the audacious strokeplayer of old emerged from hibernation now and then, notably at Sydney and Adelaide last January, when you could glimpse the teenager who caught Sir Donald Bradman's eye with centuries at the SCG and the WACA. For the most part though, he became an efficient accumulator, albeit with troughs that were so uncommon during the halcyon years.

Long before he even turned 30 though, Tendulkar had ceased to be just a cricketer. For a developing nation, aspiration is the name of the game but even then the expectations of him were so outré as to be ridiculous. His life became reality TV, and all that was needed was the Police to reassemble and sing Every Breath You Take for the soundtrack. Newspapers would publish illustrations from Grey's Anatomy, while TV anchors would steel themselves to say "superior labral antero posterior tear".

Lara's failures, and there were a few given his cavalier style, evoked some disappointment, but never the sort of viciousness that accompanied a Tendulkar setback. It makes you wonder how many more runs he might have made had he lived in a country that didn't specialise in headlines like Endulkar, and where every other TV debate chaired by some stiff didn't ask the profound question: Is he past his best?

What might he have done outside of a culture so obsessed with the individual? Even the landmarks appeared to become troublesome chores rather than milestones to be bypassed as a matter of course. And even as he remained an intensely private person, an entire parallel universe was constructed around him, full of inane trivia such as a fondness for milk laced with turmeric at breakfast.

The career graph dipped, as it inevitably does even with the all-time greats, but he was still good enough to score 494 runs in Australia last winter. And until Siddle summoned up a fine delivery with the second new ball, he was on course for a tenth century against the team that have set the standards for most of his 19 years at the top.

Perhaps now, with all the records behind him, he can enjoy a second childhood and bat with something of the insouciance that made Lara so captivating to watch. Such comparisons are unfair though. If Lara's career was It's a Wonderful Life, Tendulkar's has been a Kieslowski, shot painstakingly and sometimes weighed down by the cares of the world. We're fortunate to have watched them both.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Baton100 on October 21, 2008, 10:30 GMT

    It's true everyone has their own favourites.,but I think apart from favourites there are greatness to be reckon. I think the person who has scored the most runs in not only in a test match and a first class game is the champ. Because he has achieved the highest goal in the game. In that case Lara has done it in the both leagues. I think it's enough to consider him as the better one. Not only that he is the player with most double centuries after Don Bradman, only man to score 400 runs in a test. I think the only factor favour the Tendulkar is his average...but see this, Lara has only 6 not-outs to Tendulkar's 26+. If Lara had the same amount of not-outs(even with half of 26) he could have easily surpass the Tendulkar's average.And don't forget lot of West Indians wanted Lara to retire earlier and on the other hand all of the Indians wanted Tendulkar to play as long as he can and as he wanted.

  • LetsBeReasonable on October 20, 2008, 5:30 GMT

    Do people like CheGuvera and the rest really think that they understand the game and batting better than Sir Donald Bradman, well then so be it.

    I hate comparing Lara and Tendulkar - I would say one is one of the 3 best left handed batsmen (Graeme Pollock, Sobers and Lara) - while Tendulkar is one of the two best right handed batsmen (Sir Bradman and Tendulkar).

    You can never do an apples to apples comparison. If you still wish to compare for some statistical reason - compare each at his best and worst Used to love Lara's batting, but he was really susceptible to certain kind of bowling Mcgrath being his bete noire. Never saw Sachin getting out bad deliveries till very late in his career.

    Sachin at his best was sheer godly. Lara pretty close as well - just holding the bat the other way :-) I guess I am yet to see Sachin's worst.

  • legspinner007 on October 18, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    Having watched cricket for over 45 years and enjoyed the cricket of such greats as Sirs Garfield Sobers, Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd,Rohan Kanhai, Geoffrey Boycott, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Mohammad Azhruddin, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Mindad, Alan Border, Sanath Jayasurya, etc, as a pure admirer of the game, I cannot begin to describe the sheer joy it is to watch the genius of Sachin Tendulkar's batting. To true connoisseurs of the game, he will be akin to a master conductor in motion, a supreme ballerina in action, and a brilliant painter at work... We could all argue about the records he has accumulated and the stats he compiled or could have sewed together, but there can be no doubt of who provided the sheer joy and majesty of the highest form of batsmanship artistry...

  • donthaveaclue on October 18, 2008, 13:32 GMT

    The scale of his achievement will only be evident to the rest of us maybe years from now. Let's not forget that for the longest time, Indian cricket meant the batting of this one man, for obvious reasons. At my blog outsideedge.wordpress.com I've paid my own little rudimentary tribute to the man. Like that old adidas ad said "When Sachin bats...all else...is irrelevant"

  • Ratin on October 18, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    Sachin according to me is the greatest cricketer of all times. For last 19 years,I was growing seeing him breaking all records and making India proud.He is having burden of billion people on his shoulder everytime he came to crease and we all have great feeling when he scores 100 or out duck,happy or sad...he is a inspiration for all of us...I admire him from the bottom of my heart.For last 19 years,not a single time I have heard him saying bad words for any player, he is such a dignified & noble person ever existed on this planet.His love for sport and love for country is so divine that if every indian follow him india will difinitely become superpower.What BCCI now is because of Sachin...richest board of cricket in the world...not only cricket but any other sport...because sachin drags people to stadiums. Sachin's love for cricket and his devotion towards cricket is so big that if we indians loves what we do with all our efforts we will be a successful human being.Sachin u r GOD.

  • nyc_chd on October 18, 2008, 1:54 GMT

    I find it amazing how most of us try to cover Tendulkar's sedate and almost soulless batting in his so called second half as something the genius has adapted to for the greater good of the team. For one, he got the timing of the two phases completely off - he should have been more cautious in his first half when there was no one else to do anything worthwhile when he used to get out rather than now (or in the recent past) when the team is much more multi dimensional. His 2nd innings record will always be a HUGE blemish - it's impossible to argue against it. It is almost embarrassing to see him struggle against mediocre bowlers these days. I think it is safe to say that most fans do not care/remember the averages/records...what you remember is how he could impose himself and win games. And to win games, you have to score your runs quickly (exceptions aside)to give you bowlers ample time in this day and age of slowing pitches. If you want to be called the greatest, the bar is high.

  • ChuckingMuraliMakesMeSick on October 18, 2008, 0:36 GMT

    Tendulkar is a supremely gifted batsman, yet for the second half of his career there has been an air of a wonderful machine at work rather than the Peter Pan-like prodigy he was in his youth. And the pressure placed on him by his fellow Indians is much to blame. He is a modern Atlas, carrying so much weight of expectation that he formulated a way to be an incredibly successful artisan but at the cost to himself of not being the batting artist he may have become. Remember: all artists are selfish. For example, Brian Lara. Who knew which Lara was going to turn up on any given day? Immensely talented but a mercurial temperament, capable of batting deeds no-one else could match, capable of deserting his team in the middle of a match. India, enjoy your jewel while you can, for he will leave, never to grace your cricket fields again. Treasure him, do not burden him with the dross and the banal. Let him be, and may he shine on in the gloaming of his batting life. An Australian admirer.

  • CricketLover73 on October 17, 2008, 20:05 GMT

    People who genuinely understand and love the game would never compare Sachin and Lara. Sachin and Lara are two very different batsmen, who played for very different teams, and under very different circumstances. Insouciance or not, Kieslowski or not, watching Sachin bat has been nothing but a pleasure. Personal opinions account for nothing really. Fact of the matter is, no one in cricketing history has held the records for highest aggregate runs and highest number of centuries in both forms of the game at the same time and will probably never do so again. That should end the discussion really, but we will still read pieces comparing him to Tom, Dick and Harry.

  • CheGuvera on October 17, 2008, 19:19 GMT

    Sachin would always be a prolific accumulator of inconsequential and meaningless stats...Unlike Brian Lara, he never scored more then 500 runs in a single series to have had the opportunity to single handedly or at least play a major part in guiding his team to a series victory...Unlike Brian Lara for West Indies, when India needed him the most he tended to choke...there was always high scoring accumulation when the attack was bare as was the case in Australia in 2004 or when the opposition was meek, unbeaten double hundred against the hapless Bangladeshis to get out of a funk......Not one single innings in Wisden top 100, Lara has a few and on top of that Lara possessed all the flair in the world and half the time didn't even try...No comparison to Lara, hands down the best batsman of his generation

  • omer_admani on October 17, 2008, 19:14 GMT

    (Continued) Mcgrath and Warne hunting as a pack is better for both of them individually rather than either of them bowling alone. Lara never had a reliable batsman at the other hand who could carry along with him and help him consolidate. It also takes a lot of heart for Lara to carry on despite repeated failures of the team. In an average person, at some point the passion would recede if individual efforts weren't materializing into more consistent team-wins. Lara was great in his own right. I'd rather not compare the two at this point in time, as Sachin has just reached the milestone and, in the end, both are great players after all.

  • Baton100 on October 21, 2008, 10:30 GMT

    It's true everyone has their own favourites.,but I think apart from favourites there are greatness to be reckon. I think the person who has scored the most runs in not only in a test match and a first class game is the champ. Because he has achieved the highest goal in the game. In that case Lara has done it in the both leagues. I think it's enough to consider him as the better one. Not only that he is the player with most double centuries after Don Bradman, only man to score 400 runs in a test. I think the only factor favour the Tendulkar is his average...but see this, Lara has only 6 not-outs to Tendulkar's 26+. If Lara had the same amount of not-outs(even with half of 26) he could have easily surpass the Tendulkar's average.And don't forget lot of West Indians wanted Lara to retire earlier and on the other hand all of the Indians wanted Tendulkar to play as long as he can and as he wanted.

  • LetsBeReasonable on October 20, 2008, 5:30 GMT

    Do people like CheGuvera and the rest really think that they understand the game and batting better than Sir Donald Bradman, well then so be it.

    I hate comparing Lara and Tendulkar - I would say one is one of the 3 best left handed batsmen (Graeme Pollock, Sobers and Lara) - while Tendulkar is one of the two best right handed batsmen (Sir Bradman and Tendulkar).

    You can never do an apples to apples comparison. If you still wish to compare for some statistical reason - compare each at his best and worst Used to love Lara's batting, but he was really susceptible to certain kind of bowling Mcgrath being his bete noire. Never saw Sachin getting out bad deliveries till very late in his career.

    Sachin at his best was sheer godly. Lara pretty close as well - just holding the bat the other way :-) I guess I am yet to see Sachin's worst.

  • legspinner007 on October 18, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    Having watched cricket for over 45 years and enjoyed the cricket of such greats as Sirs Garfield Sobers, Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd,Rohan Kanhai, Geoffrey Boycott, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Mohammad Azhruddin, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Mindad, Alan Border, Sanath Jayasurya, etc, as a pure admirer of the game, I cannot begin to describe the sheer joy it is to watch the genius of Sachin Tendulkar's batting. To true connoisseurs of the game, he will be akin to a master conductor in motion, a supreme ballerina in action, and a brilliant painter at work... We could all argue about the records he has accumulated and the stats he compiled or could have sewed together, but there can be no doubt of who provided the sheer joy and majesty of the highest form of batsmanship artistry...

  • donthaveaclue on October 18, 2008, 13:32 GMT

    The scale of his achievement will only be evident to the rest of us maybe years from now. Let's not forget that for the longest time, Indian cricket meant the batting of this one man, for obvious reasons. At my blog outsideedge.wordpress.com I've paid my own little rudimentary tribute to the man. Like that old adidas ad said "When Sachin bats...all else...is irrelevant"

  • Ratin on October 18, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    Sachin according to me is the greatest cricketer of all times. For last 19 years,I was growing seeing him breaking all records and making India proud.He is having burden of billion people on his shoulder everytime he came to crease and we all have great feeling when he scores 100 or out duck,happy or sad...he is a inspiration for all of us...I admire him from the bottom of my heart.For last 19 years,not a single time I have heard him saying bad words for any player, he is such a dignified & noble person ever existed on this planet.His love for sport and love for country is so divine that if every indian follow him india will difinitely become superpower.What BCCI now is because of Sachin...richest board of cricket in the world...not only cricket but any other sport...because sachin drags people to stadiums. Sachin's love for cricket and his devotion towards cricket is so big that if we indians loves what we do with all our efforts we will be a successful human being.Sachin u r GOD.

  • nyc_chd on October 18, 2008, 1:54 GMT

    I find it amazing how most of us try to cover Tendulkar's sedate and almost soulless batting in his so called second half as something the genius has adapted to for the greater good of the team. For one, he got the timing of the two phases completely off - he should have been more cautious in his first half when there was no one else to do anything worthwhile when he used to get out rather than now (or in the recent past) when the team is much more multi dimensional. His 2nd innings record will always be a HUGE blemish - it's impossible to argue against it. It is almost embarrassing to see him struggle against mediocre bowlers these days. I think it is safe to say that most fans do not care/remember the averages/records...what you remember is how he could impose himself and win games. And to win games, you have to score your runs quickly (exceptions aside)to give you bowlers ample time in this day and age of slowing pitches. If you want to be called the greatest, the bar is high.

  • ChuckingMuraliMakesMeSick on October 18, 2008, 0:36 GMT

    Tendulkar is a supremely gifted batsman, yet for the second half of his career there has been an air of a wonderful machine at work rather than the Peter Pan-like prodigy he was in his youth. And the pressure placed on him by his fellow Indians is much to blame. He is a modern Atlas, carrying so much weight of expectation that he formulated a way to be an incredibly successful artisan but at the cost to himself of not being the batting artist he may have become. Remember: all artists are selfish. For example, Brian Lara. Who knew which Lara was going to turn up on any given day? Immensely talented but a mercurial temperament, capable of batting deeds no-one else could match, capable of deserting his team in the middle of a match. India, enjoy your jewel while you can, for he will leave, never to grace your cricket fields again. Treasure him, do not burden him with the dross and the banal. Let him be, and may he shine on in the gloaming of his batting life. An Australian admirer.

  • CricketLover73 on October 17, 2008, 20:05 GMT

    People who genuinely understand and love the game would never compare Sachin and Lara. Sachin and Lara are two very different batsmen, who played for very different teams, and under very different circumstances. Insouciance or not, Kieslowski or not, watching Sachin bat has been nothing but a pleasure. Personal opinions account for nothing really. Fact of the matter is, no one in cricketing history has held the records for highest aggregate runs and highest number of centuries in both forms of the game at the same time and will probably never do so again. That should end the discussion really, but we will still read pieces comparing him to Tom, Dick and Harry.

  • CheGuvera on October 17, 2008, 19:19 GMT

    Sachin would always be a prolific accumulator of inconsequential and meaningless stats...Unlike Brian Lara, he never scored more then 500 runs in a single series to have had the opportunity to single handedly or at least play a major part in guiding his team to a series victory...Unlike Brian Lara for West Indies, when India needed him the most he tended to choke...there was always high scoring accumulation when the attack was bare as was the case in Australia in 2004 or when the opposition was meek, unbeaten double hundred against the hapless Bangladeshis to get out of a funk......Not one single innings in Wisden top 100, Lara has a few and on top of that Lara possessed all the flair in the world and half the time didn't even try...No comparison to Lara, hands down the best batsman of his generation

  • omer_admani on October 17, 2008, 19:14 GMT

    (Continued) Mcgrath and Warne hunting as a pack is better for both of them individually rather than either of them bowling alone. Lara never had a reliable batsman at the other hand who could carry along with him and help him consolidate. It also takes a lot of heart for Lara to carry on despite repeated failures of the team. In an average person, at some point the passion would recede if individual efforts weren't materializing into more consistent team-wins. Lara was great in his own right. I'd rather not compare the two at this point in time, as Sachin has just reached the milestone and, in the end, both are great players after all.

  • omer_admani on October 17, 2008, 19:05 GMT

    I am afraid that the level of journalism has deteriorated at cricinfo. Likewise, you have tended to point that Lara's circumstances were conducive to him becoming what he is, whereas Tendulkar had everything against him. Thus, the logical conclusion that is suggested is, Tendulkar is much better than Lara, though your own conslusion betrays that general sense in your piece, understandably to sound neutral. For instance, you made it a point that Lara's double-century against Australia was on a very flat track, there was never any pressure on Lara because no-one expected West Indies to win, and thus Lara could be his natural, flamboyant self. An increase in average is cited to support that claim. On the contrary, Tendulkar was always under pressure, and he turned into an accumulator to meet the pressure of expectation. What you fail to point is that, with 4 other great batsmen in the team, Tendulkar was never under as much strain as Lara. (Continued)

  • l.o.c on October 17, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    you could always wonder how much better lara would be if he didnt have to wonder whether his side would last till tea..with lara it was always like he was batting with a tailender and took alot out of him..so with a few more supportive batsmen hence less pressure lara would have scored more runs..

  • Farce-Follower on October 17, 2008, 14:56 GMT

    Definitely a great achievement. He was so fluid and easy today. A century seemed a certainty. Sachin must preserve himself for test cricket and retire from ODIs. The ODI is an irrelevant format meant to squeeze meaningless stuff like Kitply cups. However irreverent it may sound, Sachin must think of a countdown to retirement (next summer), much like the great McGrath. Always fantastic to go out on a high like the truly great - Pete Sampras and Michael Schumacher. The greatest tragedy would be to think of WC 2011 like some of the anchors in TV programmes have been suggesting. He would be truly alone by then. What a shame.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on October 17, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    Hey Sachin, as a die hard fan of yours, have a request. Now that you are free of all the pressures, can you go back in time and bring out your cavalier approach to your batting? That would be the best way to shut up all your critics and also delight your fans all around the world. Please..please.. please...show us the Tendulkar of the old. Now that India has a settled batting line up, just do this before majority of the Indian stalwarts retire.

  • True_Indian_Fan on October 17, 2008, 14:05 GMT

    A true hallmark of a champion cricketer is being a team player and playing for the team...I believe the style of batting is no more important than just being more pleasantries to the eyes, but what is more important is being more Consistent..Which Sachin is...most of the times(His rich averages in both forms being the testimony )....And by no means Sachin has an inferior style...Style being just a matter of perception but not Consistency...

    Branding sachin just an "Accumulator" would be grossly understating his true achievement...His true achievement is his never ending eagerness to the game just the same way he had when he debuted...

  • lovercric on October 17, 2008, 14:01 GMT

    To FJPFJP, I definitely don't agree with what you. Tendulkar is still one of the top batsmen in the Indian team (probably in the world) and I don't know why he should retire as long as he is making runs. I agree that he had a bad series in SL, but there have been only very few batsmen in cricket history to have scored as consistent. So please, before you start posting, look at the facts and at least have the courtesy to appreciate "one of the greatest" to have ever played cricket. I am just happy to have watched Tendulkar from his start and let him retire whenever he feels that he is done.

  • prashant_pra on October 17, 2008, 13:43 GMT

    "We're fortunate to have watched them both." So So True!! Makes me feel so proud to have born in an era where i grew up watching and celebrating the career of these two great Champions.

    -Prashant From India.

  • donthaveaclue on October 17, 2008, 13:28 GMT

    Since when has the pressure on this man eased after conquering a milestone? He is consistently and unremittingly expected to exceed all benchmarks time and time again. I've commented about him on my blog outsideedge.wordpress.com One ordinary series and there are 'experts' saying he should hang up his boots. Doesn't matter what the rest of us say, he is one of the greatest to have ever played the game. Like a TOI headline once said "Batman Forever"

  • FJPFJP on October 17, 2008, 13:08 GMT

    At last he will now retire and pave way for a younger person. All selectors are to be blamed and the administrators for letting a person carrier more important than cricket. This would have never happened in a western country. All the best Sachin and happy retirement.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on October 17, 2008, 13:07 GMT

    Mr.Premchandran, you are a thrill to read and never more so than today. A wonderful article which has captured what Tendulkar means to today's India. In the glare of the fame, the ferrari and the fans, we easily forget the sacrifices like the 2003 World Cup savagery played with an injury, the most heartbreaking of all match-winning knocks which never was at Chennai(India scored only 10 runs when he was not at the crease) and the mounting pressure in the last couple of years but still producing magic like on the last tour to Australia.

  • xak.inazi on October 17, 2008, 13:03 GMT

    Beautiful crafted article - adore the symmetry in writing :)

    It was joy , Thank you

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  • xak.inazi on October 17, 2008, 13:03 GMT

    Beautiful crafted article - adore the symmetry in writing :)

    It was joy , Thank you

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on October 17, 2008, 13:07 GMT

    Mr.Premchandran, you are a thrill to read and never more so than today. A wonderful article which has captured what Tendulkar means to today's India. In the glare of the fame, the ferrari and the fans, we easily forget the sacrifices like the 2003 World Cup savagery played with an injury, the most heartbreaking of all match-winning knocks which never was at Chennai(India scored only 10 runs when he was not at the crease) and the mounting pressure in the last couple of years but still producing magic like on the last tour to Australia.

  • FJPFJP on October 17, 2008, 13:08 GMT

    At last he will now retire and pave way for a younger person. All selectors are to be blamed and the administrators for letting a person carrier more important than cricket. This would have never happened in a western country. All the best Sachin and happy retirement.

  • donthaveaclue on October 17, 2008, 13:28 GMT

    Since when has the pressure on this man eased after conquering a milestone? He is consistently and unremittingly expected to exceed all benchmarks time and time again. I've commented about him on my blog outsideedge.wordpress.com One ordinary series and there are 'experts' saying he should hang up his boots. Doesn't matter what the rest of us say, he is one of the greatest to have ever played the game. Like a TOI headline once said "Batman Forever"

  • prashant_pra on October 17, 2008, 13:43 GMT

    "We're fortunate to have watched them both." So So True!! Makes me feel so proud to have born in an era where i grew up watching and celebrating the career of these two great Champions.

    -Prashant From India.

  • lovercric on October 17, 2008, 14:01 GMT

    To FJPFJP, I definitely don't agree with what you. Tendulkar is still one of the top batsmen in the Indian team (probably in the world) and I don't know why he should retire as long as he is making runs. I agree that he had a bad series in SL, but there have been only very few batsmen in cricket history to have scored as consistent. So please, before you start posting, look at the facts and at least have the courtesy to appreciate "one of the greatest" to have ever played cricket. I am just happy to have watched Tendulkar from his start and let him retire whenever he feels that he is done.

  • True_Indian_Fan on October 17, 2008, 14:05 GMT

    A true hallmark of a champion cricketer is being a team player and playing for the team...I believe the style of batting is no more important than just being more pleasantries to the eyes, but what is more important is being more Consistent..Which Sachin is...most of the times(His rich averages in both forms being the testimony )....And by no means Sachin has an inferior style...Style being just a matter of perception but not Consistency...

    Branding sachin just an "Accumulator" would be grossly understating his true achievement...His true achievement is his never ending eagerness to the game just the same way he had when he debuted...

  • ToTellUTheTruth on October 17, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    Hey Sachin, as a die hard fan of yours, have a request. Now that you are free of all the pressures, can you go back in time and bring out your cavalier approach to your batting? That would be the best way to shut up all your critics and also delight your fans all around the world. Please..please.. please...show us the Tendulkar of the old. Now that India has a settled batting line up, just do this before majority of the Indian stalwarts retire.

  • Farce-Follower on October 17, 2008, 14:56 GMT

    Definitely a great achievement. He was so fluid and easy today. A century seemed a certainty. Sachin must preserve himself for test cricket and retire from ODIs. The ODI is an irrelevant format meant to squeeze meaningless stuff like Kitply cups. However irreverent it may sound, Sachin must think of a countdown to retirement (next summer), much like the great McGrath. Always fantastic to go out on a high like the truly great - Pete Sampras and Michael Schumacher. The greatest tragedy would be to think of WC 2011 like some of the anchors in TV programmes have been suggesting. He would be truly alone by then. What a shame.

  • l.o.c on October 17, 2008, 16:07 GMT

    you could always wonder how much better lara would be if he didnt have to wonder whether his side would last till tea..with lara it was always like he was batting with a tailender and took alot out of him..so with a few more supportive batsmen hence less pressure lara would have scored more runs..