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Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval

Tendulkar relishes the ache of endurance

This blazing comet of a cricketer is a long-surviving Test titan

Sharda Ugra

August 3, 2010

Comments: 70 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar drives
If Sachin Tendulkar's other records are about skill, this one, 169 Tests, is about his hunger. © Getty Images
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It is a record Sachin Tendulkar was expected to break. Opening his innings at the tail-end of the last millennium, no one could spend two decades in the international game and not go past his other peers in terms of the number of Tests played.

In their time, the cricketers whose names will now follow Tendulkar's on this list of iron men were once indefatigable: Steve Waugh, it seemed, would never melt and Allan Border looked like he would never crumble.

Yet after them Tendulkar arrived. As he steps into the P Sara stadium on Tuesday morning, this blazing comet of a cricketer, who batted at a rhythm different from Border and Waugh, will become the last of their kind - the long-surviving Test titan.

Stretch the imagination 22 years ahead and see if you can pick any fresh Test stripling of today - Umar Akmal, Eoin Morgan, Steven Smith, Adrian Barath - to go past 170 Tests.

Other than Bradman's 99.94, Tendulkar now owns the marks that batsmen dream about: most runs and most centuries. If those were about skill, this one, 169 Tests, is about his hunger. More than anything else, it is what has taken him this far and what has given his career a mind-bender of a second wind after the gloom of 2006.

The day before his 169th Test appearance, he described his sport much like Glenn McGrath did, calling it 'simple'. In an interview he had once talked about its more complex layers. "There is not a single boring day," he said, "when you don't learn anything new."

Those could have been the words of a young man in his tenth Test but that was circa 2003. Tendulkar the cricketer has switched effortlessly between youth and maturity. When he turned 18 and was by then an 11-Test veteran, his city's signature tabloid Mid-Day put him on the cover of their Sunday magazine supplement, posing on Marine Drive, dressed in a shirt of riotous colour at the wheel of his first car, a Maruti 800.

A taciturn teenager, far from the confident sage of the 21st century, he had these words of wisdom to offer on his coming of age. "When you are 18," he said, "you're not young anymore." When he had gone two series without a hundred, it was said that far too many allowances were being made for his age. In his third series and his ninth Test, three months after turning 17, he batted at No. 6 just ahead of Manoj Prabhakar and produced the first of his 48 centuries in Manchester. It was expected and it happened. This was the prodigy who fit into his India cap with ease, without open tantrum, controversy or angst.

With 168 Tests, Tendulkar has grown up in public and so appears timeless but he is a different man from the cherub who couldn't hide under the helmet grille. Until the first crack of his bat made the annoucement of intent that is. The noise of the crowd lifted him but in the first half of his career, even when captain, Tendulkar lived with a peculiar strain of white line fever. The competitor on the field was a man of deep reserve when outside its boundaries.

Even though he grew up in a slightly more mellow age - one in which his telephone number could be found by looking for his father's name in the Mumbai telephone directory - he lived with public expectation and dependence like no other teammate peer or contemporary. Still, whatever his inner debates about a youth lived in the open, his batting remained reliably resplendent. As he would himself say, there wasn't a day he wasn't learning, be it how to season a long innings with strokes that had until then belonged to his one-day repertoire or experimenting with what it meant to be anchor over aggressor.

What defined him most sharply as the youngest of men in Indian cricket still remains as he becomes the game's oldest. Before the icon and the brand and the deification and the 37kg coffee table books comes the batsman.

It is as if his mind has always been deliberate, undistracted and his heart, when stepping on the field, full with youthful optimism.

He will prepare for his 169th Test just like he always has, in calculated, thoughtful steps.

During nets on Monday, he would have inspected the P Sara wicket and calibrated all the information into method and shot selection. He described it once: "I look at the wicket and the opposition and analyse their strengths and weaknesses and then pick my shots. These are the shots that will bring me closer to 100 per cent success. You try and minimise your risks. But in spite of that you make mistakes."

Then when back in his room, on his own, he will spend ten minutes on a visualisation, part of his pre-match preparation since he was a school boy. He will see the bowlers before him, the stationing of the field, the feel of the ground, the heat or the breeze, the noise of the crowd, "so when I actually go there in the middle it's the second time I'm going there, not the first".

He may pick up the bat he has carried back with him to his hotel like he does every time and maybe shadow practice a little. Just before his 169th match, he will do all of this, part-drill, part-prayer, equal respect given to practice and providence.

When he goes out on the field, with India creaking at their joints, Sachin Tendulkar will have with him a record that is a reminder not of champagne and glory but the ache of endurance. But he will walk lightly because, like always, he will be the young man of 16.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by daivapreethi on (August 9, 2010, 7:01 GMT)

amazing article ! i like the style of your writing

Posted by Rohan1 on (August 9, 2010, 5:21 GMT)

Sreerang Brilliant. And True. Till 2003 Tendulkar was well above the rest. A simple check of the stats till 01/01/03 will reaffirm that. Thereafter till 06 he suffered off and on from various injuries/surgeries. It is in this period where the pontings,laras,dravids,kallises etc filled their boots silly in great batting conditions vs moderate attacks..... so a superficial look at allround stats show the others as having caught up. From 07 on Tendulkar agains seems to have found his groove

Posted by Sreerang on (August 8, 2010, 18:58 GMT)

This is for all those doubting Thomases. Forget what all the fans say. Lets see what the world cricketers say- During the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, in a poll conducted among all the cricketers (108 International cricketers were polled). Their reply to the best test batsman & best ODI batsman was Sachin by a long long way. Who are you & me to argue against that?

Here's the link for the same- http://www.cricinfo.com/southafrica/content/story/122437.html

Posted by Sudhir29 on (August 8, 2010, 17:26 GMT)

@Ian_ghose : the only real debate is if Sachin is better than Bradman. If u talk about facing pace, Bradman's avg dropped to half when he faced Larwood on home pitches in Oz. Ponting was great in a pack : see what's happening now , when is surrounded by no bodies. Losing twice in England as a skipper and now managing to lose to Pak, wow he has some record (don't forget the SA and India loss).

I think there have been a bunch of pretty good players we have seen. But 50 years on, people will wish they had been around when Sachin was playing (and not Ponting or Kallis).

Posted by tendlya14 on (August 8, 2010, 9:39 GMT)

@ian ghose- continuing...amla has played well 4 the last 1 or 2 seasons...lets see if he can keep it up for 2 decades or 170 tests...whichever comes first! :-P meanwhile he is not a certainity for ODI's nd T20 for his own team. Likewise Chanderpaul..nd Kallis record agnst Aus is mediocre..i cnt undrstnd how u overlook all this.

Posted by tendlya14 on (August 8, 2010, 7:12 GMT)

@ian ghose- ofcourse hayden ws a flat-track bully! Wenever the oppositn hd a gud bowling attack, he hs failed! Circa ashes 2005, india-2008 (zaheer khan made him a bunny!) if klusener was so gud, he'd stil b playin nw dnt u think? He gt axed, bcoz there were bettr players in his own country! So 4gt comparin him wit sachin! Nd abt mcgrath vs tendulkar, sachin owned him in his 93 in 1996 WC, nd in the group phase of 2003 WC( 14 runs off a single mcgrath over)

Posted by TATTUs on (August 7, 2010, 3:15 GMT)

I almost forgot to comment about the article! This article just brought back memories and one being from a balanced and true admirer[ not many can claim to be that and Sharda Ugra is one who can] of Sachin was a hearty read.

Looking forward to more from this author in cricinfo.

Posted by TATTUs on (August 7, 2010, 3:12 GMT)

@Ian_Ghose.

Mate..there are 2 ways of looking at things. Positive and negative. If you are hell-bent on finding the negatives about one thing or person you will always find that as the universe is balanced. Its just that some are [out of prejudice] only after the negatives and others after positives. But there are very few who take a balanced view!

I can reply for every point you gave. But I care not to. But I would say only one thing against your "sehwag and Ganguly outmatching him and his aggression fading after early 2000s" - There is something called 'game-plan' and one is not supposed to know that , unless of course he is in the team. So commenting about his style of batting without knowing what his intent is childish to say the least.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (August 6, 2010, 19:58 GMT)

@ian_ghose interesting facts about 1996 capetown. But didn't Klusener score his hundred against tired (and read pathetic) indian bowling lineup? I watched that match and i remember sachin was the last one to get out. Donald himself admitted he is the best batsman he has played against. I wonder how gud klusner or Aussie batsman would be against their own bowlers. I (like many indians) grew up watching sachin's one many army show in 90's though we hadn't won too many matches.(1998 is the best ever for me).What we like the most about him is his humbleness and his dedication to win for his country at this age (unlike our arrogant youngsters)and wait isn't he performing consistlently.?just check his last odi double ton against the likes of steyn, kallis and co who are top class bowlers.Just go to the right forum and vent your frustration.

Posted by   on (August 5, 2010, 18:37 GMT)

And yet, I will as certainly turn around and admit that players like Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Waugh, Martyn, Gilchrist formed one of the most formidable and coldly efficient line ups around. They were one half of the team that was the undisputed no. 1 for a decade. But try telling me they were better than Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman. Aesthetically, statistically, strokeplay, instincts. Admittedly Sachin isn't the player he was. And yet try telling me he still isn't one of the most consistent in the world.

And for a moment, try telling me, if you'd ever relax that a game was over, with Sachin still at the crease.

Posted by   on (August 5, 2010, 18:14 GMT)

p.s. i'm not sure i get the guy. he's actually trying to defend hayden while desecrating tendulkar? happens. And anyway - you gotta have someone trying to speak against Sachin too. It's so ludicrous to read/hear, it's fun.

Posted by   on (August 5, 2010, 18:08 GMT)

@ian: come on, you chose Sachin Tendulkar to pick on?? The man has 48 test hundreds - and you don't need me to tell you that's a terrifying number. the 'not-terrific' innings you could count on your fingers dude (and even they were test hundreds, in case you forgot).. get a life and try counting the significant ones. that'll give you something to spend more time. and then blow your mind.

Posted by hattima on (August 5, 2010, 15:39 GMT)

@ian It is true that from time to time players have outshone him, and that perhaps people have been kinder to him than Dravid, Ganguly and Sehwags. It is true that the writer forgets that he is ranked 14th and 2nd in terms of test averages. He does have the cushion of his Mumbai background that protected him during his failures, and a mindless craze about him being the saviour of India without much factual basis. But it is still a fact that his perseverence is unmatched, it is still a fact that before the Laxman-Dravid-Ganguly-Sehwag era he was the only one in the India team to have any value attached to his wicket. It is still amazing that he still has the hunger (and fitness) to keep scoring centuries. He might not be the greatest, but he is surely one of the greats. This article is all about that.

Posted by sonjjay on (August 5, 2010, 13:54 GMT)

@Ian Ghose Well i was maybe wrong abt the waca record, i agree that sachin has had his failures at times but his success outstrips those.There really is no one from this generation who has been devoid of any deficiencies. u may probably find every batsman has failed on some other tour. And on the same flat and low track of sydney dont forget australia barely managed to eke out a draw. Also dont forget at what was termed as the desert storm attack. U need to see the context of a particular innings some times a fighting fifty is more entertaining than a double ton. a more balanced outlook is needed(no offence)...

Posted by pr3m on (August 5, 2010, 13:32 GMT)

First off, Sachin. What a player. Ain't many been around better than what him. Records have gone, and will continue to be broken, but the way in which he runs after the ball on the field, even today, is amazing. The enthusiasm can't be missed. That's what is amazing to watch.

And for the people who are tired of reading about Sachin on Cricinfo, I'm sorry if I come off as condescending, but its real simple, guys. Don't click on the link if you're not interested in reading about the player. Really, that's all it takes.

As for people comparing him with Strauss (!!) I have no words, except lets see Strauss score those 100's in Australia, later this year.

Posted by ian_ghose on (August 5, 2010, 12:28 GMT)

@Rama Rao Uppuluri (this is getting redundant now) - are you suggesting that you are the 'voice of India' with the right to represent EVERY Indian fan out there, and that every 'Indian' fan is blinkered and blind to everything else that happens?...hmmm..sounds rather patronizing, doesn't it? I think its rather unfair to project personal opinions as opinions of a group of diverse people, people capable of thinking and drawing their own conclusions. So you reckon Hayden was a flat track bully because he scored a lot of runs on the flat tracks of India? Well I suppose that doesn't leave much to be said of the Indian batsmen, many of who scored runs only there... Peace - yes lots of it where i live..hope you get some too :) Cheers IG

Posted by   on (August 5, 2010, 11:18 GMT)

@ ian_ghose...U see what u want to see.. The Indian fans see what they want to see... They aren't entirely right but so are you. Sachin's godly status in India have many reasons including cricket....Peace P.S Hayden was a flat track bully...Look at his record in the ashes(England)

Posted by ian_ghose on (August 5, 2010, 10:12 GMT)

@sonjjay - Don't base the argument on one's country of origin/ residence (you are wrong anyways)..you might be surprised. To get back to your arguments first - Cape Town 1996, 5 batsmen scored hundreds, with Lance Klusener's being far more game-breaking than Tendulkar's with Tendulkar failing in the 2nd innings. Sydney 2004 - Lets see, flat low pitch, no McGrath,Lee coming back from injury (most runs scored against Bracken bowling off-cutters) atleast 2 other players scored hundreds- match drawn. 1996, yes he was good,and so were many others (Waugh Jr) 2003 WC - yes..he scored a few - but was totally owned by McGrath in the final (just like the game in 1999). And to say that Tendulkar is the only Asian to score a hundred at the WACA, shows that you haven't watched much cricket not involving India. Here are some other non Indian Asians - Asif Iqbal 1979, Javed Miandad 1979, Hashan Tillekaratne 1995-96, Ijaz Ahmed 1999. Blinkered vision is not very healthy,look around a bit. IG

Posted by sonjjay on (August 5, 2010, 4:11 GMT)

@ Ian Ghose, i guess ur from oz, bt never the less if ur looking at durban why dont u look at cape town 1996 if u wanna look at 1999 world cup why dont u look at 1996 and 2003 world cup when Sachin was the highest run scorer inspite of Glen Mcgrath being there. Why dont u look at sydney 2004 or perth test 1993 and perhaps Sachin is the only asian batsman to have scored a century at the waca.its also well known that Ricky has a deficiency when it comes to playing spin. sachin has proved himself on every soil...

Posted by shoeless on (August 4, 2010, 20:52 GMT)

Response to venkat08: In reality, talent can only carry you so far, the rest is hard work. The two are not mutually exclusive. I also believe tenacity itself is a form of natural talent. It's not something everyone is capable of. Being able to work hard towards a goal, consistently, despite hardship, is a gift.Another factor that's often ignored in such discussions is Passion. Passion makes us strive for excellence. Talent + hard work + passion is a winning formula for success (=Sachin Ramesh TendulKar). Do you have the talent to hardwork? (P.S. as redundant as it may be, I'd like to point out this is just my opinion. Agree or disagree, that's what the comment section is for).

Posted by ian_ghose on (August 4, 2010, 15:13 GMT)

..(continued)..and yet the way people (from India) worship him, while shamelessly insulting others (almost always wrongly), makes me really stand back and say...'Was he as good as they say he is?'..and then my mind goes back to Durban 1996, Barbados 1997, World Cup 1999 (when Glenn McGrath blew the Indian top order away making Tendulkar look very ordinary), India is Australia 1999 (the last time he faced McGrath in Australia)..and I said to myself..were they instances of true greatness? And the answer was - NOT. Yes...others struggled as well...so how was he any greater than them? While at the same time, on in the same conditions there were opposition players who has clearly out-performed him. Even in the last decade, I remember more match breaking innings from Hayden, Ponting, Kallis, even Strauss (he was a revelation in South Africa in 2004).. And to say Tendulkar is the greatest..would be an unfair insult to every other batsman...who on many occasions has been better than SRT.

Posted by ian_ghose on (August 4, 2010, 14:29 GMT)

Yes, nice Sharda. Perhaps it's time Tendulkar calls it quits. Better to go when they ask 'Why?'..rather than 'Why not!!!!'. To me, he has never been able to match his pre 1998 aggression, when he well and truly mastered Shane Warne (even though he has always struggled against McGrath, Donald and Ambrose). Since then he has been consistent but never threatened to take the game away. He has been, on numerous occasions out-matched by Ganguly and later Sehwag. His lack of imagination as an international captain was also a dark spot. In the last decade, the pitches have been flat, the bowling around the world arguably weaker than the previous decade and yet his performance has not been significantly better than either Ponting, Kallis, Yohanna (aka Yousuf) or Chanderpaul, let alone Lara. Infact Hashim Amla has scored far more runs than him on those same flat tracks (when they played against each other). While in other parts of the world there has been a Hayden and a Gilchrist blazing away...

Posted by   on (August 4, 2010, 9:12 GMT)

To those who say Tendulkar does not do charity, you cant be more wrong. He has never publicised it or invited the media to come and watch him give away charity. Instead quietly for many years he has been supporting an NGO called Apnalaya in Mumbai since the 1990s. He has been helping poor kids for so many years without all the fanfare of other celebrities in India who like to shout out what work they do in front of a 100 photgoraphers and videographers.

"I have been doing it for many years but had kept it under wraps. I did not let the press know about it," he said.

Posted by naveenacer on (August 4, 2010, 2:43 GMT)

Do't compare sachin with ganguly.ganguly is above ordinary cricketer,but suchin is truely genius cricketer than any cricketer. And talks about the worldcup failures sachin having average 59.8,1732 runs(more than any cricketer),most runs in single worldcup in 1996,2003, most worldcup matches.most man of the matches. And you are know about that winning the worldcup is not achievable with any single cricketer,a team can win the worldcup. And i can tell that india early exit at 2007 worldcup made because sachin was not as opener.

Posted by Rohan1 on (August 4, 2010, 2:08 GMT)

From now on there will always be two periods in cricket: BT and AT. - BEFORE TENDULKAR and AFTER TENDULKAR!

Posted by Neutral_Human on (August 4, 2010, 1:13 GMT)

To people who says he does not do charity just a reminder you dont have to do such things for novelty causes and beat the drums for the world to know. Just for your knowledge Tendya takes care of 200 very poor orphan children. Their education, food, clothes and shelter all been taken care of by him. The proceedings from the OPUS book costing $75,000 each are also going towards that. SO dont assume things and make an ass out of yourself. He is not only a great cricketer, a great sportman but indeed a much much better human. so stop complaining and see what have you done yourself....

Posted by M_H_K on (August 4, 2010, 0:27 GMT)

Its seems to me that it is compulsory for every Indian writer, who wants to write, has to start his writing job with the praise of Tendulkar. Enough praise, we don't want more please.

Posted by vimalan on (August 3, 2010, 23:48 GMT)

salute to the greatest. no words can describe his love for game and commitment..bow to the master.

Posted by Shyam_Kumar on (August 3, 2010, 18:31 GMT)

Looks Like DA-Silva1996 is Jealous of tendulkar and his achiviments, its not your fault, its human nature.do one thing just stick to 1996, nothing else you can do more.

Posted by vpisipati on (August 3, 2010, 18:22 GMT)

Sachin is defintely not among my top favorite cricketers. Having said that, I have analyzed why, as I am part of a small minority in that respect. It's mostly because I admire cricketers who have achieved great things without too much talent and against all odds. Hence, I admire the likes of Dravid, Kapil Dev etc. With Sachin, he has so much talent as a cricketer that all the records were his to take since his high school days. On the other hand, I respect him immensely for his CONTINUED hunger for runs and success. It's only team India's misfortune that they could not build a team around him to succeed AND dominate in all forms of the game. Thanks to great cricketers like Dravid, Kumble, Ganguly and Laxman we were at least able to get a respectable state on the world stage.

Posted by sonjjay on (August 3, 2010, 17:04 GMT)

Wonderful article. So many of us grew up watching him bat, Cricket in 90's for us began wid sachin and ended with sachin. TRP's in India dropped drastically when he got out. No crowd in any country starts cheering when the homeside loses their second wicket, it only happens in India. I often feel sorry for the batsmen walking out , they are rather cheered for getting out soon coz we all know who bats at no.4 . I hope he plays forever and ever. Salute to the master...

Posted by cricmaniac10 on (August 3, 2010, 14:51 GMT)

Wonderful article from Sharda. with a right touch of emotion. A fitting article for a true cricketing genius. In a few years to come, Test and ODI matches might become history but this batting genius who I fully believe, was conceived under God's full attention will remain immortal.

Posted by mrgupta on (August 3, 2010, 14:50 GMT)

Fantastic peace of Article Sharda! I have not read any of your articles earlier but this one is very good. You have rightly described the great man. I remember reading about him when he was 15 yrs old and made his Ranji debut ( i was just 8 then). But ever since he has become a part of my life. Following him since so many years i have tried to be like him, as a person. Because i feel more than a Great Cricketer he is a Great Human. I have not heard of any other sportsperson who is followed by millions across the world and still stay humble and so much down to Earth. You will never hear him connected to any controversy like most others. I wish he could play on and on because i fear the day he gets retired from Cricket i will loose interest in my favorite sport.

Posted by mrgupta on (August 3, 2010, 14:42 GMT)

@lobster_man: Which sport do you like? I am sure not Cricket because if its Cricket than you are insulting the greatest sportsperson this game has produced. If you think its a torture than you are most welcome to leave this forum. You are actually hurting the sentiments of millions other who like Sachin Tendulkar. Its not just about Cricket, if you are Soccer fan you wud want to hear about Maradona, Pele. For Tennis you wud read abt Sampras, Federer and Nadal. For F1 you cant stop talking about Michael Schumacher or Alonso. Why not? Because these are great Men and we respect them unlike you.

Posted by cricmaniac10 on (August 3, 2010, 14:25 GMT)

One thing that makes the run machine go on an on with what he has been doing for the last 20+ years is the DESIRE to score runs, records are just a passing milestone for this batting genius...though is cricketing history in years to come Sachin might well be rated just next to The Don...well, that in itself is an unique distinction since how many can eventually get there is anybody's guess...I would say none in the next 2-3 generations atleast. I have been watching him play since I was 10 and 20 years on, still wait for the next ball bowled at him before I leave for the office, JUST to see the way he caresses the ball with his mighty bat. Hats-off to you Sachin...please continue what you have been doing for as long as you can and then just like it happens with any human being, that day has to come and then there is a looooooooooong wait for another Sachin, if at there would exist one!!!

Posted by   on (August 3, 2010, 14:13 GMT)

@Adhiseshan Ramoorthy You are drifting away from the point friend...Here we are talking about cricket .

How can you be so sure that he doesn't do charity .Perhaps he does all that n even more. After all.. when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing...So stop comparing him with the likes of Ganguly ,Warne n Waugh who make sure that half of world know about their altruism...Almost always they either auction their Bat or ball or make an appearance . Have you ever saw anyone emptying their pockets...I m not saying that they are bad. Just Making my point.

Posted by zingzangspillip on (August 3, 2010, 12:44 GMT)

Like all the records he has taken, Sachin deserves them. He is truly a great cricketer, and one of my favourite players.

Posted by kssrikanth on (August 3, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

May he plays for another 5 years of test cricket and having 200 test caps .

Posted by Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on (August 3, 2010, 11:45 GMT)

u just need to bow in front of this sage, and pray that may his ashirwad is always on us. not just as a player, but as a great human being - the kind of greatness god's wont dare to achieve..Sachin, we don't know with all the love that our heart can contain, whether we'll be able to reciprocate what you mean to us.

Posted by kumarraj85 on (August 3, 2010, 9:44 GMT)

Over a billion hearts will be in a fix, when the God retires. I wish that never happens.

Posted by Da-Silva1996 on (August 3, 2010, 9:38 GMT)

Oh no.Please not another article on Tendulkar to give the Indians a chance to profess the undying love and worship for him which would make their wives/husbands jealous..... We have heard it all...His passion..his determination..his talent..so boring....What about his failures under pressure and what about that world cup dream (and will remain a dream with their overated players) which will never come...I say next year is another 1st round exit for India.

Posted by muski on (August 3, 2010, 8:54 GMT)

Endurance has been the name of the game for this little man. Hope India plays sufficient tests in the next two years so that Ponting stays away from this record. He is the only one likely to break this record and certainly not one who is worthy enough to break the record. By the way, why is someone talking about helmets etc and comparing his record with pre helmet era.For heavens sake dont compare him with different generation of cricketers.I would like to know if Larwood was a faster bowler than likes of Imran and Wasim whose deadly bowling Sachin had to face.

Posted by emeye on (August 3, 2010, 8:02 GMT)

A true professional indeed!!!

Posted by   on (August 3, 2010, 7:16 GMT)

What can one say, except that we are witnessing a living legend. CONGRATS Sachin.

Posted by Satyajitdutt on (August 3, 2010, 6:17 GMT)

They say records are meant to be broken but some records will be off limits for eternity. Bradman's 99.94 career batting average, Murali's 800 test wickets, Sachin Tendulkar's most test runs, Allan Border's streak of playing 153 consecutive tests and now Sachin Tendulkar's record of most tests which is now 169 and counting! The magnitude of this record cannot be overstated because to have played nearly 21 years and still retain the same drive to play the most challenging, interesting, toughest, purest form of the game is nothing short of EXTREMELY remarkable. He might have all the ODI records as well but it's his test records that will always stand the test of time. Congratulations!

Posted by 42ing on (August 3, 2010, 4:44 GMT)

Good to see Sharda Ugra on Cricinfo.. grrat piece as always. Here's something I wrote today.. http://42ing.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/the-god-debate/

Posted by cheeru on (August 3, 2010, 4:25 GMT)

I just cant imagine him goin out of the ground for the last time...hope that day doesn't come at all......

Posted by   on (August 3, 2010, 3:54 GMT)

I'm a Sri Lankan so no doubt that I want to win my team in this test match but man, how can't I stay without wishing this little master who has entertained us in 2 decades...You can't talk about batting without mentioning about Tendulkar...Batting is like eating pea-nuts for him...I'm a fan of Sachin!! Wish you all the very best Sachin!!

Posted by Sumeet.Gupta on (August 3, 2010, 3:52 GMT)

Hats off to the man!! I get a lump in my throat when i think that this person is due to retire after some time. Cricket will never be the same again whenever the inevitable happens. Probably the Indian team can get some motivation from this guy for this test, just in case they are not motivated enough!

Posted by santhoshkr on (August 3, 2010, 3:50 GMT)

Just can't imagine the day when he hangs his boots. Hope he gets going as always.

Posted by spintl on (August 3, 2010, 3:32 GMT)

Congrats Sachin!!! May you play few more years.. but as is the nature of this great game of cricket, all things have to come to an end.. Guys, the Fab Three (Sachin, Dravid & VVS) will all be gone after WC!!! Let's enjoy the next few months.. Indian cricket will never be the same.. I am in US and enjoy the few matches that I can see live but once these great batsmen retire I am not sure whether I am gonna be watching cricket.. I do not see any young Indian cricketer replacing these icons.. The Indian middle order will be like Swiss cheese with all its holes... Just a few days back, we had the great Murali retire.. who is next?? Sachin wish you the best, may you entertain us a few more years... Three Cheers!!! - satish

Posted by   on (August 3, 2010, 3:24 GMT)

Ihave been watching tendu from the day one He is nodoubt very great player His endurance is remarkable But between the gawaskar Don bradman,sobersetc tendu has the advantage wearing helmet which had given him more confidance while batting Therfore ican consider him only the best amongest helmeted batsman. Unlike other great sportperson Tendus record in chritables causes is very dissapointing He has lots money,on his birth days ha can lot of charitable work For example he could have adopten farmer families of vidharba or he could have cleared their debts Thus preventing suicides

Posted by lobster_man on (August 3, 2010, 3:08 GMT)

looks like the hero worship has begun again - 10, please retire so that the rest of the world doesn't have to bear this torture.

Posted by   on (August 3, 2010, 3:04 GMT)

All I can say it CONGRATS and that you are my idol.. Best of luck.. Words dont describe this man not just as a cricketer but a genuine person!!

Posted by BapiDas on (August 3, 2010, 3:03 GMT)

How can one write about something that has gone past one's imagination! And what words can truly describe this little giant?There have been times when many have asked the maestro to hang his boots, but not for once did HE consider the option! And boy, are we glad or are we glad that he has continued to entertain us over and over and over again! Let us continue to enjoy the experience for as long as we can - in awed silence and reverence!

Posted by   on (August 3, 2010, 2:58 GMT)

Yes...It does feel fresh..yet again...once again...it feels like I will be watching the young and valiant Sachin leave nightmares for those bowlers by his intrepid batting display...Your article just brought back those school day memories and I agree with somebody who has already I was JUST NOT PREPARED FOR SACHIN GETTING OLDER and I will not be.Great job!!

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (August 3, 2010, 2:22 GMT)

Sachin is the greatest cricketer ever.......

Posted by   on (August 3, 2010, 2:15 GMT)

Salute the man, this is an A.W.E.S.O.M.E. deal!! FYI, I was 22 when he made his debut...lol!:-) I have grown old since but not this dude apparently!

Posted by anreddy9 on (August 2, 2010, 23:39 GMT)

"But he will walk lightly because, like always, he will be a young man of 16." Very well said, as I shudder at the very thought of Sachin retiring. Every since my school days, while so many things changed (got a bunch of degrees, got married, will soon have a kid), but one thing remained constant (remember Indians are crazy abt cricket and fall back on cricket if they have a bad day at office etc), and that is Sachin Tendulkar. In life one wants change in most things, and wants a few things to remain the same. And this is one of them. One's heart was broken when Kapil retired, but here's wishing that may Sachin be healthy and play for India for a long long time....otherwise it will mean that we, a whole generation, are getting old. Thanks Sachin for making us young and cheerful.

cheer, -prashanth

Posted by   on (August 2, 2010, 23:18 GMT)

Lovely article! Again, we've been blessed to see this master play during our days.

Posted by   on (August 2, 2010, 22:23 GMT)

Beautifully written ! Good Luck Sachin !!

Posted by Subra on (August 2, 2010, 21:55 GMT)

Sachin - the gentleman cricketer - one who has lived and played the game for over two decades without a character blemish, deserves all the accolades. Although I will be praying for a SL win, I am also praying that Sachin gets a hundred in ach inmings and purs the historic Sara Oval in the limelight as the venue he got his 50th Test Century. Will be watching it on TV from Singapore.

Posted by vish515 on (August 2, 2010, 21:27 GMT)

fantastic .. what a tribute .. nice to see you here in cricinfo sharda .. i hope you contribute regularly . thanks for the wonderful article on a truly precious gem of india. tendulkar - simply the best and the greatest .

Posted by vish2020 on (August 2, 2010, 21:19 GMT)

Great article Sharda! This article should be read by all these young Indian athletes who make it to the big stage but never live up to it after their first few stints. Its not always about scoring runs but how you held up yourself in the image of public. This great master has done it for over 20 years and all these young boys have to do is just open their eyes! No where in our world there is team of cricket that has a Jewel like Sachin and if our new generation players don't learn from him then they surely will be known as the "stupidest" cricketing generation in the history of India. Sachin has given us the proof for many decades of Indians to take the world stage of cricket by the throat and not letting it go. To have SACHIN, is a privilege only one can truly understand when he wasn't born in your country. Thank God, India was on the right side of this gift!

Posted by ElectronSmoke on (August 2, 2010, 21:09 GMT)

Indeed - for a country whose mood swings are singularly swayed by cricketing results - Sachin Tendulkar has at once remained its biggest deity, yet somehow one of them. It has become fashionable for some to detract him, point to his record in wins, 4th innings and compare him with other contemporary and modern greats. Forgotten conveniently is that he was a schoolboy cricketer, a child prodigy who was always expected to succeed, but that itself is an anomaly .. Graeme Hick, Daryl Cullinan, Vinod Kambli, Mohd.Ashraful, Marlon Samuels - the ones which conform to the stereotype are aplenty .. yet none ever feared that with Tendulkar. As if his middle class roots, his love for the game, his endless reserves of skill, his grounded thinking were all taken for granted. In his youth he overturned the belief that this was a team game, and in his old age he proves - a billion expectations, a generation of bowlers, injuries, slowing reflexes can make him fail but can't defeat him ...

Posted by hattrick_thug on (August 2, 2010, 20:52 GMT)

Sharda, I have always enjoyed reading your articles. There are dimensions of thoughtfulness, humanity and a languidly wistful inclusion of emotion. Thank you, this article was able to portray some of the essence of this gentle warrior.

Posted by Tarzansree on (August 2, 2010, 20:44 GMT)

I would like SRT to go for one more record - "Oldest man to play test cricket". i.e. when he will be 52+ i.e. 15 years of cricket more. I wish he never stops.

Posted by dr_sachinfan_chennai on (August 2, 2010, 20:18 GMT)

NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE... HE IS BEYOND WRITINGS...

Posted by Stumperament on (August 2, 2010, 20:17 GMT)

Nice article, liked the bit about paying equal respect to practice and providence.

Posted by Rajesh. on (August 2, 2010, 20:15 GMT)

Wonderful article......... totally agree, he will always be a young man of 16 :-)

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