December 21, 2010

Frozen at 18

Tendulkar has stayed on top for so long because his mind remains young and cricket remains an obsession for him
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There was a moment during the New Zealand series when Sachin Tendulkar chased a ball in the outfield. Watching him, it struck me that nothing had changed at all with him. He was still going earnestly after the ball, with the same speed and enthusiasm that he would have displayed 20 years or more ago. When you see ageing cricketers on the field, you don't see quite the same enthusiasm and agility as they had before. You can tell a veteran in the field from a distance.

Tendulkar seems to be frozen in time. It got me thinking: what is it about this guy that he can still look an integral part of a young cricketing outfit at the age of 37 and after 21 years in international cricket? People might say that he has kept himself physically fit and kept his interest in the game alive, but I know for a fact that Tendulkar was never a fitness fanatic.

I played alongside him until 1996, during his fundamental years and he didn't spend a lot of time in the gym. In fact, the Mumbai boys always prided themselves on this: it was more the culture of cricketers from north India, particularly Delhi, to hit the gym; we just batted and fielded. The senior Mumbai players, like Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri, helped instill in us the belief that cricketers should be on the field not in the gym. Tendulkar was very much a product of that culture. I am sure he spends a little more time in the gym now than he did earlier, and watches his diet, but I'd guess that's about it.

The key to his game is his enthusiasm for it. He is like an evergreen film hero, and that is possible only because of the mind. A young mind will find ways to keep the body young. His body may be 37 years old but his mind is still 18, the time when he established himself in international cricket.

In fact that is Tendulkar's nature: he's child-like. He still gets excited by things that excited him when he was 18. Most of us change as we grow old; our ways of relaxing, our choices of reading, the movies we watch, and even the friends we keep, change. Not so with Tendulkar. He still has the same friends with whom he enjoyed spending time back then. They crack the same kinds of jokes. That same masti (enjoyment) continues. That is the real secret to Tendulkar's longevity - his heart and mind are still those of a teenage boy. And teenage boys love to play sport, don't they?

Tendulkar still has the same friends with whom he enjoyed spending time back then. They crack the same kind of jokes we used to during the early years of junior cricket. That same masti continues

Chandrakant Pandit, the director of the Mumbai Cricket Association's academy, says that when Tendulkar comes to practise there, boyish squeals of delight can be heard. In the early years, during the last few minutes of his batting session, Tendulkar would challenge the net bowlers: last four balls, 15 to win. Pandit tells me Tendulkar does that even today. He also still argues with the net bowlers about whether his shot was a four and whether he was dismissed or not. Most ageing batsmen I know tend to have almost sombre net sessions and leave. Not Tendulkar, it seems, from what we hear.

Everyone knows Tendulkar is a very private person. He opens up only around his close friends, in a secure environment. Once he steps out into the public domain, even if there are only a couple of people around, he is aware of them and is immediately on red alert. When he is out on the cricket field, in the public domain, be it a Ranji game or an exhibition match, he is aware he's being watched. And once that is the case, he wants to come out looking nothing but the best. That's innate to his nature and has been right through his career. I have never seen him go out and play silly or casual cricket, whatever the game. You cannot say the same about too many other great cricketers.

"I don't like getting out," he said somewhere after the 50th Test hundred. That's true with him for all cricket, all the time. He will bat with the same intent against Bangladesh on a flat track as he would against Australia in Brisbane. Or for that matter against Tamil Nadu in the odd Ranji game for Mumbai as in a benefit match for an ex-cricketer. Once Tendulkar is in the public view, he is not willing to look any less than what he is: a great performer and a competitor.

His sprinting after the ball on the field comes from the same mindset. People are watching. It may not be the most significant moment of the day but people are watching me. I cannot be seen not excelling. And that is the attitude when it comes to his fielding, bowling, and of course his batting.

I think these are the two fundamental reasons - the child-like enthusiasm and a fierce desire to look his best every time he is on stage - why he is able to have had the kind of run he has had. That he is still able to bring the same value and more to this Indian Test team that he did as an 18-year-old is truly remarkable, apart from being rare.

There is another factor that I would like to explain with the example of Imran Khan. As he grew older, Imran changed from being a fast-bowling allrounder to a leader of Pakistan cricket. Cricket to him had become more than just batting and bowling. Because he was educated at Oxford, and studied political science, politics held great interest for him. Towards the end of his career, the cancer hospital became his obsession. And now it is about trying to effect a social change in Pakistan.

Even after 21 years of cricket at the highest level, nothing appeals to Tendulkar more than cricket. Also, by remaining a pure batting performer, rather than being a long-term captain or a leader of thoughts in Indian cricket, he has been able to devote all his energies, skills and focus to one thing and one thing only - getting runs.

Getting those fifties and hundreds. That is his single-minded obsession, and has been for the last 25 years, since the time he started off playing official cricket at 12 for his school, Shardashram Vidyamandir.

Getting runs gives him the greatest joy. The other stuff - the fast cars, new electronic gadgets, good food and friends are passions, but the obsession is just one: batting and getting those centuries for India.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 24, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    u've beaten evryone in chngng colors... people like u let india down.. feeding on other's success .....

  • Chathal on December 23, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    Dear Sanjay, Indeed you have a nice writing skills. http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2008/feb/25manj.htm is an article in rediff where you spoke how Sachin is a 'elephant in room'. At that point in time, was Sachin frozen at 35?? When Sachin fails three times in a row would'nt you be amongst the first advising the man to retire? Keep going Sanjay. After all, you need to just write and comment but your former colleague Sachin has much harder work to do. Which is to play and give guys like you something to write. zero or century does it matter????

  • on December 23, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Sorry Sanjay, you called him the 'Elephant in the room', during the ODI series in Ozland... you sound like a fair-weather friend!!

  • on December 22, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    in 1989, these two came to Pakistan and when we watched both Sachin and Manjrekar, they were almost at par, infact Manjrekar performed better than Sachin. At that time, we talked between friends and it was concluded that whoever between these two would concentrate more would be successful. The talent was all the same. Manjrekar for some reason faded, Sachin prospered.

  • gettussaa on December 22, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    "Sachin is not a team man", "Sachin has not won matches for India", "Sachin is a selfish batsman who plays for his own centuries only" and many more such statements have been heard time and again. I believe these statements can only come from people whose opinions are not valued by people around them, so they seek attention by saying something 99% of people would not say, just to stand out. Just because "team-men" like Dravid and Laxman failed to shoulder SRTs effort, he is not a team man? That is the story of his career. In cricket nobody has won matches single-handedly. It is unbelievable when people say Gibbs' 175 won SA the Johannesburg match and Sachin's failed to finish the Nagpur match for India vs Aus despite making an amazing 175. The difference was not between these two men but in quality of batsmen supporting them, the difference between Boucher,van der wath and ravindra jadeja. That has always been there, you cant blame Sachin for that.

  • Skool on December 22, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    @Shubhanshu Pal: Absolutely! Exact same feelings here!!! I really want to meet Sanjay personally once and talk to him about his strike rate.

  • on December 22, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Good to hear all this Mr. Manjrekar......but would have been better to hear all these in 2005-06......did you remember those days??When your favourite(?) cricketer consecutively failed for his tennis-elbow problem???Now he is back again..he is making us proud,us means who debated for him with our friends..we never left his side..we worshiped him.he is gifting these innings to us..now don't come to take part in it...sorry to be so harsh..from the next time mind your languages...

  • on December 22, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Well you would need that passion in order to score 50 Test centuries over a span in excess of 20 years, wouldn't you? Despite him having, according to Mr. Manjrekar, a child-like enthusiasm for batting and the game of cricket, he still accords respect for being a consummate professional. He never gets involved in disputes or controversies, partly because his every move is shadowed, and focuses on his job on the field. That's perhaps what should be remembered about him rather than just his records and achievements.

  • on December 22, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    @ truth1: "Just a Murali of batting"? Whatever the opposite of damning with faint praise is, you've just done it!

  • on December 22, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Sanjay Manjrekar is one of the anti-sachin group, i never saw him appreciating sachin, Sanjay always feels that he is better then Sachin, well records tell who is what? what do you say Sanjay?

  • on December 24, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    u've beaten evryone in chngng colors... people like u let india down.. feeding on other's success .....

  • Chathal on December 23, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    Dear Sanjay, Indeed you have a nice writing skills. http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2008/feb/25manj.htm is an article in rediff where you spoke how Sachin is a 'elephant in room'. At that point in time, was Sachin frozen at 35?? When Sachin fails three times in a row would'nt you be amongst the first advising the man to retire? Keep going Sanjay. After all, you need to just write and comment but your former colleague Sachin has much harder work to do. Which is to play and give guys like you something to write. zero or century does it matter????

  • on December 23, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Sorry Sanjay, you called him the 'Elephant in the room', during the ODI series in Ozland... you sound like a fair-weather friend!!

  • on December 22, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    in 1989, these two came to Pakistan and when we watched both Sachin and Manjrekar, they were almost at par, infact Manjrekar performed better than Sachin. At that time, we talked between friends and it was concluded that whoever between these two would concentrate more would be successful. The talent was all the same. Manjrekar for some reason faded, Sachin prospered.

  • gettussaa on December 22, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    "Sachin is not a team man", "Sachin has not won matches for India", "Sachin is a selfish batsman who plays for his own centuries only" and many more such statements have been heard time and again. I believe these statements can only come from people whose opinions are not valued by people around them, so they seek attention by saying something 99% of people would not say, just to stand out. Just because "team-men" like Dravid and Laxman failed to shoulder SRTs effort, he is not a team man? That is the story of his career. In cricket nobody has won matches single-handedly. It is unbelievable when people say Gibbs' 175 won SA the Johannesburg match and Sachin's failed to finish the Nagpur match for India vs Aus despite making an amazing 175. The difference was not between these two men but in quality of batsmen supporting them, the difference between Boucher,van der wath and ravindra jadeja. That has always been there, you cant blame Sachin for that.

  • Skool on December 22, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    @Shubhanshu Pal: Absolutely! Exact same feelings here!!! I really want to meet Sanjay personally once and talk to him about his strike rate.

  • on December 22, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Good to hear all this Mr. Manjrekar......but would have been better to hear all these in 2005-06......did you remember those days??When your favourite(?) cricketer consecutively failed for his tennis-elbow problem???Now he is back again..he is making us proud,us means who debated for him with our friends..we never left his side..we worshiped him.he is gifting these innings to us..now don't come to take part in it...sorry to be so harsh..from the next time mind your languages...

  • on December 22, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Well you would need that passion in order to score 50 Test centuries over a span in excess of 20 years, wouldn't you? Despite him having, according to Mr. Manjrekar, a child-like enthusiasm for batting and the game of cricket, he still accords respect for being a consummate professional. He never gets involved in disputes or controversies, partly because his every move is shadowed, and focuses on his job on the field. That's perhaps what should be remembered about him rather than just his records and achievements.

  • on December 22, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    @ truth1: "Just a Murali of batting"? Whatever the opposite of damning with faint praise is, you've just done it!

  • on December 22, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Sanjay Manjrekar is one of the anti-sachin group, i never saw him appreciating sachin, Sanjay always feels that he is better then Sachin, well records tell who is what? what do you say Sanjay?

  • Skool on December 22, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Agree with Sanjay here that keeping the mind young played a big role in Sachin's success. He has always focussed on the mental side of the game. About Sanjay- The sin that he committed a few years ago ('elephant in the room') can not be redeemed by 1000 such articles about Sachin. Sachin would already have forgiven him but, we, Sachin fans will never forgive Sanjay.

  • truth1 on December 22, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    Dear Sanjay. would you explain to me a few things please. When Sachin reached his 100 against SA he raised his bat to celebrate . What was he celebrating? His 100 or India staring at innings defeat? Is this expected of a team man?You made him look like a god. Why didn't he take on the bowling himself with last 2 wickets,try to avoid innings defeat ,create a lead and give India a chance to win. Do great players behave like that? He exposed tailenders to mercy of Styen and Morkel. Is that fair? You compared him with Imran Khan who was a leader whose batting average as a captain was in 50s and bowling average as a captain below 20, he created players after players and lead his team to WC victory.Why Sachin is afraid of captaincy? Just number of centuries does not make anybody great. Can he lead his team like Lara did against Aussies and turned world champions on their heads single handedly?No wonder kallis didn't clap for SRT and Smith made those gestures.SRT is just a Murali of batting.

  • rzi-BDML on December 22, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    gud article, but this may not be the reason of his consistant performances. Its his hard work and passion of cricket. being boyish or being the same for a long time does not make sense, i guess. One has to change with the passage of time or the time will leave the one behind, look Sachin is not behind any one. not behind even a single person.

  • itssudeep on December 22, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    @Gujaratan - you certainly know more than most of us dude! When and where did you discover the 'fact' that Sachin ruined Manjrekar's and Kambli's career? I must say that I've followed the careers of those three very closely and that bit is news to me! Please continue to entertain us with such nuggets in future too!

  • Narendra.Reddy on December 22, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    Personally I like the point you made about "What motivates Sachin" Imran's example goes to show how priorities change with time and age. For Sachin it's all about runs. That's truly brilliant.

    I also agree to your point of Sachin being aware of his surroundings and abiding to conscious behaviour. I totally agree with your observation. Infact it is warranted from our heroes. We don't want our heroes to get into ugly fights and behave like tramps do we?

    Well written piece. I hope it encourages youngsters to follow Sachin's footsteps

  • The_Professor on December 22, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    Dear Mr Manjrekar, your article almost suggests that SRT's success is based on his immaturity! Perhaps SRT was already fully mature at 15 yrs of age and therefore no changes in his behaviour, mannerisms and work ethic. I totally disagree that SRT has met all his success just my maintaining a young mindset - his talent and ability and the knowledge to put it to good use has a lot to do with it. SRT is simply the best batsman of our lifetime - no arguments (cannot compare him with Don as he was from a different era altogether). There may be batsmen who are better than SRT at certain aspects (eg. Viv & Sehwag can score faster, Lara can build bigger innings once settled & comforable against a bowling attack, Dravid may have a tighter defence, Ponting may be a better puller/ hooker - at least in prior years) but when it comes to sheer consistency and ability to handle all types of bowling in all types of conditions SRT has no peers!

  • ats78 on December 22, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    I dont understand why people comment without knowing the facts, Sachin has 50 centuries to his name and india has lost in only 11 of those , in 1992 or even may be the case recently the fact is that in both matches no other player had performed except him , in 1999 he almost took india to victory and if you check his contemporaries like brian lara or mohammed yosouf yo will see they have lost so many matches despite scoring cenutries, imagine what would Ricky ponting have done if he had this team and not the one which had the mcgraths and warne and hayden in it , will he be able to win so consistently, see his records in India no wins as Captain, so i think people should shut up and watch this little genius bat and bat till he thinks that its the right time for him to quit, Dravid once said that on the off there is God and than there is Ganguly , I would say that on the cricket ground there in only one and that is Sachin...

  • Quazar on December 22, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Wonder if any batsman in the HISTORY of cricket has ever made 7 100s in his 21st year of Test cricket...with 4 of the 100s (including a double hundred) leading to victories! (not to mention he topscored in Mohali with a 98 & 38 to contribute to the India win...though that Test match will rightfully be remembered for VVS & Ishant's incredible partnership)

  • heat-seeker on December 22, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Incredible, and rarest of rare, thing is -- Tendulkar has proved just as commanding against pacemen like Steyn, Donald, Lee or Johnson as against masters of spin like Warne and Murali. Remarkable!

  • wincrick on December 22, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar deserves all the accolades for getting his 50th test ton but unfortunately for as far as the team result is concerned it didnt go in India's favour as others apart from Dhoni didnt show enough guts to stay in the wicket. Take the example of Suresh Raina. This guy made a hundred on debut and played consistently till the test series against Australia. He lost his form in the NZ series and his struggle continued in the SA tour which was expected as he is susceptible to bouncing balls. But what is worrying for the indian team is that he has shown least interest in practising. If this is his attitude then he must be dropped and Pujara must take his place. Abhijith Radhakrishnan

  • on December 22, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    Dont you think you are contradicting yourself by saying Sachin excels in non-international games because people are watching, but also quote Pandit on how hard he practices at MCA (when I assume people are not watching?

  • viper25 on December 22, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    @Visakh51 Yes, i agree - I felt he would have rotated the strike - not to save the test, but at least eek out a little more pride. Maybe score a few boundaries, dent SA's confidence a bit. But he chose not to - no one knows why. Even Harsha Bhogle and Graeme Smith were surprised. So why shouldn't any of us be?

    It's strange how the man thinks at times. Personally, I wish he'd take more of the strike.

  • dilipm on December 21, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    Sanjay, You touched upon a few interesting points about SRT ie his single minded dedication towards batting and his childlike outlook towards life.You could have given insight about some of the other qualities he possesses like fierce pride playing for India or his generosity towards unprivileged street kids. It would seem that an earlier close relation you had with him has stopped somewhere along the line and you are no longer privy to his innermost thoughts these days. Could it have been that when you wrote about"the elephant in the Indian dressing room" that you were cast adrift? Tendulkar does not pretend to be an intellectual or a strategist as many do.His simplicity and one pointed approach to batting has got him to where is now- a national icon!Comparison with Imran Khan was ambiguous. Were you saying that Imran was grounded better because of his education and intellectual capacity? Look at the often contrary and rabid statements he makes these days!

  • on December 21, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    Sanjay mentions "I played alongside him until 1996, during his fundamental years and he didn't spend a lot of time in the gym". Sanjay, let me tell you, (a) You didnt learn much even though you played alongside SRT for 7 long years (b) If SRT did not visit the gym back then, what did the others who visited the gym achieve which SRT hasnt achieved ? (c) Did you know that when he wasnt @the gym he was @the nets,working on that one shot he would play against a ball which the opposition planned entire night long and you know who the winner the following day was! Sanjay, the more I read your article the more I find gaps and injustice to the Master. From my comments you would see that you fail to impress most of them on cricinfo. You score a 3/10, I know I rated you 4/10 earlier...the more I read your article and the feedbacks, the rating just spirals down!

  • on December 21, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Sanjay, I fail to understand when you bought up something about Imran and SRT. Please compare "mangoes with mangoes" and "apples with apples". You bought up a topic which does not have any significance whatsoever in relation to what you wanted to convey through the article!! I just dont get it when you said Imran focussed not JUST on cricket and SRT JUST focuses on wht he loves "cricket". Different people would take it in different ways as the comparision looks so incomplete. I would tend to think that Sanjay thinks (!) a) SRT could have also focussed on politics and achieved what Imran acheived?? I do have full respect to the all-time Pakistani great. b) Imran should not have focussed on anything non-cricket and could have matched SRT in terms of achievements??

    The conclusions that my 33 year old ('young') brain,draws from your rather weird comparision does not stop there.Again I make it a point to say "Please compare "mangoes with mangoes"...

  • on December 21, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    Sanjay, this is a nice article but to be honest I expected a stronger one from you. I have seen you play cricket, write and comment about cricket for so long now that I expected a better narration from you. Anyways, thanks for the article and it does do justice to the master blaster. Next time around when its his 50th ODI ton, please come up with a stronger one.

  • on December 21, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    Keen insight there Sanjay. Really nice article. I would like to add that this child-like enthusiasm can be maintained in any field as long as one has the ability to back it up with, and external factors do not pull one down. It must also be realised that Sachin has never had to put up with cheap politics and recurring injuiries, and the related rehabs, unlike some of his illustrious peers in the dressing room. And this has allowed his natural talent to blossom.

  • Quazar on December 21, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Reading this article (the fact that Tendulkar doesn't like to get out, even in the nets) confirms my theory (to me at least) of why Tendulkar allowed the tail to take strike...he wants to keep the psychological edge on the SA bowlers: "you could not get me out." Which is good for him in this series, as also for India. (Remember that when the game was alive on Day 1, he was aggressively counterattacking SA...trying to seize the initiative back for India, and sending a message to the SA bowlers: "we are not afraid to take you on, even in damp conditions.")

  • on December 21, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    am just amazed to see how the opinion of Manjrekar on Sachin has changed over d last few years... I remember during the 2007-2008 VB series in Australia, he wrote that Tendulkar never performs in crunch matches. Came the two finals, and he played two match winning innings. His opinion about him certainly changed. And now, when he's back amongst the runs, his opinion on Sachin is again different... Well played Sanjay Manjrekar...

  • mrmonty on December 21, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Like they say, success has a hundred fathers. Still, Sanjay can't resist a few jabs. Such as Sachin reads the same books, watches the same kind of movies and keeps the same kind of friends that he had 20 years ago. How uncouth and immature of him!

  • S.N.Singh on December 21, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    TENDULKAR WILL REMAIN LIKE THIS AS LONG AS HE IS FIT TO PLAY THE GAME. "HE PLAYS FOR HIS COUNTRY" AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR ANYONE. I COULD REMEMBER WHEN ( SOMETIME AGO) HE WAS PLAYING IN PAKISTAN, HE SAID " I DID'NT SLEEP FOR ALMOST TWO WEEKS THINKING ABOUT THE GAME." TENDULKAR DEDICATED TO HIS TEAM AND COUNTRY. IF TIME HE SCORE A CENTURY LOOK UP IN THE AIR AS IF TO SAY THANK YOU LORD. THIS IS HIS DEDICATION. HE IS THE MOST POLITE OF CRICKETERS ON AND OF THE FIELD. THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA SHOULD GIVE TO HIM ALL THE AWARDS IS THERE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL. I COULD REMEMBER WHEN HE HAD ELBOW PROBLEMS, AND WAS IN BANGALORE, HE VISITED "BABA" AND SINCE THEN HE FELT WELL TO PLAY. SO THE LORD AT HIM ALSO. GO ON SCHIN EVERYONE IS WITH YOU. S.N.SINGH U S A

  • binueapen on December 21, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Funny, that Manjerakar is all praise for Tendulkar ever since he has been back in top form again. The same person who was the most vocal critic of SRT back during the CB series in Australia..calling him the 'Elephant in the dressing room, nobody wants to speak about'. After he scored a brilliant century, followed it up with 90 in the CB series finals, perhaps it first time I heard Sachin talk back to his critic.

    I think Manjerakar is just jealous of SRT's career...get over it and stop pretending.

  • Visakh51 on December 21, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    @Danny2512 very well said;I agree with almost all your points from time to time Cricket pundits all around the world have given numerous advices for SAchin to change his game ,shift techniques and so on.During the period 2006 he has got many sticks frm the same Manjereker and even Ian Chappel who went on to say that he should quit.But having said all that don't you think that he should have kept more strike yesterday and attack a bit to try to avoid an innings defeat.Reply if you read this

  • nlambda on December 21, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    Manjrekar's comment about Sachin being a "white elephant" was spot-on. In 2007, when this statement was made, Sachin was batting negatively (and failing to score runs). There is nothing to criticize Manjrekar here. He was correct in his assessment then and is correct now. Fact is Sachin has had a "rebirth" (Mark Taylor's word) since 2008 after a prolonged bad phase from about 2003 through 2007.

  • popcorn on December 21, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    What an amazing coincidence that the two greatest batsmen of the current era, - Sachin Tendlukar and Ricky Ponting - neither has scored a century at Lord's!

  • Archisman on December 21, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Very nice article. The author raises the player's skills in a very rational manner. Does not just go about unnecessarily deifying the player as a lot of us Indians have done in the last 3 days.

    I'm almost certain that his criticism, 4 years ago, was also a cooment on Tendulkar's (then, apparently) fading skills and nothing personal.

    The author's writing is as compact as his batting.

  • Beazle on December 21, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    He is a great batsman but as we saw again yesterday, a very selfish and record conscious one. He played for yet another "not out" and so his average increases. Compare the number of not outs he has - almost 50 ! (Lara had only 6 !)

    No- he is not in the same class as Viv Richards, Greg Chappell, Brian Lara and indeed, oppositions fear Sehwag more than Sachin as he is a matchwinner.

  • Knightriders_suck on December 21, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Elephant in the commentary room ROFL!!!!

  • Gujaratan on December 21, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Well I would say Sanjay, you were the most technically PERFECT cricketer of all time, I have decide that I will let my 3 year old be coached by you, Though sachin might be Great, all he thinks about him and him only, NOT TEAM, NOT THE RESULT, he looks for his own milestones and to be consider greater than Bradman, he ruins your career, Kmabli's career, in a way, he make you more run outs in test than any other batsman I ever know. So Sachin is SELFISH, yes, he is, all he cares about his personal record, HE NEVER PLAYED FOR TEAM AND HE NEVER WILL. he is like OUR POLITICIAN, who don't care for country or for people, ALL THEY CARE IS ABOUT THEMSELVES, HOW MUCH MORE MONEY THEY CAN PUT IN THEIR POCKET, SACHIN IS SAME, WITH MONEY OR RUNS.

  • on December 21, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Perfect picture of Tendulkar presented by Sanjay.............

    I think the obsessive nature has something to do with star sign too..Most of the the April born people I've come across are obsessive including me

  • on December 21, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    Don't forget Mr. Manjerkar was the person who questioned Tendulkar's attitude when Tendulkar refused to play for World XI against Australia in super test match in 2006 but played against Sri lanka a week later kisse ne sahi kaha h " sukh ke sb saathi dukh mein na koye"

  • mharun91 on December 21, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Majeraker, Hope you are doing well. Really enjoyed this piece. We love your work and love to listening to your comments. It's these subtle aspects of cricket that you talk about are so much fun to read, and edifying too. I wish you write more about other cricketers too, those you have played with or against, especially Imran Khan. Haroon (Lahore)

  • on December 21, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    sanjay- spot on again. but sad to think abt the fact that u wr harsh on tendulkar during his slump (2006)

  • vhgupta on December 21, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    If Sir/Ratna/BestOfTheBest/God tendulkar had worried about people watching him, he would have succumbed under the sheer pressure of billions of eyes of die hard fans (on everything he does). Please keep your analysis/thoughts to you and aren't you the same guy who was suggesting him to retire/walk-away? He belongs to category which can not be analyzed but can only be enjoyed/respected.

  • on December 21, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Beautiful article. Established, domestic & budding cricketers must surely read this. Even though in today's generation where they are things like endorsements, IPL and other contracts, etc, Sachin can still keep his concentration on his game. His willingness to perform at all levels has seen him with wonderful results not only in Tests & sparingly-played ODIs but also in IPL

  • on December 21, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Truly Inspirational :-) Hats of to the Little Master!!!

  • on December 21, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    Are we hearing Tendulkar's praise from Sanjay Majrekar? Nice change Sanjay. At last the elephant has come out of room or what? Surprised not to see mention about his zeal to play for India.

  • D.Sharma on December 21, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    Dravid scores his 10,000th run, but wait Sehwag scores a career high of 319! Dravid scores a 177 after 32-4 and scores his 11,000th run and is fourth highest all-time, but wait, 20 years of cricket for SRT. Dravid scores his 12,000th run and 3rd highest of all-time, but wait, SRT scores his 50th ton! Ahhh poor Dravid and these three achievements are since 2008!!! Poor guy really. Anyway, congrats to SRT a true champ on and off the field.

  • on December 21, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I think writng about Tendulkar is showing light to the sun....No matter how much we write or speak about Tendulkar he is beyond words.....http://abhiru.blogspot.com

  • ManasMishra on December 21, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    @danny2512 - Well said. Not only Manjrekar called Sachin the elephant in the room, prior to that he even questioned the timing of Sachin's injuries; almost suggesting that SAchin fakes his injuries. Mr. Manjrekar is one of the biggest hypocrites in the cricketing world.

  • on December 21, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Why do people try and find fault with everything? I am not talking about Manjrekar, but about the people who have commented about his "Elephant in the dressing room" statement. Sachin was indeed struggling a couple of years back, and we all know what a sensational 2010 he has had. Overall, I like the article. My friends and I always enjoy watching Sachin bat. Especially in the 2nd innings of the South Africa test match, when he was batting with Dhoni, the two were almost running between the wickets like school boys! There is no joy greater than watching Sachin tuck the ball towards deep mid-wicket and screaming in his semi-adolescent voice "Two! Two!"

  • spectrumraja on December 21, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    I am a big Sachin fan but I am of the opinion that he's arguably the greatest or second greatest batsman of all time, but he's not the greatest WINNER of all time. After how he batted on the last day of the first test match with SA, exposing the tailenders, without putting any effort to make SA bat again, put some question marks of his true greatness. Whether it was the team decision or not to capitulate on the last day, by his standards he should have taken it to the attack even though it was for a lost cause. I am happy that Graeme Smith bought this point up, because I feel that there is too much hoopla about Sachin's 50th century. Even he didn't seem upset at all about losing the 1st test match. I have concluded that Sachin is the GREATEST BATSMAN of modern times but is he a truly GREAT SPORTSPERSON??? I don't think so....

  • ShahzanHaiderBukhari on December 21, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    WOW!!! What an article. Sachin is really frozen at 18. The way he scores centuries and let India kiss the dust is really a strange drama. He's still 18, always fails to win matches. He is the probably the most ill-leaned batsman ever I have seen. He hasn't learned how to win matches or even to avoid innings defeat. He's been playing since 80's but he is the most failed batsman to win matches. India got nothing from his centuries except shameful defeats.!!! Wow the great Little Master!!! Hahahahaha

  • kapiljindal on December 21, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    Hi ! Sanjay, i did'nt like you when you were after Great sachin few years back. this is one of the best article i have read about Sachin. Now i can forgive you for your earlier mistake in assessment about the great man. Kindly also ask your dear friend Mr Chappel from down under to see the mirror again.

  • Manu_Kadsur on December 21, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Good article....:) thanq Sanjay

  • on December 21, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Well well welll... from an elephant in the room to a 'child', 'genius' and a fellow Mumbai boy??

    We all have criticized him in the past. He is certainly no god. But there is no shame in admitting you got it wrong Sanjay. We are yet to hear you announce that you got it hopelessly wrong when you made the 'elephant' in the room remark.

    We viewers have watched Sachin from afar and yet we did not lose hope in this God's gift to Indian cricket. You made such a blunder despite playing with the great cricketer. And now you praise him?? Sorry but your opinion has zero credibility amongst Sachin's fan today.

  • dyogesh on December 21, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    I think when he spoke many years back about the passion and obsession for runs, giving 100% everytime , we didn't take it too seriously. We thought it is the usual platitude dished out by cricketers but now we see it. But Sanjay, very good article and the kind of analysis we expect from an ex-cricketer.

    And why is it that cricket writers are expected to only praise or criticise players and not both. Be it Yuvaraj or Sachin, if they perform badly criticism is justified. I worship Sachin but that doesn't mean i'll justify Cape Town 2006. Writers do get it wrong from time to time as everybody. How many people did think Sehwag would make a test match opening batsman ? Thats the beauty of the sport.

  • on December 21, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Beautiful article ..sanjay urs was different from many other articles we usually read about tendulkar.

  • on December 21, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Nice article by Sanjay Manjarekar ( Cricketer who watched Sachin very closely throughout his career )

  • Quazar on December 21, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    Reading this article (the fact that Tendulkar doesn't like to get out, even in the nets) confirms my theory (to me at least) of why Tendulkar allowed the tail to take strike...he wants to keep the psychological edge on the SA bowlers: "you could not get me out." Which is good for him in this series, as also for India. (Remember that when the game was alive on Day 1, he was aggressively counterattacking SA...trying to seize the initiative back for India, and sending a message to the SA bowlers: "we are not afraid to take you on, even in damp conditions.")

  • on December 21, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Frozen at 18 !! Great read...

  • on December 21, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Great analysis of Sachin. This reminds me of one of one of the great quotes on succes made by Steve Jobs - Apple: "Stay hungry, Stay foolish". That's exactly what Sachin has done.

  • on December 21, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    WOW Sanjay what an article!!!! Are you doing some psychoanalysis of late? Your analysis of Sachin's personality is spot on. And you correctly compared him with another great - Imran Khan. Really its the mind not the body which controls your passion and enthusiasm for any field or sports. Sachin, like Imran, is very focused and very particular. You cant associate any ordinary with either Imran or Sachin. Great article.

  • prijha on December 21, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    very very well said Sanjay, despite all the criticism that follows every new feat from this man the only thing that can never be questioned is his invincible conviction to make more and more runs and that's the only intent.. this statement in your article explains everything about the man that one needs to know "He will bat with the same intent against Bangladesh on a flat track as he would against Australia in Brisbane."

    Thank you very much.

  • on December 21, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    Well Mr. Manjrekar if I am not mistaken you were amongst many who suggested his days are over and he is afraid of failure blah blah blah... well you see now you are forced to eat your own words... thats what this man is.... not only the greatest batsman of modern era... but a source of inspiration to millions across globes... I thank God to select me to live in an era when Tendulkar played his cricket on the face of the earth....

  • on December 21, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    This also explains the blames he gets for being selfish, looking for records and all that. Tendulkar always had his job cut out. His thinking is along the lines of- "My job is to score more and more runs to make my team win", as simple as that. At this age this may have changed a bit along the lines of- " Apart from making all those runs, as a senior, my job also is to help the other batsmen in my team to score more and more runs", and its still simple. Yes, cricket is a team game, not individual. But how can this argument be used against tendulkar?? It(blaming him) is just the opposite of what we should do. "Yes, it is a team game and one player performing will not win you matches", this should be conveyed to the team and especially the bowlers. If atleast one of our bowlers shows the same intent and approach to his bowling, as tendulkar does to his batting, we will be altogether a different team, the real dominant No.1 one side, just like the old teams of Australia and West Indies.

  • on December 21, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    Great article on what makes Tendulkar continue to be what he is.

  • viper25 on December 21, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    What a complete about face ! This the same Manjrekar that famously wrote about Sachin being the white elephant in the room now is all effusive in his praises. Mr. Manjrekar, that one article will haunt you forever.

    Tendulkar's greater than those commentating about him. He knows his game and the game of cricket better than almost anyone alive. I believe he knows more than anyone else how to get out of a rut, when to attack, when to defend and more importantly when to hang up his boots. It's best to stop "advising" him anymore through articles. Let him be. He's proved that long ago.

  • on December 21, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    most common-sensical article i have read about Sachin in a long time, it brings in a lot of simple things that i am sure any young cricketer can relate to, Sanjay Manjrekar, i hope this article of your´s makes it to a newspaper so a lot more young kids can read and relate to it.

  • RSG476 on December 21, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Two points : (a) it would be good for Sanjay Manjrekar to at least acknowledge that he had got in quite wrong a few years ago when he had predicted the demise of Tendulkar. There was no harm in having such an opinion, but since he had expressed it, it would only be right to acknowledge that he had got it quite wrong (b)The comparison with Imran is a very back handed compliment in some manner typical of Manjrekar. It almost seems to suggest that unlike Imran, Tendulkar has a lesser concern for social welfare or change. The reference to Oxford also seems gratuitious - since when did education get linked to the desire for social welfare ? Steve Waugh, who has done so much for Udayan, has no such Oxford degree. To the best of my knowledge, Tendulkar does significant social work silently. While he is focused on what he does best, he has been at the forefront of using his position in cricket for various social causes. To use this as a backhanded compliment does not sound appropriate

  • sonjjay on December 21, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    Oh why have you choosen to write this article Sanjay ?? First of all the team lost and secondly there hundreds on cricinfo waiting to criticize sachin at the drop of a hat.So all of them will have a field day again.Now if u really want to write about something I d much rather read about Raina's incompetency in Test match cricket why dont you write about that ??

  • on December 21, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Very good insight into God's life!!!1

  • Nadeem1976 on December 21, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Manjraker is right now because he knows sachin from day one and he knows that its not Sachin its some thing else which is different between a great player and Sachin. That is being humble and being at its best all the time. No fooling around.

    I am Pakistani, i never ever liked any indian batsman in my life other than Sachin. Not because he is a greatest batsman but he is greatest sportsman. In last 10 years i have not seen him out of his control at all. not a single minute in cricket field. (thats a great compliment for a Pakistani).

    He is like Jhangir khan of sqaush. Humble, Sublime, Worrier, Fighter and always the winner. The best cricketer i have ever seen in my life.

    Remember 1 billion people are always watching him. I would definately die if more than 10 people are watching me but Sachin has shoulders of steel to bear the weight of 1 billion wishes. What a performer. Magician at its best.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 21, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Everyone hails Sachin (Paji) SOBERS,RICHARDS,BRADMAN,WARNIE,PONTING,CHAPPELLI,LARA,HANIF MOHAMMAD,IMRAN KHAN,SANGAKKARA,HAYDOS,JAVED MIANDAD,QADIR,WASIM AKRAM,GAVASKAR I can't remember any sportperson being hailed and acknowledged worldwide and given such mind-boggling reception whereever he tours may be may be michael jordan or pele come closest but none in their respective sports history match his records his aura his stature world-wide as PAJI does INDEED HE IS REINCARNATION OF GOD

  • NoCountry_for_OldMan on December 21, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    For a sub continental batsman to be truly seen as great he has to have performed exceptionally outside the sub-continent as well as inside. Batting is much harder outside the sub-content, you have to contend with the moving ball, extra bounce, away umpires and conditions etc. Here is a table showing the best subcontinental batsman

    Here are the best batsman with averages only including runs made outside Asia. i.e in England , Australia, South Africa etc.

    Virender Sehwag 41.42

    Mahela Jayawardene 38.33

    Kumar Sangakkara 48.09

    Sachin Tendulkar 51.54

    Mohammad Yousuf 46.90

    Thilan Samaraweera 31.50

    Javed Miandad 46.38

    Younis Khan 40.62

    Inzamam-ul-Haq 43.83

    Mohammad Azharuddin 33.75

  • Quazar on December 21, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    Reading this article (the fact that Tendulkar doesn't like to get out, even in the nets) confirms my theory (to me at least) of why Tendulkar allowed the tail to take strike...he wants to keep the psychological edge on the SA bowlers: "you could not get me out." Which is good for him in this series, as also for India. (Remember that when the game was alive on Day 1, he was aggresively counterattacking SA...trying to seize the initiative back for India, and sending a message to the SA bowlers: "we are not afraid to take you on, even in damp conditions.")

  • on December 21, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    I guess, you won't call him Elephant in the Dressing Room Yet again !! The man against all odds is leading here. He looks like an Elephant but he is a Tiger. Pounces upon an every oppurtunity provided.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 21, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    I guess, you won't call him Elephant in the Dressing Room Yet again !! The man against all odds is leading here. He looks like an Elephant but he is a Tiger. Pounces upon an every oppurtunity provided.

  • Quazar on December 21, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    Reading this article (the fact that Tendulkar doesn't like to get out, even in the nets) confirms my theory (to me at least) of why Tendulkar allowed the tail to take strike...he wants to keep the psychological edge on the SA bowlers: "you could not get me out." Which is good for him in this series, as also for India. (Remember that when the game was alive on Day 1, he was aggresively counterattacking SA...trying to seize the initiative back for India, and sending a message to the SA bowlers: "we are not afraid to take you on, even in damp conditions.")

  • NoCountry_for_OldMan on December 21, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    For a sub continental batsman to be truly seen as great he has to have performed exceptionally outside the sub-continent as well as inside. Batting is much harder outside the sub-content, you have to contend with the moving ball, extra bounce, away umpires and conditions etc. Here is a table showing the best subcontinental batsman

    Here are the best batsman with averages only including runs made outside Asia. i.e in England , Australia, South Africa etc.

    Virender Sehwag 41.42

    Mahela Jayawardene 38.33

    Kumar Sangakkara 48.09

    Sachin Tendulkar 51.54

    Mohammad Yousuf 46.90

    Thilan Samaraweera 31.50

    Javed Miandad 46.38

    Younis Khan 40.62

    Inzamam-ul-Haq 43.83

    Mohammad Azharuddin 33.75

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 21, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Everyone hails Sachin (Paji) SOBERS,RICHARDS,BRADMAN,WARNIE,PONTING,CHAPPELLI,LARA,HANIF MOHAMMAD,IMRAN KHAN,SANGAKKARA,HAYDOS,JAVED MIANDAD,QADIR,WASIM AKRAM,GAVASKAR I can't remember any sportperson being hailed and acknowledged worldwide and given such mind-boggling reception whereever he tours may be may be michael jordan or pele come closest but none in their respective sports history match his records his aura his stature world-wide as PAJI does INDEED HE IS REINCARNATION OF GOD

  • Nadeem1976 on December 21, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Manjraker is right now because he knows sachin from day one and he knows that its not Sachin its some thing else which is different between a great player and Sachin. That is being humble and being at its best all the time. No fooling around.

    I am Pakistani, i never ever liked any indian batsman in my life other than Sachin. Not because he is a greatest batsman but he is greatest sportsman. In last 10 years i have not seen him out of his control at all. not a single minute in cricket field. (thats a great compliment for a Pakistani).

    He is like Jhangir khan of sqaush. Humble, Sublime, Worrier, Fighter and always the winner. The best cricketer i have ever seen in my life.

    Remember 1 billion people are always watching him. I would definately die if more than 10 people are watching me but Sachin has shoulders of steel to bear the weight of 1 billion wishes. What a performer. Magician at its best.

  • on December 21, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Very good insight into God's life!!!1

  • sonjjay on December 21, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    Oh why have you choosen to write this article Sanjay ?? First of all the team lost and secondly there hundreds on cricinfo waiting to criticize sachin at the drop of a hat.So all of them will have a field day again.Now if u really want to write about something I d much rather read about Raina's incompetency in Test match cricket why dont you write about that ??

  • RSG476 on December 21, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Two points : (a) it would be good for Sanjay Manjrekar to at least acknowledge that he had got in quite wrong a few years ago when he had predicted the demise of Tendulkar. There was no harm in having such an opinion, but since he had expressed it, it would only be right to acknowledge that he had got it quite wrong (b)The comparison with Imran is a very back handed compliment in some manner typical of Manjrekar. It almost seems to suggest that unlike Imran, Tendulkar has a lesser concern for social welfare or change. The reference to Oxford also seems gratuitious - since when did education get linked to the desire for social welfare ? Steve Waugh, who has done so much for Udayan, has no such Oxford degree. To the best of my knowledge, Tendulkar does significant social work silently. While he is focused on what he does best, he has been at the forefront of using his position in cricket for various social causes. To use this as a backhanded compliment does not sound appropriate

  • on December 21, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    most common-sensical article i have read about Sachin in a long time, it brings in a lot of simple things that i am sure any young cricketer can relate to, Sanjay Manjrekar, i hope this article of your´s makes it to a newspaper so a lot more young kids can read and relate to it.

  • viper25 on December 21, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    What a complete about face ! This the same Manjrekar that famously wrote about Sachin being the white elephant in the room now is all effusive in his praises. Mr. Manjrekar, that one article will haunt you forever.

    Tendulkar's greater than those commentating about him. He knows his game and the game of cricket better than almost anyone alive. I believe he knows more than anyone else how to get out of a rut, when to attack, when to defend and more importantly when to hang up his boots. It's best to stop "advising" him anymore through articles. Let him be. He's proved that long ago.