March 23, 2012

Tendulkar and the burden of the 100th

The quest of the landmark affected his performance over the last year, and we must ask ourselves whether we are partly to blame for his predicament
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Sachin Tendulkar's ascent to his 100th hundred was probably like the last leg of a Himalayan conquest. I say "probably" because I have experienced neither, nor am I likely to, but he seemed weary and consumed by the thought - in itself an unusual occurrence.

He had started to fret a little bit, had refused to meet the media in Australia because he knew the 100th would be the focus of conversation. Like Betaal, the vampire spirit from an ancient Indian tale, the landmark clung to him and wouldn't let go, however hard he tried to ignore its presence. Eventually it got to him and the man who has always taken great pride in playing for India was forced to play for the hundred.

Therein lies the inherent contradiction of life; you want the landmark, but if that is what you play for, you don't get it. If you can hypnotise yourself into thinking that the landmark doesn't exist, you get it quicker. If the 100th hadn't been on Tendulkar's mind - and we must take part of the blame for that - he might have got it earlier. The more he thought of it the more distant it grew and the more distant it grew, the more it began to suffocate him.

You could see that in Australia. When he batted with an end in mind, even close of play for that matter, he seemed tentative, his feet burdened. When he batted freely, he took your breath away (and that is why his insistence that he was batting well in Australia). But then suddenly the landmark, like a ghostly mirage, loomed and he was locked in at the end again.

I find this phase fascinating because it tells me that even the mightiest, the very greatest of them all, have the very insecurities that normal folks have. They fear like we do, they fret and brood and wake up in the middle of the night like we do, and they attract what they fear, like we do. They are humans too; to call them God is to wilfully suspend reality, even to mock at their perseverance.

Many years ago I asked Tendulkar what was on his mind as he walked out to bat. "I would like my mind to be blank," he had said. He wanted his instinct to play the ball and for that he needed a fresh mind, not one clogged with thoughts. He said he thought about the conditions, the surface, the opposition, what shots would be good and what wouldn't, but all that was well before the game started. Once it began, he had a good day if his mind was blank. I suspect, over the last eight months, the mind wasn't blank enough, like a bit of dust in the carburettor playing havoc with a finely tuned engine.

Just as surprising was his admission of stress, for I know he has been through much in life without making an issue of it, without offering it as an excuse. But I wonder if physical pain is sometimes the lesser burden to carry into a game than mental stress, for Tendulkar has carried pain into a match innumerable times and overcome it. A century in an Asia Cup match against Bangladesh on a slow, low surface cannot be the most difficult to score. I haven't seen all his hundreds but have seen many achieved in more difficult conditions. In Dhaka, as indeed in every game he played since the World Cup, the greater battle was with himself, with the expectations of him, both of which he has conquered in the past; certainly the second, which he has lived with all his life.

But Tendulkar's imprisonment and, I hope, subsequent release must force us to ask unpleasant questions of ourselves. Is India, as a nation, obsessed with the individual? Do we reward individual performances over those that might be achieved collectively? Do we therefore encourage selfishness as a society? Or is it the necessary by-product of our population and our resultant struggle to merely exist?

But now it is done. Joy at a landmark that will never again be achieved must necessarily, and sadly, be accompanied by relief. And in spite of having watched him closely for almost 25 years, I am excited by the thought of watching a liberated Tendulkar, for there are no consuming landmarks to achieve (and hopefully our ability to conceive them will stay perpetually dulled).

We could go back to the pure Tendulkar. What joy that will be!

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • lgnandan on March 27, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Harsha, you're the real writer of Cricket. I'm fan your articles. Yes, Harsha, India is a country where glorification of a individuals happens all time. It might be in politics, cinema or any field. I don't know whether people's tendency is like that in India or not. For the matter the majority of the "race" itself is fond of this "behaviour" of glorification. The main culprit is a part of media which is very powerful and has no knowledge and ethics of real journalism. We have to leave this matter behind because there is a proverb in Kannada, "We can't make tail of dog straight after tying it to a stick!". Media will keep haunting Sachin if he pleads them get away from him. Obsessed people.

  • sachin86 on March 25, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Granted sachin played slowly for his 100th hundred as he wanted to get rid of the monkey off his back so that he can play freely...but what gives dravid fanatics reason to criticize sachin for his 78 SR innings when dravid hardly crossed SR of 80 in his career and his career SR is 71?clear case of pot calling the kettle black...what about those 100s of ODIs india lost because of poor Scoring rate of dravid?sachin very rarely played slow in ODIs even though wickets used to tumble at the other end...but we Indian public labelled dravid as "the wall" and "Mr. dependable" that he was always exempted from criticism...Now dravid fanatics shouldn't complain that he never got his due or recognition because he never got his fair share of criticisms as well...this is what sets apart the best from the good,dravid was never in spotlight like sachin where one can be showered with flowers as well as tomatoes and plastic bottles...sachin endured all this and came forth as a champion.

  • sachin86 on March 25, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas

    Now the true colors are blatantly showing out.So,let me also take out the flat track innings' of dravid as well in his lean period,taking out his gems against BANG,NZ(where harbhajan was the best batsman with two centuries than FTB dravid)...MAT-36 INN-67 No-5 Runs-2028 HS-177 AVg-32.70 100s-4 50s-8...abysmal to the core i should say...a mammoth 67 innings with a paltry Afridiesque average of 32 and he was in the team...had it been sachin world war 3 would have started...Also,FYI,in the previous post of mine i didn't mean to compare their averages but the number of innings of mediocrity that dravid played and how he escaped criticism inspite of...Well,i'm not gonna argue anymore regarding this as it's glaringly evident you are trying way too hard to conceal dravid's failures and show your blazing hatred towards sachin...You've lost credibility....good luck!

  • itsthewayuplay on March 25, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    To pick up an earlier point re SRT and contradictions. SRT today said that to retire at the peak of his game would be selfish because he should serve his country and then goes on to say he achieved his biggest goal of lifting the WC but doesn't know if he'll play in the 2015 WC?! Surely the time to start planning for the next WC is now so that new players have time to bed themselves in. So either make the commitment now or for best interests of the team, retire from ODIs to allow new players the opportunity. Could this possibly be the height of selfishness? Perhaps SRT should consult with the greatest Indian batsman of all, Rahul Dravid, about what is best for Indian cricket.

  • itsthewayuplay on March 25, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    One of the most disappointing things I've seen in a long time was during the disastrous Eng tour. It was Dravid who raised his hand to open the innings when the need arose. because he was 1 of only 2 players with the right technique to deal with the English bowlers in those conditions, the other being SRT. VVS is a strokeplayer in every sense of the word, even more so than SRT, and is at his best when the openers have done their job of seeing off the shine of the new ball. So it made no sense whatsoever to send him at 3 particularly when the first wicket going down early. I don't know what was discussed in the dressing room but surely it should have been SRT coming in at one down but instead chose to stay in his favoured no 4 position despite his poor form during that series.

  • itsthewayuplay on March 25, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    @Nampally Kohli Raina and MSD all had better a SR that Sachin in that game. Surely a winning total will depend on the nature of the pitch. My point is that SRT is an automatic choice if he's fit regardless of form. Competition for places in theory ensures it brings the best out in everyone but where Sachin is concerned. This may be due to 2 main reasons (1) Sachin is a draw for a lot of people and therefore a money spinner for the BCCI (2) The selectors don't have the courage to drop him if he's not in form. You have mentioned on a number of occasions that young bowlers are benched because MSD has his favourites but an out of form SRT is also depriving in-form players of opportunities. It doesn't make sense. I'm was one Sachin's biggest fans when he started out to the extent that it wouldn't matter whether India won or lost as long as Sachin got a century playing the way he used to. But he doesn't play that way any more.

  • PallathZ on March 25, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    continued

    .& for his pride ,I'm sure he skipped Windies again. Batted beautifully in the first 2 Test matches in Australia where all experts were c pointing that a big one was round the corner as he looked in great touch & to be frank ,he looked the best in both the test matches.Then it changed & thereafter everything else started going wrong.Pressure mounted & the great men faced music.This time the pressure was more on him as all the seniors failed.They had to point out to someone. Not easy being Tendulkar ! right …Enjoy whilst he is there.The day he retires,the same guys will pour in with their thoughts on how he was one better than the greatest ever.

  • Nampally on March 25, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    @Red_Rooster: Thanks for your balanced comments.If scoring a century @S/R of 78 as an opener is Selfish & slow then get a guy who can do lot faster- Sehwag.One's love for a Legend should never lead to other Legends being hated.Sachin Tendulkar will always be the little master who is the batting genius of the Indian Cricket.If Sachin was selfish he would not have been out in 90's on > 35 other occasions in Tests & ODI's.He would have stayed & converted each of them to a Century.Against BD, a total of 289 is always a winning total with half decent bowling.If India cannot find bowlers who can restrict the opposition to <250, then they do not deserve any Wins. In an ODI 250 total is the target for most teams. I would call it an atrocious team if leaking >5 runs/over. Focus on better bowling than blaming an all time great - Tendulkar's century for India's defeat.If Sachin had failed, India might have been out for <200. So Sachin gave India a winning chance - This is a debate in futility!

  • PallathZ on March 25, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    As Sachin himself pointed out ,people were fixated on 100th one & forgot about the 99. It was his first one day hundred against BD & am sure if you analyze his 99 hundreds ,his strike rate would mostly be among the top & surely the best in India. We are talking about someone who has been the best in the business. We shouldn't be penalizing him for his brilliance.He was the highest run getter for India in 2011 & was in superb form.Loads of material then was written on what he did right,his passion,technique & class after the world cup & his double in one dayers then. The only issue was probably with the form he ran in,he believed he could straightaway get back to play when it matters.So he skipped WI.Badly needed a hundred at Lords I suppose.England was an eye opener.Things were not to his liking.Then he choose not play WI in one dayers.It started going wrong with the Windies as well with expectations zooming in back home for the Test matches.Mumbai was an ideal venue.He failed

  • honey-lotion on March 25, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    A masterpiece of an article. I'm a big fan of Harsha and his crafty way of dealing with sensitive elements and again he has dealt with the topic so delicately. Someone reading in between the lines would surely be able to get more than the obvious that he has written.

  • lgnandan on March 27, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Harsha, you're the real writer of Cricket. I'm fan your articles. Yes, Harsha, India is a country where glorification of a individuals happens all time. It might be in politics, cinema or any field. I don't know whether people's tendency is like that in India or not. For the matter the majority of the "race" itself is fond of this "behaviour" of glorification. The main culprit is a part of media which is very powerful and has no knowledge and ethics of real journalism. We have to leave this matter behind because there is a proverb in Kannada, "We can't make tail of dog straight after tying it to a stick!". Media will keep haunting Sachin if he pleads them get away from him. Obsessed people.

  • sachin86 on March 25, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Granted sachin played slowly for his 100th hundred as he wanted to get rid of the monkey off his back so that he can play freely...but what gives dravid fanatics reason to criticize sachin for his 78 SR innings when dravid hardly crossed SR of 80 in his career and his career SR is 71?clear case of pot calling the kettle black...what about those 100s of ODIs india lost because of poor Scoring rate of dravid?sachin very rarely played slow in ODIs even though wickets used to tumble at the other end...but we Indian public labelled dravid as "the wall" and "Mr. dependable" that he was always exempted from criticism...Now dravid fanatics shouldn't complain that he never got his due or recognition because he never got his fair share of criticisms as well...this is what sets apart the best from the good,dravid was never in spotlight like sachin where one can be showered with flowers as well as tomatoes and plastic bottles...sachin endured all this and came forth as a champion.

  • sachin86 on March 25, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas

    Now the true colors are blatantly showing out.So,let me also take out the flat track innings' of dravid as well in his lean period,taking out his gems against BANG,NZ(where harbhajan was the best batsman with two centuries than FTB dravid)...MAT-36 INN-67 No-5 Runs-2028 HS-177 AVg-32.70 100s-4 50s-8...abysmal to the core i should say...a mammoth 67 innings with a paltry Afridiesque average of 32 and he was in the team...had it been sachin world war 3 would have started...Also,FYI,in the previous post of mine i didn't mean to compare their averages but the number of innings of mediocrity that dravid played and how he escaped criticism inspite of...Well,i'm not gonna argue anymore regarding this as it's glaringly evident you are trying way too hard to conceal dravid's failures and show your blazing hatred towards sachin...You've lost credibility....good luck!

  • itsthewayuplay on March 25, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    To pick up an earlier point re SRT and contradictions. SRT today said that to retire at the peak of his game would be selfish because he should serve his country and then goes on to say he achieved his biggest goal of lifting the WC but doesn't know if he'll play in the 2015 WC?! Surely the time to start planning for the next WC is now so that new players have time to bed themselves in. So either make the commitment now or for best interests of the team, retire from ODIs to allow new players the opportunity. Could this possibly be the height of selfishness? Perhaps SRT should consult with the greatest Indian batsman of all, Rahul Dravid, about what is best for Indian cricket.

  • itsthewayuplay on March 25, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    One of the most disappointing things I've seen in a long time was during the disastrous Eng tour. It was Dravid who raised his hand to open the innings when the need arose. because he was 1 of only 2 players with the right technique to deal with the English bowlers in those conditions, the other being SRT. VVS is a strokeplayer in every sense of the word, even more so than SRT, and is at his best when the openers have done their job of seeing off the shine of the new ball. So it made no sense whatsoever to send him at 3 particularly when the first wicket going down early. I don't know what was discussed in the dressing room but surely it should have been SRT coming in at one down but instead chose to stay in his favoured no 4 position despite his poor form during that series.

  • itsthewayuplay on March 25, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    @Nampally Kohli Raina and MSD all had better a SR that Sachin in that game. Surely a winning total will depend on the nature of the pitch. My point is that SRT is an automatic choice if he's fit regardless of form. Competition for places in theory ensures it brings the best out in everyone but where Sachin is concerned. This may be due to 2 main reasons (1) Sachin is a draw for a lot of people and therefore a money spinner for the BCCI (2) The selectors don't have the courage to drop him if he's not in form. You have mentioned on a number of occasions that young bowlers are benched because MSD has his favourites but an out of form SRT is also depriving in-form players of opportunities. It doesn't make sense. I'm was one Sachin's biggest fans when he started out to the extent that it wouldn't matter whether India won or lost as long as Sachin got a century playing the way he used to. But he doesn't play that way any more.

  • PallathZ on March 25, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    continued

    .& for his pride ,I'm sure he skipped Windies again. Batted beautifully in the first 2 Test matches in Australia where all experts were c pointing that a big one was round the corner as he looked in great touch & to be frank ,he looked the best in both the test matches.Then it changed & thereafter everything else started going wrong.Pressure mounted & the great men faced music.This time the pressure was more on him as all the seniors failed.They had to point out to someone. Not easy being Tendulkar ! right …Enjoy whilst he is there.The day he retires,the same guys will pour in with their thoughts on how he was one better than the greatest ever.

  • Nampally on March 25, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    @Red_Rooster: Thanks for your balanced comments.If scoring a century @S/R of 78 as an opener is Selfish & slow then get a guy who can do lot faster- Sehwag.One's love for a Legend should never lead to other Legends being hated.Sachin Tendulkar will always be the little master who is the batting genius of the Indian Cricket.If Sachin was selfish he would not have been out in 90's on > 35 other occasions in Tests & ODI's.He would have stayed & converted each of them to a Century.Against BD, a total of 289 is always a winning total with half decent bowling.If India cannot find bowlers who can restrict the opposition to <250, then they do not deserve any Wins. In an ODI 250 total is the target for most teams. I would call it an atrocious team if leaking >5 runs/over. Focus on better bowling than blaming an all time great - Tendulkar's century for India's defeat.If Sachin had failed, India might have been out for <200. So Sachin gave India a winning chance - This is a debate in futility!

  • PallathZ on March 25, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    As Sachin himself pointed out ,people were fixated on 100th one & forgot about the 99. It was his first one day hundred against BD & am sure if you analyze his 99 hundreds ,his strike rate would mostly be among the top & surely the best in India. We are talking about someone who has been the best in the business. We shouldn't be penalizing him for his brilliance.He was the highest run getter for India in 2011 & was in superb form.Loads of material then was written on what he did right,his passion,technique & class after the world cup & his double in one dayers then. The only issue was probably with the form he ran in,he believed he could straightaway get back to play when it matters.So he skipped WI.Badly needed a hundred at Lords I suppose.England was an eye opener.Things were not to his liking.Then he choose not play WI in one dayers.It started going wrong with the Windies as well with expectations zooming in back home for the Test matches.Mumbai was an ideal venue.He failed

  • honey-lotion on March 25, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    A masterpiece of an article. I'm a big fan of Harsha and his crafty way of dealing with sensitive elements and again he has dealt with the topic so delicately. Someone reading in between the lines would surely be able to get more than the obvious that he has written.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 25, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Bravo @IronCobra and Sycophant! Keep it up! I couldn't have put it any better. Keep 'em coming! His selfishness ended at the point he reached that century and at that point of time his strike-rate reads 72. OMG! Such a blatantly selfish knock can be celebrated only by people and the wily old fox for whom individual comes ahead of the team. This reminds me of my reaction when Lara reached 400. I was very thrilled. I went onto some forums and realised that many Caribbean people were upset that Windies couldn't win the match. It took me sometime to realise that Windies team comes second to me as an Indian and Lara comes first for me as his fan; their win or loss or draw didn't matter much to me. So, now I can empathise with sachin fanatics and sachin as well. For them India comes second and Sachin comes first. That thought is just sickening. So, at least now, they should stop this nonsense talk of playing for the team, for the nation and all of that.

  • Red_Rooster on March 25, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    faster innings. And you forget that almost all your comparisons are on tests. Tendulkar is streets better than Dravid in ODIs, and even the disparity of "6" in terms of average doesnt do justice to that. The Sharjah 143 &134, the 98 vs. Pak in the WC SEMIs, the 175 vs. Aus, the DOUBLE hundred, the 82 vs. NZ, those are innings' Dravid can NEVER pull off. You realize when comparing one dayers you are comparing somebody with 12 tons, to somebody with 49. But when the stats arent supportive of your claim, what do you jump on? Abstract qualities like SELFISHNESS, now tell me, are you inside his head? Do you realize that it may not be his selfishness, but the PRESSURE, that causes him to slow down in the 90? Ofcourse you won't because Dravid never felt pressure like that. He lives under the excuse of being a naturally one-dimensional, slow player. BTW, in no way am I a Dravid hater either, and i agree hes a great batsman. Im simply telling you not to hate on Sachin and spread sentiments.

  • Red_Rooster on March 25, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: You've generally been one of the better commenters on cricinfo for quite some time if memory serves correct, but TBH, I find the passion in your hate for one Sachin Tendulkar absolutely amazing. To begin with, I am NOT some die-hard Sachin fan. Nor am I Indian for that matter. But I've followed both Tendulkar and Dravid's respective careers for quite some time. You yourself talk about stat filtering. But then, to show Dravid's supremacy you choose to compare LEAN periods, and that too with minnows subtracted. Is that not filtering? A few Sachin gems for you: 103 vs. England @ Chennai, a match saving 155* vs. Aus in 1999, 114 vs Aus @ Perth, 169 vs. SA, 146 vs. SA in Newlands( Any other batsman would wet themselves on that day) and those are just tests. Don't get me started on One dayers. It boggles my mind as to how you complain about Sachin's SLOWNESS, given who you idolize. That innings was at a clip of 78runs/100 ball; that would rate as one of Dravid's TBC

  • enthusiastic on March 25, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    I'm glad SRT has achived his personal glory.It's sad India lost the match and people remember the game for SRT's landmark!!! It's incorrect to compare Dravid with any other Indian Cricketre including SRT. Dravid's career is far more effective as a player compared to anyone else given the number of wins and saved games for the team. It is common knowledge people hope and pray sachin bats well and scores runs but does not get a 100 in ODI's. This belief has come out of experience and no coincidence. Sad but a fact of life.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 25, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    Coming to the gems of Dravid, I hope you are aware of Sachin's gems as you are his devout admirer and you must have enjoyed those gems of Sachin. Just in case, if you are not aware of them, let me inform you about them - 1 off 21 vs England in Mumbai 2006 (the gem of an inning where he was booed at Mumbai), 16 off 98 vs Pakistan at Bangalore in 2005 when the ball refuses to touch the bat of Sachin (I was in the Stadium), 12 off 68 at Lord's 2011 - too bad those three gems couldn't save the matches for us. You couldn't say the same about the bloody minded, match saving 12 off 96 by Dravid. There's an article that came recently which paid rich tributes to the bloody minded nature of the man behind that 12 off 96. Go figure. India were 3 down for 11 runs but we still managed to draw the match and consequently won a series for the first time in more than 3 decades in England. Thanks to that 'dozen a dime player' called Dravid that some Indians like me can enjoy the success of our team.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 25, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    Here's the interesting tidbit. For the said respective periods for both the players if we remove the minnows Bangladesh from their stats, Sachin now reads 29 tests, 48 innings, 5 notouts, 1595 @ 37.09 per inning. Dravid reads 42 tests, 77 innings, 6 notouts, 2683 @ 37.78. So, how's Sachin exceptional and how's Dravid abysmal though Dravid has marginally better numbers? Next, your claim that Sachin never had a long lean patch falls flat on its face. Sachin 49 months vs Dravid 50 months. And you are so so sure that Sachin never had a long lean period. Really? You can't be more wrong. Next, Sachin's horrible lean period started in 2002 December and only towards the end of that long lean period he had tennis elbow for which he missed Windies Tour 2006. In fact, he was lucky to have that tennis elbow in 2006 which didn't let him play some more matches and saved him from further humiliation in the Caribbean. Peerless Dravid was the Man of the Series with his unparalleled batsmanship. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 25, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    @sachin86, you have selected filters to filter-out Sachin's abysmal performances in NZ in late 2002, so that you can come up with an average of 44.47 and then call it as exceptional for a lean patch. Nice try. Here are the stats for the periods in question. Sachin between 1 Dec 2002 to 31 Dec 2006 - Mat-31 Inn-50 No-6 Runs-1879 HS-248* AVG-42.70 50s-8 100s - 4, Dravid between 1 Dec 2006 to 31 Jan 2011 - Mat-46 Inn-83 No-7 Runs-3014 HS-191 Avg-39.65 100s-8 50s-13. Take a look at the stats once again. There's hardly any difference in the averages (42.70 - 39.65 = 3.05 runs/inning); but somehow you want to say that Sachin's stats for that period were exceptional and that Dravid was abysmal. Mate, as per your highness, isn't it normal to expect a difference of 3 runs per inning when you are comparing a 'dozen a dime ordinary player' like Dravid with the 'greatest ever' called Sachin? And how is scoring 3.05 less runs per inning abysmal? Thanks for the chuckles. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 25, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    @Avradeep, you are terribly insulting the greatness of Late P.V.Narasimha Rao by saying that only Cricket and Sachin were the hope and guiding light for the country in 1990s. The then Prime Minister Mr. Narasimha Rao and his Finance Minister brought about great economic policies and reforms to turn the country around. Your comment is insanely ridiculous and shows that you are totally oblivious to the economic turmoil in India in the late 80s and to the subsequent masterstrokes from the great P.V.Narasimha Rao in the 90s. So, just take it easy before you make a sweeping blanket statement about India.

  • on March 25, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Sachin is a great player and seems like a nice man. However while watching him get the 100th 100 I had a sense that the game itself was not important and wasn't at all surprised that India lost. He was in his 90's during the powerplay but the pursuit of the individual milestone seemed far more important than what should have been the ultimate prize which of course would have been an explosive powerplay which would have put India in a better position to win the game. I even feel Sachin was probably aware of this but he had to succumb to the unbelievable pressure placed on him to achieve this goal. This wouldn't have happened in Australia especially but probably also SA, England and New Zealand where the team no matter what the circumstance is always first, always!!

  • bigdhonifan on March 25, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    India vs Australia [2004] match...

    Brad Hogg takes Sachin's wicket

    At the end of the match Hogg gave that ball to Sachin for his autograph.

    Sachin put his sign with one beautiful sentence, "IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN"

    Till today Hogg could not take his wicket for the second time. After this incident Hogg and Tendulkar have come face to face 21 times... but he could never get Tendulkar out!

    "THIS IS CONFIDENCE"

  • manojs3010 on March 24, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    cont:: In asia cup sachin scored a 100 and team scored 289... is that a small total ???... it was the bowlers job to defend a big total like 289... what do u expect? a team should score 300+ in every match if they bat first.... that cannot happen every time ... the bolwers and captiain have to take charge... " INDIA NEEDS TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING GOOD ATTACKING & WICKET TAKING BOWLERS INSTEAD OF WORRING ABOUT SACHINS CENTURY AND HIS RETIREMENT... HE IS DOING GOOD FOR HIS TEAM ...THE TEAM ALSO NEEDS TO DO GOOD" the match against pakistan where our USELESS BOWLERS gave away 320 runs ..there sachin played a good knock .. he scored a quick 50 with virat .. which definately helped india and virat to win the match for india... Mr. harsha write something about the indian bowlers... may be that not a hot topic to write on...

  • manojs3010 on March 24, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    I it very easy to blame someone... but the people who are talking negative about sachin here, those people must have never faced a single ball on a cricket ground.. even Mr. Harsha B. u are talking like a illiterate about sachin and cricket... Sachin was playing good Cricket after worldcup... it is just that he was not hitting century... Mr. Harsha B.(The cricket expert), is it necessary if a batsman hits hundred then only he is good crickter ... what if play a good useful knock of 30, 40 , 50... everyone has forgotten what sachin has given to this country... i am watching cricket since 1996 and i have seen many matches where sachin single handedly use to take india to victory... and dear commentors and Mr. Harsha b. Cricket is not about just one player ...it is about 11 players playing for a country... so if one fails then other can handle ... but this happens really less in india...

  • kasyapm on March 24, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    Most of the times, I am frustrated at the fan's short term memory. So Sachin has not made any meaningful contribution in recent past? What a stupid argument! In the SA series, when India was defending the no:1 status, he was India's highest run scorer with 2 centuries (yes Laxman's 96+38 in second test was invaluable which helped us win a test, but don't take anything away from Sachin). In the third test, his century gave us a chance to win. His battle against a menacing Steyn was sight for the gods. Then the world cup - take nothing away from Zak & Yuvi. But, Sachin held his own - scoring centuries in matches against England & SA and making vital contributions against Pak and others. Don't even start that if Sachin makes a century, we are doomed. If others had not stuck with Kohli in the recent chase against Pak, who can predict the result? True, in series against England and Aus, he was not at his best. But to mix that up and say he is selfish/nt a match winner is stupidity.

  • Rohit.Kulkarni on March 24, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    Good article Harsha.What you said about the Indian society is mostly true.But,Sachin should have known better.He should have known that there are people who are more concerned about the whitewashes in England and Australia than his made-up milestone.His conduct post the century leaves a lot to be desired.He should lead the fans into knowing that collective good is more important than a bogus milestone in a losing cause!!

  • cricinfo_lover on March 24, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    I think people should stop blaming Sachin for losing THAT match against Bangladesh. He scored a century at a reasonable rate for gods sake!!. Indian bowlers were pathetic ad could not defend a total around 300 against Bangladesh. They continued to bleed runs against Pakistan. If India wants a future in Test and One-day cricket they need to prime their bowlers first. There is absolutelyy no point in blaming Sachin

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 24, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    @Nampally, respect you much bro. But here's the contradiction - if 289 is good enough then how about 288 or 287 or 277 or 267 or 254 or where exactly you would know which score is sufficient for our bowlers to defend? If you can come up with that number, then why wouldn't a team declare an inning and say "boy, this score should be more than enough for our bowlers to defend. If they can't then there is a problem there and shame on our bowlers etc". Point is you will never know which score is sufficient. But the point is 100 runs off 138 balls @ 72 when there are plenty of wickets in hand, coming in as opener, field restrictions, powerplays, belter of a track and finally consuming half the team's overs to score a pedestrian 114 is simply nothing but a match costing century. Is 310 sufficient? I don't know. How about 320, 340, 360? I don't know. What about the chances to win with a bigger total? That's easy to answer - chances of a win increase and that's where Sachin was utterly selfish.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 24, 2012, 19:14 GMT

    @zxaar, likewise Dravid too didn't have a slump for 4 years. Looks like that whole central point is lost on you. No surprises there. Any sport is as mental as it is physical. Dravid did suffer a mental block and was fighting the demons inside, post Greg era. Dravid fans are not blind fanatics to say that Dravid didn't go through slump in his batting. Neither do we cook up numbers to include 2004 as an year of slump for Sachin by saying from 2003-2006 unlike you guys who are including 2009 as an year of slump for Dravid. Worse still sachin86 is even using 2007-2011 which is 5 years. Amusing! 2011 Dravid was the highest run-getter in the world and 2009 he has the highest average of all the Indian Batsmen. Got any clues? Get a life dudes. I am a fan turned critic of Sachin - followed the careers of Dravid and Sachin with utmost bhakthi only to be stranded as a fool at the hands of Sachin in South Africa on the 5th day of the Centurion Test in Dec 2010. Nuff seen mate. Nuff seen.

  • Sycophant on March 24, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    I guess it will be wise for the so called experts and sycophants to remember the proverb "For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail." The nail in this case was the important hundred damning the Indian team's progress to the finals. The wily old fox during his post innings interview told that the ball was stopping and coming.This proves two things, one his judgement is failing him and the game has moved on as proved by the knocks of Raina, Dhoni, Sakib,MushfikurRahim in the same match who proved otherwise regarding his reading of the pitch. Having played for 20 power play overs any other opener in today's world of cricket will ATLEAST score at run a ball. The sychopants jump up and criticise the bowlers who were not the sole reason for the loss

  • Nampally on March 24, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    @itsthewayuplay: My comparison with Bradman is for the World records. He had a test average of 99.6 & was almost a scoring machine- the greatest batsman ever. Tendulkar has the maximum number of centuries + total runs scored which will be equally hard to beat as Bradman's test average. As for the 4 pillars, I stated that just for batting. Indian bowling is trash. We need several pillars in bowling. But the sad part is Dhoni does not even encourage the existing bowlers. Spinners Ojha & Rahul Sharma are benched more often than playing. So how do you think India will develop any pillars in bowling when the tyoung talent are benched consistently.Here Sachin has been unfairly blamed for slow S/R of around 80 as the cause of Indian loss to BD! My contention is 289 is a winning total on any surface if the bowling is half decent as expectd in international cricket. But Indian bowling is the worst in all 10 major nations. Fair is fair - blame bowling for the defeat Not Sachin. OK??

  • Isahaq on March 24, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    Sachin's 100 th 100 cost India the Asia Cup !!

    If he doesn't bat for records and milestones why should he falter while nearing mile stones .. His actions betray his words .

  • itsthewayuplay on March 24, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Harsha makes a valid point on the individual v team achievements- so many comments on SRT's 49 ODI century and yet Pontng who has a record of genuine centuries to be proud of - 100 test match wins receives so little discussion by comparison. If SRT is such a team man surely he would point this out to the media?

  • on March 24, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    @Avradeep Kudos to you to have bought the right sentiment out. No way would today's youngsters understand the full meaning of Sachin. The blame though rests squarely on our shoulders for a country forgotten preach its myths and values it is only but a continuation to have not passed the legend of Sachin to the next generation. What india is today needs to pay a 50% royalty to that one man who inspired a nation into believing that it can and will achieve if it has the will and work ethic...One man stood between India sliding down the path that most of its neighbors stride today. If india is a regional superpower and the fuel that powered it was cricket and education and the oxygen on which cricket survived is called Sachin .

  • itsthewayuplay on March 24, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    contd. SRT is full of contradictions such as his involvement in Andrew Symonds incident with Harbajan. At first Sachin said he was too far far to hear anything and then later changed his version. Sachin was a great player at his peak but balance is important when looking at a player. How long has it been been since SRT has made a meaningful contribution in tests and yet other players have come and gone because they don't that x factor. By complete contrast look at India's greatest batsman, Rahul Dravid, who just last year scored 3 centuries in a disastrous tour of England and is the only established batsman who can justify his place in the side but feels he time is right to retire for himself and for the team. Incidentally RD was the only Indian to score a century on WI tour immediately preceding the England tour, the same tour that SRT decide to rest.

  • itsthewayuplay on March 24, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    @Nampally The 4 pillars India need and quick are in the bowling department not batting. I'm not so sure about your comments about Bradman being technically perfect. From the grainy grainy footage I've seen of Bradman it's diifficult to arrive at an opinion on his technique and in addition he played on uncovered pitches without all the protection that modern batmen have and most importantly without the 1 bouncer per over rule. So can valid comparisons really ever be made between players of such different generations? It been along time since SRT was at his brilliant best. I agree with @Dravid_Gravitas but for different reasons. SRT always talks about the team and now that he is a WC winner, part of a former no 1 test team, scorer of 51 test and 49 ODI centuries what else is there to achieve in playing on. Surely the right thing for the team is to consider succession planning.

  • m_ilind on March 24, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    Earlier, there was pressure on him to score his 100th ton, but as time went by and with the hundred not forthcoming, he is facing more pressure to retire. Nuff said!

  • Avradeep on March 24, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    @Ramanujam Nanduri Agree with you a 1000%. People who have started watching cricket in the 2000's, will never ever in their lives understand what Sachin is. When India was a poor country(india still is, but little less poor), the only possession of pride india had was a young school boy called Sachin. When india had no hope, Sachin provided hope. I would say, the entire Cricket watching young generation of the 90's was inspired by Sachin. If India is today an emerging superpower, its because of this young generation which grew up watching Sachin and thereby getting inspired to achieve, to aspire for the unthinkable. There was a time in the 90's, when cricket was India's only hope, and Sachin was the only guiding star who tirelessly continued to fulfill those hopes. Now india is a land of hope and opportunity, and no wonder the IPL watching generation afford to be grossly irreverent. For them i pray to god saying - "Forgive them god, for they know not what they are doing"

  • sachin86 on March 24, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Talking about selfishness i haven't seen anyone more selfish than dravid.He always made sure he scored runs wasting 100s of balls building pressure on the team in the guile of solidifying innings.He is really lucky to have survived till 2012.His peak was between 2002 to 2006...other than that he was just an average batsman.How many ODIs haven't we lost due to the slow scoring rate of dravid?nobody talks about it because we labeled him as Mr. dependable.He can play as many balls as he wishes to,playing a one-dimensional game.This is the diffference between him and all time greats like sachin...players like sachin can shift gears whenever the situation demands which our so-called mr.dependable couldn't in his entire career.This shows the yardsticks we follow.Sachin scored at the SR of 78 in that match against BANG which would've been considered quick for someone like dravid.Just goes to show those 100s of matches he made India lose.

  • blogossip on March 24, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    both public and sachin are to blame. both wanted the 100. But truth of the matter is its an individual landmark. and sachin's statement that sportsmen shouldnt retire if they are performing smacks off arrogance. not all greats retired because they were under performing. warne, murali didnt retire because they were under performing but they understood that they are being selfish by blocking fresh talent. so how long will the sachin train last? max 2 years!

  • Nampally on March 24, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    @IronCobra: Because of Sachin's century India reached a winning total of 289 in the first place!. If the bowlers cannot get BD for under 289, India has a real problem. How pathetic a bowling it is to lose the match in last 3 overs? Dhoni had Rahul Sharma benched for 10 games, when he coud be bundling the BD batsmen. When the regular bowlers are dropped in favour of Yusuf Pathan & jadeja- who did not even bat - then India loses to even BD! It is not Sachin's century at S/R of nearly 80 that cost India the match but it was atrocious bowling. So Sir, get real and give Sachin a pat on his back for getting India to 289 after Gambhir was out to the third ball.If Sachin had failed, India would nat even have got 200.He held one end.why is Michael Clarke brought in here? Even Clarke smashed the gutless Indian bowling for 329 runs!.Blame Dhoni - not Sachin- for the Indian loss. This guy does not play talented bowlers thru' his irrational selection of XI & cost India several losses.

  • gauravbanodha on March 24, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    dont think sachin fans are all that disappointed at his ball consuming hundredth hundred that cost india the match. he might not have done that intentionally. the moment might have got to him. it wud be unrealistic and unfair to say that he cant make mistakes just because he is a great player. we all make mistakes. but surely the fans would have expected sachin would accept his mistake in the press conference. and thats where sachin disappointed them. accepting mistakes require courage. sachin kept asserting that 289 was a good total but couldnt say india could have got 30 more had he not played for his century. just not brave enough. not great.

  • ROXSPORT on March 24, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    You are wrong, Harsha or should I say you are in for massive disappointment. The real reason why Sachin is continuing in ODIs is not because he wanted the 100th 100. That would have come in tests as well. The real reason for his continuing in ODIs is his impending 50th ton in ODIs & I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. Now that Sachin is stuck up at 49 ODI centuries you must be prepared to see the same struggle & not a freer Sachin.

  • krik8crazy on March 24, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    Contrast Tendulkar's long drawn out struggle to the dignified way Muralitharan went about his retirement. He announced his retirement and got to 800 test wickets in the very last innings of the match! He was going to retire whether he achieved the record or not. He was not going to hang around just for the sake of his record. Tendulkar on the other hand has been consumed by his quest for a personal milestone to the detriment of his team.

  • on March 24, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    All i can say is that we should be proud of the entertainment and joy this man has provided to cricket lovers all over the world and not ridicule him. He might or might not be the best batsman of all time,he is a class act neverthless.We will miss the man when he retires, all those who are old enough to remember, will know that in the 90s it was Sachin who carried the burden of the entire team, get Sachin and the others will just crumble was the Mantra, who can forget his hundred at Perth. Lastly, its sad to see some of the Indian comments in this forum. People try to be like Sachin graceful and humble.Cheers.

  • Nampally on March 24, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: I am surprised at your comments about Sachin- especially from a very balanced commenter for over 5 years.I know you are a very dedicated fan of Dravid. But the Indian batting centered around Dravid, Sachin, Laxman & Sehwag for the past 5 years.These legendary pillars each different in style, focus & attributes. India will never see another 4 batsmen so dominant in Test Cricket & in Sachin & Viru's case in ODI's too.While Bradman was an artist & technically perfect batsmen, Sachin & Viru invented clipping the fast bowlers over third man for a Six to perfection. They also invented the paddle sweep which is so widely used in Cricket today. Further these are the only 2 batsmen in the world who got a double ton in the ODI's.Dravid & Laxman also have similar achievements done differently.But to call Sachin "Selfish" is incorrect. He may have got his 100th Century but in the process made India #1 in Test, WC winners in ODI & T-20.India needs "4 new pillars" in a hurry NOW!

  • yaash79 on March 24, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    Probably We the Indian Fans and the media forced sachin to play the innings against bangladesh in the manner in which he diid.he achieved the feat in 138 balls which is his slowest hundred.the indian fans and the media had made him so burdened that he wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible.we reminded him everytime of the 100th which sachin wanted to get out of his mind.the achievement of the 100th would have been a relief to tendulkar rather than elation which he would have felt had he not been pressurised and reminded everytime of the milestone. its better for team INDIA that the entire tiresome process for tendulkar is over!!!

  • BigDataIsAHoax on March 24, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Bravo Dravid_Gravitas. Exactly my thoughts. Michael Clarke scored that stunning 150+ on a hostile wicket against a hostile South African bowling attack. 2nd innings Aussies get knocked out for 47 and lose the match. Clarke says "the hundred was a waste of time. it was no good". Sachin on the other hand just could not stop talking about his 100th. Could not stop talking himself up as a team-man. How he always plays for the team. Well if he really and truly played for the team, he need not bother to say anything at all. His deeds would be proof enough. Even Harsha Bhogle has lost his respect for Sachin, it seems. The batting master has an O.C.D of getting 100s at any cost. It's such a shame.

  • amitgarg78 on March 24, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    we are so good at criticizing our heroes! forget stats, do we even have as good an opener in domestic circuit? and, no comparison with dravid can ever do justice to either or to their contributions.

  • on March 24, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    We all are forgetting the fact that Tendulkar is not a player from this generation who have a platform on which they can perform. Tendulkar came from a time where we were watching TV in a sad hopeful way to see if India can even win one match. Can India win against England & Australia (not NZ, Zimb, or SL)? At that time, we were looking for a star like Sachin to come around and change Indian cricket. Till then, cricket in India was a sad story, though we all used to watch in Doordarshan and in stadiums. So, some of us Tendulkar-timers.. I wudn't call myself Old as I am only 33, have grown up with his cricket as our only passion. Until 1999 he was the sole guiding light, that made it a decade. Since then came Gangulys and Dravids who started performing even in the absence of Tendulkar, yet, we wudn't win. Then came next generation who gave the hope of winning and started winning sometimes in absence of Sachin's. Harsha joined the bandwagon, who see Indian cricket like Australian cricke

  • Vilander on March 24, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Although Sachin is a good cricketer, and a humble man. He is pretty wound up or the people around him are making him wound-up around individual achievements too much individuals like Gavaskar, Bhogle etc . Its good that he wants to make sure his records stand the test of time, its good that he want to be around when the next group of indian players come and not retire for honor or something its good that he finds his individual records as a stimulant to extend his career. But his last hundred was instrumental in costing India some 40 odd runs, and Indias poor bowling ment that we lost the match to BD and thus the Asia cup!. Sachin should have mentioned in his after press statement that although he got his 100 it did not mean much to him cause India lost, he would consider his 100th 100 achieved when he wins the match for India. I am sure it was a relief to get this off his back but he should have felt bad for loosing.

  • on March 24, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    All Bangladeshi wanted Tendulkar score a hundred at Mirpur but Ban to win.Actually that has happened.We are happy for the outcome of the both achievement

  • on March 24, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Harsha, Nopes, we will not be going back to a liberated Tendulkar. He is close to 39 and his reflexes have slowed. If he doesn't get runs, he will think of his average :-) The best thing that he can do is go out in style, if he can. If he can't, too bad, he has done enough. Keep your expectations down and picture the youthful Tendulkar, not the guy who refuses to dive to avoid a run out. Get what I am saying ???

  • kristee on March 24, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Michael Clarke's dismissive reaction to his gem of a century at Cape Town and his declaration at 329 when he looked all set to beat Lara, Steve Smith's attacking knock that left Clarke high and dry at 99 in an ODI... all these are examples of what cricket is more about. In contrast, an expert here called Karthick immature as an edge by him went for 4 and thus denying T'kar a 'well-deserved' century in a certain match. At Gwalior Dhoni was in such hitting mood that it took Amla to come to his rescue. An additional run and strike to Dhoni were sacrificed in the process and at least some 5 runs were cost eventually. The team won by big margin and everyone forgot it. And, finally, if individual records are that important, why stop a match when a player is on 99 (say) only because it's decided!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 24, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    What's the difference between Michael Clarke and sachin tendulkar? After scoring a jaw dropping, scintillating 150+, Michael Clarke says that century doesn't matter. After scoring a pedestrian, match costing century sachin can't stop talking about the 100th 100 and the lost match doesn't even get mentioned from his mouth. Next, the same day he completed the 100th 100, he came out and says that it was on his mind. But when journos put a simple question to him in his previous interviews, he kept saying that he doesn't think about it, he isn't thinking about it, it's just a number and blah blah. Well, he wanted to give a yogic and superhuman answer to a simple question. But his deeds show that he is not only just a human but also an extra-ordinary selfish human. We come across millions of such extra-ordinary selfish guys. Nothing special about him. It's clear that he's not the one who can walk the talk. He has to stop this nonsense talk of playing for the nation and team blah blah...

  • on March 24, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    Master Blaster and the burden of the 100th

  • kasyapm on March 24, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Superb article, Harsha. I completely agree with what you have said. We (the fans and the media) must take blame for the stress he has endured. If we had not pressurized him so much, who knows, we may have seen a free-flowing tendulkar in the first match of the test series itself (which was the only match where we seemed to get anywhere near of winning). I have seen a picture depicting a flow chart of why 'people want tendulkar to retire' on FB. Seems some people are never happy with him. Leave him alone and enjoy him and his success while we still can. Waiting to see the 'libreated' Sachin!

  • on March 24, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    @Balaji Vishwanath - you have hit the nail bro. very well said. the successful can be admired for his success but cant be given the license to dictate. sachin is saying he will continue playing odis as long as he enjoys the game. and that critics dont have any right to criticize him b'coz he hasnt learned the game from them. havent come across such poor arguments from a player of int'l level ever before. just cant understand what makes certain people think they are above the game and the team. what makes them feel that cricket is there family business. sachin is now showing his true face and losing respect.

  • on March 24, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    Sachin had it easy for most part. Just as Indian masses warmed up to Cricket in early 1990s with the introduction TV, more money and commercials, there was a young, smart & lovable guy who stormed into Cricket. The timing was perfect, and people lost all sense of comparison scales. The Bombay club of Gavaskar, Vengsarkar & co tried their best to give their guy as long a rope they could (given that by early 1990s most of Bombay guys have gone out of cricket) & the talented Sachin made best use of it. His average is not much more than other other greats who played in the era - Kallis, Ponting, Sangakara, Lara, Dravid.. but then the Indian media and masses were unstoppable in their claim that he is GOD.

  • rohan_as on March 24, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    So he played slow for one innings. Big deal. We lost one match (due to atrocious bowling)...Seen it happen so many times before.The stats speak for themselves. All the guys who have been hating on sachin in recent times especially in the last one year really don't seem to have anything better to do. Of course he's going to feel the pressure. A country who has loved him all his life suddenly wants him to walk away. But then again when it comes to cricket each and every one of the 1.2 billion individuals in the country think they know better than the highly knowledgeable and respected Mr.Bhogle who btw i believe one of the most rational human being on television. If Sachin plyed for himself, its only to get the pressure off him. A 100 is a 100 nonetheless. Did you not see the way how freely he batted against Pakistan and helped Kohli win the match for us? Also what about Mr.Dhoni when he played so slowly in the CB series and took won matches to the last ball ?

  • StatisticsRocks on March 24, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    Look can we all stop this nonsense of comparing SRT with DRAVID. The reason why SRT,DRAVID, became great is becuase they played together along with Ganguly, LAX, for the same cause called INDIA. They complimented each other so well thus taking pressure of each other and contributing to the teams success. Had we taken one out of the equation I can guarantee you they could not have succeeded as well they have done had they played in absence of each other. For the last time SRT is not the reason why we lost against BNG. First BNG played extremely well to win the game, so pl give credit to them. Indias bowling unit in Asia Cup was an embarassment. I am surprised the oppostite team did not walk out on us. If Pakistan could defend 237 why could we not defend 270+ agnst the same batting line up. SRT and DRAVID are legends in their own way and you guys by comparing are tarnishing their image along with Indias image. Like SRT said "There will be only 1 RD, There is only Sachin. ENOUGH.

  • Kreacher_Rocks on March 24, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    @Vertical Dude, you crack me up. He got defensive in Gwalior? In the last 5 overs he faced only 9 balls that took him from 191 to 200. He played 2 dots and rotated the strike at every opportunity to let Dhoni take the attack to the cleaners. What more do you expect from a cramping player? Read the commentary over 40 onwards when he was cramping at 160: http://www.espncricinfo.com/indvrsa2010/engine/match/441828.html?innings=1;view=commentary. And whatever do you mean by "luckily for him they didn't" chase down 401? They were miles away - they lost by 153 runs!! It's like you claiming, "Luckily for Tenzing and Hillary I didn't climb the Everest first", when the best you have done is climb your apartment stairs. Regarding you rating Ponting higher because he "played to win", do tell why he was a walking wicket in India. Also if a player's career collapses when legends in his team like McGrath & Warne retire, that player has never played for the win: he has played with a safety net.

  • sachin86 on March 24, 2012, 1:11 GMT

    Some previous comments clearly indicate the hatred some people have against sachin and blind worship of a certain one-dimensional batsman.Here are the stats for the lean patches,SACHIN - between 01 Jan 2003 - 31st Dec 2006 - Mat-29 Inn-46 No-6 Runs-1779 HS-248* AVG-44.47 50s-7 100s - 4,Dravid - between 01 Dec 2006 to 01 Apr 2011 - Mat-46 Inn-83 No-7 Runs-3014 HS-191 Avg-39.65 100s-8 50s-13... take a look at the stats...sachin played 29 matches,46 innings in his lean patch and averaged 44 even though he was in and out of the team with career threatening injuries...that is exceptional considering the number of dangerous injuries he endured.On the other hand Mr.dependable played 46 matches,83 innings and averaged 39...and he wasn't injured in this period.83 innings of abysmal performances is way too much for a batsman to be in the team.Almost double to that of sachin's in his lean period.Finally,if sachin is selfish then so is rahul with his gems like 6(66),12(96),14(113) innings.

  • on March 24, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    "Why don't we all just give it a rest and enjoy Tendulkar, and the sport, while we can?" - Harsha, this was the title to your previous post.

    Follow what you preach :)

  • on March 24, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    Was he selfish for the 100th 100? Definitely. Have there been certain other landmarks like his first 200 that he was selfish about? Yes. But to judge him entirely like that, to make a sweeping statement that Tendulkar only ever plays selfishly and never thinks about the team is ridiculous, and its quite sad that there are people who genuinely believe that. He has been a phenomenal batsman for India for more than 20 years, and he played some outstanding knocks for INDIA in those years. Give the man some credit. I think it's only fair that you, you know, occasionally take some time to think about yourself. A record like a 100th 100 might just qualify...

  • on March 24, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    looks like the so called critics having a field day...it just shows how selfish we are when it comes to this man. anyway, just go on Sachin. for every single critic out here, there are million other fans waiting to see you bat..

  • RandyOZ on March 24, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Literally the most overrated player of all time. Reduced now to only scoring centuries against Bangladesh. Just goes to show how much better Ponting is. His sublime 200 and 100 against India were something to behold.

  • zxaar on March 23, 2012, 23:30 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas , if tendulkar had average of 91 in 2004 then how he had slump for 4 years?? You said thanks to bangadesh but you did not say that the lack of form was from injury too. Did Dravid go through elbow injury during his slump?? So as far as number are concerned tendulkar did not have slump for 4 years.

  • getgopi on March 23, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    I have to say I am no longer interested in Tendulkar. It was great while it lasted though.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 23, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    @IronCobra, wow! Take a bow mate! Well said. @sachin86, lol.. keep defending the paper god who is deeply in love with personal milestones while the reasonable world celebrates the greatness of 'dozen a dime ordinary player' called Rahul Dravid. Nobody questions or criticises the cricketing credentials of sachin ramesh tendulkar. People are criticising the SELFISH ramesh tendulkar. So, don't twist the stories by making it sound as though people are criticising sachin's cricketing credentials. Anyways, when it comes to cricketing credentials, you do realise that sachin doesn't have the gear called going into a shell and then be able to come out of it, a rare gift that only Dravid had in our team. And the way he plays the different roles that are asked of him - a complete team-man. An Epitome of Principles and Integrity. These are the question marks that are hanging on the neck of sachin and he proved his fans turned critics like me right as recently as in the match against Bangladesh.

  • Malediction on March 23, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    Another article on this? Seriously there are other things happening.

  • Harmony111 on March 23, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    @FAnon:-

    This is a malformed opinion that you have. See this....SRT skipped the WI tour since it came so soon after SA Tour+WC+IPL. He wanted to play in the ODIs against Eng but he had a fratured toe. The Mumbai Test was the 3rd test against WI. By your logic he should have skipped the 1st two tests too...but he didn't and so your point of disrespect becomes invalid. The ODIs against WI were the best time to give younger players exposure since it was a home series. You need to check out his scores since SC Semi Final. He has quite a few 80s and 90s scores so it's not that he was punished by the Gods. And whats with this BD thing? FYI this was his first 100 against the so called "lowly" BD and he has scored 99 other 100s against "higher" teams. Just because he happened to score his 100th 100 against BD he becomes somewhat mediocre, selfish and sinner?

  • Harmony111 on March 23, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    @vertical:-

    Lets' have a stat check. In that Gwalior match, Sachin faced 3 balls in the last 3 overs and 9 in the last 5 - please check the scorecard; he was on 198 after the 47th over and not on 190. He was cramping too. Why are you making such factually remakr - is it because you don't have any substantial thing to say against Sachin? And you talk about Rikcy Ponting playing to win? Such as? how many match winning knocks has he played? SRT has 62 MoM awards while Ponting has only 32 - this shows who plays to win, SRT is twice as much a match winner than Ponting. Btw, Ponting scored an extremely painful and graceless 100 in the WC QF - Aus lost that match and SRT scored a 50 in that match. Had Ponting not spent time in regaing his touch Aus could have scored a few more runs and might have won it. Now you tell me, is a WC QF not important enough for a player? Is that the right time to waste balls and try to aim for a 100? Ponting should have attacked form the beginning but he didn't.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 23, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    For all those living in some imaginary castles who keep saying that Dravid didn't play well for 4 years between 2007-2010 and that sachin never had such slump for 4 years are totally misinformed. Sachin's average in 2003: 17.00, in 2005: 44.40, in 2006: 24.27 with an intervening 2004: 91.50 (thanks to the 'monumental' bashing of Bangladesh). Dravid in 2007: 35.64, in 2008: 30.96, in 2010: 42.83 with an intervening 2009: 83.00 (highest average among all the Indian Batsmen). So, what's this fairy tale that sachin didn't have a lean period at all and that only Dravid had a lean period and that people are criticising sachin at the drop of a hat? People are criticising sachin for his selfishness be it against Bangladesh recently or against South Africa when he exposed the tail to Steyn and Co or against England in 2011. I was a huge fan of Sachin praying for his 50th century in Tests. But the way he played once he got to the century in SA was just an eye-opener. Lessons learnt. Nuff said.

  • cricmatters on March 23, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    Sporting superstars are humans too. It is easy to say that you should shut your mind off and not care about what the media says but very hard to do in real life. What Sachin has achieved is not only because of his talent but his tenacity, discipline and focus. His love for the game and simplicity has endeared him to his fans but it is impossible to please everyone. It would suffice to say that the whole nation breathed a sigh of relief when he finally reached that elusive milestone. I hope he keeps playing for at least another year so we can see the old carefree Sachin tonking the bowlers all over the park again.

  • Ranveerj on March 23, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    "Sachin Tendulkar's ascent to his 100th hundred was probably......." Another reason for "probably" could be that this may not be the last leg. He may still have a few more aces up his sleeve.... 400 in tests being one and fastest ODI century being another !!!!!!!!

  • BigDataIsAHoax on March 23, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    @Sachin86: Clearly you are one of those crazy Sachin fan's who find it hard to fathom the Greatness of the most unselfish cricketer Rahul Dravid. You say Dravid had a lean patch from 2007 to 2011 and escaped criticism. You could not be more wrong. Dravid's lean patch was only really in 2008 when he averaged 31. In 2007 it was 37 (low by his standards yes), 2009 - 83, 2010 - 43 and 2011 - 57. Clearly you are putting up a very weak case in defense of Sachin's obsessive addiction to milestones by throwing incorrect facts at us. I am an Indian. As much as I love to watch Sachin dominate, I despise it when he deliberately plays slow for personal milestones.

  • on March 23, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    Good article. I Salute to the mastery of Tendulkar. But also agree to the fact that India as a sporting nation hasn't grown in team sports. I believe we value individual glory rather than team glory or the nation.

  • nagart on March 23, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Great piece of work Harsha (Though I am not eligible to say so as you are a master in what you do).

    To add on to it... I completely agree to you that we as fans have played a part in building a cage with 100th 100 written on the walls all around Sachin... Of course I agree that Mental Conditioning is part of Sports regimen... But then the ones saying this might not have seen FedEx breaking his racket in agony or Baghdatis doing the same with all he had in his Kit... Sometimes situations get the better off the best out there...

    I guess people have taken it to their heart when it comes to accept that we might have added some of the bricks to it or maybe we have applied the cement to make it tough...

  • sachin86 on March 23, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    When you are bestowed upon with the stature of god you'll always have to pay the price.It's certainly unfair that sachin got too much attention on too little failures he had in his illustrious 23 year career which is why i tend to think that he's being underrated on his great efforts while we applaud and overtly praise someone like dravid even though he failed way too many times(remember dravid had a lean patch for 4 years between 2007-2011 before WI series).That is the price sachin had to pay for being called "god of cricket".It's natural that sachin would be castigated at the drop of a hat. People here saying all sorts of things have really no idea what it feels like when the entire world is monitoring each and every step you make.The fact that ponting,dravid escaped criticisms on far worse performances they displayed in their career is testament to the fact that the pressure sachin faced each and every day since his debut is ridiculously humongous.

  • vertical on March 23, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    He is himself to blame.I remember Dravid declared the innings in Pakistan he was all bummed when it was the correct decision and he himself was playing very slow.Then when he reached 190 in Gwalior odi and its was like the last 3 overs and he started TUK-TUK disregarding the fact that the pitch was a belter and SA could have chased the score down(luckily for him they didn't). Bangladesh deserved to win on his 100th 100 considering how he played.Thats why I rate Ricky Ponting higher because he always played to win and thats how its supposed to be. - Indian fan

  • kristee on March 23, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Amusingly, as the discussion on the landmark was progressing in some channels, setting aside even the budget, a breaking news that accompanied it read that the team had lost. The discussion however was to continue unabated as if the development had nothing to do with it!

  • on March 23, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    First of all he is a great player.. no matter the sheer number of runs scored. We have to be mature to realise that teams win or lose based on collective performance, while in some exceptional situations one or two people make the difference. Sachin has made that difference on many occasions, hence he great beyond the numbers. That said, you have see one thing clearly, that to add his 100s in test and one dayers to come with this pseudo stat is sad. We must remember that Sachin really blossomed in one day cricket only after he started opening. That meant that he always got the opportunity to utilize the time/overs at his disposal. He was good enough to rack up the runs, is besides the point. Hence, it is unfair to compare this with others in oneday cricket who played in middle order and say he has more 100s..Which is why tests are the ultimate test, giving all an equal opportunity, and he tops there already..worth appluading

  • bobmartin on March 23, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    @AjayShridharan.... "This is a redundant question. He is a professional sportsman - mental conditioning should as much be a part of his "growing up". He has reveled in the adulation that the spectators have showered on him, and has made millions appearing on commercials endorsing everything from a TV to a biscuit...he chose to keep himself in the public eye. Sachin isn't Sachin without the expectations of the crowd. He should suck it up and live with it, and not complain like a child.." You have it one... The world is full of superstars (how I hate that phrase) who spend a large proportion of their time courting publicity...They become rich and "famous" and bask in the glory that stardom brings. Unfortunately the public eventually want these people to live up to the image that they have built around themselves. And when they can't... guess what ? it's the public or the media's fault for putting too much pressure on them.. Well tough.. the words heat and kitchen spring to mind.

  • kristee on March 23, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    Cricket is a team game. And you should know how good your bowlers are. You adapt accordingly. The bowlers adapt in return. Average teams manage that way. If you're not good enough to compensate for your bowlers' weakness, you'd end up losing. It's as simple as that. And if you know your co-batters are good, leave it to them as you find it hard. If you don't, again you might end up losing. Period.

  • on March 23, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Contd...couldnt stop talking about this and was making a lot of noise in all possible ways.. like calling up Indians in Bdesh and what not..and ofcourse outside world hears the radio and reads and listens to the media....THIS IS NOT THE TRUTH..majority in India is disappointed by the way Sachin got obsessed with this record .Majority is very cynical about Indian cricket's future without the likes of Dravid,Kumble,sachin,laxman etc.ALL want selectors and management to be removed (they are the real culprits)even in Sachin's case they should not have allowed him to play Asia cup.Majority is bored with this endless IPL schedule..This is the voice of Indian cricket fans from all over Inida..PLEASE PUBLISH

  • AJ100 on March 23, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Dear Harsha, I read your recent article published last week where you described why we shouldn't be obsessed with Tendulkar's century and just enjoy. Most ardent cricket fans are doing just the same. But seeing you write heaps and heaps only on this topic makes me feel who is actually obsessed about it. Don't get me wrong, we all loved tnedulkar scoring his century and he richly deserved it. There are so many other things happening in cricket and could you kindly come out of your obsession and write some refreshing articles soon?

    Hope this is taken as a constructive criticism and be published in the comment section. Kind Regards

  • on March 23, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Harsha you have outdone yourself!!!your writings and speech have always been one dimensional when it comes to Sachin but saying " we must ask ourselves whether we are partly to blame for his predicament" is out of this world..Sachi Ramesh Tendulkar is a professional Indian cricketer who should know what to do out thre in the middle irrespective of what the whole world (forget media and fans in India)say.isnt this VERY BASIC.i still remember a comment made by an Indian commentator when Sachin got out cheaply in Adelaide"this is what happens when you are part of a losing outfit!!!"so its the outfit's mistake that Sachin doesnt score runs..OMG (look at Dravid's batting in England when he was part of a losing outfit)to the likes of Meety and other sensible fans out here Harsha and the like minded fans ARE A MINORITY IN INDIA.i was at office sorrounded by half a dozen colleagues and all of us were critical of achin's batting and this bogus record.but the nxt day on radio VJs ust couldnt st

  • Nadeem1976 on March 23, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Sub content culture is different than others in the world. We will find billionaires and most of the time people who don't have any thing to eat. Our politicians stay in politics for more than 50 years. Yes we believe in Individual performances and records. If we were pro team play we would never have 1947 separation. Sachin is same he saw that his team is weak so he tried to improve his performance day in day out and then suddenly after 22 years he found himself standing on 99 hundreds. People start talking about it. They make it mater of life and death and Sachin went under pressure because he is human. Not any thing else people call him.

    Our culture is not team effort friendly and that's why when ever we play like team we beat world best easily. But goes back to zero after a year and put more effort on individual performance.

  • on March 23, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    When Tendu has a predicament, we are to be blamed partly says Harsha. But when scores, it was his individualistic effort. When Tendu didn't score a century for over a year,are we are to be blamed, by the same logic. Some manipulative arguments and pretensions to intellectualism.

  • on March 23, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    waiting for that time harsha .... liberated tendulkar batting with freedom ....smashing the ball all around the park ..... will be a dream come true

  • itzbhushan on March 23, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    If you have run a marathon before, you would know how tough it is to run the last few miles. Sachin has just finished a marathon which perhaps no one would ever reach. We dont have to praise him, but lets not abuse him either.

  • on March 23, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Great player, not as good as Bradman though...

  • on March 23, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Do we therefore encourage selfishness as a society????

    Let me tell you what I feel Harsha...

    I call it as.. "addiction to perfection".

    Its just a game. one side has to win and the other has to lose. But... it is always the individual efforts that satisfy the thirst of the viewers.

    I mean... what do u think about gully cricket players? What do they think?

    1) Yes... I want to be a member of that particular team.. that always wins.

    or

    2) I want to hit a hundred like sachin did in Sharjah

    (And let me tell u.. u have no right to say which choice is right or which choice is wrong/selfish etc)

  • Highflyer_GP on March 23, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    What an utterly useless stat anyway. Who combines Test and ODI stats and tries to derive meaning out of it?

  • outback_storm on March 23, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    82(102); 100(139); At a crucial juncture of the game; On a flat batting track; 8 batsmen to follow. I am surprised that none of the "experts" are willing to even consider this as a possible cause for loss. Its an act that caused us the match and possibly a chance to be in the finals. India winning or not is the only concern for me. I dont care if someone has 100 100s, 99 100s or 200 100s. Him getting out at 80, and India scoring 320 and winning would have been a far better outcome for me. But most of the Indian public just seem to be fixated on personal milestones and not the match outcome at all. people are pretty content at yet another ton -Delighted at the 100th ton. Nothing else! That is what irritates me.

  • Harmony111 on March 23, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    @Meet Singhal:-

    Ha Ha. Do you realize that you were actually acknowledging his record settting ability? Isn't that an indication of this man's hard work and contribution? What else can a man do or what more can a man do?

  • on March 23, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    This is a product of culture: 1. Private life in India (and other parts of Asia) isn't individualistic but is lived collectively with large groups of families and friends - so an individual shining through is priceless. 2. In Western cultures, private life is individualistic, so the focus is on the group/community in civic and team-sport life.

  • Mr.Bedi on March 23, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    I just simply don't understand. Sachin is playing great cricket and let him play. Since I have started watching the cricket all the people were used to ask during the match, "what's the score, Sachin still playing?". I never cared whether India wins or loses cause one has to win and other has to lose but I care Sachin scores runs and keeps making milestones irrespective India losing or winning. We always like sportsperson and not the sport. Sportsmen make the sports and not the sports make the sportsmen. Sachin scored a century it's done now the result is insignificant.

  • switchmitch on March 23, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    The next Himalayan milestone for Sachin would be his 50th ODI ton. Let us all hype this up to the hilt and watch Sachin play (and struggle) for another two years in the ODIs. Who cares about the Indian "Team"? Heh? ....the worst part about this entire hype is the fact that our news channels had talk shows after talk shows when reach the mythical and exalted milestone...our loss to the Bangers was completely glossed over...disgusting....

  • Jarr30 on March 23, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    Being an Englismen, I must say, I salute to this CHAMPION PLAYER. It is really tough to have so many long years playing cricket and also be on top of it and carry the expectation of a billion crazzy fans. I don't see that kind of dedication in any players nowadays. Cheers to you Sachin.

  • on March 23, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    Harsha, I like your writings, and enjoy listening to your commentary. But as far as what you have written in this article, I must say that Sachin's obsession for the records is what caused all the mess, for want of a better word. If he didn't care for it, he wouldn't have felt the burden (which I believe was about 50 kilos), regardless of what you and I and everyone else was saying or expecting.

  • Narumanchi on March 23, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    Most probably our unofficial "record keeper" Gavaskar would advise Sachin to carry on to play till Sachin's son Arjun too plays along with his father in the Indian team. That ensures a record by Sachin that would be unbeatable in future. All of us "proud" indians would keep talking about that record too, no matter whether our team loses 100 matches in the meanwhile. And as usual the CSK gang of three (Srinivasan , Srikkanth and Dhony) would enlighten us with philosophical preachings like "cricket is a sport, we lose many and once in a while we win) !

  • Inba2009 on March 23, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Harsha, nice article but i just get a feeling that we are making another mistake here by already raising our expectations that sachin will score more freely now that he has got his 100. This would again put him under pressure. Why don't we just leave him alone?.

  • Al_Bundy1 on March 23, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    Now that he has completed his 100th 100, that too against the bowling of mighty Bangladesh, Selfish Sachin can't stop talking. Why was he quiet as a mouse when the Indian team was getting whitewashed in Australia? Why would they send R Ashwin to talk to the press? Which brings a bigger question - Why is he still part of the India team?

  • gdalvi on March 23, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    Between Sachin bashing and defending, the main culprits for India's dismal performance for last 1 year - the Selectors and Managers - are sitting happy and laughing at both the sides. Instead of actively adjusting to new situations and skills available, Indian team insists of applying the same formula for old more successful times although the team composition no longer supports it. The team simply does not have the vision or confidence to try new things. For example, if both Irfan and Ashwin are handy with the bat, what is point of having Jadeja or Y.Pathan in the team? Wouldn't that spot be better given to a bowler, especially since it is worst in the world? The idea of 4 bowlers + part timers was fine when India had match winning bowlers like Kumble, old Bhajji and Zaheer. And aren't there any alternatives in entire India to mediocre players like Jadeja and Y.Pathan? There are - but selectors simply want to continue to use tried players so that they can cover their behind.

  • AjaySridharan on March 23, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    This is a redundant question. He is a professional sportsman - mental conditioning should as much be a part of his "growing up". He has reveled in the adulation that the spectators have showered on him, and has made millions appearing on commercials endorsing everything from a TV to a biscuit...he chose to keep himself in the public eye. Sachin isn't Sachin without the expectations of the crowd. He should suck it up and live with it, and not complain like a child...I kinda do like the fact that there is a child in him stil thoughl :) In my mind, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid have done as much if not more than Sachin to take the team to great heights. In their cases, they both fought hard to prove the critics wrong, while in Sachin's case he has fought hard to prove the critics right. But fight they all did.

  • on March 23, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    This is a guy who kept saying that people should not care about the 100th 100. Yet he keeps writing article after article about the same topic. Biggest hypocrite I have ever seen.

  • on March 23, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    Why the larger Indian context?

  • murali_88 on March 23, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    it is the media who over-hype the 100th hundred, and then media itself who look back and say 'wow- we've ovrehyped that' but what happens the next time something like this comes along? the media over hype again. there is endless cycle and as fans all we are doing is indulging them whilst they keep sending out rubbish articles.

  • rhtoea on March 23, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    This article is a true evidence of human tendency of not appretiating other people hard work and remain unhappy even when something extra-ordinary happened along the way. We need to provide our expert postmortem to each and every acheivement (or un-acheivement for that matter) until it it proven as dust.

    Why can't we keep the things simple and agree to the fact that getting 100th 100 was a big challenge and it is ok if Sachin Tendulkar has earned it with some nervousness, which is very justifible and natural, considering the stature of it...

  • mritunjai on March 23, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Why make so much fuss Harsha?? Meeting expectations of the crowd is one of the challenges a sportsman has to face. We have always been told that Sachin is great because he handles the expectations of a billion. Idon't think he should be worried about the expectations as he has handled it for 20 years. He shouldhaveenjoyed the challenge if he was that great. We don't always want to see exquisite cover-drives and staight drives, we also want to see such mental battles being fought in the middle. It is all part of the game of being great. Sachin and people like you should not make a fuss of 'crowd expectations' . Crowd makes the game, great players will be all dust without the crowd.

  • on March 23, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    U know what u will always praise this man. but u will ignore the fact that Sachin's 100 was the biggest reason of India's lost against bangladesh. India were going to score more than 320 runs in that match. but again Tendulkar's Traditional Selfish play proved alot. He played too much slowly in last power play, where he was clearly after his 100 but not showing interest to score rapidly. i can only laugh.lolzzzzz @ sachin's 100.. Go and praise him indians..lol

  • Nampally on March 23, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    A century is a 100 by whatever name one calls it against any international team. While Media was only interested in the headlines it was Sachin who made it happen - an unenviable record of 100th Century - first an only man in the World ever to do it. This guy was a child prodigy in Cricket.Thru' sustained mental & physical effort over 2 decades, he achieved this "unplanned & almost impossible feat". During the past 8 months or so he literally lived with a heavy burden of expectations - every hour of the day - which would have sent a man of lower mental strength into a nervous breakdown."Modern" materialistic world is "Media" dominated - all aspects of an individual's life to the extent that it actually cripples him. How can you call it "selfish" when it helped India to become World's #1 Test team + World ODI & T-20 champions - all during Sachin's playing days - a golden era of India Cricket.I will take my hat off to Sachin Tendulkar for this remarkable feat - Congratulations Mate!

  • vglant on March 23, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Yes, Indians not only prioritize individual performance but also build temples of Sachin. Sachin is an old man now and has to be replaced by young energetic batsman suitable for ODI matches.

    Loss of Asia cup for team India should have embarrassed Sachin, but sadly he has no remorse. Perhaps because he thinks he is a god of Indians.

    I am an Indian but I feel sad to accept that India is a country made up of superstitious population from dark age.

  • on March 23, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Sachins hundred resulted in india losing the match and cup

  • Eemaar on March 23, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    To all those who want Sachin Tendulkar to retire....Kindly guys let him play until he gets over the record of oldest international player to represent a nation....FYI there are cricketers who have played for their country such as Wilfred Rhodes, Nolan Clarke, John Traicos, David Houghton, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Vivian Richards at their age of 52, 47, 45, 40, 40, 39 and 39, respectively....Sachin is just 38 and still giving his best...So don't initiate / force retirement thought on him with your baseless comments...Between you are welcome to raise your opinion when Sachin fails badly at subcontinent or when you identify a NEW reliable Indian opening batsman who could average between 30 and 35 in ODI's. Until then Please set him FREE.

  • Big_Poppa_94 on March 23, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    I'm a British Indian and a HUGE fan of Sachin. I would like to say that, however way Sachin achieved his 100th hundred, it is STILL an outstanding accomplishment. Perhaps a record which will never be broken? But enough about records. My comment is about the INDIAN PUBLIC in general who, in my opinion, weigh down too much expectation on Sachin. The same fans who booed Sachin in his OWN ground (Mumbai) during the Test match against England in 2006(?). That is absolutely disgusting. How can you boo Sachin like that? Do you think he "gets out" on purpose? NO! He gives his all everytime he puts on the India kit. Don't you think he wants to score well and put his team in a fantastic position? Of course he does, but yet you all keep expecting hundreds from him. Also, people need to learn to take criticism. Don't get butthurt, just because Harsha Bhogle wrote something different about your "God". Jeez.

  • StatisticsRocks on March 23, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    The 100th century (100th) was the only century that was in his mind coz of the media and the billion+fans all around the world. He has made great bowlers look ordinary through out his career, has scored everywhere iin the world, gets standing ovation whereever he goes not just coz of his batting abilities but for being a great human being, so humble yet so focussed, a man at whose feet records tumble yet knows how to keep his feet on the ground without any controversies. I believe some of u don't like him coz he doesn't provide u engh SPICE and goes on with his life. For some it is pure envy that makes u bitter agnst him. Hypothetically if Sachin at his peak, had said he is available to play for any country i am sure every single test playing nation would have been there to take him at any cost. CRICKET IS A TEAM GAME AND ALL 16 HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE FOR A TEAMS SUCCESS. In the process some contribute heavily than others thus amassing records on the way including collective wins & loss.

  • on March 23, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    SRT was carrying excess PERSONAL baggage 50kg millstone (milestone?) into the B'desh match (SELF-CONFESSED)... the whole team got offloaded... missed the connecting flight to the final... time to look for another milestone/millstone? Please someone find the EXIT DOOR for this man and nurture young talent, who would need 70-100 matches to make their mark.

  • StatisticsRocks on March 23, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Do we give precendence to individual performances over teams success, Absolutely we do that. But to say SRT innigns cost India the match is a myth. Common this currnet Indian attack the one that played in Asia cup is the worst among all test playing nations. BD need more 9 runs/over and these bowlers could nto defend it. PAK were in the same situation yesterday in finals and they showed how to do it. By the way Pak scored 237 whereas India had scored 280 odd runs. For almost 22 years this man has carried INDIA alone as we all know we are not a bowling nation like PAK and yet some of you have the audacity to say he plays for himself. Shame on you guys. Given that we come from a nation where the pressure is immense right at the age when one starts going to school to either become a doctor or an engineer, evertime SRT went to bat the billion+ expected him to score 100's. Only he could have acheived what he has until now ans still have his feet on the ground. Salue to u little master.

  • ssbrad on March 23, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    The fawning Maratha lobby is at work again much like the Bengali lobby during the Saurav Ganguly time. Shame on the person who exults after scoring against Bangladesh. I would have been in the forefront of his supporters had he done it against Australia or England. He never stepped up when the team was in adversity. He fretted and fumed when asked to go one or two down in ODI'S but did not volunteer to open in tests when India required someone to step up. He choses to play 20-20 for Mumbai Indians but not for India. He choses his tours. Yes he was a glorious player to watch but as of now he is blocking the future of a young Indian batsman. I exulted in the Sachin of the Double hundred in Aus, the Sachin of the desert storm of Sharjah, not the Sachin of now. I associated dignity with him, not any more.

  • anshu.s on March 23, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    @arvin ,you obviously seem like a diehard Sachin fan like million others but the truth is SRT's 100th 100 set India back by atleast 30 runs and those 30 runs would have given our hapless ,ineffectual bowlers a cushion of runs which wld have been beyond BD .it's very unfair off you to dismiss Harsha as someone who dosen't know cricket.Harsha is right about our media particulary Hindi news channels who specialise in jingoism,sensationalism and relegate all other news to sidelines.If you ask these guys to name the Ranji champs or one u-19 cricketer they will be left dumbfounded.All they know is national cricket team,same is true of our cricket fans unfortunately.Sometimes you fear Sachin is being forced as a ploy to get TRP ratings cos there is a fear when he retires many fans would dissapear with him,cmmon cricket fans you are better than that.

  • Chandrurec5 on March 23, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Why should I ask myself? I can only ask whether to switch off the TV or keep it on. India is a country obsessed with individuals especially quacks like you, who never played any international cricket, but can package anything under the sun, in some catch phrases. But thanks to the 100th 100, you did not have to twist your brain for the articles.

  • ganeshram78 on March 23, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    ridiculous. high time bhogle sheds his sachin obsession. he realises on thursday night that he has not written anything for his friday cricinfo article. and ends up scribbling something eulogising sachin.

  • s_vidyasagar on March 23, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Hi Harsha, you are absolutely spot-on when it comes to how to percieve tendulkar's 100th hundred. It's unbelievable how much media attention he got beacuse he was on the threshold of a rare milestone.. that it started to play on his mind & robbed him of his carefreee strokeplay.. he went into a shell on most occasions..a situation where he is vulnerable. I simply dont understand why our nation is so obsessed with milestones & records that we dont watch cricket for the joy of watching it.I have observed this too often.. if sachin scores a century and india loses, we are happy that sachin scored...wheras in australia, the crowd will be dsappointed if ponting scores a century & the team loses. I just hope tendulkar, now that he has got to that milestone, will play some his natural , unhibited, carefree cricket, the sachin we are used to seeing in the 1990's..

  • CanTHeeRava on March 23, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    There is no doubt Harsha, for us, the Indians an individual's achievement is far greater than that of a team. It is in the sense part of our DNA, hence in RNA and also in proteins, if you like. If a gene for individualism exists it will double dominant in an Indian genome. It is always expressed and in large quantities. We should celebrate the fact that we respect individuals and sometimes it is at the cost of the collective. I don't think it is a bad thing because greatest individual achievers have a lot of memetic value (which is not quantifiable) and it helps the society in the long run. You, as an admirer of some 'good' aspects of the West, tend to ponder over these things a lot more than an average Indian, who is consumed by his worshipping insticts almost all the time. We are argumentative (as Prof Sen says) and we are eternal worshippers of talent (you rate work ethic more). It is a costly and inefficient business model (I am no MBA) and it will continue survive in India.

  • bobmartin on March 23, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    For Indian cricket, I can offer three sayings: 1. Fail to prepare - Prepare to fail. India are not preparing for the future, therefore they can expect to fail in the future. 2. Don't keep doing the same thing and expect a different result...and 3. If it's broken, it will only work again if you fix it.... both of which are pretty self-explanatory in the case of Indian cricket.

  • Bollo on March 23, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    @MiddleStump. I can assure you that the non-Indian media has had far more important things on their mind than the protracted wait for a manufactured milestone - generally involving the overall performance of their respective teams. The fact that Sachin`s hundred has overshadowed the 4-0 slaughters in England and Australia, and failure to reach the final of the last 2 ODI tournaments, speaks volumes for the attitude of some Indians to the game.

    For the record, Ponting`s recent century drought stretched from the WC QF on March 24th 2011, until his century in the NY Sydney Test - about 9 months. Sachin`s stretched from 12 March 2011 in the WC, until 16th March this year - 12 months. Hardly the `more than a year and a half` vs `a couple of months` that you claim.

    Finally, the talk of `God` and `lesser mortals` has become very tiresome. Even for an atheist such as myself, it`s a little disrespectful to a man such as Kallis, who averages more than SRT in both forms of the game.

    ps. 99.94

  • arvin on March 23, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    all those cribbing here how sachin 100 cost the match including the so called idiotic expert harsha dont know much about cricket or bashing sachin is their only reason to live... what can sachin do if ur bowlers under instruction from bookies or captain wants to give away 20 runs in last overs or useless 4-5 batsmen can not score required 20-25 runs in last 5 overs...

  • arvin on March 23, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    the whole cricket world is celebrating what sachin has done for game of cricket with 100 hundereds but few publicity seeking indians like harsha will always question the greatness and achievements of sachin... thats how they keep their job secure...

  • godimbored on March 23, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Just exactly why must we 'ask ourselves whether we were partly to blame for his predicament'? Is he a professional sportsman or not? Such pressure, whether real or imagined, comes with the territory. What a fatuous article.

  • sweetspot on March 23, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Sachin was a great player very much in line to become a true sporting hero and legend, when he played with freedom. Somewhere along the way, he assumed a mantle of responsibility, strangely after the team around him actually became stronger and less dependent on his runs! India sacrificed the Asia Cup for him to get to his 100th 100. Wonder if we would have forgiven him so easily if he had done the same in the World Cup. I don't think so. He's clever enough to know the difference, that that is what infuriates me. He is intelligent enough to know where to draw that line of ambiguity between selfishness and playing for the team.

  • on March 23, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    Your piece brought to mind Viktor Frankl's insight: "Don't aim at success--the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue." And Sachin, I am certain, never chased landmarks. He plays for the love of the game. In sport, one cannot reach the pinnacle by focusing on achievement of records. It will ensue, from the single-minded self betterment and pursuit of perfection by the athlete. Sergei Bubka, Lance Armstrong, Roger Banister... Thanks Harsha. Miss you at the other end of a mike.

  • msnsrinivas on March 23, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    @Vinshada: With all due respect, no you weren't.

  • on March 23, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    like road building, team building is a matter of FUTURE outlook. If the road is good today, doesn't mean it will last forever. You don't build new roads only after the present one breaks down. The present road (SRT) served excellent... NO DOUBT... but new roads (read players) should be planned / built and for that the old road should give way. PLEASE RETIRE for the sake of future!

  • on March 23, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    Mr. Harsha has rightly hinted on how our people and media perceive the performances of the players. In my opinion, 'media is the impostor' of any Indian cricketer, rather than victories and defeat. Perhaps, to make people realize that individual performances never outweigh a team's victory, a new metric of a person's contribution to the team on the basis of match by match should be devised :)

  • Arthaurian on March 23, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Harsha aka Buzz Killington you are such a party pooper. That's why your not on the 100 of hundreds bash guest list.

  • Vinshada on March 23, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    If I was to blame for his predicament, then I was also the reason for the success of his 99 other hundreds.

  • Sarvesh.Pushpraj on March 23, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Oh Harsha, you couldn't be more wrong. Media would find quite a few landmarks for him to achieve. 50th ODI hundred, 100th ODI Fifty, 20000 ODI runs, 200th six and god knows what else.

  • AbhijeetC on March 23, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Dear Harsha, It is true that media and we as supporter had some blame to share for the sachin's predicament of scoring that illusive hundred. However i would put some blame on sachin as well. He robbed us one year of good cricket by playing himself out of form. as a result, India lost 8 consecutive away tests. In England, India needed one 'in form' batsman to play with Dravid and we would have atleast drew couple of tests.

    I believe his decision to rest when India toured WI was a blunder. surprisingly he never played in a team that won test series in WI and he would retire with that blot on his career. so what, if WI team is not the same champion team, you got to play fair and hard test cricket to beat any side. India was missing regular opener, No 6 spot was still vacant, 3 batting positions was enough to experiment. Plus WI pitches were hard to score last time, it could have helped sachin to prepare for Eng's Challenge. Finally, what if he had scored that hundred on that tour?

  • bobmartin on March 23, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Someone has asked the question as to why India does not seem able to produce really good and genuinely fast bowlers. The answer is staring you in the face.. With very few exceptions, all the fans' adoration goes to your batsmen... Read the comments on this site... they are full of talk about them... whereas bowlers hardly get a mention. Who are the richest men in Indian cricket... not the bowlers. Also bowlers come and go with monotonous regularity, whereas batsmens' places are secure. Look at Indian pitches... they are hardly conducive to producing fast bowlers.. Given all the foregoing, why would any aspiring young cricketer want to be anything other than a batsman.

  • ooper_cut on March 23, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Thank you Harsha, there are just a few good men out here

  • kantipur on March 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    Enough talk about this artifitial record. Sachin got chance to play cricket at the age of 16 because players like Sunil Gavaskar and others retired on top. Sachin has easily forgot that . He wants to continously play. And it is illogical to combine one day hundred with test. And it is not fair on other batsman who bats lower down the order. Sachin bats as an opener in some of the flattest tracks in the world. Other greats like Lara didn'. Lara when he batted as an opener and number 3 scored fastest 10 centuries (now kohli has that world record). Then he dropped to number 4, 5 and his hundred dried up. Even jayasurya has 28 hundred as an opener. Does anybody think Jayasurya is better than Viv Richards who is arguably best one day batsman world have ever seen.

  • on March 23, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    100th article on this. Harsha mate, you are right, Indians are obsessed with individual success else this would not have been written ;)

    That said 2 blunt points, 1 - Sachin, best batsman.ever. 2- His 100th 100 one of the primary reasons for Asia Cup Exit. Read I say here Primary as the extra 20-30 runs on board would have given our hapless bowlers something to defend given that even 290 was not enough

  • on March 23, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    I won't say we as a nation is obsessed with individual. Collective performances are also important. But can't we see one point? Every team which tops the World has record holder individual performers. Warne, McGrath and Hayden, Marshall and Richards etc. We have many examples. If Indian team doesn't win consistently, don't blame Sachin. It is our bowling weakness. Why are we not addressing an important problem in cricket? Why don't we make a genuine effort to see why India could not produce genuine pacers who are needed to make as consistent World beaters? Ponting or Border have gone through without century for so many tests. But no body cared because the team had strong bowling attack. Pakistan always has good bowling attack which makes the team scared by other teams.

  • aarpee2 on March 23, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    The 100th hundred would have been sweeter if it was against England in UK last year or the Aussies this year.Nevertheless it is the media creation that is to blame.Cricket is a team game and individual performances do not matter if it does not contribute to the teams cause. 147 ball 114 against a weak BD attack in the sub-continent denied India a chance of a bigger score as the rest had only 153 balls to manage with and denied India a place in the Final. It is time Media learns to give up this disease of Personality cult and concentrate on the team performance. Further Sachin picks and chooses tournaments which often destabilizes the batting order-Gambhir suffers mostly.

  • MiddleStump on March 23, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    The cricket media all over the world is obsessed with Tendulkar. That is why someone like Ponting could go for over a year and a half without a hundred and attract little attention. Whereas when Tendulkar went a few months without a century, the media circus was in full swing already. That is simply the inevitable difference between God and lesser mortals.

  • on March 23, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Thank God , all the critics and all you have survived , as of now , play your game and open up now and hit your shots , your 6 against Pakistan in Asia cup had really taken me back to the 90's era.... Saw the delicious 6 from you after a long time !! Need more like that !! Keep it up !!

  • FAnon on March 23, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    Dont get me wrong, I am a fan of Tendulkar's batting. Together with Dravid, Shewag, Laxman and a handful of others, he has given me hours of pleasure watching the sheer artistry of genius at work, along with an an undemonstrative carriage that did not grate the way watching a Ponting, McGrath, James Anderson or even Warne did

  • Vineeth59 on March 23, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Hey...dey is no question about his selfishness...he is an obstacle to many emerging players..(please dont sa India doesn't have younger batting talents..der will be 1000s of)..He should realy think about Dravid. He retired bcoz he was not selfish eventhough he was the better one than sachin now a days...He should have atleast retired from Odi's ..dat jus shows hw selfish he is....and bangladesh match gives more proof ..If he wud have got out early ...team score wud have been smthing around atleast 320... Greatness means not only records and milestone..it includes lot of sacrifice,attitude..Nw it is destroying confidence of each player...dey will be droped if dey din play a match bcoz dey don have any slot for u....nw dat dravid is retired Kohli and rohit can play without any pressure may be can try a new batsman too....dats wat dravid meant also ...giving way to youngtrs

  • sooraj.pillai on March 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Harsha is being a bit soft and pushy. 100th 100 is indeed a great achievement! No one is ever going to break this record... 'probably'. I salute the master. It should have been done earlier. Just saying it is the pressure of the 100th that made him not play his natural game is not good enough. Every game gives pressure! And partly that is also what you train for..handling pressure. Anyone playing any game on a regular basis will tell you that. Now if Tendulkar scores another 100 in one dayers that is going to be his 50th 100 in one day! is that pressure? When I say pushy look at the last line 'we could go back to the pure Tendulkar. What joy that will be!' Does this mean if Tendlya gets out cheaply in the next few games is it time for...you know what........???? Now that is pressure too asking him to perform because he is free!! Will we let him be because he under pressure to be free!!! I salute the master. He wanted to get it he got it. He had and has what it takes!!!

  • FAnon on March 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Omnipotent and omniscient God, Tendulkar is not. But the Gods have exacted their revenge, for his hubris. I wrote in several months ago, on the eve of the English tour, to the Guardian UK online, expressing my reservations about him skipping the West Indies tour (when sitting on his 99). It seemed to be disrespectful of the West Indies and their proud heritage. As if though it was profoundly more significant if he achieved this Everest like feat in England (particularly at Lord's). Having failed to do so in England he tried at the next most significant venue, at home and particularly in Mumbai. He failed again and skipped the one day series against the West Indies, again disrespecting them, seemingly deferring achievement of the feat on Australian soil where he has never failed to score a century on tour. He failed yet again. And as if though to scorn this attempt at stage -managing this ephemeral feat, the Gods eventually signed of on the inevitable. against ' lowly' Bangladesh

  • gauravbanodha on March 23, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    hey harsha..i think the betaal that sachin carried on his back had an important message for him. message that he was headed the wrong way when he was trying to satisfy ever-demanding people. message that he needed to get back to himself. to be himself. perhaps sachin's biggest mistake was mistaking the betaal as an enemy. an enemy that he first tried fighting with and got exhausted and then tried running away from which was not possible either. had he listened to the betaal 10 years ago, perhaps he would not have fallen into this situation where he is having to reply critics for there would not have been any critics.

  • Haartheek on March 23, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Scoring Runs at the International Level for a Cricketer who has been playing since 20-odd years at various Venues and against almost all the Opponents, should not a major Task. A Player like Tendulkar should feel the Pressure only in the case when the Youngsters in the Team are not scoring and not contributing to Team's Success. He should not consider the numbers at this point of time, i.e, 100th 100 or anything like that. And Sachin might be aware of the Fact that in the Game of Cricket, Records are meant to be broken. Just as we have seen, Sehwag scoring Double ton after Sachin has done that and Proteas chasing 400+ against Aussies in ODIs. Its all in the Game. Records are not made, but they happen. When given an Opportunity to a Player to play over 20+ years, as many have said, anything might happen.

  • BeatTheChamps on March 23, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Some people without any knowledge or common sense can always find ways to blame Tendulkar, while he continues to entertain us. Keep the juggernaut rolling Sachin. We love you!

  • on March 23, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Yeah right. Now we can go back to the pure Tendulkar. But wait, we have the 50th ODI century coming up. So Tendulkar will get bogged down by the weight of expectations put on him for this 'important' milestone. Maybe we will have to wait for 6 more months and a few more lost series before he can achieve that. Maybe then we can go back to the pure Tendulkar. But wait, we have the 100 ODI half centuries coming up. OMG!, so much pressure. Lets give him another year to achieve this, then we can go back to pure Tendulkar. But wait....

  • TheScot on March 23, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    @class_shows: I think you are missing the fact that none of the Kohli's century in the recent months led India to final. Does that mean Kohli's centuries are nothing to talk about or cherish? I believe, 'No'.

    I think we unduly put too much pressure on Sachin, and rely upon him to win matches. He is fulfulling his obligation as a batsman, and that is it. We make him the so called 'God' and when it is not required. Nobody is God or Devil, they are cricketing professional and doing their highly scrutinized but super highly paid work.

  • brittop on March 23, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    @sanj747: You obviously haven't read much on cricinfo if you think no-one's mentioning those loses!

  • Pulsar81 on March 23, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    The God of Cricket. Enough said! :)

  • Emancipator007 on March 23, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    LOL;the amazing thing was the moment the Asia Cup squad was announced with SRT's name, fanboys, critics, neutrals alike PREDICTED on cricinfo/other forums that he would score his 100th 100 against Bangla!AMAZING, all of them proved to be Nostradamuses!Briefly,I felt that we would get out deliberately in the 80s/ 90s(which he had reached with consummate ease) to avoid carping critics from taking the sheen off the landmark. But he must have also realized how DIIFCULT it was getting (for a BAT who has scored 99 100s previously and reached 90s atleast some 25 plus times before!) a 100 and decided NOT TO GET OUT and get the 100 at any cost against Bangla. FACT remains though,if he has been OBLIVIOUS to the pressure of expectations of performing since his debut as the most talented player of all time, this EXTERNAL pressure should also not have affected him. Let it also be said in his favor that he could EASILY have played the 20 ODIS which he missed before the OZ tour/ Asia Cup to get it.

  • joseyesu on March 23, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    Count the no.of balls when he took to score 85 and no of balls to score 100.You can see a huge difference. In his earlier days, nobody as like him scored centuries. So he took his time to achieve it and nobody bothered. Whereas now, everybody given chance is scoring runs, and if he takes time to do it - everybody is worried. The last game against Bag is similar where he consumed lot of balls to score the last 15 runs to century. He himself needs to be blamed" He Sets the benchmark and he is struggling to reach it" at the end of his carrier.

  • mrgupta on March 23, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    People who are commenting about slowness of Sachin's 100th 100 should realize that India made 289 in that match and still lost. That's the highest total that Bangladesh bowlers conceded in the Asia cup. Given the Indian bowling BD would have chased down even 304 (what India scored against SL). If a Team is not good enough to stop a minnow like BD from chasing down 290 then they don't deserve to qualify for the finals. Pakistan was able to defend 236 in the finals India couldn't defend 290 and still all we have to blame is the batsmen who scored the only 100 of the match? Check the scores for that match at the end of 43 overs (when Sachin got his 100) India had scored around 220, In the previous match against SL when India crossed 300 and Won they had scored 226 at the end of 43rd over when the young sensation Kohli scored the 100.

  • on March 23, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Its not tendulkar who has to be blamed for not retiring..its the youngsters who are to be blamed. Did anyone seriously pose a threat to Indian ageing middle order? Does any one have loads of runs in the past couple of years in domestic to really push sachin and other seniors out? Unfortunately the answer is no. Put in some serious and consistent performances in domestic like kohli who is doing at international level and then push sachin out of the Indian team. Otherwise he would go on playing with performances here and there. Now dont say that they need to be given chance to prove...saching,dravid,laxman,sourav,gambhir proved themselves by scoring loads of runs in first class matches....which is why they became so successful. These youngsters are addicted to IPL. Bang some shots and fill their bags.....and go into hibernation until next ipl comes.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 23, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    In retrospect, it's a good thing that India lost to Bangladesh and got knocked out of the Asia Cup. Several good things can come out of it. 1. India will need to actively look at the bowlers and how they bowl. The captain needs to take responsibility. Enuff of this rubbish about the "bowling captain" concept! 2. India needs to recalibrate it's batting target. A 300 score isn't a winning score, in this age of T20 in an ODI. 3. Indian bowlers need to focus on line, length, swing, accuracy, pace and bounce. When they do that, they WILL get wickets. In an ODI and even in Tests , when you bowl economically, you can force the batsmen to make unforced errors. 4. Had India won, the anti-SRT crowd wd have still mocked him for getting the 100th century against a "weak side". Can't say that, after we lost the match to the "weak side"! This should stop their hypocrisy!

  • Rakim on March 23, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    You Bhogles: all you say is 100 doesnt matter and all, both of you, have written in past months is about 100th 100. But who cares about 100 100s and 183s if your team can't win?

  • AB99 on March 23, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    SRT has not yet got a triple hundred in tests ... that abberation has to be rectified .... this is be the next motivating factor for him ....

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 23, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Over the last 5 or 6 years most of sachin's century has come on the batting friendly pitches in no pressure situations (except in SA) , he is looking more like a run accumulator rather than a match winner , 23 year old kohli is already better than him in that regard..

  • JustAGame on March 23, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Agree on almost all counts. I'd also add that over zealous fans and dumb media has hurt him real bad, and that too in a long term manner. You can see that in his celebration after century, in a small interview between innings and couple of post match interviews...We all behave like blood thirsty insatiable demons when it comes to SRT. I'm quite sure that some one will come up with another made-up milestone to burden him like what we did with 100th 'International' hundred--c'mon--give this genius a break...and the way he was plying against Pak we can be sure that there is still vintage SRT left in him and let's enjoy it white it lasts.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 23, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Expecting Sachin to bowl is silly. What are the other 5 bowlers in the team doing? There is no such thing as "collective" responsibility. Collective responsibility diminishes accountability. Anything that diminishes accountability will cause deterioration in performance. I repeat, India lost that Bang match because of poor bowling. A team which gives away 34 runs in the last 3 overs due to reckless wayward bowling doesn't deserve to win. India gave away 122 runs in the last 90 odd balls to team like Bang. Indians need to be more critical of Indian bowling which is unfortunately STILL one of the worst in the world. We lost the Eng series, because the Indian bowlers were unfit or/and injured and the openers weren't performing. In Eng, playing out the first 20 overs of an innings is extremely important, after which playing becomes easier. Likewise in Australia! Why should SRT carry the burden of the team even after 22 years? If he STILL has to, then why call for his retirement?

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 23, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Sachin scored his 100th 100 , oh this is so great , the price ? India's spot in final and a potentially gr8 match of cricket against Pakistan.. on the field he crawls to his 2nd slowest century against an attack which is mediocre at its best , then he comes to press and says he doesn't care about personal milestone , he don't play for records , blah blah...

  • Satyarth on March 23, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    U spoke my mind Harsha...and to all those who are shouting AGE AGE for ages..... there is a whole list of players who were enormously successful in cricket..at age greater than tendulkar....then why dis kolaveri di over his age... he is a performer who cn deliver more than a normal cricketr past his age....it is a fact...get over it...where will you hide your face if he performs with the same zeal again???? the innings against pak was only a sign for the shape of things to come!!!!!!!!!!

  • advaitha on March 23, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Harsha is trying to use his intellect to try and make it look like sachin is not responsible for choosing how he plays the game. No matter what the expectations sachin could have chosen to put his country and team's interest first in the Bangladesh match. There was clear guilt on his face and without Ramiz asking him about it he gave excuses for the slow century even roping in Kohli's supposed comments about the slowness of the pitch. Bangla batsmen were not listening and thrashed the Indian bowlers because their collective milestone was a team win. Sachin in his 90s was going on the backfoot just trying to get a single (even makhanlal gavaskar pointed this out) making even my mother in her 80s wonder why he is not swinging his bat at any ball. This is utter selfishness on the part of sachin no two ways about it. It has nothing to do with Indians who like to win as much as any other group.

  • kristee on March 23, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Wonder how a player succumbs to external pressures when match pressures themselves can become that much demanding! Maybe in situations that he manipulates for his personal records! For example, while chasing an unrealistic target or in a hopelessly losing context etc. Just guess how much pressure the likes of Federer are going through in each and every match. What if they are beginning to blame the media and the expectations they raise?

  • Nutcutlet on March 23, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    Until Indians start to 'think team', don't expect team India to be a consistent force in world cricket over a significant period. Why? The answer is simple: a true team is more than the sum of its parts - and that is far from an original thought. Where India has a problem in this respect is in its very size and the diversity of its peoples, cultures and esp. languages. Only the WIndies has a similar handicap through its inter-island rivalry, but on nothing like the same scale; at least all West Indians speak the same language. As for SRT, the best thing for India would be for him to step aside. There is nothing sadder in any sport than seeing a one-time great in evident and irreversible decline. He has achieved all that he meaningfully can and that is enough - more than enough. From here on it begins to look like greed. There again, I wonder if he is not the subject of commercial pressures and commerce cares nothing for genuine sport - only the money that can be made from it - and him!

  • Farce-Follower on March 23, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    OK. The consensus seems to be a Tendulkar retirement at age 58 (so that he can mentor his son also)...so 4 more tours of Australia and England and 200 100's. Let the countdown begin...

  • on March 23, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    last october only tendulkar had said in an interview that he is not thinking about 100th century neither he is worried and pressured.....after 6 months he mentioned that it was a big relief and he felt as if he has lost 50kgs....what does this signify....?? i believe time has come for sachin to reconsider his decision of playing ......better he leave with all guns up rather than being felt as he is killing a Spot of a youngster..... Dravid was the highest run getter last year but he thought of allowing youngsters to play unlike sachin..... and harsha bhogle ji as usual Pro Sachin rather than being practical....

  • Gupta.Ankur on March 23, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Harsha and people who believe sachin's 100 costed us a series have few things to ponder: 1. Why every other batsmen struggled against bang in Asiacup?

    2.virat's 100 in cb series and now asiacup have not led us to finals; is he also selfish?

    3.if sachin's 100 or failure alone decides india's fate, what are others doing in the team?

    4.dhoni and fletcher are heads of our team, do they have any moral responsibility? Shouldn't either of them have resigned?

    5.Is anybody stopping other's to be selfish and do as well as him?

  • Rooboy on March 23, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    So he was lying when he said he wasn't thinking about the 100th 100 and that it wasn't affecting him? Avoiding the media and going into hiding is quite poor too ... he wasn't facing up to pressure, he was running away from it.

  • on March 23, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    I agree with Sanj747, where is all the churning after the Asia Cup debacle? Right, we have found a new kid to go ga ga over and as long as either he or Tendly make hundreds, we will be happy. Sure, SL lost to Bang and Pak nearly did but does it not show that the so-called world champions have not maintained their level and have instead slipped? Now I could put that down to plain indifference or an ability to take defeat in one's stride if the nation didn't fret so much over the 100th.

    Who really cares how much it impacted SRT and if he will break free? Dammit, he's 39. Why can't the team move on, why can't they focus on what needs to be done to raise their performance? And why can't authors please talk some more about that instead of continuing to focus on Sachin?

  • GlobalCricketLover on March 23, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    So Harsha, you have written 2 articles about this 100th ton in the span of 2 weeks. I read neither (but i have read some of your columns on other topics in the past). When there is so much in cricket why so much attention to just one individual? Even otherwise, what's the big deal about 100 tons? Until last year, tell me when has anyone counted any cricketers' tons across formats and mentioned it as a milestone? say 50 tons or 75 tons? just bcos adding up his tons comes to 100, people start looking at it like a milestone. Pure media stunt. What kind of an idiot would add a test ton and T20 ton for that matter? What's next, count his matches across formats? if that doesnt comes to a round number like 1000, then try counting the number of innings across formats? Give people a break!

  • on March 23, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    TRUE that the media has to be blamed to create the hype around the 100th 100 , but if Sachin doesnt play for records how is he coming under pressure ?

  • on March 23, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    What else i can say, its a good effort to put the blame on media and public rather than the ever growing age of tendulkar.... there is an end for everything and tendulkar must realize it. its not the first time he costed team india a match and even a series for his sole achievements. a hundred in 140 odd balls against a team like bangladesh... my my... tendulkar must leave the arena for people like raina, virat and many others to come.

  • kabe_ag7 on March 23, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    I don't think Indians are as obsessive about individual records as it is made out to be. I'll quote Amartya Sen here, something he said in a totally different context: "The enthusiasms of the celebrators is more easily pictured on television than are the deep doubts of the sceptics". And given the huge number of Indian cricket fans, there are a significant number of visible enthusiasts who will rejoice or take solace in individual records if the team doesn't win often enough (which I think is a fairly normal reaction too).

  • sknt on March 23, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    We must remember that all through this phase India went on a massive losing spree in tests and one-dayers. His lack/relative lack of contributions had a significant role to play. The team is 0-1 down, he is tentative, it is 0-2, he is tentative, it is 0-3 and then 0-4 and he still is tentative. And this has happened twice over. He, and also the other senior players should have taken collective responsibility. Nothing was forthcoming from him or the other senior players, to show that they really care about the team's performance. Also, is his contribution restricted to batting only? He has stopped bowling to "preserve his body". And his fielding has gone down alarmingly. Moreover, during so many difficult moments during the recent tour, he could have played the mediator/negotiator, calmed down warring players, and taken upon himself to handle the media at least during the controversial times. He did nothing of the kind. These issues will always raise a question mark over his greatness.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 23, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    A team automatically becomes good when the individual players keep playing their best and keep raising the bar of their performance constantly. Performance of a player becomes meaningful only when he plays at his best within the context of the role assigned to him during different circumstances. A team of mature competent players always understand this and perform accordingly as compared to the newbies. The key however is always about fostering individual excellence. When you are batting or bowling, it is about delivering excellence - delivery after delivery.So, if the game plan to win an ODI is let's say 6 an over, one must definitely bat to ensure that one's strike rate is above 100, so as to fulfill the team objective. Likewise, the bowlers need to work at restricting the opposition at an economy less than 4 per over as a benchmark. Bowlers can excel only if they bowl to the stumps. That's no rocket science to understand, yet many a cricket pundit and bowler just don't get it!

  • on March 23, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    Hey harsha nice article, but how long before people start talking about the 50th 100 in ODI, im sure it will come up if tendulkar doesnt score one fast

  • Riderstorm on March 23, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    If one goes by the article, which is so convincingly written pushes the blame onto the media and the viewing public. I agree, that the landmark of 100 tons was media created and unnecessary. But, that doesn't end up being the sole reason for his dismal performance in the two overseas tours. In his 22 years of international career, sachin has seen two many of these record pressures to feel insecure about himself. Even if he did, the duration for which prolonged to doesn't attest to his capabilities. 1 year. Get over it. He was found lacking in those series, as simple as that.

  • Sanj747 on March 23, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    PallathZ and Chad_reidspot on. Till today there continues to be no mention of the loss to Bangladesh last week, nor congratulating them and then not making the finals, let alone the losses of inEnd and Aus.

  • vikramsihag on March 23, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    the article articulated to a large extent what i had in mind. good stuff!

  • Ramfromlanka on March 23, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Harsha - you mean the media is responsible?? or people who watch Cricket.....

  • PallathZ on March 23, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    continued That was the beginning of Tendulkar,the God.Everyother player was redundant.In 99 in Australia,when others where struggling to put bat to ball,Tendulkar was the shining light.Unfortunately,we extend it so much we forgot that it was a team game.Think even the team members probably realized that were just to make numbers..There go the Tendulkar saga.

  • PallathZ on March 23, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Answering your questions, India truly doesn't seem to have the culture of Team effort.We try finding Individualness within collective team effort.Individualism is rewarded.Somehow its imbibed that, to be successful you need to be selfish.The greatest example of a Team victory for me for 1983 & 1985 B&Hegdes.Subsequently we faltered by trying to find out Individual leaders.Having a mass mentality,Still i cant explain why we are after Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka.We never had the leaders in the New mellinium & the way its going we may never find one.Tendulkar ,we started loving him & 1998 desert storm was the icing.That proved that one man can change the destiny of a team if need be.That gave hope.Nation lapped it up.He was a role model.Humble,Middel class background,sincere & determined.Thereafter every innings came with expectation.Remember the 96-99 period,it was almost given that wherever he plays, he would score a hundred atleast 1 in 3 games.That was the beginning of Tendulkar.

  • chad_reid on March 23, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Tendulkar values individual effort over the team and country its as simple as that.

  • on March 23, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Hopefully reading this article would make many more sensible in commenting on Sachin's retirements, especially retired cricketers...

  • on March 23, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Hmmmm....This man makes me think everytime... I'm agree with Mr Harsha Bhogle(as usual). As a country we really need to think what we gonna celebrate more. Austrailia had Don Bradman but they don't had GOD. I mean they could have renamed him God & praise him like nobody else but they gave much importance to the team than a player. Sachin always carried this burden of desires of people and played. In some senses this adds to his greatness but as a player and performer of a country who represents the country in the world , he should not bother about this & play his natural game & think about the win with TEAM. Its not his fault, surely not. Its us. The Fans. Maybe we should change. I'll try to. For him & for the next generation of Indian Team & ultimately for INDIA. :)

  • RISHI2016 on March 23, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN. Now people would also hunt him for retirement. In Sachin's own word it would have been selfish to retire during world cup victory which would have subdued the victory by India and the media would have been focussed more on his retirement. Sadly people are looking for his head nowadays. Well I have this feeling that now sachin in coming two years would be a wonderful delight to watch. Hope for the best

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 23, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    There's no such thing as a pure Tendulkar. Everybody changes with time just as one's photograph does, while still representing the person in it's entirety. The Sachin of today is more balanced in his play and more mature as a cricketer, though more uncertain of himself in pressure situations. The Sachin of the future most stop playing defensively as he often does that results in his going into a shell. He needn't be a slogger, throwing his bat at everything either. What people wish from Sachin has never changed though. It is exactly what every player wishes for himself whenever he steps onto the crease to bat every time - a well played century! A Sachin century gladden's the heart as nothing does. Gavaskar used to have that effect on people when he played. Why? Because the century scored by them is the century of everybody's alter ego on the ground by proxy.

  • Sanjeevakki on March 23, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    I was the biggest fan of Sachin but lately he is loosing his charm......Please retire from ODIs atleast!!! Its not that he cant contribute...... But he is stopping budding players like RAHANE to emerge!!! In one Sentence, Sachin was GOD of Indian Cricket!!Sadly now He has Become DON of INDIAN CRICKET!!!..... DON because he chooses which series to play and which series not to Play!!

  • on March 23, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    yeah we Indians give precedence to individual performance to collective effort ..sad but true.

  • Meety on March 23, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    "Are we, as a nation, obsessed with the individual?" - ummmm YES!!!! (from a non-Indian). Or at least yes in relation to Sachin. I applaud him for getting the 100, but it cost India both a match & a place in the Asia Cup final. Playing out a maiden in the 34th over with the score 1/160 is not good look. Interesting to see how the post 100th 100 era evolves - as I wonder if his tentitiveness is the landmark or the twilight of his career???

  • kristee on March 23, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    The very concept of liberating from the burden of personal landmarks, especially in team-sports, suggests a sporting culture that can't accommodate champions.

  • Rahulbose on March 23, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    So true. Tendulkar has a natural gift for batting, and that is why he has always been ahead of the other players in his generation. While he can score runs in a laboured and calculated manner, his best knocks have always been on instinct. I hope he can play freely for the remainder of his career. His struggle also gives some weight to the achievement, even he can't score hundreds at will.

  • 1st_april on March 23, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    Michael Clarke after his 151 against South Africa in Cape Town test....."It (his century in the first innings) was useless, a waste of time. A hundred is useful only if you help your team win. I'll forget about that pretty quickly."..............Clarke is a much better role model than Tendulkar

  • on March 23, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    *A to Z Qualities that every person to be learned from Sachin:

    A: Admiration, Adulation, Attention B: Belief, Brave C: Charity, Commitment D: Dedication, Devotion, Durable E: Encouragement, Endeavor F: Fearless G: Gratitude H: Humanity, Humble, Honest I: Intensity, Innovation J: Jive K: Kind L: Loyal M: Motivational, Master N: New ideas O: Overhaul P: Perfection Q: Quality R: Respect S: Steady, Silent T: Temperament, Technique U: Undertakings V: Volatile W: Wonderful X: X-treme Y: Youthful Z: Zero Gravity (Down to Earth)

  • on March 23, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    On his last visit four years ago, there were standing ovations at every venue from crowds that probably didn't expect to see him again. This time also we have seen same view across all venues he played, hoping that this could be his last test tour in Australia. I can bet my life on this that Sachin will return back again in next Australia tour. Believe it or not but he is Sachin and not any other cricketer.

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  • on March 23, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    On his last visit four years ago, there were standing ovations at every venue from crowds that probably didn't expect to see him again. This time also we have seen same view across all venues he played, hoping that this could be his last test tour in Australia. I can bet my life on this that Sachin will return back again in next Australia tour. Believe it or not but he is Sachin and not any other cricketer.

  • on March 23, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    *A to Z Qualities that every person to be learned from Sachin:

    A: Admiration, Adulation, Attention B: Belief, Brave C: Charity, Commitment D: Dedication, Devotion, Durable E: Encouragement, Endeavor F: Fearless G: Gratitude H: Humanity, Humble, Honest I: Intensity, Innovation J: Jive K: Kind L: Loyal M: Motivational, Master N: New ideas O: Overhaul P: Perfection Q: Quality R: Respect S: Steady, Silent T: Temperament, Technique U: Undertakings V: Volatile W: Wonderful X: X-treme Y: Youthful Z: Zero Gravity (Down to Earth)

  • 1st_april on March 23, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    Michael Clarke after his 151 against South Africa in Cape Town test....."It (his century in the first innings) was useless, a waste of time. A hundred is useful only if you help your team win. I'll forget about that pretty quickly."..............Clarke is a much better role model than Tendulkar

  • Rahulbose on March 23, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    So true. Tendulkar has a natural gift for batting, and that is why he has always been ahead of the other players in his generation. While he can score runs in a laboured and calculated manner, his best knocks have always been on instinct. I hope he can play freely for the remainder of his career. His struggle also gives some weight to the achievement, even he can't score hundreds at will.

  • kristee on March 23, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    The very concept of liberating from the burden of personal landmarks, especially in team-sports, suggests a sporting culture that can't accommodate champions.

  • Meety on March 23, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    "Are we, as a nation, obsessed with the individual?" - ummmm YES!!!! (from a non-Indian). Or at least yes in relation to Sachin. I applaud him for getting the 100, but it cost India both a match & a place in the Asia Cup final. Playing out a maiden in the 34th over with the score 1/160 is not good look. Interesting to see how the post 100th 100 era evolves - as I wonder if his tentitiveness is the landmark or the twilight of his career???

  • on March 23, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    yeah we Indians give precedence to individual performance to collective effort ..sad but true.

  • Sanjeevakki on March 23, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    I was the biggest fan of Sachin but lately he is loosing his charm......Please retire from ODIs atleast!!! Its not that he cant contribute...... But he is stopping budding players like RAHANE to emerge!!! In one Sentence, Sachin was GOD of Indian Cricket!!Sadly now He has Become DON of INDIAN CRICKET!!!..... DON because he chooses which series to play and which series not to Play!!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on March 23, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    There's no such thing as a pure Tendulkar. Everybody changes with time just as one's photograph does, while still representing the person in it's entirety. The Sachin of today is more balanced in his play and more mature as a cricketer, though more uncertain of himself in pressure situations. The Sachin of the future most stop playing defensively as he often does that results in his going into a shell. He needn't be a slogger, throwing his bat at everything either. What people wish from Sachin has never changed though. It is exactly what every player wishes for himself whenever he steps onto the crease to bat every time - a well played century! A Sachin century gladden's the heart as nothing does. Gavaskar used to have that effect on people when he played. Why? Because the century scored by them is the century of everybody's alter ego on the ground by proxy.

  • RISHI2016 on March 23, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN. Now people would also hunt him for retirement. In Sachin's own word it would have been selfish to retire during world cup victory which would have subdued the victory by India and the media would have been focussed more on his retirement. Sadly people are looking for his head nowadays. Well I have this feeling that now sachin in coming two years would be a wonderful delight to watch. Hope for the best