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Commentator, television presenter and writer

The Tendulkar habit

More than any other player, Sachin Tendulkar defined ODI cricket. To start with, he played in over half of all India's games

Harsha Bhogle

December 28, 2012

Comments: 151 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar hits Glenn McGrath for a six, Australia v India, ICC KnockOut, quarter-final, Nairobi, October 7, 2000
Remember Nairobi 2000? Tendulkar during his brutal assault on Glenn McGrath Tom Shaw / © Getty Images
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Dear Sachin,

I guess this means the countdown has begun. It couldn't have been easy for you since cricket has been your life, your solitary love outside of family. I know there are cars and music and seafood, and, as I recently realised, the odd glass of wine, but a bat was what you were meant to hold, and it is with one that you mesmerised a nation and a sport. I wondered if you could have given up Test cricket and stayed on in one-day internationals - until you told me it takes a lot out of you. And you were never one to give less than a 100%.

I guess your body finally won. It had been giving you signals - that permanently cracked bone in your toe, the struggle to get out of bed when the back played up, that elbow... ah, that's a different story altogether, but you always overruled it. It must have sulked but you forced more out of it than anyone else. It was bound to serve notice one day. I mean, you will be 40 soon; people get reading glasses at 40.

But you leave behind an aspect of cricket that you defined. There will be comparisons with other greats in Test cricket, and you will be a chapter in its history, but with the one-dayer, you are its history, in a sense, certainly for India, where you played in more than half the games (463 out of 809). The team had played a mere 165 games before you started, and it is a measure of the impact you had that there were only 17 centuries scored by then. India made a century every 9.70 games. After you started, that number comes down dramatically, to one every 3.52 games. And since that first century, in Colombo, it comes down even further, to one every 3.23 games. To think that you started with two ducks.

Now, of course, the kids keep notching up the hundreds. This young fellow Kohli, for example, who plays with your intensity but whose vocabulary I guess you would struggle with!

Looking back, I can't imagine it took you 78 games to hit a hundred. But then you were floating around in the batting order, spending too much time not being in the thick of it all. I can see why you were so desperate to open the batting in Auckland that day in 1994. Why, when you told me the story of how you pleaded with Ajit Wadekar and Mohammad Azharuddin to give you one opportunity, you sounded like you were still pleading. But I guess you had a history of wanting to be in battle, like that misty night in Kolkata (it was Calcutta in your youth, wasn't it?) when you took the ball in the 50th over with just six to defend and delivered a win.

It seems impossible to imagine that you averaged a mere 30.84 till that day in Auckland, and that you dawdled along at a strike rate of 74. Since then you averaged 47 at a strike rate of 87. It was a marriage meant to be.

I remember that afternoon in Colombo when you approached your first hundred. It had to be Australia, and you were in sublime touch, and you so wanted that first one. You made 110 in 130 balls, but oh, you agonised over those last 15 runs before you got to the century. In a sense, it was like that with the last one too, wasn't it? It was in those moments only that you were a bit like us, that you wanted something so badly, you let it affect your game. But between those two, you were always so much fun, in that belligerent, ruthless, adolescent first phase, in your second, rather more mature and calculated, existence, and of course in that joyous last. What fun that was. The 163 in Christchurch, the 175 in Hyderabad, that 200 in Gwalior, the 120 in Bangalore, the 111 in Nagpur. If it hadn't been for that devilish 100th, would you have continued playing the same way? That 100th hurt you, didn't it, as it did all of us, and I guess we didn't help you by not letting you forget. When the big occasion came, you always played it like another game, even though you knew it was a big day, like those two classics in CB Series finals in 2008, or, of course, those unbelievable nights in Sharjah in 1998. But this 100th took away four or five more.

 
 
Somebody said to me he didn't want you to quit because it would mean his childhood was over. It isn't just them. Just as the child in you never grew up, so too did many grizzled old men become children when they saw you in blue
 

I know how disappointed you were after the 2007 World Cup. You weren't batting in your favourite position, you were unhappy (if you could ever be unhappy in the game that you revered and tended to like a servant), and without quite saying it, you hinted at the fact that you might have had enough. But the dawn always follows the darkest hour.

After the age of 34, in a young man's game, you averaged 48.36. Even by the standards you set yourself, that was unbelievable (in spite of all those nineties, when, almost inevitably, I seemed to be on air). And most of those came without your regular partner. While Sourav was around, you averaged almost 50 at a strike rate of 89. The mind still lingers on the time the two of you would come out at the start of a one-day international. (I watched one of those partnerships the other night and it seemed only the commercial breaks could stop you two.)

By now you were playing the lap shots more than the booming drives down the ground. It puzzled me and made many nervous. "I want to play down the ground too," you told me, "that is why I am playing the paddle shot. As soon as they put a fielder there, I'll play the big drive." You were playing with the field the way your great friend Brian Lara did when he was on top of his game.

But beyond the numbers some memories remain. I couldn't believe how you went after Glenn McGrath in Nairobi. I must have watched that clip 50 times but understood it more when you told me you wanted to get him angry, that on a moist wicket his line-and-length routine would have won them the game. That pull shot is as fresh in the memory as that first cover drive off Wasim Akram in the 2003 World Cup when you took strike because you thought the great man would have too many tricks for Sehwag.

I remember that World Cup well, especially an unheralded innings in Harare that helped beat a sticky Zimbabwe and put the campaign back on track. And your decision to keep the Player of the Tournament award in your restaurant because you would much rather have had the smaller winner's medal. It told me how much that meant to you, and when I saw the tears on your face that night in Mumbai, I instantly knew why.

I had only once seen you in tears and that was at a World Cup too. You were practising in Bristol. You were just back from your father's funeral and were wearing the most peculiar dark glasses. There was none of the usual style to them; they were big enough to cover half your face. You agreed to my request to speak to the media and briefly took them off while you were arranging your kit bag. I was taken aback to see your eyes swollen. You must have been in another world but you were courteous as ever. It was only Kenya the next day, but I can see why you rate that hundred.

There are so many more. I was only a young cricket writer when I started watching you play, so there will be many. That is also why so many of us will miss you. Somebody said to me he didn't want you to quit because it would mean his childhood was over. It isn't just them. Just as the child in you never grew up, so too did many grizzled old men become children when they saw you in blue. You were a great habit, Sachin.

So you are done with the blue then. But the whites remain. That is our first image of you - the curly hair, the confident look, the front foot stride… all in white. I hope you have fun in them. You don't need to try too hard to prove a point to us because when you have fun we do too.

Cheers, you did well for us. And you gave life and strength to our game.

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

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Posted by SamRoy on (December 31, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Harsha never tires of writing Tendulkar articles, I didn't even read this one. This is bad journalism. There are more issues to write about Indian Cricket. The future development of spinners, fast bowlers, batsman, pitches, etc. But this guy is stuck in Tendulkar timezone. Good journalists are the ones who evolve.

Posted by jay57870 on (December 31, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

Dear Harsha - "The Tendulkar habit" is defined by his phenomenal Staying Power! The doubters have been quieted. Some even won over. Even Greg Chappell now proclaims: "That he played for 23 years is astonishing ... To think that he has carried the hopes and expectations of more than a billion people each time he batted set him apart, even from Bradman"! Greg adds: "He also played in more countries & varied conditions than Bradman". And achieved a "batting record that may never be challenged"! Just to think that Greg, as India's coach, wanted to move Sachin down the batting order? LOL! What's truly unimaginable to Greg is Sachin played "Test cricket at the tender age of 16", just as it is to Harsha that he's still playing at 39. One in a billion indeed! He's defied the odds & the gods with his extraordinary physical endurance & mental toughness. Yes, he's reinvented himself & cricket, especially ODIs. Any doubt that he's in the pantheon of the greatest batsmen of all time, Harsha?

Posted by TheOrestes on (December 30, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Cmon Harsha!!! You gotta write a book on him, i assure you it will be an all time bestseller in Sports Domain :)

Posted by CricketChat on (December 30, 2012, 0:28 GMT)

Thanks to Sachin for all the good memories in the past. I hope you can find something to pursue outside of cricket bec you are clearly burning all the goodwill of fans earned through your performances years ago. Time to let next generation of players to make their mark like you did 2 decades ago.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

Sachin as a pakistani fan em happy to see you retire. It seemed a very heavy batting line up seeing your name in between.And now I hope inspite of having goodbatsman still in the side it seems weak. Anyways you were a great cricketer

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

Great article by a fantastic cricket writer about the best player in the world. Harsha told the entire world in an article about his admiration to the great little master... Great one, Harsha...

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 29, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

@Lillianthomson: The fact you have included Sobers, Don Bradman in the list is laughable. Those guys played during a time Tendulkar wasn't even born. Cricket was different back then. Tendulkar is from a different era. I am talking about Tendulkar as a player post 1989. In his generation, Tendulkar is the BEST, followed closely by Lara, Kallis and Ponting. Do not bring in old men here. Who cares about Bradman ? He played mostly against England and in 2 countries all the time. I don't think he is a good benchmark by any means. You see, in sports we do benchmarking based on number of games played against a group of oppositions across different venues. To me playing basically against England in either Australia or the UK isn't convincing. So please stick to players of THIS generation when talking about Tendulkar. He's easily the best on that list.

Posted by harshthakor on (December 29, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is an equivalent of Muhammad Ali to one day Cricket.His batting contained every ingredient of the perfect one day batsmen-be it consistency,temperament,innovative ability,technique,ability to build an innings and destroy bowling and above all radiated joy.Sachin's career reminded one of the journey of a mountaineer reaching his destination after traversing every kind of danger and hazard.Sachin was like a surgeon,artist and boxer rolled into one.He combined orthodox strokes with perfect execution combined with strokes which were his very own invention.Watching him bat often reminded you of a teacher giving a lesson to his pupil and he paced his innings with the precision of an Olympic marathon gold medallist.One almost felt that God sent him to play cricket.Dominating at the top for 22 years makes him a contender for the best of all sportsman.

Posted by xylo on (December 29, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

Hussey just took out any wind that you might have had in your sails. 2013 would be the year that people end up talking why Hussey retired so early and why Sachin retired so late. You can deny plain facts only so much.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

simplest man in d world SRT... miss u sachin...

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

EMOTIONAL!! Very well written Harsha Bhogle....

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

Its not just a habit... Am addicted to it and cant stop it... i have watched hundreds of video since doomsday(23rd 12 2012)... the only relaxation for me in future will be the videos with the GOD of cricket on it....Love u and only u sachin..

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

My father used to wake me up at 5 in the morning to watch India take on Australia in the year 1991-92, that time i was in 2nd standard in school. That time i did not know the technicalities of the game, i just wanted to watch a young player Sachin tendulkar Bat, i watched him play that tour followed the world cup'92 and soon i realized that i did not need my father's finger to hold mine to watch cricket. Since that day i wanted to play cricket just like sachin for India. My dream could not be true but i kept watching Indian Cricket and Tendulkar for the past 20 years and daily lived my dream with his stroke play and commitment towards his dream. My life has been wonderful watching him play for India and it would have been much more wonderful had I played and shared the dressing room with him.

Posted by Vsid on (December 29, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

The only explanation i can come up with for not having retired from tests is kallis is just 7 hundreds away from sachin who probably will play for 2 more years. Jealousy is often one of shortcoming of geniuses.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

Amazing....A role model, an idol and without any second thoughts , GOD

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Great article..thanks a lot...

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

Dear Harsha,

You made me cry, thanks for this beautiful article.

Posted by memoriesofthepast on (December 29, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

Any team selection committee uses personal record to select or sack a player from the team after each tour or even single match. It does so for 11 players and not just for one so claimed match-winner by illiterate fans. Match result is decided by performances of all the 11 members of the team relative to the opponent eleven performance. Ponting should have retired after WC 2007 when McGrath and Warne did but chose to retire from odi after losing the 2011WC quarterfinal vs India. In absence of McGrath, Gillespie and Warne, Ponting's 164 could not prevent SA from chasing 434 in the 2006 odi series decider. Unlike Ricky, Sachin has sensibly retired from odi in less than 2 years after 2011 WC win. Lillee, the current WACA president and Marsh gave priority to 7500 GBP earned by betting rather than working for Australian win in the 1981 Headingley test. Without punishing,Aus agreed that 7500GBP were more important than Aus win and now tells the world to give priority to matchwin-Unfair.

Posted by Paracha420 on (December 29, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

A perfect tribuite to a gr8 legend,,,,

Posted by prashant1 on (December 29, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

Here's an article for the same nutters who have been trying their best to denigrate Tendulkar in every single article on him for years and years....."Sachin Tendulkar: Busting the myths ignorant fans held against the greatest batsman in ODI history"....By Arunabha Sengupta......Sachin Tendulkar=GOAT=Greatest batsman of all time...Period

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

@LillianThomson: So, final verdict in test cricket is that Sachin and Lara are 2 of the modern (90s and 00s) greats with Sachin ahead slightly on the basis of longevity and consistency and also because of carrying pressure of million people for more than two decades. In other eras, no one can be sure whether they are better than Sachin, as there is no way you can simulate or exchange those conditions. But, based on raw god gift talent/skills, training, hard-work, hunger, desire, contribution to team success, carrying pressure and consistency, Sachin is up there with the top 3 or top 5 of all the tests great batsmen with Bradman, Sobers, Richards, Hutton being the other top test players. They could have an inferior record have they played in modern era and Sach would have a better record in their era and vice versa but nothing can be said with pin point accuracy. There are lots of ifs and buts. Cricinfo's all time test XI clearly justifies this with Sachin the only player of modern era.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

@LillianThomson:Now if you bring in modern era, only Lara comes as close as to Sachin with Ponting and Kallis behind in terms of records as well as overall skills. People forget his fast scroing Centuries against world class bowling 169 [201 balls] against South Africa in 1997 at Capetown, 92 [120 balls] against West Indies in 1997 at Bridgetown, 155 [191 balls] against Australia in 1998 at Chennai, 79 [ 85 balls] against Australia in 1998 at Kolkata, 100 in 123 balls against NewZealand in 1999 at Wellington[he scored 113 runs in that inning], 155 [183 balls] against South Africa in 2001 in Bloemfontein. Only man in Test Cricket to score 3 100s wid a 6. He was born with a child prodigy with 100s in Sydney and Perth at the age of 18. Viv once said of him that if someone can hit straight sixes of fast bowlers at will, then he is not just a "good" batsman. You will not see anyone in past or future the way he treated Mcgrath in Nairobi 2001, dancing down the track treating him like spinner

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

@LillianThomson: Now, come to test matches, it's really comical that you put him in top 50 players to have played the game. On what parameters and on what basis? What has made you to claim that "Bradman, Sobers, Viv Richards, Barry Richards, Pollock, Hobbs were clearly much better batsmen"? Have you simulate them playing in today's era and compared that with Tendulkar's record? Whichever way you take, this is utter non-sense. It's literally impossible to compare people in diff. era. How can you be so sure that Bradman would have a better record has he been born in India, playing in 90s and 00s all over the world, not just playing in Eng and Aus on uncovered pitches with lot of time between matches? May be, Sachin would have averaged 100+ in bradman's era, as no matter how difficult are the conditions, you get used to it as you play repeatedly on same kind of pitches. It's also much easier to score runs on fast pitches once you get in with lots of horizontal bat shots that you can play.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

@LillianThomson: Other two odi batsmen, Gilchrist and Richards are can be compared to Sachin, as they bat at the top of order but again Gilchrist was technically inept (terrific player of horizontal bat shots being brought up in Perth) against spin with slog sweep the only attacking option. So, although his strike rate is better, he's no better than Sehwag or Gayle for instance in ODIs. Richards is the only solid alternative to Sachin in ODIs as he was arguably the most destructive batsman to have ever played the game. But, Sachin scored runs in all parts of world in all types of wickets u generally find in Cricket(spin, swing, seam and bouncy) with better consistency and longevity. It's really unfair to compare two greats of different era as you never know, how they would have performed if exchanged. So, final verdict is Richards best in ODI in 70s and 80s with Sachin completely dominating in 90s and 00s. So, both are equal being players of dif era being short on parameters to compare

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Great Article on Sachin by Harsha

Posted by CCBX1 on (December 29, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

@LillianThomson: Well, I ain't one of those Sachin fans who support him blindly without even knowing why. I also don't consider him as god, as that is a completely emotional status provided by Indian fans. But, I do consider him as right up there with the top 3 batsman (certainly not in top 50) to have played the game in test arena and unarguably the best in ODIs. All of us know that he's scored 49 centuries, most being match winning (only a few ended in loosing causes coz of no batting support and lackluster Indian bowling in the 90s). Please don't being in Lara here as he was nowhere consistent as Sachin (playing a blinder after lots of matches) with support of strong pace attack. Your ODI choices are interesting but they all follow a similar pattern. They all are finishers (Dhoni, Bevan) in ODIs except Gilchirist and Richards. Well, all of them need a platform, which was always given by Sachin and sometimes, finished by him. You can't say the same for finishers(platform + finishing)

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

Brilliantly written as usual..... Near perfect pledge to a perfect habit, that we have been living with for the last 23 years.... words rarely do justice for the contributions in this epic scale, but this article summed up my own habits perfectly.....

Posted by Sati1983 on (December 29, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

90's were arguably the most horrid time for India post-independence. The nation had crumbled in terms of economy, we faced a balance of payments crisis, Indian Prime Minister was killed and India was forced to open. The concept economic liberalization created doubts and fear in Indian public. The mood of the nation was gloomy. It was during those times that a little kid who showed this great nation that as long as there is determination, vision and tenacity the nation can prosper in the years to come. That kid is none other than Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar….

90's is the era of Sachin, the nation smiled when he came on TV, cheered every run he scored, roared every time he dispatched the ball to boundary, cried every time he got out but most importantly the nation believed that it can face the darkest hour with the brightest hope and courage. Sachin was the thread that tied the nation. People glued to the TV watching this kid perform miracles, he induced confidence and courage which would

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 29, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

It seems wrong to highlight other players in a tribute thread, but Sachin_VVSfan and Cpt.Meanster have both asked me to, so here goes.

The other Top 4 ODI players whom I would rate above Tendulkar: Richards and Bevan as batsmen (Bevan proved that flawed technicians flourish in ODIs), with Dhoni closing in, Gilchrist as keeper-batsman, Wasim Akram as a bowler.

The other 49 Test players? Where do I start? As batsmen, Bradman, Sobers, Viv Richards, Barry Richards, Pollock, Hobbs were clearly much better batsmen than Tendulkar or Lara or Kallis or Ponting, and another dozen or so were arguably slightly better.

But none of this detracts from the greatness of Tendulkar. He is one of the modern greats, which is a marvellous achievement, and one of the best fifty players ever.

It's just absurd when fans try to make out that he was the greatest of all, or anywhere near that level. He was a great, just not the greatest. And clearly very precious to his Indian fans.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 2:27 GMT)

so the most written about,the most debated and the most followed cricketer has decided to call it a day albeit in onedayers...well this might just result in a bit of restlessness amongst the indian media.whom can they discuss now almost on a daily basis...the tendulkardose that the indian public is so used to?..he has been the only silver lining in the cloud for more than 2 decades dominated by otherwise gloomy skies..from scams to corruption to bad politics.He was the only person who brought a smile to the faces of people in the most stressful times.At the same time he was also responsible for a bit of heart break once in a while...but the heart break was definitely worth suffering for people who had more serious problems in life and only a small price to pay for the joy he brought through his skill with the bat..he was so great that he almost managed to convert a team game into an individual sport through his genius.his countrymen and even his opponents only wanted to see "HIM"dowell

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 2:27 GMT)

with all those centuries ,records,comparisons with the grbs i still fear dat u r like gandhi of indian cricket...though selfless ,sacrificed almost ur youth to this indian community yet u r qsnd ,cricticised ..its so amazing that u thrive frm india and made this huge success...not many cud have done atleast half bettter than u cud have done in half of ur career ...thnxx for all those memories and elegancies which u showed to us :)

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

Thanks Harsha! for this article... Let youngsters read this article & realise how important sachin in the game of cricket. When you refreshing his memories; happy tears in my eyes.I was grown up with sachin & very very proud that i lived in the periods of greats SACHIN, GANGULY & DRAVID. Those days are never going to come again.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 29, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

I do not think sachin is special or great. For me i count great based on winning games. But in team games one person can not win you game unless you are diego maradona. Sachin never did one great inning that you would say without sachin we would not have won this test. I never seen his performance overshadowed anyone in a TEST win. He is good contributer. Not great one. He is not great batsman either. He has super economical stroke that fetch big runs with less effort. Every one have different perspective when they look at sachin. He never batted with authority , he gathered runs in sneaky way than in your face like richards did or ponting gladiator did against all odds. He should retire from test and give chance to youngster if he is a patriot. Knowing his selfishness he won't retire unless selectors drop him. I also fear bad thing coming for indian cricket , he may make century against weak team to get selected forever.

Posted by gunjan on (December 28, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

excellent article...knew Harsha could give Tendulkar the best farewell

Posted by HyderabadiFlick on (December 28, 2012, 23:34 GMT)

My Sachin's favouite ODI moments & Centuries, it all started on Ganesh Chaturdi on 9th Sep 1994 in Colombo in Singer Cup which India won.

1. First ODI century 110 V Aus,finally got to it after 78 innings~2. 115 V NZL in Baroda in Wills World Series, he did not get any thing before that match, but then he came of age after that innings, he hardly played any lofted shot till he got to his 50~3. His 3 back to back Centuries against Australia in 1998~4.140 against Kenya~5. 3 back to back straight drives against Lee~6. Giving farewell to old rivals Wasim/Waqar at 2003 WC~7. Clean striking against Warne on the tour of 1998~8.200 VS SA and played Steyn like a Spinner~9.38 Vs Mcgrath in Kenya~10.Belfast ODIs against SA~11.175 Vs Aus~12.Hero Cup 50th over in S/F~12.Two 5fers at Kochi~13.1996 WC~14.CB Series 2 MOM efforts in Finals~16.70 Vs WI in 96WC~17.Titan Cup VS SA~18.SaharaCup Vs Pak~19.Hitting all the bowlers who challenged him at the WCs~20.Great Human Being.SACH"GREATNESS"IN the man!

Posted by HyderabadiFlick on (December 28, 2012, 22:04 GMT)

I'm fortunate like many of you have watched every bit of SRT, RSD & VVS, MY HEROES and non else. When SRT will retire from Test cricket on that gloomy day then it will be my retirement from watching cricket. No more discussion.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (December 28, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

"Sachin is a great habit!" - well said. And in troubled times, when you have wandered off too far, it is the habit that you go back to for comfort and confidence. The inner child in him is a living proof of how growing up is so overrated. The grinning face on TV commercials selling Tiger biscuits...and woefully falling short of trying to look macho in a few other ads - we endeared him through it all. We even looked the other way when he filed for duty exemption on his Ferrari...because he never charged us entertainment tax for his on-field performance. We became all too familiar with his 'oh that one kept too low' slump when he was bowled all ends up, just as much as we had become used to his prances down the track to Warne. Just forgive us when the next time we inadvertently scream sachin...sachin...Habits die hard.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

Sachin was playing cricket since before I was born. He was a habit for me to watch. Without Sachin, it doesn't feel like watching cricket anymore.

Posted by STondulkar on (December 28, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

i am not sure how many indians got inspired by the stroke-making of Sachin against Qadir in an inconsequential match against Pakistan. He set the bar then and after that every time he went in, every indian expected the similar explosive performance from him. And since then he has been carrying that burden and performing at the heighest level with great consistency. We love him, adore him, idolize him for that and many amazing-amazing moments he gave us on the cricket field. I am not gonna recount those among all you cricket lovers and sachine lovers. Thorughout the decade of 90s, this man was the only hope of the indian batting, at least the earlier part of it. So many times you would see scorecard showing 20/3, 63/4 etc with one man taking on the bowlers. That was the greatness of the man. So much said, written about the man but the most pleasurable thing for me would be to watch tirelessly the maestro's batting videos. Aggression, class, poise, balance. 'Asa Sachin hone nahi!!'.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

Was waiting with bated breaths ever since I saw your tweet, "thursday...tendulkar thoughts". I just relived every Tendulkarine moment. "You were a great habit,Sachin" just sums up my emotion too. Another reference to Kohli and the subsequent vocabulary thought, need I say more; this is the reason we love Tendulkar. To me Tendulkar is not merely the cumulation of runs, hundreds or wickets, his persona extends beyond cricket; even his staunchest critics would have a soft corner for the humility he possesses. I think he was the reason for mood-swings most of the times. We might see another cricketer who would break his records, but by no means somebody who would make a mark in your life the way Sachin did. I remember one of your articles where you'd told, half of us were introduced to the Injury Tennis elbow also by Sachin.. Waiting for more articles on Sachin by you, Harsha; although I know any amount of showers praised on him would never suffice the contribution he has made to India.

Posted by bvnathan on (December 28, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Sachin, grabbed the attention and admiration of the lovers of cricket world over, on account of his discipline. maturity and the stroke play even when he debuted at the age of 16 against Pakistan. He might not have faced the likes Holding, Garner, Roberts, Lille or Thompson in his career, but he faced without fear the likes of Imran, Hadlee, and their followers with good technique. Another thing that goes in favor of him is the longevity he has played the game. Add to that is the capability to match the sheer expectation of the 1 billion+ of his home country, sure no other batsman has got the attention like SRT world over. It was India's bane, that India team composition was not as strong or competitive to other teams in bowling, batting or all rounders, during his best playing years. Some of his innings remain as fond memories, his debut test innings, century at Perth, Oval, his debut as an opener in ODI, his ability to innovate and take the fight to opposition - McGrath,Akthar,Warne

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

No Batsman is Greater then Sachin in ODI's... Undisputed number 1.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

one of the best articles......................

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

Thanks for the memories, Sachin! Will miss you a lot...

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 28, 2012, 17:16 GMT)

@Nutcutlet: I seriously doubt it friend. Sachin LOVES India and most of all he loves his home city Mumbai. I cannot fathom him relocating anywhere away from his beloved country. But hopefully he will try to be a 'normal' person with a 'normal' life. Even then, he is still SACHIN TENDULKAR and people in India will continue to devoutly follow and admire him. Some times it can be very tough on him. However, he does visit the UK and Australia regularly whenever he needs some time off. I am also aware Sachin owns a condo apartment in London (UK) ? Not sure which part of London though.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 28, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

@Lillianthompson: Among the top 50 players ???? Seriously, who are the other "50" test players ? Also, Sachin is in the top "3" and not "5" when it comes to the all time list of ODI batsmen.

Posted by riprock on (December 28, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

What an article. Quite brilliantly sums up the emotions of a million! This lil genius pretty remarkably captured the imagination of an idol-starved nation by making this sport his very own for decades. Wonder if we'll ever again get to see another cricketer being worshipped as religiously as the Lil Master has. Will miss being over-joyed by his centuries and lamenting his occasional failures.

"Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their television sets and switch off their lives."

--BBC Sports, on Sachin Tendulkar.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

Very Well written Harsha......I have been following sachin right from the days i started watching cricket and i haven't missed many of the games he played..... You letter was like a trailed bringing back all my childhood memories.....I still remember how i cant wait to watch his batting i wll be counting for the clock to tick the start of the match and how i jump in the air everytime he hits a boundary omg ...........Just cant believe Sachin wont be there to open the inninngs in a one day......Even i am retiring from watching ODI

Posted by jobsy on (December 28, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

wish the great man had given a chance to the fans to witness a last innings at the venues for the pakistan and England matches...Would have loved to see him bat in Cochin..

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

the greatest batsman ever. hats of to sachin, he will be missed but he certainly left a mark on cricket as a whole. over 100 int. centuries is just out of this world, i'm sure 20 years ao it wouldnt have even been in any bodies mind. legend!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (December 28, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

@LillianThomson I do not argue about your position of sachin in top 50 in test cricket because i have not followed many test cricketers. But in ODIS i really would like to know your other top 4.

What is surprising in this article is that there is no mention of the year '1998' that belongs to sachin (i remember he scored some 9 centuries in odi alone and who can forget his 140 odd and 5 wkt haul against Aus) Wonder whether the likes of @LillianThomson even watched him play in 1998.

@Integrity1 sorry mate kallis wont even figure in ODI's great. Ask SA fans how many times they were let down by his slow batting and his record against AUS is not even good enough. Dont remember him winning a game as a batsmen against Australia when they were at helm. He would always find a place in all time 11 as allrounder but when it comes to ODIs as batsmen no way (i although i have respect for him for his allround skills in test cricket)

Posted by FlashHard on (December 28, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

Sachin was and will remain the only "perfectionist" of Indian Cricket. We had the likes of Gavaskar, Azharuddin, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman but Sachin mastered all formats of the game, and most importantly stood the test of times. For me he is the True "Wall" of Indian Cricket who always remained grounded, continuously adapted (to T20, IPL for example) and survived and came out clean in all controversies (Match Fixing for example).

We have heard and read a lot about the records he set, his technique, etc but for me he is the master for how he enjoyed the journey since he was 15. Dhoni popularized the concept of "go out and enjoy the game, results will come", but for Sachin this has been the principle from Day 1...

Sachin is the epitome for endurance...

When my 7 year old son says that he will fill Sachin's spot, I simply smile thinking to myself that this is one spot no one can possibly fill, ever!

Posted by memoriesofthepast on (December 28, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

Only time will tell if Kallis will make 18463 runs in less than 463 odi's and remain in SA one-dayer squad for 23 years and be in an SA team that has won WC. Bradman never played 50 over game but played 52 tests. And nobody will believe the person who tries to predict how many runs and 100's Bradman or any batsman other than Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar would have made if he had played 463 games of 50 over version along with 194 tests.

Posted by CricFan24 on (December 28, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

Einstein listed the five ascending levels of intellect as: "Smart, Intelligent, Brilliant, Genius, Simple.......Out of the modern day greats Dravid,Kallis,Ponting etc may be considered brilliant...Lara and Viv Geniuses...But has anyone made run-scoring appear simpler than Tendulkar ?!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

i m speechless.. magnificent and perfect.. no one else would have written it more beautifully...xceptional piece..masterfully crafted same like little master's straight drives. thank u sir..

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

@harsha : I am as enamoured of the proficiency of your penmanship as of the wielding of willow by the little-big man. And it is such a remarkable irony how the most sublime of our adroitness finds itself inadequate in the face of something that is truly endearing to us. I observe a dearth of those ever so artful literals here, that you weave in nostalgia and logic to render your point of view, and yet it is fulfilling in terms of what I wanted to read of the Master. Maybe this inadequacy is imperative and inherent in the worthy realization of anything TRUE. Maybe his leaving of this format of the sport, the void created, is his way of attaining that inadequacy.

Posted by memoriesofthepast on (December 28, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

India entered the finals of 2003 and 2011 WC's due to valuable contributions from Sachin's bat. Sachin's batting contribution first helped India to enter quarterfinal of 2011 WC. Then Sachin made 53 in quarterfinal vs Aus. India enter semi-final. Sachin made 85 in semi-final vs Pak. India enters final. One cannot expect that Sachin will also make another 50 or 100 in final vs lanka. In WC quarter-final, semi-final are also crunch games. Equally important is qualifying for quarter-final. India is a poor fielding side. India never had bowlers like McGrath, Steyn, Akram or Marshall. Forget about WC title, SA have never made it to any WC final even in presence of Kallis uptil now. In 2011 WC, Aus team did not have McGrath, Ponting made 104 in quarterfinal but could not win the game for Australia.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

There was a time when Sunday mornings used to see the Indian streets deserted and homes quiet. That was when the mega serials Ramayan and Mahabharat were telecast by DD. Then arrived a young man, nay boy, who made every Indian household sit glued to the tv as long as he was at the crease and half of them shut it up when he was dismissed after a carnage or cheaply. For almost a decade it was Sachin out, India out. And young parents who used to think that good education is the most important thing for their kids started to concede to the kids demand for attending cricket coaching. If he were to be salesman, he would have had the best 'conversion rate' for the product cricket. Sachin achieved far more than most professionals would in a 2 decade career. After Kapil Dev he became the one to make fans think of an Indian win as a possibility rather than just feverish dream. He is surely the Don of Indian ODIs. Take a Little Master Blaster!

Posted by Sameer-hbk on (December 28, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

Harsha is spot on when he says "You don't need to try too hard to prove a point to us". He neither needs to prove anything more nor does he need to worry about the many, many people who are milking cash off of the 'small scale industry' that is Sachin Tendulkar. Growing up in the 90s, he gave us an identity, a chance to be proud to call ourselves Indian and a belief that an Indian could be the best on the planet in his chosen craft. But above all that he was 'family'.

Just like an elder brother for whose success even your mom prayed, whose performance your dad asked you about as soon as he got home from work and whom you admired endlessly. Whose success brought a festive mood to the entire household and whose saddest moments brought a tear to the eye.

And we supported him through it all cos you do not abandon your own when in crisis and he always repaid that faith in abundance. And Sachin, you will always be that to us 'family'; like you are in many million homes.

Posted by Rooboy on (December 28, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Seriously sickening stuff. Underlines india's problems ... even experienced 'professional' journalists deifying a mortal. Ponting brought *significantly* more success for his TEAM, and sad as it was to see Punter go, Aus cricket has moved on already. Whereas we'll be hearing about Tendulkar for the next decade, as in, oh india would have won if Tendulkar was still playing. India will never be truly successful for a decent period of time until it understands that cricket is a team game, and that players who chase personal glory do not help in that regard.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

This photo shot reminds me of the Master's dominance over one of the finest seam bowlers of this era.. His domination over all bowlers was a treat to watch.

Harsha you have just well summarised all his career but just 2-3 innings more could have been the icing on the cake: 1. Knocks against Aus 1998 Sharjah 2. Blasting Olonga Sharjah 3 CB Series Final knock.. Just when the world ( actually media) wanted him to retire, he put down hi papers in ODI's and then the question by the world ( again Media ) why did he?

Just remember Raj Singh Dungarpur's words in an interview on Sachin before his first selection " You are talking about Sachin Tendulkar. He is already ready to play for India at 16 also."

Actually with Sachin age is just a criteria GOD sent him to play cricket.. HATS OF TO THE MASTER...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

Even if you left the game 3 years after today, I would have been equally less prepared. I have had dreams where I stood at the other end watching him play. He made cricket a habit for me. He made following the newspapers in the non-digital days a must or I would miss a photo of his or a brief write up about him. I would read Cricket Samrat and more such, buy chewing gums for cricket cards. Cricket was one crazy habit. But the reason was always you. The hope of seeing you bat again and again was the only driver to be sitting in front of the TV even when a jolted Indian team was in sheer tatters playing overseas and sometimes even at home. Patriotism for a young kid like me started with cricket when I could proudly take the nation's name and dance, sometimes blasting in anger as well. "Sachin khel raha hai na?" is what kept bringing me back. I don't know what will happen to the cricket crazy young lad in me to whom cricket and happiness were connected with only one common name. Yours.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

I couldnt express what my mind feels, bcoz Im not a writer..But reading Harsha and all those comments..I know Im not the one alone ... !!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

And since he did so much to "our game",, that old man really summed up everything when he said..." ohhh,, cricket.. this is the game Sachin Tendulkar plays.....

players are recognised by the game they played but the kind of great sachin "is" (cant use sachin "was") that his game got a recognition just bcz tendulkar played it.... hats offff to the great man...

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Sachin You are my life. I cried so much this Sunday when you quit. I thought my life is over now. You and only you can make such an impact on me, not even my parents. I know it sounds crazy but I can't help it. God has made me like this only to love you and your batting. For me cricket is not over yet because I know you have left a legacy where cricketers want to be like you, play like you in a country of billion people. I will wait for one more Sachin. I know it will not happen but then its hope only on which the world is moving on. Thank you Sachin and thankyou you Harsha for posting a brilliant article.

Posted by Vidyashankar on (December 28, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Well...what can I say...I grew up with you Sachin. I felt I played Cricket out there through you! Now I feel blank, end of an era with you retiring. Not sure how I'll feel when your test retirement is on the horizon

Cheers to the emotions , experience and memories.

Posted by CanTHeeRava on (December 28, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

I am going to share something with all of you, which I have told no one until today. There was a postcard sized Tendulkar photo that I (as a primary school student in the early 1990s) had pasted on the inside of an old fashioned closet in one of the thick walls of our very old home. The house had an old roof that had to be replaced in 1996 because it was leaking every monsoon. We had to shift everything to another place during the repair. However, I wanted the Tendulkar postcard to remain undisturbed. I locked the wall closet and he remained there while the whole house was remodelled. We returned. In 2007-08 we had to put in a bigger door next the closet. The closet had to be cut open to fit the door. I was forced to remove the Tendulkar postcard. By then, I had grown with him. I removed his postcard with a sigh of satisfaction knowing that he will remain in my heart, no matter what.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

My word! Whatte letter this!!! Brilliant! There is not better tribute to this little genius. It's when this 5ft something man came down the pitch to smash a six off a WI giant that I knew one's height cannot in any way stop one from achieving great things. He inspired a whole lifetime of confidence. His absence on the field will leave a void no one can fill. And we're all priviledged to have been born in the same era as SRT! Thank you, Harsha.

Posted by AnirudhMurali on (December 28, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

I was watching the highlights of India-Pakistan 2003 world cup encounter in Star Cricket yesterday...My mom said to me that it hurts her a lot that she wont see Sachin attacking the bowlers the way he did wearing that blue jersey...Then she talked about the days when we used to lose all hopes and switch off the TV when Sachin gets out..Those days the Indian team was Sachin...He brought families closer...The Kohlis and Dhonis will come and go but nobody can replace Sachin...

Posted by RD36 on (December 28, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

The sycophancy has to stop...the guy was amazing/great in his day but overextended his welcome. Ideal time would have been the high of the world cup, but guess it's hard to decide when to stop...thanks for the lovely memories but they stopped around a couple of years back.

Posted by Mr.pPp on (December 28, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

@ Integrity1: man, whoever you are and wherever you are from, what is your problem? why do you keep bringing up Kallis in every Sachin post? you really dont have to fight for him(and actually insult him in the process) because everyone who understands cricket knows that he is an all time great in cricket. I TOO THINK Kallis is probably the greatest cricketer(not greatest batsman, which for me is Sachin after Don) of all time. everyone will write about him and appreciate him too when his time will come(and fortunately he has a lot of cricket left in him). but this moment belongs to Sachin, please stop making comparisons. Kallis will have his moment too.

and yes, for all those who are fighting for the "GOD OF CRICKET" title, i have searched all over internet, but cudn't really find any established definition or criteria on this issue. so may be you can give this title to all of them... Kallis, Sachin, Don, Sobers, Viv, Murali(bowlers are cricketers too remember) etc etc

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

"Somebody said to me he didn't want you (Sachin) to quit because it would mean his childhood was over...."

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

I still remember it was Sep 1988, Shivaji Park when college team selection was going on. Sachin and Ankola came to our nets. Got an opportunity to bowl to him. He was merely 14 yrs wearing white helmet & curly hair come out of it. Oh boy, he was striking the ball so hard, that majority of the balls disappeared. Our coach said..."watch out this boy he will be playing for India next year" and my seniors...sir abhi baccha hai. Next year in 1989 he brought SportStar Magazine we coverpage of Tendulkar, Manjekar & Ankola. I'll still have that magazine as a treasure. So from that that day onwards I've been following the the GOD. I could control my emotions when he announced his retirement from ODI. The day when he hangs his boots from Test Cricket, my love and passion from this game will die. But I've collection of SRT's best innings DVD's, I'll will live with it. Long live Tendulkar!! My best wishes for good health & prosperity. Enjoy rest of of life to your sweetheart & kids.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar should have ideally retired from ODI cricket back in 2003-2004, if not after the World Cup then after the series with Pakistan in 2004 was the best time for him to go. For the last 8 to 9 years he has been just holding on to his place in the ODIs playing some missing some and has kept the Indian team unsettled. The problem with people like Harsha Bhogle is that they are blinded by their fanfare for Sachin and so they keep writing such articles. The fact is after 2004 Sachin has not had any impact in ODI cricket for India. India won the WC in 2011 as a team and not because of him just the way they won the 2007 T20 WC inspite of him not being there. Also Sachin has not defined ODI cricket in any way. If anyone who defined ODI cricket then it was Sanath Jaysuriya who showed the world how to play in first 15 overs and before him there were players like Dean Jones and Viv Richards and Azharuddin who showed what positive play means. Harsha please be objective next time!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:35 GMT)

Thanks Harsh ! u once said about Sachin, "When he has every right to be the games emperor, he chooses to be the its servant", that's Sachin for us. he not only redefined the game, he redefined the word, determination, dedication, single-mindedness etc. & again like u said, Tendulkar was a great habit, yes, he was...he was perhaps the most loved habit this country ever habituated with or will habituate with ever. Watching him bat for the last 2 decades, was a dream, and suddenly on 23rd Dec, when he decided not to represent us with the no. 10 Blue Jersey, it's like waking up from that most sweetest dream in which we were in for 2 decades.. Thank U Sachin, Thanks for 20 yrs of madness, Obsession and Overwhelming Joy n Passion.....Sachin was for India and India was for her most beloved Child :)

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

Ever since i started understanding any thing, Sir Sachin Tendulkar was part of Indian Cricket Team......Now I am 28..through out my childhood, teenage and adulthood alot of things have changed, my voice, my physical appearence, my philosophy of life, I dont think the same way i used to think 10 yrs back...in my journey of lyf one thing which didn't change was Sachin Tendulkar or Indian cricket team for me. for the last couple of yr I watched cricket matches in which Sachin was playing...his wicket would save electricity at my house..

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Sachin is a school of cricket.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Harsha is bang on target.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Sachin is one the great batsman what india had for last couple of years. The best thing about him is Dedication which made him proud for our country.

Posted by Selfishkar on (December 28, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Harsha, you are ignoring the fact that Sachin has been as disaster in high-pressure games like the two world cup finals he played, you keep reminding us of sachin help us beat Zimbabwe of all teams.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Amazing article Harsha. Really like the way you have described our Little Master. Cheers to him.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Watching cricket won't be the same again....don't know how many will stop watching cricket from there on....some players in Indian Team were not even born when Sachin started playing for India....we are speechless as we can't even thank the GOD of Cricket who has given us so much to celebrate so much to cheer and countless moments of happiness....TV channels were switched over as soon as he used to get out....we used to celebrate when he used to hit a four or a six or score a 100 or even 50....we used to celebrate as if someone from our family is playing and scoring those runs....even when India lost, we used to be happy because Sachin scored a 100 or more....that's what HE is to us....we all knew that THIS day will come but we were not ready for it....we wanted him to play for an iternity because many of us can't imagine Indian Team without Sachin Tendulkar in it....

GOD decided to take rest so Sachin quit ODIs, one day GOD will stop playing and so will SACHIN...........

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

You can write as much as you can but the memories will remain and so will SACHIN.

Posted by mano.mcse on (December 28, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

It's good article.......meanwhile no word's to express....wow we are miss him lot....still you can bat well we know very well........you are gave to youngster......yes all the memories of childhood came to my mind.....i won't forget these moment...... Sachin won the cricket........you are a great legend.........you are gentlemen......

Posted by nikhil.nadipelli on (December 28, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

Old Habits die hard and same is the case with Sachin!!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

Very good article from Harsha Bhogle- From last one week I have read lots of articles and comments on Our Own Cricket Hero "Sachin Tendulkar" and after that I could not control to write about my Hero. still i get goosebumps when sachin is playing and i don't get the same feeling, nervousness, curiosity, expectations from any other cricket player I really dunno why. My father used to scold when we watching cricket during our childhood, i still remember that Sharjah night, back to back hundreds of Sachin, even my father could not control watching sachin's batting along with us. awesome days it was. Thanks sachin for making me so close to my father and from then I share a unique bond with my father, my father became my best friend especially when you batting :) Love you sachin, I proudly say to my grand children that I saw Sachin Tendulkar bat :)

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Very nice article... hope he retires from IPL too! And continues in whites for much longer!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

Cricket looses its priced possesion! sad to see him go and to be honest he should retire from tests also...leave on a high rather than Like Ponting or Muhammed ali....As a tru pakistani fan, i can safely say the only Indian player that drew no controversy towards him and was liked by his fiercest rivals fans also...says alot about his character.....something young cricketers like Kohli should learn....with great power...comes great resposibility...Fare thee well Sachin!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

The generation who grew up in 90s can only understand the weight Sachin brought to Indian cricket.There were times from 93-00 (till Yuvi,Sourav came as genuine ODI match winners),once Sachin gets out match was over.There was some brief period where Jadeja,Robin galvanised with few knocks.That apart,it was pretty much Sachin all the way.Well I still remember that exhibition match (in PAK) when he made his first impression.Abdul Qadir And Mushi were taken to cleaners.That one innings was good enough to etch you permanently in our minds.People may have opinions,but you are the best ODI player world cricket has ever seen. Your records may get broken,but not your name in history of Indian cricket.You are the best cricketer to have ever born in India and will this will remain forever.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

He dint even celebrate his century(the way he usually does), but look at him wen we qualified for Sharjah final. He punches his fist. And a die-hard fan is born.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

An era comes to an end. How fortunate are we as a generation to have grown up around the same time as Sachin started to play! Numbers alone will not do him justice. Lets hope we live to tell the tales of Sachin to our grandkids!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

This is a very good write up on SACHIN's ODI knocks. Who can forget his 200 at Gwalior in 2000 against SA? We all saw your joy at the momentous occasion. As Harsha put it, after your entry in our team in ODI, it has completely changed and we were able to win so many matches. You have given a new definition to ODI shots, upper cuts, paddle shots to name a few. It was also wonderful to see you marauding Mc Grath at Nairobi and taking on Shane Warne in SHARJAH with back to back Centuries and winning the Tournament singlehandedly.Anyhow, sometime you have to bid adieu and we all wish you good bye to ODI. You are a God to all of us in Cricket, that nobody can obliterate. Thank you.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Wow...I am speechless after reading this article....All the memories of childhood came back into my mind..Truly with Sachin retirement mean our childhood is over..I will miss ur batting that thrill and all those pray which i used to do for Sachin so that he score century in every game..Crazy but priceless moment of my life..I will proudly explain to my children and grand children about the Legend..

Posted by aativas on (December 28, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

And such a good habit!! Sachin has given us so much joy that it is impossible to Thank him. I am sure he will come in Tests so naturally that people will ask 'Why did he retire from ODI?" However, Sachin's decision is important than people's opinions! Good Luck, Sachin.

Posted by Integrity1 on (December 28, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

Nice work Harsha on ONE OF THE BEST of our generation. Now why cant you put your talents into writing articles about the GREATEST player of our generation, and statistically one of (if not) THE GREATEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME in JACQUES KALLIS. Why wont cricinfo do a "legends of cricket" on the TRUE GOD OF CRICKET??? ***PLEASE POST CRICINFO***

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

wonderful article :)

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

What a collection of words. This is by far the best article about "the Genius" post his ODI retirement. Thank you Harsha for refreshing all the classic moments that outlines Sachin's phenomenal career. I do'nt think individuals like him can ever retire from our minds, because comparisons and analysis between players vs ST will never die so long as there is an ODI format!

Moreover his career was in my opinion "the" galvanizer for a country that had very little to brag about in the 90's, which is why he touched every Indian heart beyond just bat/ball.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:23 GMT)

Sachin Sir. What you mean to me, can't be expressed in words. Its an instance of my life where I started preaching you. I wanted to be a doctor in my life. Its a tough call for an average guy. I kept working hard and even kept loosing my focus. When you made that double hundred,200*, I cried a lot that day. Even after playing with millions watching you and expecting bigger and bigger milestones from you, you play so effortless. I just felt like that double hundred was for me and a wake up call for me. I swear, I studies 15-17hours daily after that. In the end, I didn't got admission and was just 1mark away from the cut off. Your strength to fight back, helped me to recover. Otherwise I would have lost myself. Your everything for me Still cant forget that Mumbai match when you won WORLD CUP. Next day I had my medical exam(2nd attempt, when I was just 1rank away and got same marks as the guy who got selected) and I was screaming and crying like anything just saying SACHIN. YOU ARE MY GOD

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

Thanks Harsha Bogle for the Support to ' The Heart of World Cricket ' What ever we wish as a cricket fan, he have fulfilled all through out last 23 years..... When he comes to bat We switch OFF our LIVES and switch ON the Television just to forget every tensions and enjoy :-) So thats why SACHIN TENDULKAR is the closest thing to GOD we ever see , who fulfilled all our Dreams....... The Greatest Sportsman ever in World History...... Thanks Sachin for all the Fight, Passion, Feel, Power, Attack in World ODI games...... We are eager to see you in Test Cricket and IPL...... The ' LEGEND of LEGENDS ' in World Sports...... We the World want to see you 100 more years in the Cricket Field :-)

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (December 28, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

If you have watched cricket long enough, you would have an innings where you accept Tendulkar's genius, grudgingly or otherwise, mine was the recent 175 against Australian in Hyderabad. It was in a losing effort but it was spellbinding to watch...People will move on, they will find new heroes, but for an entire generation, for more than 20 years, he was the very definition of Indian Cricket, and I wouldn't be surprised if he remains to be so for another 20.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

Vintage Bhogle ... words immaculately written, emotions flamboyantly expressed..Yes , thats quintessentially Harsha Bhogle !!!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Tears roll down while reading this article..hats off to legend but the show must go on..thanks you harsha for mesmerizing(as usually) by your words.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

a great piece... get goosebumps as you read along..for someone like me who literally grew up watching him play, batting was a synonym for Sachin Tendulkar. Reminds me of my grandfather from whom i inherited the habbit of switching off the tv once he is off to pavilion, hence its the end of ONE DAY ERA on my television.

Posted by sarangsrk on (December 28, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

Alas..I would not ask this question again when I am late for India's innings in an ODI.."Is Sachin still batting or out"? This is a question that I must have asked hundreds of times as I grew up watching Sachin bat. Like me, lot of Indian fans switched off TVs when Sachin got out. There was a time between 1995-2000 when I remembered Sachin's dismissal in each and every match.No Total looked big enough, no pitch looked unplayable when He batted. I would tell my grand kids stories about Sachin's batting because I am very privileged to have grown up watching Sachin bat. Thank You Sachin for all the memories and watching a magic show with a cricket bat in the hand.

Posted by indianpunter on (December 28, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

All good things have to end, and so too did this. Thanks for the lovely memories, sachin. You made us proud to be Indian, our cup of joy runneth over watching you.. you gave us goosebumps, whether it was your batting in sharjah or your bowling in Kochi. But, you should not hang around anymore. Time to retire from all formats. You have nothing left to prove. By prolonging your departure from tests, you are inviting ridicule, something you absolutely dont deserve.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

Thank u Harsha, thank you very much. I had a catch in my throat while reading your 'letter'. I felt so blank the day Sachin retired from ODIs, as if big part of my life is lost. Just want to share an anecdote... I could very well remember your innings of 2003 WC against Pak on 2nd march, 3rd march was the day my 10th exams were commencing but I switched myself off from the world of study n struggle and took a ride of 5-6 hours to the world of thrill where you took on the Paki deadly Ws and Shoaib. It was first time in my life when I was not scolded of to study even though that was a dat before my board because not just me the whole family was in the different world. That was the Impact of great Sachin in everyone's life especially Indians.. Live long n prosper Sachin.. Jai Hind !!!!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 28, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

@LillianThomson: I second your sentiments -- and your judgement regarding SRT's postions in the pantheon of the great batsmen. I too wish him well for the future & hope especially that he'll be able to live a normal life in his own country. As it is, he is, according to so much of what I've heard & read, surrounded with security guards & generally kept away from his fans as if he were a priceless artefact in a museum. It must be a very lonely place. I wonder if he's thinking of retiring to another country where he & his family can function & enjoy a life outside cricket like any other. It would be the final irony if he has to re-locate.

Posted by sachinanddravid on (December 28, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

BCCI is again prooved that they dont know how to respect the leader of the game and who brought India from nothing to top.

There should be a farewell series or match for him to leave ODI and Tests...

But they forced Sachin to get retire and kept the legend to cry.....

BCCI is exactly run by the peoples who cant talk about cricket even.

Comeon Dada...we need you as a coach or atleast a chief selector...you are the one who is so perfect for that position.....

we need someone who got hurt by selectors earlier to know the pain of players like Sachin,VVS,Dravid.....

Posted by Witty_Cricketer on (December 28, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

@LillianThomson, I would really like to see your top 5 ODI cricketers!, I am just curious to see who according to you is even better than Sachin in ODIs atleast.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

Once the great Gavaskar said: "Talent (Sehwag) does what it while the genius (Sachin) does what must be done". What a perfect description! But how can somebody do that consistently for over 23years. Sachin made us believe that India can also beat mighty Aussies and West indians and others when we used to surrender meekly against those great teams in the 90s. Sachin, whether u believe it or not but India plays cricket just because of you. You are the reason why other sports could not get so much attention in India and we are proud of it. Its not only your on field heroics but also ur off field humility that matters most. You have rightly earned the title of God because u brought real joy and happiness to us. Now since you have decided to take rest, we urge you to be back and that also with vengeance. Please, keep making us happy with your off field cricketing expertise and exploits. Don't let your and ours child die. God bless! Luvs!

Posted by SherjilIslam on (December 28, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

Wow!!!All the memories came back to remind my childhood days.I have skipped School,College,and office just to see him bat for India. Incredible article....made me emotional.

Posted by Kppruthvik on (December 28, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

Harsha wat an article really a hearttouching one...the main thing i liked in this article is mentioning of the best pair of the world 'dada and master'...i've been a great fan of these two and now a great fan of ur writing...take a bow harsha...we need many more from ù like these

Posted by laxmanrules on (December 28, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

This article has got a flashback reel going in my head. Great read. The 2003 world cup final just the day before my class XII math boards. Australia scored 359 and we knew that the chase came down to Tendulkars performance. Then, he went for a Caddick-like six of McGrath to end up scooping it high for a c&b. The reaction from the Australians showed that they knew at that point that they had won the world cup. That was my little personal Sachin moment. He will always evoke memories of childhood. There is a part of Sachin in all of us.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Master of Cricket!! Master of Cricket!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Thanks you Sir! For everything from your first century to thwe world cup win and everything in between the two. Thank you for some wonderful memories, For those wonderful hundreds, those twin centuries against Aus in Sharjah, for the 96 world cup, for 2003 world cup, for that brilliant innings against Pak in WC03, for finishing as most successful WC player. Thank you for everything. Will miss you like crazy!

Posted by abhilashpandey82 on (December 28, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

Harsha, it was a beautiful article, i think was written at a stretch witha glass of your favorite whisky and writing your heart out. I would have loved to do that. Done a similar writing job in Facebook but all the moments in this are nostalgic. I have loved Sachin in his White Helmet but i will surely miss him in his colours. Was, Am and Will your craziest fan Sachin...Abhilash

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

Wonderful article Harsha.. i started liking and following cricket after watching tendulkar bowled india to victory in last over in Kolkata...Our Genereration is extremely lucky to watch him.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

It is a good article by Harsha. I also grew up watching Sachin's sportsmanship on field.

Any player will have their lows. Whether Sachin would have hit his 100th international century or not, his glorious knocks as mentioned by Harsha would have remained in people's minds. "The 163 in Christchurch, the 175 in Hyderabad, that 200 in Gwalior, the 120 in Bangalore, the 111 in Nagpur. When the big occasion came, you always played it like another game, even though you knew it was a big day, like those two classics in CB Series finals in 2008, or, of course, those unbelievable nights in Sharjah in 1998."

The fact that he is a genius is never going to change. India will never get another player like him.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

You were our soul..our heart..our everything during our childhood days. You were our greatest batsman and greatest inspiration. Thanks for everything you have given us over the last 2 decades. Retire the No.10 jersey coz that is the greatest !!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

to read in several posts that sachin revolutionized one day cricket is a touch absurd. Tendulkar may have been a good batsman but not a pioneering forward thinker of the game, a visionary if you will

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

Sachin truly was a HABIT!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

A great letter. Harsha has always been my favourite commentator. All good things comes to an end so will Sachin's career. Still we can see him in Tests and IPL.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Harsha.... U presnted it very well....... We can say proudly that, "I had lived in the era of Sachin" I grown up watching Sachin Tendulkar playing the game... He made me, infact all indians to watch Cricket... Eyes broke into tears when he says he is going... Can't believe a team without him... I am absolutely stunned....

Posted by sharpshooter77 on (December 28, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

For someone born in the mid 80's, I've grown up watching Sachin bat, from the time he was the baby-face assassin who took on the great Abdul Quadir right till the very end when a man desperate to get to that monumental record of a 100th century finally reached the feat against Bangladesh. I can proudly say that I have grown with Sachin, his retirement has left a void which would be hard to fill. Amazing article Harsha, as always you've touched that wretched nerve.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Thanks Harsha Sir for giving words to every Indian's emotions to thank Sir Sachin Tendulkar for making us realize what Sports really is.

Posted by Rahul_Tasgaon on (December 28, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

Man who comes before this game for me and for so many others.Man who not only know how to defend but how to score.You are one who entertain the entire nation more than any of the film star.Thanks Sachin.We willlllllll miss U!!!

Posted by SShriniwas on (December 28, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

U have certainly changed the momentum of one day cricket..ur batting style ,jersey no10,either MRF r ADIDAS what ever,,helmet with indian symbol,,etc 23yrs of service is seriously special...We treasure all these moments...tendulkar

Posted by SouthPaw on (December 28, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

As with everything in life, all good things must come to an end; like the tree sheds its old leaves and renews every year, Indian cricket should also do so.

Posted by KerneelsMerkII on (December 28, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

One day I will tell my grandchildren that I saw Sachin bat - live. They will envy me the way I envy those who saw Bradman. Thanks for the memories, and thanks for that cover drive.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

@LillianThomson let us be lunatic in the eyes of some so called experts. at least we are true to our hearts. Hail the maestro

Posted by jammy233 on (December 28, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

nice article!! obviously it is written by a statistics giant about another cricket giant......even though we can't see GOD in one day cricket, we will never stop worshiping HIM..

Posted by sachin.forever on (December 28, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

WOW!! how beautifully u hav penned it Harsha.. Sachin was the reason I started watching Cricket..when I was 3!!! Thats right.. I am 25 now.. And I cried the first time he scored a century and I cried when he retired.. I don't think i will ever watch ODIs again..Noone will ever take your place in my heart! Just like Ram & Sita are forever present inside Hanuman's heart, you are present inside mine. Miss u Sachin! *sob**sob*

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

You are amazing with words Harsha and as crisp/straight as Sachin's Straight Drive! You are spot on when you say, there is no one who drove or punched a cricket ball the way Sachin did.

Posted by cricsam9 on (December 28, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

We used to come to TV to watch the Game and ask our first question "Is sachin still there". All of us will miss you. We didn't want you to quit because it would mean our childhood was over. Just as the child in you never grew up, so too did many grizzled old men become children when they saw you in blue. "You were a great habit, Sachin".

Posted by mansman on (December 28, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

"Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood". Stolen words from Albert Einstein for Mohandas Gandhi. But me thinks it fits aptly for the little man with herculean will. Wonderful post Harsha!

Posted by mansman on (December 28, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

Thanks for the memories Sachin! Best batsman ever to have played this game. AP - Australia.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

In our childhood we started to watch and play cricket by seeing your game. It is great pleasure got lot of opportunities to watch your game. You are always a dream cricker for most of the people. At last your dream came true in Mumbai (Lifted the worldcup 2011), that was the gift given by INDIAN team. Special thanks to the team for that gift. We are missing you.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 28, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

A lovely and heartfelt celebration of a superb batsman: one of the best five ODI players of the last forty years and one of the best fifty Test players in history.

It must be awfully difficult to maintain your focus when the lunatic fringe of pathologically-devoted fans is so large that it outweighs normality. Yet Tendulkar kept on delivering the goods until his coordination and reflexes faded in early 2011.

A great career, and I wish him well for the future.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

whaddaplayaa SRT!!!!

He revolutionised ODI cricket,especially in india.when he was asked to open in odis,he showed his class.when he was challenged by olonga,caddick,warne,akhtar,he delivered.team india won 33 out of his 49 odi centuries,even when we know that team india's bowling isn't good.

not only we indians,but TRUE cricket lovers worldwide will miss this meteoric player,concluding an era.

THANK YOU SRT !!!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

Good words and well narrated... Fact that we can't see him(Sachin) in Blue hurts...

Posted by DoItForSachin on (December 28, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

Great article. Only one correction needed - the link to 1999 Kenya game (where he scored a century after his father's death) takes us to the India vs Sri Lanka Natwest trophy game. Hope it gets corrected. Thanks

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 3:54 GMT)

What a player, Sachin is... The greatest batsman ever... Across all formats and across all ages...

Great article by a great writer / commentator about Sachin the Great...

Jai Hind

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 28, 2012, 3:54 GMT)

I remember how you failed the entire nation in the World Cup 2011 final. Unsung Indian bowlers did an excellent job of restricting Sri Lanka to a modest total. It was your turn to get the job done and win the World Cup for India. But you just couldn't handle the pressure. Gambhir, Kohli and Dhoni stepped up to the plate and won the World Cup for India. I knew then and there that your time was up. Why didn't you retire after World Cup 2011?? Why would you let Monty and Anderson treat you like they owned you?? You should have listened to Imran Khan and retired after WC 2011 with some dignity.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

Amazing article Harsha..only a true admirer and true cricket lover can write like this. Hats off

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 3:36 GMT)

Nice article from a non cricketer. As many Indian fan there were days I used to switch of the TV when Sachin got out. His contribution is difficult and cannot be measured. During 90's we was the only hope of Indian cricket. During the match fixing days he was only clean slate in the team. Iin 2000's he was a perfect team men with good leaders and co players. After 2010 critics killed his game and dented his instinct. He is gone now... after Kapil we he was the one and only hope for Indian cricket and he carried that burden very very well. Let the media leave him alone and let him enjoy his retired life. I am sure he will support the team with his skill, knowledge and experience.

Posted by melayaraja on (December 28, 2012, 3:35 GMT)

The greatest ODI batsman. Viv Richards one of his favorite players might be the closest to him.

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

Yes that's the truth .. It definitely feels like the childhood is over .. We grew watching and worshiping him . Now its all Bowled out !!!

Posted by   on (December 28, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

Thanks for giving lot of memorable innings Sachin. Its not is to continue looooooooong career. So you are The Great and you are THE GOD of Cricket in India. All the best and njoy the family life.

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Harsha BhogleClose
Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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