Tendulkar Retires

Man-child superstar

Tendulkar the cricketer seemingly emerged fully formed when he first picked up a bat. So too perhaps did Tendulkar the luminary

Rahul Bhattacharya

November 15, 2009

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar walks back after what could be his last Test innings in England, England v India, 3rd Test, The Oval, 4th day, August 12, 2007
In a zone of his making: Tendulkar's quest on the field is equilibrium © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Sachin Tendulkar
Teams: India

Sachin Tendulkar comes to the ground in headphones. He might make a racket in the privacy of the bus, who knows, but when he steps out he is behind headphones. Waiting to bat he is behind his helmet. The arena is swinging already to the chant, "Sachin, Sachin", the first long and pleading, the second urgent and demanding, but Tendulkar is oblivious, behind his helmet.

At the fall of the second wicket, that familiar traitorous roar goes round the stadium, at which point Tendulkar walks his slow walk out, golden in the sun, bat tucked under the elbow. The gloves he will only begin to wear when he approaches the infield, to busy himself against distraction from the opposition. Before Tendulkar has even taken guard, you know that his quest is equilibrium.

As he bats his effort is compared in real time with earlier ones. Tendulkar provides his own context. The conditions, the bowling attack, his tempo, his very vibe, is assessed against an innings played before. Today he reminds me of the time when … Why isn't he …. What's wrong with him!

If the strokes are flowing, spectators feel something beyond pleasure. They feel something like gratitude. The silence that greets his dismissal is about the loudest sound in sport. With Tendulkar the discussion is not how he got out, but why. Susceptible to left-arm spin? To the inswinger? To the big occasion? The issue is not about whether it was good or not, but where does it rank? A Tendulkar innings is never over when it is over. It is simply a basis for negotiation. He might be behind headphones or helmet, but outside people are talking, shouting, fighting, conceding, bargaining, waiting. He is a national habit.

But Tendulkar goes on. This is his achievement, to live the life of Tendulkar. To occupy the space where fame and accomplishment intersect, akin to the concentrated spot under a magnifying glass trained in the sun, and remain unburnt.

"Sachin is God" is the popular analogy. Yet god may smile as disease, fire, flood and Sreesanth visit the earth, and expect no fall in stock. For Tendulkar the margin for error is rather less. The late Naren Tamhane was merely setting out the expectation for a career when he remarked as selector, "Gentlemen, Tendulkar never fails." The question was whether to pick the boy to face Imran, Wasim, Waqar and Qadir in Pakistan. Tendulkar was then 16.

Sixteen and so ready that precocity is too mild a word. He made refinements, of course, but the marvel of Tendulkar is that he was a finished thing almost as soon as began playing.

The maidans of Bombay are dotted with tots six or seven years old turning out for their coaching classes. But till the age of 11, Tendulkar had not played with a cricket ball. It had been tennis- or rubber-ball games at Sahitya Sahwas, the writers' co-operative housing society where he grew up, the youngest of four cricket-mad siblings by a distance. The circumstances were helpful. In his colony friends he had playmates, and from his siblings, Ajit in particular, one above Sachin but older by 11 years, he had mentorship.

It was Ajit who took him to Ramakant Achrekar, and the venerable coach inquired if the boy was accustomed to playing with a "season ball" as it is known in India. The answer did not matter. Once he had a look at him, Achrekar slotted him at No. 4, a position he would occupy almost unbroken through his first-class career. In his first two matches under Achrekar Sir, he made zero and zero.

Memory obscures telling details in the dizzying rise thereafter. Everybody remembers the 326 not out in the 664-run gig with Kambli. Few remember the 346 not out in the following game, the trophy final. Everyone knows the centuries on debut in the Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy at 15 and 16. Few know that he got them in the face of a collapse in the first instance and virtually out of partners in the second. Everyone knows his nose was bloodied by Waqar Younis in that first Test series, upon which he waved away assistance. Few remember that he struck the next ball for four.

This was Tendulkar five years after he'd first handled a cricket ball.

Genius, they say, is infinite patience. But it is first of all an intuitive grasp of something beyond the scope of will - or, for that matter, skill. In sportspersons it is a freakishness of the motor senses, even a kind of ESP.

The wonder is that in the years between he has done nothing to sully his innocence, nothing to deaden the impish joy, nothing to disrupt the infinite patience or damage the immaculate equilibrium through the riot of his life and career

Tendulkar's genius can be glimpsed without him actually holding a bat. Not Garry Sobers' equal with the ball, he is nevertheless possessed of a similar versatility. He swings it both ways, a talent that eludes several specialists. He not only rips big legbreaks but also lands his googlies right, a task beyond some wrist spinners. Naturally he also bowls offspin, usually to left-handers and sometimes during a spell of wrist spin. In the field he mans the slips as capably as he does deep third man, and does both in a single one-dayer. Playing table tennis he is ambidextrous. By all accounts he is a brilliant, if hair-raising, driver. He is a champion Snake player on the cellphone, according to Harbhajan Singh, whom he also taught a spin variation.

His batting is of a sophistication that defies generalisation. He can be destroyer or preserver. Observers have tried to graph these phases into a career progression. But it is ultimately a futile quest for Tendulkar's calibrations are too minute and too many to obey compartmentalisation. Given conditions, given his fitness, his state of mind, he might put away a certain shot altogether, and one thinks it is a part of his game that has died, till he pulls it out again when the time is right, sometimes years afterwards. Let alone a career, in the space of a single session he can, according to the state of the rough or the wind or the rhythm of a particular bowler, go from predatorial to dead bat or vice versa.

Nothing frustrates Indians as much as quiet periods from Tendulkar, and indeed often they are self-defeating. But outsiders have no access to his thoughts. However eccentric, they are based on a heightened cricket logic rather than mood. Moods are irrelevant to Tendulkar. Brian Lara or Mohammad Azharuddin might be stirred into artistic rage. Tendulkar is a servant of the game. He does not play out of indignation nor for indulgence. His aim is not domination but runs. It is the nature of his genius.

The genius still doesn't explain the cricket world's enchantment with Tendulkar. Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis are arguably not lesser cricketers than he, but have nothing like his following or presence. Among contemporaries only Shane Warne could draw an entire stadium's energy towards himself, but then Warne worked elaborately towards this end. Tendulkar on the pitch is as uncalculated as Warne was deliberate. Warne worked the moments before each delivery like an emcee at a title fight. Tendulkar goes through a series of ungainly nods and crotch adjustments. Batting, his movements are neither flamboyant nor languid; they are contained, efficient. Utility is his concern. Having hit the crispest shot between the fielders he can still be found scurrying down the wicket, just in case.

Likewise, outside the pitch nothing he does calls up attention. In this he is not unusual for the times. It has been, proved by exceptions of course, the era of the undemonstrative champion. Ali, Connors, McEnroe, Maradona have given way to Sampras, Woods, Zidane, Federer, who must contend with the madness of modern media and sanitisation of corporate obligation.

Maybe Tendulkar the superstar, like Tendulkar the cricketer, was formed at inception. Then, as now, he is darling. He wears the big McEnroe-inspired curls of his youth in a short crop, but still possesses the cherub's smile and twinkle. Perhaps uniquely, he is granted not the sportstar's indulgence of perma-adolescence but that of perma-childhood. A man-child on the field: maybe it is the dichotomy that is winning. The wonder is that in the years between he has done nothing to sully his innocence, nothing to deaden the impish joy, nothing to disrupt the infinite patience or damage the immaculate equilibrium through the riot of his life and career.

Rahul Bhattacharya is the author of Pundits from Pakistan: On Tour with India, 2003-04

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by vijaysun1 on (June 10, 2010, 3:39 GMT)

V. Gomes...I'll take a "loser" India which is emerging as a knowledge and business superpower with a strong democracy to boot over all the "banana" republics who churn out robots who win medals while their countries languish far behind in every development scale that matters...I'm glad that our governments had their priorities right...education and development of a billion people comes long before winning any medal...and India has done it all within 63 years of independence...

Posted by vijaysun1 on (June 10, 2010, 0:59 GMT)

Very likely Sachin will retire with 50+ Test 100s and 50+ ODI 100s (for a mind boggling hundred international 100s); this is a record that will never be broken simply put, since it's a matter of time before 50 overs and Test contests reduce to make way for more T20s (sadly in my opinion). Finally his 200 in ODIs gave him another wonderful distinction; on top of this he has starred in India's most successful Test team ever winning overseas Test matches/series, had two phenomenally successful World Cups (one in which India reached semis in 1996 and one in which India reached finals in 2003). Lara's average and record overall is skewed by his two scores above 350 scored on the ultimate bowler's graveyard in Antigua whereas Ponting has scored big majority of his runs in Australia; moreover he has a well known weakness against top class spin bowling. The only thing missing from Sachin's resume is a World Cup win and there is a chance this too is added next year in the World Cup in India.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (June 9, 2010, 18:17 GMT)

Its so disturbing to note that no topic on Tendulkar can go without belittling him......if you don't like him............leave him........simple.

Why can' there be respect shown to the most successful batsman in history and IMHO the greatest cricketer........Is is it so impossible to do?

Posted by rockydonsmuggler on (June 9, 2010, 16:03 GMT)

There is one thing that no other batsmen in world cricket will ever get,that the ever green mastero,the super star Sachin Tendulkar has possesed all these years!!!.The 'enormity' in amount of respect,gratitude,prayers,standing ovations,glittery chants ..that a BILLION people in a vast cultural land ,flourish in for this little man.Each cricket loving Indian feels proud to be a part of his/her nation, with the divinity that they feel in this champions name.I bet a ricky or lara fan can break this ENORMITY factor,that only an Indian can gain and cherish!.fly Sachin, fly India!!!

Posted by LukeTheDuke on (June 9, 2010, 15:57 GMT)

I have admired Sachin all my life, I asked my American girlfriend to leave when she mispronounced his name as "Sacrin'. There has never been and never will be a sporstperson in the history of world sports who ll create so much attention and fan following. And to all those losers who are critisizing Sachin, they should go and see their faces in Mirror and figure what they have achieved in their life. Bunch of retards who sit infront of computer, have a job to get their bread and butter, have a wife and may be few kids to raise and thats it, thats their life and they come and question the greatness of Sachin. He has given 20years of his life to Cricket. For crying out loud shut up. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar does not require any stats, numbers to prove any thing to any body. He is the best that world has ever seen and he will be the best. The day he walks into the Sun cricket would never be the same for people who grew up watching Sachin or for prior generation.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (June 9, 2010, 13:13 GMT)

Another amazing thing I found out, he is in legendary squad, even before announcing retirement, now thats just interesting to take a note. Are we telling him to stop now ? Its like someone is offering you sweets and then you are so full of it and declining it. Stop now we can't consume it anymore. We are becoming obese from sweet by name of Sachin Tendulkar. You never know he is still going to play hopefully whole next season, which is loaded with cricket. I am taking break from Cricket now as well. Will be back fresh. Hehehe Peace

Posted by CricFan24 on (June 9, 2010, 1:37 GMT)

SRT is King everywhere. Lara and Ponting are hometown bullys.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2010, 0:04 GMT)

keep it coming. speak more about him. say more. he was on the field ever since I was born. I know no cricket other than him. All my childhood, all my teenage.. all my adolescence.. now, my adulthood, it has been him all through. Took me via various emotions. speak more about him

Posted by gmoturu on (June 8, 2010, 22:48 GMT)

Sachin is GOD period

Posted by ibisbyrne on (June 8, 2010, 15:03 GMT)

critics plz continue ur job.bcz this makee sachin stronger.the latest examples are 200in oneday match and adaptability in ipl.......so carry on

Posted by THE_0NE on (June 8, 2010, 12:25 GMT)

@afridi102..Ponting and Lara both have more test centuries in Dead Rubber than Sachin tendulkar..pls check your stats

Posted by Paki.Fan. on (June 8, 2010, 11:49 GMT)

He possess the best composure, placement and timing a batsman could ever have, He has scored runs against everyone and everywhere. He is the main reason of India reaching top rankings in test, simply Tendulkar is the best batsman ever FULL STOP. Indians might not know how much they ll miss him when he retires as there are many good batsmen in Indian team but there will ever be only one Sachin.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2010, 7:45 GMT)

@pakspin. I hope you know how to read stats.. or at least. what do stats means. He has best average against Australia and other leading cricketing nations.

A great article to read. It made my day .

Posted by topgun5781 on (June 8, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

First to the author...superb article! Second to the "critics"...what is wrong with all you people even after 20years he comes to the crease as if it his debut-who does that? No, who has done it?!...He's a sheer pleasure to watch-PERIOD!...If we truly are lovers of this game, then whether he scores a 10 or a 100 really doesn't matter...it his stay at the crease which brings "life" into us...Who gets "life" into us? Waugh/Lara/Warne/Kallis...they are great players undoubtedly, but they are not "Sachin"-the only person worth to reach "200"..If I were granted a single wish it would be Sachin Lifting the World Cup in Match Winning Knock (also to silence "you" guys..read-critics)..n something in me says Yes, he's going to do it!!

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (June 8, 2010, 5:50 GMT)

I really don't know why it is so hard for people to accept greatness at its shining best in Tendulkar....

He is the best there's ever been......

Posted by Alex10 on (June 8, 2010, 2:53 GMT)

@afridi102 ... I do not agree on SRT scoring 100's in dead rubbers (look up the archives) although you are right in that Lara had a greater "presence" at crease, at least in tests. Even Warne has said so in his book. It would be nice to come across a really balanced article on SRT that puts it all in perspective but will anyone ever write it?

Posted by Alex10 on (June 8, 2010, 2:38 GMT)

@Coraline_Jones ... the article does mention Lara.

Posted by illayathalapathy on (June 7, 2010, 20:09 GMT)


I do not where you got your bogus stats from the cricinfo stats state some thing completely different for complete reference go check out the stats attached to this article.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2010, 20:02 GMT)

Excellent article.. It just magnified his brilliance and reminded me of his languid batting style

Posted by HP_75 on (June 7, 2010, 19:37 GMT)

Just try to get a tape of the following to see GENIUS AT WORK: a) 98 at Centurion in '03 vs Akhtar, 2Ws, et al b) 169 at Capetown in '96 vs Donald, Pollock, Klusener, Mcmillan, et al c) 90 at Mumbai in '96 WC vs Mcgrath, Warne, Fleming, et al d) 114 at Perth test in '91 vs. Mcdermot, Reiffel, Hughes, Whitney e) the whole 2001 ODI series vs Aus in Ind where he made 280 runs @ SR of 120 vs. Mcgrath, Warne, Bracken, Fleming - he BLASTED Mcgrath like you wouldn't believe! f) 143 & 134 back-to-back at Sharjah in '98 vs. Warne, Fleming, Kasper, et al g) 45 (yes, only 45!) at Durban in tri-series final '97 vs. Donald, Pollock, Klusener, Bryson, et al - 7 CRUNCHING 4s and 1 SMASHED 6 (pull off Donald) on a greasy fast pitch (just after a shower) - just AWESOME! h) the sensationally MASTERFUL 200* vs Steyn & co. recently, i) the scintillating 160 (Test) and 163* (ODI) vs. NZ in NZ in '09. There are more! But you simply must see the ones above to witness TRUE GENIUS!

Posted by Bang_La on (June 7, 2010, 18:30 GMT)

I feel lucky to live to watch Tendulker playing cricket! My only regret is, I saw him few times standing up and handed a win for his team as we saw many times Steve Waugh, Javed Miandad, Clive Lloyd, Inzamamul Huq, MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and others did.

Posted by pranav301283 on (June 7, 2010, 17:47 GMT)

Easily one of the best articles I have read on Sachin. Really well done.

Posted by AV_Gautam on (June 7, 2010, 16:11 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest cricketer and greatest batsman of all time. We should be previledged that he we can watch him bat. Let's enjoy his genius as long as he can carry on, because there is never going be another player like him ever again.

Posted by CricketPissek on (June 7, 2010, 15:31 GMT)

wow. V.GOMES is surely the winner of the world cup of bitterness. tendulkar is an amazing batsman to watch. whether he's the best ever...who cares? all his worshippers can carry on, you may or may not be right. but in the meantime, i'm just going to enjoy watching his batting.

Posted by pakspin on (June 7, 2010, 15:27 GMT)

Great individual player, and you are right that cricket is a team sport. But, unfortunately, Tendulker is not a team player as his number 1 obective while batting is to score a century, not win the nation matches. His matches to century conversion ratio is not the best, he has the most centuries because he has played most matches. His average in Australia in ODIs is 34 in pak 36 and in SA its 26 while in Zimbawe its 61, therefore his average vs good teams is apparent (source cricinfo). That is why India has had such a horrible record while he has been playing.Indians would rather take a century from a flat track bully than a win for the nation. That is the same reason the team fails in ICC events. So Indians have to make a choice, worship dead pitch kings for focus on winning titiles. For now the focus is selifh record chaser worship, therefore you won't be seeing any titles. India's only ICC title in the last 20 years (2007 t20 WC) came with Tendulker having nothing to do with it

Posted by knowledge_eater on (June 7, 2010, 14:41 GMT)

This is one the best article, I have read about Sachin. Brilliant. I know Sachin brings out best not only from himself, he brings out best from Writers, Commentators, Cricket analyst, any possible media and that is not a fluke. Not only India thrived for batsman like this, every country has thrived for Genius like this and that is what we will see in comment section. Sometimes I hoped Sachin fails, so people get on to their normal life, and look beyond Sachin, which is sometimes needed to restore Natural Selection. However, He has failed my hope by not failing as often as I wanted. If Natural Selection does apply in Cricket world, then He is the top of the Cricket Chain. He is the best 'survival of fittest' in Cricket world. That is the best complement, I have ever given to any Cricketer. Peace

Posted by gung-ho on (June 7, 2010, 14:02 GMT)

I have been watching cricket all my life and for me, Tendulkar is the best batsman in the world. Lara comes a close second and for a brief while, I thought Gilchrist and Gibbs belonged in the same league. @Afridi, you probably believe that Shahid Afridi should have been included in the list too?

On a side note, I am happy to see that Yuvraj has been dropped. He looks out of sorts and seems to be walking around with a scrambled brain.

Posted by waspsting on (June 7, 2010, 13:13 GMT)

Tendulkar is the best I've seen... and criticism of him (doesn't win matches, etc.) are I believe, foolish for the reasons which many people have stated. I believe that criticism of Tendulkar comes mainly as a reaction to the OVERBLOWN praise that he receives from his fans ("undoubtedly greatest ever... better than Bradman" etc.)... that gets up people's noses and they hit back with foolish criticism. Tendulkar is a truly great batsman, undoubtedly one of the greatest ever... both overblown praise and silly criticism of him, 90% of the time, reflect a ridiculous bias on the part of the opinion-giver than it does on him.

Posted by Rony312 on (June 7, 2010, 12:58 GMT)

We are all so lucky to have been born in the same era as this genius ! In all the years to come cricket and reference with regard to SRT will continue to go on and on....The final statements in most Indian articles would read "He was the best that ever was and will be and We Had Him' !!!

Posted by 6x_CS_King on (June 7, 2010, 12:52 GMT)

Sir Don Bradman Said " sachin is the only player who is closest to his style of playing "

and all others who are criticizing are not good enough to criticize Sachin , the only person who can is Sir Don , and he himself appreciated sachin ... so its time for all others (fit for nothing cricket players and cricinfo users) to stop criticizing Sachin

Posted by PeterCook on (June 7, 2010, 11:09 GMT)

I have watched cricket all my life and Sachin is easily the best batsman I have ever seen. Lara is the only one that even comes close. All his critics just need to look at his stats. He's an astonishing player, and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know cricket.

Posted by rachits on (June 7, 2010, 10:21 GMT)

great replies by chakdesachin, CyborgAOE and specially by nithesh_87!! wat ppl dnt realize is that one person cnt win games all the time...you need contributions from others as well...they forget the numerous games that have been won due to sachin's scores...and jst remember that one or two where he fell jst short of victory...the chennai test was set up by him...why is it that the incompetent batting of the remaining 3 batsmen is never spoken about? on the 350 run chase...he played one of the best innings ever...and again the others, including "specialist" batsman, jadeja, cudnt get 18 in 3 overs! and guys, wen rahul stated the names of ponting and kallis, he was merely referencing current players, so no disrespect meant for Lara. and for ppl who say that ponting is sooo awesome for winning 3 WCs...HE didnt win them, his team did...he has over 250 runs less than sachin in WCs at an average 10 runs lower and a substantially lower strike rate...having played more matches. wat say now?

Posted by mrgupta on (June 7, 2010, 9:52 GMT)

@V.GOMES: I think you are probably from Australia that's why you have no respect for people who have not won World Cup. I am sure your comments would have hurt badly to Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, Pollock, Kallis, Lara, Sir Hadlee, Sir Botham, Dravid, Gooch, Chappel Brothers, Dennis Lille. These guys have never been a part of any WC winning team. Dont know why they are considered greats then? Dont you ever wonder that? You are right, all these are bunch of loosers because they cudnt win WC for their teams. As per your comments then i feel confused, why do we play test Cricket as there is no WC there?

Posted by mrgupta on (June 7, 2010, 9:36 GMT)

@V.GOMES: I am sure whatever u have written is just to extract attention towards u. No person in his senses can comment that "Glorifying Sachin means Glorifying Lossing". I think if you say that then can you please tell me how many matches did Lara win for his team? Sachin has won more and also setup more. Ponting's team has won more matches because of presence of great Bowlers and not Ponting alone. Viv Richards was a great player but his team won because his team was full of great Bowlers. India doesnt glorify looser, We glorify art of winning hearts. Tell me another players in any game from any country Who has more Fan following and commands more respect than Sachin. We Indians know how to Win hearts and as far as Cricket is concerned, well We are currently No. 1.

Posted by vaks on (June 7, 2010, 8:22 GMT)

@nithesh_87 superb answer to SyedArbabAhmed......all those guys who criticizes sachin not match winner dont know cricket is team game....

Posted by rachits on (June 7, 2010, 8:15 GMT)

great replies by chakdesachin, CyborgAOE and specially by nithesh_87!! wat ppl dnt realize is that one person cnt win games all the time...you need contributions from others as well...they forget the numerous games that have been won due to sachin's scores...and jst remember that one or two where he fell jst short of victory...the chennai test was set up by him...why is it that the incompetent batting of the remaining 3 batsmen is never spoken about? on the 350 run chase...he played one of the best innings ever...and again the others, including "specialist" batsman, jadeja, cudnt get 18 in 3 overs! and guys, wen rahul stated the names of ponting and kallis, he was merely referencing current players, so no disrespect meant for Lara. and for ppl who say that ponting is sooo awesome for winning 3 WCs...HE didnt win them, his team did...he has over 250 runs less than sachin in WCs at an average 10 runs lower and a substantially lower strike rate...having played more matches. wat say now?

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (June 7, 2010, 8:14 GMT)

I humbly salute the greatest cricketer and greatest batsman of all time.Sachin is a true hero with no shortcomings......

Posted by ansram on (June 7, 2010, 6:36 GMT)

@Prem90 - sanath was an aggressive and destructive player and one of the finest of this kind. But he is not a technically sound batsman and no where comparable to sachin. Just compare their averages, be it test or ODI. Of the Srilankans , Aravinda is comparable to sachin not sanath.

Posted by prashant1 on (June 7, 2010, 6:25 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar = Greatest Batsman of All Time. Period.

Posted by The_Dynamite_Kid on (June 7, 2010, 6:19 GMT)

What's even more satisfying than watching Sachin smash records after records, is watching the frustration of the critics. LOL, poor souls, they have no other way of venting their frustration that they have inside them, hence the internet is the only way for them to vent it out. It's so satisfying to watch Sachin choke the breath out of these critics every time he plays a series, watching them burn inside. I feel pity for them, as much as they dislike him, the more love and praise he gets from the rest of the world. I can only imagine their pain and sorrow.

Posted by CyborgAOE on (November 18, 2009, 6:08 GMT)

Gomes (sadist) and others who are critics of Sachin, Its good to have critics. But, calling Sachin fails on big stage is wrong. In 2003 world cup, he took THE TEAM TO FINALS. Why do we always see his failures rather than enjoy and celebrate his success. He may not be GOD but he is a good human having pride in playing for his nation. He has inspired the whole nation. He has motivated a new bunch of cricketers. FOR GOD SAKE stop being sadists and enjoy the cricket left in such a great batsman. DONT PENALISE SACHIN IF TEAM FAILS. BE HAPPY FOR ATLEAST ONE MAN IN A TEAM REPRESENTING 1 BILLION STOOD UP AS IN NUMEROUS CASES. He has played his part in winning important matches and please dont expect him to win all matches for us which is not fair on our part. Others too should win important games. He has won Sharjah Cup, Hero Cup, 2003 Pak match, CB series finals, taken us to inumerable victories single handedly. Team India has failed him in crucial matches. Thank GOD for giving him to INDIA

Posted by V.GOMES on (November 17, 2009, 16:16 GMT)

By glorifying Sachin (the cricketer who has lost the most games in history while playing with good team mates), you are glorifying the art of loosing. You are glorifying the art of failing at the biggest stage in cricket, the world cup (after getting more opportunities than any other player & while playing with good teammates). Dear Sachin fan(atics), the individual stats that you guys are in love with is leading to yourteams faliure. Keep glorifying the art of LOOSING. Now I understand why the country with the 2nd biggest poppulation in the world has only won one (1) gold medal in the Olympics. Try to breed winners who play one day and wins the big one (world cup), instead of a lifetime of losing it (20 years).

Posted by srens on (November 17, 2009, 15:53 GMT)

Rahul, good article. I also wanted to share my thought on the article by Peter Reobok here as I could not add comments in time for his article. All Peter wanted to say was that India is a country of dust and dull and Sachin is no saint and he wanted to point out that he had the controversies like the car and the ball incident and also impled that Sachin lied about Bhajji in the Monkey case to protect him. He just took the opportunity of the 20 years landmark to put all these points forward and built some bells and whistles around it to hide his cheap comments. He just cannot bear to see that Sachin has achieved such glory by being such a great gentle man on and off the field. I know Peter is good in English and has a way with the words. He is lucky we cannot say the things we think about him here in Hindi, Marathi and Tamil.

Posted by Dhorai on (November 17, 2009, 12:14 GMT)

I want to ask the people for their gloss on this topic, the question here is for the best cricketer right? Not the best batsman or the best bowler. Can we have some relation between the number of runs scored, Number of wickets taken and Number of catches taken. This will help us to find the best cricketer on the whole. 1 wicket = -----. How many runs? Best cricketer is not the one who draws the attention or the one who wins for their country its beyond that i hope. It's the hard work and commitment they put forward and achieving the end result for the same. It's not getting 100% in Hindi and only 35% in mathematics. Please compare all the subjects the total, i.e. all the fields. The best all-rounder is the best cricketer. Very big Thanks for Sachin in entertaining us throughout his career.

Posted by nithesh_87 on (November 16, 2009, 14:22 GMT)


For your information.Sachin is not a Tennis Player as u assumed.The discussion here is about a game called cricket. (From wikipedia) A team consists of eleven players. Depending on his or her primary skills, a player may be classified as a specialist batsman or bowler. A well-balanced team usually has five or six specialist batsmen and four or five specialist bowlers. (for more details - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket) Now u might have understood that this is a team game and 1 person alone cannot win game in a team game, be it any sport. Now, i hope u got some basic idea of the game..hope u learn quickly.Good Luck!

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (November 16, 2009, 5:26 GMT)

@Prem90: India is a big market, so Indians promote their stars too much with the support of ICC and the rest of the world as i said "India is a big market", but there is no doubt that Tendulkar is one of the very best this world has ever seen but he still don't FINISHES the game, most recent example is the 350 chase of India against Australia.

Posted by sameerrk on (November 16, 2009, 2:51 GMT)

I am 19. I havent even followed the whole of the Great man's career. But I am sometimes proud to say that I started following cricket only because of Sachin Tendulkar. And also most of the things I have learned about the game is by watching him on the field. Around 96-97, All of us were so excited to watch him score centuries one after another. I dont agree that India loses when he makes a 100. Statistics support me. What he has done is, he has held the belief and expectations of a whole country on his shoulders before some match-winners stood up. And he has delivered most of the times. I also agree there are players who can be compared with him. But he has achieved more than anybody under more pressure. I am not sure of the tests, but I can surely say his oneday records will remain for many years to come. I am happy that I could watch this man play all those gem of innings'. I pray he goes on and on. And lastly I want Sachin to win the world cup for India.

Posted by S.K.Chowdhury on (November 15, 2009, 18:25 GMT)

I have never seen Sir Don playing but I saw Tendulkar. I don't know how it possible for someone to play better than Tendulkar. Every one say Sir Don is the greatest batsman ever in this game but to me its Tendulkar. If I am worng then I have to admit Sir Don was not a human he was from another world. I doubt even the God can hardly play better than Tendulkar.

Posted by JaganDashers on (November 15, 2009, 16:39 GMT)

Prem 90, sanath made his odi debut in Dec 26, 1989 (not yet 20 years) also test debut in Feb 22-26, 1991. sanath has given test cricket.... but our GOD still playing in both tests and odi's. I'm not under stating what sanath has done to cricket.but carrying the hopes of 1 billion people, this child-man prodigy has done more than any other cricketer in this era. Even sanath would've felt proud being part of sachin's era.

Posted by prem90 on (November 15, 2009, 15:13 GMT)

sanath jayasuriya...also i presume has completed 20 yrs in cricket and he is still playing ODIs ...and no one cares about him...i dont understand it .....!

Posted by rohan024 on (November 15, 2009, 12:27 GMT)

i agree with Coraline_Jones. Tendulkar and Lara will always be spoken of together. The 2 real geniuses of our times. It was a shame that the 2 greats had to bat with spineless and average batsmen/teammates during the 90s. Its only since 2000 that India got Sehwag & Dravid who started winning matches for India. For good 10 years it was Lara in WI and Tkar in India who were the sole match winners for their countries. Kudos to both. The world has been lucky to watch both of them.

Posted by Coraline_Jones on (November 15, 2009, 11:34 GMT)

"Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis are arguably not lesser cricketers than he, but have nothing like his following or presence." It seems Mr. Rahul Bhattacharya intentionally avoiding the name of Brian Lara. Lara was never less karizmatic than Sachin. As the occasion needs to applaud sachin the author cleverly distanced Brian. But the article about sachin will always be incomplete without the mention of Lara. I personally feel Lara brings more energy to the game than sachin when at the crease.

Posted by rmnaveed on (November 15, 2009, 11:09 GMT)

I have different criteria to measure the class of the player, may be many people do not agree with me but many will go with me as well. For me , to measure the class of a player depends upon how many matches are saved or won because of the particular player, in this regards Sachin is far behind from Ricky, Lara, Inzamam, Viv. Richards . But in terms of records and centuries he is on the top of the lot. No doubt he one of the greatest batsman of cricket history but the team he was playing in always let his efforts down and there are few innings in which he played and won the match for the country.

Posted by Pratik_vodka on (November 15, 2009, 11:07 GMT)

I am 23 .. Tendulkar is 20 (in cricket life) ... What can i say first thing i learnt about cricket was Sachin ... followed the game because of Sachin ... i know no sportsman can be greater than the sport itself .. but in this case ... we all have to agree Sachin is Cricket. There have been greats in the game before but no one has been the game itself.Not seeing his name on the scorecard will be something new i will have to learn ... something i wish i dont have to.

Posted by Snakehead007 on (November 15, 2009, 10:43 GMT)

hes one of my favorites after saeed anwar.......i hope to see such batting talent once again in pakistan which they used to have back in the days.....

Posted by Sach_is_Life on (November 15, 2009, 8:09 GMT)

WoW..One Of The Best Article on Sachin..Thanks Rahul..

Posted by afridi102 on (November 15, 2009, 7:24 GMT)

"Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis are arguably not lesser cricketers than he, but have nothing like his following or presence.".... Why you are always trying to say that lara is not as good as tendulkar.... The true is when lara is at the crease the match cant be more energetic.... Tendulkar is no way near lara... just look both centuries and you will see who is the best and who scores more in dead rubbers...

Posted by stalin.raja on (November 15, 2009, 7:15 GMT)

I started to watch cricket since 1992world cup i grown up to watch our god's play, the truth is we saw cricket only for our god, sachin dont retire we watch cricket only for you we love you lot our god

Posted by Bharadwaj on (November 15, 2009, 6:14 GMT)

Mr.Rahul Bhattacharya has woven words with the elegance and fluidity that is otherwise found in the art that is the stroke-play of the genius he describes.

Posted by Syedfsk4 on (November 15, 2009, 5:24 GMT)

I am also a die hard fan of sachin... less bothered about the results and loves to see Sachin scoring...Watching Cricket only for Sachin... Wishes Little Master!!!1

Posted by ahmedshaheed on (November 15, 2009, 4:36 GMT)

I started to watch cricket since 1996 world cup. Although I was playing cricket since 1992 or 93, my fascination about the game grew right after cricket world cup 1996. I heard a lot about Sachin Tendulkar a lot before this world cup, I never had the opportunity to watch him bat in live action in television. But world cup 1996 gave me the opportunity to see Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar to bat. Since then there are very few matches I missed that Sachin played. Originally from Bangladesh, right now I am living in the New York, so do not have enough time to watch all games, but I always care when Sachin plays. I like Sehwag, Yuvraj, Dhoni, but for me Sachin is somebody truly special. It has been my great pleasure to watch him for last 13 years. I lost my interest in a game when Sachin gets out cheaply & stays sad for few hours. For me he is the one player who I can watch without sleeping in whole night. I wish Sachin all the best He is a truly champion.

Posted by styzian on (November 15, 2009, 3:17 GMT)

Tendulkar is the reason I started to watch cricket. I know cricket is a team sport and at the end of the day the only thing that matters is your team winning. But I cared little in India wining or loosing...for me I loved to see Tendulkar bat and make runs.

I am sure that there are many others that watch the game to see their heroes peform. For some there is more pleasure in watching someone do what they do best, and care less about the results

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Rahul BhattacharyaClose
Rahul Bhattacharya Author of Pundits from Pakistan: On Tour with India, 2003-04
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