How to felicitate Tendulkar
Not to be outdone by the felicitations for Tendulkar in Kolkata, which included the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee handing him a painting she had made, the Maharashtra government has set up a seven-member committee to work out the details of the felicitation he will receive in Mumbai. The state's sports minister, Padmakar Valvi, will chair the committee, and it is reported that Tendulkar will be presented with a silver trophy with the names and signatures of the 40 members of the state cabinet engraved on it.
In the Mint, Rohit Brijnath writes of the role Tendulkar played in educating him as a writer.
The envy I feel for Sports Illustrated writers is sharp for they are surrounded by athletic richness in America. But, for us, most of this excellence was foreign and far and Michael Jordan, Pete Sampras, Mike Tyson is a world almost no Indian is allowed within interviewing distance of. We cannot stroll into their hotel rooms, play table tennis with them, stand back with a dying cigarette and just enjoy their daily polish of talent. But with Tendulkar I could. He was here, right before us, long before a time of entourages and minders, his phone number in our diaries. It was like calling Jordan and it was an unsurpassable gift: he was greatness available.
On the Gulf News website, Muttiah Muralitharan, who has dismissed Tendulkar 13 times in 66 international matches, writes about admiring the Indian batsman's temperament and mental strength, and weighs in on the Tendulkar v Lara debate.
One of the secrets to this is clearly his inner discipline. You can't develop and maintain such mental fortitude unless you are extremely disciplined. You need to prepare meticulously. Sachin's exemplary conduct on the field just said it all. To play for 25 years and to do so without controversy and any run-ins with match referees or umpires is incredible.
I am always asked who was better: Sachin or Brian Lara? It's a very difficult question. For me personally, Lara was a real genius and incredibly hard to bowl to. The fact that he was a left-hander helped him, but he was also able to play strokes of outrageous quality. But while Lara at his peak was incredibly hard to bowl to, Sachin sustained his excellence longer and was more consistent. Lara had the natural flair, but Sachin was the more complete player.
On wisdenindia.com, R Kaushik writes that the beauty of Tendulkar's bowling lies in the seriousness with which he takes his time at the bowling crease.
In the Indian Express, Harsha Bhogle writes that when Tendulkar began opening in limited-overs, he took that aspect of batting to another level.
I try telling that to young cricket lovers today; that for all their adulation of Tendulkar, if they are younger than twenty, they haven't even seen the most glorious era of his batsmanship. Before T20, before all the fiddling with playing conditions to try and make everyone into a batsman, he had a strike rate of over a hundred over an entire season where he made almost two thousand runs.
On ESPNcricinfo's Cordon, V Ramnarayan wonders if Tendulkar could have become as great an allrounder as Garry Sobers.