The buzz

Mumbai mayhem

The first day of the Mumbai Test wasn't as much about two teams slugging it out as much as it was about unrestrained adoration for one man
November 15, 2013

A manic reception © BCCI
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In the BBC website, historian Ramachandra Guha explains what Tendulkar meant for India.

Tendulkar would have been great in any age, yet he was lucky that his cricketing career coincided with the rise of satellite television, as well as with the growing importance of one-day cricket.

There is no Indian tradition of graceful retirement, says Tunku Varadarajan in the New York Times.

The inherent human vanity of an authority reluctant to cede the public stage is reinforced by a culture of adulation, of shrieking, ululating crowds, of an uncritical elevation of heroes to godlike status by devotees who will not let go. In politics, in cinema, even in corporate business houses, old Indian men do not fade into the sunset. They hobble on and on. And when they die, they are "kept alive" by heirs who succeed them: sons, daughters, wives. Sport, by its very nature, is different: there is no elegant case for heirs on a cricket team, and the body imposes its own laws of retirement.

It seems hard to imagine that a high-profile player will ever again feel the impulse to play for more than a decade, writes Lawrence Booth in Mumbai Mirror.

English county cricket used to marvel at the tirelessness of Middlesex off-spinner Fred Titmus, who appeared for club and country in five different decades, from the late 1940s until the early 1980s. But Titmus played in a gentler age and, after he quit, got on with the unglamorous business of running the village post office with his wife.

Tendulkar will have no such option, and little that he has done since he took on Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Qadir at Karachi in November 1989 at the absurd age of 16 has been gentle or unglamorous.

For the thousands in the stadium and millions watching outside, it was so much more than just a game of cricket or a celebration, writes Dileep Premachandran in the Guardian.

India's team took to the field wearing shirts designed for the match that featured the words "Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar 200th Test" below the crest.There were still thousands who had not turned up, mistakenly assuming that West Indies would bat all day.

ESPNcricinfo's Sidharth Monga gives a blow-by-blow account of events at the Wankhede Stadium on the first day.

By now, every possible rhythmical chant "Sachin" can be made into has been chanted. "Sachiiiiin, Sachin." "Saaaaaachin." "Sachin, Sachin-Sachin-Sachin, Saaaachin." How come no one is out of tune when they chant his name?

Features

The man whom cricket loved back

Sambit Bal: Tendulkar was the biggest worshipper the game could ever find, and in that lay the foundation of his greatness

Tendulkar's perfect balance

Sharda Ugra: While the team, the country and the sport changed around him, Tendulkar remained constant

Why do we insist on seeing the 'real' Sachin?

Rahul Bose: You can ask as much as you want for a more "human", more "feelable, touchable" Sachin, but he'll probably not change - and that's a good thing

Zaltz Stats

550,000,000
The approximate number of people in India today who had not been born when Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut in 1989 (calculated from these figures). His batting has been so erotically outstanding that the global population has increased by almost 2 billion during his career, with the biggest increase, understandably, in India itself.

I have played cricket for 24 years, it has been only 24 hours since retirement, and I think I should get at least 24 days to relax before deciding these things.

Sachin Tendulkar doesn't want to think of what lies ahead just yet