Category: Sachin Tendulkar

And God rewrites the record books – 200*

People often wonder why I address this man as GOD. He has given me many reasons to do so – and today was another one of them.

I almost cursed Dhoni for the first time in my life when he did not give Sachin strike in the 49th over and then threw kisses when he did not push Sachin for the 2nd run at 49.2 overs! Thank god for that.

For someone who took 79 matches and 5 years to get his first hundred in ODIs, Sachin has never looked back! 46 centuries in ODIs accompanied by 47 in tests – I expect he will get to another 100; that of his international centuries this year at the rate he is going. He has 5 this year already – 4 in tests and 1 in the ODIs.

He has got tantalisingly close to the coveted mark 186* against NZ in 1999 and then twice in the last year: 163* against NZ when he retired hurt and 175 against Aus.

Today he was all the class, elegance and timing we associate with the beauty of batting. He did not thrash the bowlers – he just belted them gently. Such was his powerful timing that he kept playing the cat and mouse game with the fielders. Till the ball hit the ropes the fielder was given hope that he could stop it, he would chase all the way only to be exhausted and find the ball smiling at the boundary ropes. Sunil Gavaskar has always claimed he loves such shots – the ones that tease the fielder. Sachin played them plenty today

Square cut, cheeky third man fours, cover drive, on-drive, shots through mid-wicket and off the square! There was not an area he left uncovered. The bowlers bowled a good line yet he placed the ball where he wanted to. Sachin played like he is 17 today when he is approaching 37.

The energy, the exuberance, the hunger amazes me – I’ve just entered my 30s and I often feel totally phased out! The guy is a perfect role model. And despite all the madness, the money, the crazy fans – the man remains unfazed. He remains his simple self, the Marathi Mulga from Sahitya Sahwas in Bandra. His middle-class Maharashtrian roots still strong. His commitment and dedication unparalleled. The more you speak of him , the less it is.

I feel blessed – to have been born in his era, to have witnessed this phenomenon – to have watched him play since his debut in 1989 till date. So many moments, so many smiles.

Today the commentators kept harping about SA having chased 434 in 2006. I did not need them to remind me of it – I had seen the match live. Often these TV commentators lose sight of important things. I would not have cared if SA would’ve chased down 402 today – all that I cared about was  that no batsmen on their side got to 200. Today, India’s victory was not important – Sachin’s record was. Period. I was being selfish and it was well justified – cause Sach is indeed GOD and Sach is indeed our life!

P.S: My Kodak Moment of the Day was : Virat and Raina taking a bow to the GOD from the dressing room – they will need all his blessings if they wish to emulate half his deeds in the future.

20 random thoughts from 20 years of Sachin

Loads of tributes were up on the net, television, radio and every possible media yesterday, and it got me wondering if I should chip in my two cents or probably even lesser. I thought I should not, just be a good reader, after all who am I to comment or even write about the Maestro. I’m no cricket journalist nor have I played the game – I’m just a small fan among the millions, that the game and God have.

But Siddhartha Vaidyanathan – one of the finest young cricket writers I’ve seen and met, goes ahead and writes ‘20 random thoughts from 20 years of Sachin’ (He wrote it on FB – Notes – once I figure how to link it up I’ll put it up); temptation enough for me to come out of my small ‘No post on SachinTwenty’ hibernation. With Siddhartha’s due permission to continue the tag – here goes my list of ’20 random things from 20 years of Sachin’.

Forgive the repetition, if any innings mentioned in Siddharth’s post are referenced below. Most Sachin fans will have at least 5-6 common ones. Those were defining moments for us – a generation that grew up with the Fab Five – Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble.

1) A short young bloke – all of 18 years of age hammered the Pakistani bowling of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Aaqib Javed and Waqar Younis. Some 50 odd off 40 balls and a partnership with Sanjay Manjrekar. I had just started watching the game, he is one of the reasons why my interest in the game has not faded away.

2) 1992: Sydney –148 * and Perth – 114 Vs Aus. India had a disastrous tour down under. Sachin ensured Warne had a forgettable debut . I woke up early every morning along with Papa, to follow his innings live on the radio. I still have the recordings of the highlights. Sachin, according to my mum managed to do the impossible – wake me up in a jiffy without an alarm and her yelling. That mesmerising innings of 114 tops my list of his best knocks. I cannot forget it, that image of him, all of 5ft4in. standing tall and hitting straight drives off the likes of Merv Hughes and McDermott, will never fade away from my memory.

3) His disappointed face after getting out at 88 in Napier in 1990. He was only 16 then. I saw the recording later – I did not know to react! Heck most guys don’t even know what to do in life at that age – and this bloke understood the importance of a 100 in a test match.

4) 59 in his second test against Pak in Pakistan after a bloodbath! Guts, determination, rock solid concentration, man of steel. The nation knew a star was born, the kid knew he had passed the acid test. Still have the newspaper cuttings.

5) 1992-93 tour Vs SA – What I remember is he was given out in one of the ODIs when he was batting well on 20 odd. I cannot recollect the match or the umpire – he was given out caught when he had not edged or gloved the ball. I saw a small tear in the eye of a 19 year old then. The only time I think he reacted as a teenager.

6) I had seen him play live at the stadium before but this one was special. I had bunked school and gone to see him bat. On a dreadful Wankhede pitch, he played a gem of an innings of 85 against the WI in 1994. He showed why he is a class apart. His knock and partnership with Manjrekar – inspired Srinath to play havoc with the bat and ball later.

7) 1994 Vs NZ. The Kamikaze Kid -he was called after that innings hit NZ real hard. 82 of 49 balls which changed the way India approached opening batting in ODIs. I’m glad I was wide wake- I’m glad Papa had the VCR on. I watched that knock a million times later. And again when he got out , he had the regret of not getting the century. That hunger for runs is still alive – 20 years on.

8) Wankhede is the only place where they cheer the fall of Indian wicket; that is until Sachin arrives to bat. They are a fair crowd appreciating a good game, but they are only human and they are hugely flawed when it comes to Mumbai’s favourite son.

9) As Siddhartha mentioned in his post – Gods had descended on the cricket field in Cape Town 1996-97 SA tour. Azhar and Sachin had murdered the SA attack in the most delicate manner one could visualize. The array and beauty of the stroked played that afternoon will remain unparalleled for a long time. Adam Bacher pulled a stunner out of mid-air. and Sachin did not move for 2 whole minutes. He was the last to get off the ground – stunned by the catch and not able to believe that his dream run was foiled at 169.

10) 1993 – Hero Cup Semi-final Vs SA. I need not say more – that last over he bowled. His eagerness to come on to bowl when SA needed 6 runs and people call him a choker. Blah!

11) 1998 Vs Australia – Chennai. He hit a first ball 4 of Warne and was out the same over. He was in crackling form and he messed up – the anger showed. The brunt was borne by Aus in the 2nd innings – that 155* will make to any best innings list in the world

12) 1998 Vs Australia – Sharjah. 1998 was his year – his year of complete dominance in world cricket and over Australia. No player has as many runs and centuries as he does against the Big Daddy of international cricket. A reason why he is so loved and revered Down Under. I rate his innings in the league match much higher than the one in the final. India came out to bat needing 8 per over to qualify, after the sandstorm break. Aussies would’ve preferred to have been hit by the sandstorm than the Sachinstorm that hit them later. Again given out erroneously – he wasn’t looking to qualify he was looking to win!

13) 1999 Vs Aus. LBW or HBW ( Hand before wicket). That whole dismissal is replayed a million times in my mind and even after a decade I cannot fathom how weird it was. I hated Daryl Harper for that!

14) 1999 Vs Pak, Chennai – 136. We were in our college following the match on the radio. Cheering and shouting every time he got a run. My heart skipped a beat when he got out and I almost died when we lost the match. I came home mouthing all possible abuses the guys had taught me against those 10 buggers who could not get the balance 49.82% of the victory target. I came home and cried – the only time I recollect doing that after India’s defeat. I know Sachin too cried after that defeat. He proved why he was ‘GOD’ in cricket and a mere mortal like us at the same time.

15) 1999 WC Vs Kenya–England. Grit, courage, determination, concentration, patriot, team player, awesome role model, obedient son. That one moment defined all of that for me in him – Sachin kissed his helmet, looked up and waited a moment, then wiped his eyes and got onto his business of decimating the Kenyan attack. Of all the centuries against all the best attacks – this one is my sentimental favourite. It’s not easy to deal with the loss of a parent and get on with your work in a matter of days. I’ve been through it so I know – not comparable to his feat but I could relate to his psyche then.

16) 2001 Vs Australia – Kolkatta. You cannot keep him away from contributing to famous wins. His 3 wickets in the second innings were as valuable as Laxman and Dravid’s knocks! His delight after getting Warne out to a googly was as innocent as a child getting his favourite chocolate. Sachin remains that little innocent 16 year old still at heart.

17) 2003 WC – 98 Vs Pak. Phenomenal. He slaughtered and butchered the Pakistani bowling and along with what was left of their confidence. He made them mere spectators as he unleashed terror all around. I loved his comment at the presentation – never seen him rub salt on opposition’s wounds so hard – “Well they are yet to beat us in a World Cup”. How true!!

18) His run of 90s in ODIs in 2007 – He would’ve amassed 50 centuries by now had he converted those 6 ( 2 each against Pak,SA, and Eng). I’m not getting any young to handle these heartbreaks, I told my husband then.

19) 103* Vs England , Dec 2008. Following close after the worst terrorist attack on Mumbai – Sachin, Sehwag and the rest gave the country and Mumbaikars a reason to smile. It did not wipe out the scars but it did lift the spirits of millions a little, just a little, but it did. Dilip Premchandran summed it up for us

“Those that aren’t Indian struggle to fathom exactly what Tendulkar means to so many millions, and it’s doubtful whether even those that live here really comprehend just how much a part of the national consciousness he has become. He is such a unifying force, a personality capable of stirring the emotions in every nook and corner of a vast land. And in these times of distress and anger, it was so very appropriate that it would be Tendulkar who put the smiles back on at least a few faces.”

20) His recent 175. Almost, almost there again. Sigh! Heartbreaking and scintillating at the same time. Brought back memories of his old knocks – Vs NZ 82 of 49 and Sharjah ‘98 Vs Aus.

Sachin has given us more than 20 reasons to smile and cry in the last 20 years – it’s difficult to sum up only 20.

My favourite tributes here – Harsha Bhogle, Peter Roebuck, Dilip Premchandran and The Great Bong.

My favourite quotes to end this tribute:

“I’ve seen God, he bats at no. 4 for India” – Mathew Hayden

“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

Collective Conspiracy against GOD

I have mixed feelings today. I could not see THE GOD in action today so I was miserable but feeling glad that I was saved of the heartbreak that the remaining 10 caused us!

He has amassed 17,000 runs in ODIs in 435 matches with 45 hundreds and 91 fifties and yet we question him.

Today was a repeat of the 1999 Chennai heartbreak. Opponents different , the situations the same. Sachin singlehandedly had led the chase then and the rest could not manage the 16 runs. Today he actually made us believe that 350 could be chased and he almost did. 175 of 141 balls and he had singlehandedly almost demolished the Aussies.

We, his team and us fans, failed him yet again. His team cause they could not chase the balance 19 runs of 17 balls and we fans who at the end of the match complained – But he did not complete the target again!

Damn you all dimwits! Yuvraj and Dhoni have never chased a target of 350 – they don’t have it in them. So don’t give me that crap about see how these two stay till the end! They have come into the team where they grew under the shade of the GOD, the WALL and the PRINCE. Give Dhoni and Yuvraj a target of 250-300 and they are fine but give them 300+ and they are down mentally.

There is only one man in this Indian team who for the last 20 years has believed that nothing is impossible and has given it his all. He is the sole person today who believed that 350 was achievable and almost proved it.

Sigh! I’m convinced it’s a collective conspiracy against this man that is going on for the last 20 years. Whatever he does is simply not enough – for his team and for his fans.

There will not be a greater player than him ever – I’m confident of that. At 36 years today he put all those young 20 some things in his team to complete shame. Sixers straight down the track, cheeky runs of the third man area, scintillating cover drives, trademark straight drives. He played every shot in his repository and after 20 years, still manages to enthral us every time he sets his foot on the ground. Tell me who in the current lot is capable of carrying his legacy forward? NONE!

Sachin ‘GOD’ Tendulkar we take a bow, again and again and forever! For last 20 years you have given us so many moments to treasure, so many moments that make us smile and so many moments that make us proud that you belong to us , you belong to India.

And on behalf of all those dimwits who doubt your commitment and feel that you did not stay till the end to achieve a victory – I apologize.

Please forgive them my Lord, for they know not what they do and speak.

Sparing Sachin…

Sachin Tendulkar is a unique person in every sense. Everything he has done on and off the field exemplifies his uniqueness. He has been India’s wonderboy, heartthrob, kamikaze kid, saviour, knight in shining armour etc. As much as his batting is unique so have been his dismissals and also the criticism he has faced.

Don’t you ever wonder that Sachin Tendulkar must be thinking what it is that I must do now after 17 years of international cricket , more than 100 tests and 350 ODIS, so that the critics simply shut their traps!

Take the recent article by Sanjay Manjrekar on him. Read it and try to figure out what message Manjrekar is trying to send to all of us.

  • Is he trying to doubt Sachin’s commitment to the game?
  • Is he trying to accuse him of faking injures?
  • Is he trying to say that Sachin puts self before team and country?
  • Is he trying to tell us that Sachin is in his own world thinking that he is still the 16 yr old kid who recently made his debut?
  • Is he trying to cast doubts on Sachin’s integrity to himself, team and the country?

What is he indeed trying to tell us?

I can’t believe that Sanjay Manjrekar, Sachin’s good friend for a long time would write such a column. How can anyone doubt this man’s integrity and commitment?
A man who has always stood out like a shining star and a ray of hope for many when India used be down in the dumps; a man who has inspired the current generation of Indian cricket.

You question the integrity of the person who landed back two days after his fathers demise to be a part of his team in the 1999 world cup campaign; he who scored a century on his return despite being ín mourning. Please don’t tell me that it’s easy to recover from the loss of a parent’s death, you rarely do. That gesture of Sachin only proved his rock-solid determination and dedication to his country and team.

In the 1999 Chennai Test, he was in brutal pain due to his back but he did not give up without a fight. Agreed he could not get us a victory but what a single-handed fighting innings that was.
Remember the ’98 season Vs Australia; he demolished them at home in the test series and in Sharjah.
He played an important role in the 2001 Aus series at home and later down under in 2003.
The 2003 world cup belonged to him and it was our bad luck that we did not win against the Aussies.

The man has single handedly led India’s fightback before the young guns fired under the Ganguly-Dravid combination. Until the recent England series there was not a single series that had gone by without him getting a hundred in a series. Yes he has had his drawbacks, limitations and failures. He has even candidly admitted on TV in his 30th birthday show with Harsha Bhogle that he does have a regret of not having carried India to more wins single-handedly as much as he would have liked to.

We just forget that the guy is human after all. And after all these years we are still ahead to doubt this man’s commitment to the game?

He is faking injuries so that he does not fail. Which wise man has told you cricketers to play with injuries or semi-fit? Whom does it help? No one, the individual suffers as his injury could aggravate and could end his career prematurely, and the team suffers as the player is not 100% fit. How can you, Mr. Manjrekar then even suggest that Sachin should play carrying injuries? You want him to end his career prematurely. I do believe that the guy has 4 years of good cricket left in him.

You yourself say that one cannot judge a persons seriousness regarding injuries, aren’t you exactly contradicting yourself by doing so in your article? None of us except Sachin and his doctor know what his body is going trough and no one but him is a better judge to know when he can play. You and I can opine but ultimately he will decide. And one more thing is he not showing more commitment by opting to stay out when he is not 100 % fit and cannot give his best to the team?

Sachin Tendulkar is an extremely intelligent cricketer. He knows his statistics by heart, he can narrate the manner of each of his dismissals and the bowlers who got him out. He knows the game is changing, he knows his position and role in the team is changing. That’s why we rarely get to see the aggressive Sachin of old days with the adrenalin rush in his body when he bats. He has calmed down and realizes that his presence on the wicket means much more to the team, hence he is slowly curbing his shots, his body is also not assisting but he is making efforts to work around it.

So Mr. Sanjay Manjrekar what made you write that article? Has your Ten Sports colleague Rameez Raja been influencing you? It would help if you acted more under the Aussie influence where they lay prime importance on fitness of a player and commitment to the game. Ask them their opinion on this issue about Sachin or for that matter ask the entire cricketing world! How could you pen this article?

Don’t criticize Sachin for the sake of doing so! I’m glad Sachin lashed out unlike most times sitting quiet and ignoring.

Mr. Sanjay don’t commit the mistake of unnecessarily criticizing this fellow, he is a true gem, with all his flaws and drawbacks he is still the best in the world and very few compare to him as a player and as a human being.

Here is a nice forward I had received when I was working after my engineering and hope all his critics including you get a message there

This is what Sachin’s messenger had to say to all of us:

This is interesting
I never judged any software engineers by the number of defects they delivered
I never commented on your activity reports
I didn’t get into your grading or banding details
Than why do you all keep discussing, judging and commenting on me all day long
I’m currently at the practice nets getting fit for my next series.
You are at your work desks, you are supposed to work
So please do so and spare me for heaven’s sake

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