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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My tribute to Tendulkar

Conversation between a teacher and students in a classroom somewhere in India.

Teacher- Students, today I am going to teach you about history. The teacher would start by saying that the centuries old history include many great names and events, but there is nothing in this world that remains constant. Before proceeding further, he would encourage the students to talk about whatever they know about history.

A student immediately stands up and answers,

Teacher, I don't know much about history,  nor for that matter whether the world my end in 2012, but one fact would remain constant and that is, our God scoring a century and no bowler being able to find a way to get him out. The whole class agrees in unison and the teacher is left speechless and is struggling for words.

Yes, it is an imaginary situation and likely won't happen even in India, but I just wanted to picturise the kind of passion that a country like India has for cricket and more so, the love for the genius at work. Yes, I am thinking about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the player who holds the nation of more than a billion together with his exploits on a cricket field. A country which is made up of people with different faiths all come to a standstill when SRT walks to the crease. He isn't just a great cricketer, but also someone who doesn't have a single blot against his name. It can be seen by the fact that even when he gets a bad decision on a cricket field, he occasionally shrugs his shoulders to show his disappointment and without making any fuss quietly walks away from the batting crease.

The little man, who isn't any taller than a school ruler has gone onto rule the cricketing world over the last couple of decades and has been a scourge for every bowler who has bowled to him. I am not sure that even Neville Cardus or Dileep Premachandran would do justice to a player, who has a career spanning over two decades and with so many glittering achievements to his name. As a cricket aficionado though, I would try my best to have a look at a cricketer, who seems to have been created by god just to play cricket.

Early years of Tendulkar

If a cricket fan tries to trace the early years of Tendulkar's career, he would find innumerable interesting stories about the great man. I have seen a few saying that to curb Tendulkar's mischief at home,  his elder brother forced him to spend sometime at the academy of the visionary coach Achrekar. He was also said to be a huge fan of John McEnroe and  wanted to be a tennis player, but as this is a cricket article let us just stick to cricket. Actually, after watching the Windies quickies consistently destroy the Indian batting line-ups, he also wanted to be a quick bowler, who can bounce the batsmen. Thankfully, the MRF pace academy coaches said to him that he can't bowl quick and should concentrate on his batting, otherwise he may have become a military medium pacer, who may not even have played fc cricket.

Tendulkar and one rupee coin 

The one story that I really found interesting was about Tendulkar and one rupee coin. At the academy of Achrekar, there were times when SRT is said to have got bored with toying the bowlers around and would give up his wicket. The coach didn't like it and decided to use the one rupee coin trick. So, as soon as he would see SRT lose his concentration, he would keep a one rupee coin on top of his stumps and would tempt every bowler to bowl as fast as he can  and whoever would smash SRT's stumps in that session would get that one rupee coin. At the same-time, if SRT was able to bat through the session without losing his stumps, he would get that one rupee coin, no wonder SRT has such amazing concentration prowess as a batsman. SRT even now thinks that 13 one rupee coins he won during his duel with the net bowlers are his most prized possessions.

Tendulkar and Kambli 


If anyone thinks about Tendulkar's childhood days, one more name that is frequently discussed is Kambli. Both SRT and Kambli were under the tutelage of  Achrekar and both were tipped to be the linchpins of Indian batting line-up in the future, though it is another story altogether that Kambli didn't show the discipline that SRT has shown throughout his career and flopped as a batsman. In-fact, Kambli and SRT shared a record partnership of 664 runs in a inter-school match and the story is, it could have been more, but both were cajoled and finally were forced to end that partnership as the coach wanted to declare the innings! I have even seen comments like their coach Achrekar tipped Kambli to do better than SRT,  but it wasn't to be.

Tendulkar makes his test debut

At the age of 13, when everyone would still be playing at school, Tendulkar was already said to be dominating bowling attacks in India's premier first class competition, the Ranji trophy which is hard to believe. Actually, the selectors were said to be thinking of introducing him to test cricket against the mighty West Indies team in 88, but thankfully, they decided against it, as after facing them many players of that era were left with a mental scar from which they never recovered and however good SRT may have been at that age, it was always a risk to introduce a callow boy into the test arena against the Calypso kings. It would have been like someone, who specialises in boxing in the bantamweight category and hasn't yet made his debut being forced to play against an experienced campaigner in the heavyweight division.

SRT finally made his debut against the formidable Pakistanis in 89.They had the likes of Akram, Imran and Qadir, though to be frank, both Khan and Qadir were perhaps coming to an end of their respective careers. Another fact to consider is, just like India, Pakistan would also introduce a very talented cricketer called Waqar Younis. As far as Tendulkar's selection is concerned, there is an interesting story about Indian selectors being not sure about him facing the formidable Pakistan team, but the senior selector and former Indian stumper Tamhane said " Gentlemen Tendulkar  never fails" and thanks to him SRT got picked.

In his first test itself, there was a battle royale as at one end, there was Younis bowling at the pace of wind and at the other end there was this 16 year old boy playing in his first test. Unfortunately, SRT was hit on his nose by  a scorcher from Younis and it is said that blood was seen everywhere near him, but the courageous boy endured the pain of a broken nose like a Trojan  and continued to play. I think this incident shows that he was destined for greatness and it also says he has always worn nationalism on his sleeve. I vaguely remember the former Indian opener Sidhu, who was batting at the other end saying that he was shocked to see him get up and continue to bat and after browsing the net I got this quote.

Sidhu  on Tendulkar,

“I saw the ball hit him on the nose and my immediate reaction was he has to be rushed to hospital. It was the end of it. I was about to rush to the other end when I saw Sachin raise his hand telling me to wait. In his squeaky voice, he said, Mein Khelega. He had blood all over his face but never once did he think of leaving the field"


Fans who saw that series perhaps would also remember him smashing Qadir all over the park in a one-day international. Yes, Qadir wasn't at his peak at that time yet, to smash a bowler of the calibre of Qadir showed glimpses of what he could do to bowlers in the years to come.

Tendulkar's first hundred

 Next up on the cards for SRT was a tour to the Kiwiland. Even experienced batsmen from the subcontinent tend to struggle in the Land of long white cloud, but not SRT as the tender age of 16, he got 88 at Napier which is no mean feat. In-fact, if he had scored a century at Napier, he would have become the youngest batsman to score a century. The much awaited century finally came when India toured England later that year. Yes, the pitches during that series was flat and in-fact it, looked  like the ECB had employed those who usually build roads to prepare pitches, as during that season, let it be in CC or in test cricket, every tom, dick and harry seemed to have enjoyed batting. The key point though was Tendulkar scored that hundred with India in trouble and at the age of just 17, he shepherd India to safety. For the next ten or so years, it would  become a hallmark of Tendulkar's batting as the Indian batsmen would flatter to deceive when playing away from home and only SRT would stand alone amidst the ruins.

Tendulkar's lightning knock on a lightning fast track

In the 90's, the Indian team were rightly given the tag of being home bullies as away from home, they weren't much better than Zimbabwe. The one shinning light in all those defeats away from home was Tendulkar as in-spite of his teammates not supporting him, he would keep coming up with great knocks.  One such knock was on that lightning fast track Perth. It looked like the familiar old story of yet another collapse on a bouncy track as India were tottering at 159 for 8, but SRT met fire with fire and scored 114 to take India to 272. No one else even scored a fifty  for India in that match. For those who say he doesn't have flair should watch  the highlights package of that knock as a player without flair won't be able to punch of the back-foot against quickies like McDermott or Hughes. He even lofted McDermott couple of times on the up through the covers and only a genius at work can do that. In that knock, he scored 114 of just 161 balls and he wasn't even 19 at that time. Yes, on expected lines, India lost that match and the series 4-0 as they neither had the bowlers and leaving SRT  the batsmen to bat on those bouncy tracks, but it was a warning signal to the men from down under that a batsman not taller than a school ruler would become a thorn in Australia's flesh in the years to come.

Tendulkar in the 96 world cup

For the next few years, Tendulkar would consistently score runs for India, but another modern great Lara would take all the plaudits for his record breaking effort at Antigua against England. Enter the 96 world cup played in the subcontinent and in front of home crowds SRT would play some magical knocks which would make even the great Don say that SRT bats like him. The innings that would be likely remembered will be his 90 at Mumbai as he played some glorious shots including lofting Glenn over the in-field. Pigeon could just shrug his shoulders as they were all perfectly pitched good length deliveries. It was the knock which made the great Don sit up and take notice of SRT. The tournament though, would end in disappointment for SRT as on a rank bad turner at Calcutta, SRT would get stumped after getting to a half century. Srilanka who had already made a score of over 250 knew that it was all about getting SRT out as once he would get out, there was no one in the Indian line-up who could score runs on a turning wicket and as soon as he got out, others fell like nine pins and India lost. I am sure it still hurts SRT that he couldn't finish the job on hand and couldn't take India to a WC victory, maybe he would be able to take India to a WC victory in the upcoming 2011 WC at home.

Tendulkar and captaincy

With India's loss in the semifinal of the 96 WC and the disappointing performance in England meant that it would be the right time for SRT  to take over the mantle of being the captain of the side. Naturally, a cricket mad nation would have expected him to do wonders by taking the team to greater heights, but if a captain has to lead a modest side, he can't do much and unfortunately, he didn't taste much success as the captain of the team.

Magic at Edgbaston and Capetown

a) Edgbaston

Amidst the ruins surrounding SRT as the captain of the side, he played couple of magical knocks at Edgbaston and Capetown. Both knocks came under pressure with not much support at the other end. If the knock at Perth was all about flair, this knock was about technical perfection under cloudy conditions. After gifting England a nice first innings lead, it looked like the familiar old story being repeated again as every Indian batsman looked at sixes and sevens on a pitch which was offering enough sideways movement for the bowlers to be interested. Enter SRT and it all changed as at his end, it seemed like a good batting track and at the other end, batsmen continued to struggle. I can't remember him playing many false shots in that innings and even when Lewis induced an edge of a lifter, SRT was able to guide it past the vacant third slip. Even if it was slightly wide of off stump, he would leave it and would play a cover drive only when he would get to the pitch of the ball. He rarely ever played across the line as well. SRT was the eighth man out and the next highest score in that innings was just 18! Finally, in-spite of it being a track which offered enough encouragement for the swing bowlers, he scored at S/R of over 60. In simple words,  he showed that one can score quickly without taking risks.

b) Capetown

Going into the second test at Capetown, there were huge question marks regarding India's batting line-up as the Indian batsmen flopped at Durban and even in the second test at Capetown, India found themselves yet again in all sorts of trouble as they were tottering at 59 for 5. SRT though, was still there and just like in the past, he came good when India found themselves in trouble. It suddenly seemed like Tendulkar's bat was saying- "hi Capies, we can also pull and cut, hi Capies, we can also play a cover-drive" It was no doubt a glorious exhibition of eye-catching stroke-play on a beautiful sunny afternoon. SRT didn't look like getting out on that day and only a stunner of a catch at deep mid-wicket by Bacher finally ended his innings.

Tendulkar's failure at Barbados

The one defeat which perhaps would perhaps hurt him the most was his failure at Barbados. India were chasing a lowish target of around 120, but were bowled out for just 80 runs. SRT failed and with his failure, rest of the batsmen capsized and India lost. The lesson to be learnt for the Indian team was, they can't depend on one man and others have to pull their weight as well. Anyway, it was a bitter pill for SRT to swallow as he was the captain of the side.

In-spite of his failure at Barbados, SRT was able to play a memorable knock on a dicey track in a onedayer at Trinidad. Yes, he scored only 44 runs in that match, but that was some of the best 44 runs I have seen and I am not drunk! The pitch had so many cracks that it seemed like earthquake had happened at Trinidad. I am sure if it was played now, it would have been called off as the match referee would have declared it as unplayable. West Indies had tall quickies like Amby, Walsh and Bishop and every Indian batsmen leaving SRT, were at sea against them. Tendulkar though, was able to judge the length and play his shots. Only a genius like SRT could have played a pull shot on that pitch. His knock was cruelly ended by a umpire, who seemed to be blind as the ball that he got out clearly came out of the batsman's shoulder. I tried to browse the net to find something that was related to that match, but other than five sentences about SRT's run a ball knock on Wisden, I couldn't find anything. Unfortunately, those were the days when the internet hadn't yet taken the world by storm.

Tendulkar resigns as the captain of the side

As the time went by,  India started to lose match after match under the captaincy of SRT and as expected, the pressure started mounting on SRT as he was the captain of the side. Now, it is hard to expect a captain to deliver the results if the strike bowler of the side Srinath is injured and the main spinner Kumble doesn't have a clue about bowling to left-handers. Yes, youngsers like Dravid and Ganguly had started to support Tendulkar as they were coming up with useful knocks, but the batting still depended too much on SRT. Of course, it can also be said that great players don't make great captains. He was said to be even booed by the Indian fans, when he captained for the last time in a tournament in Sarjah.

Tendlkar mauls Warne


With the burden of captaining the side no more affecting the great man, he was ready to take up the challenge of facing one of worlds best bowlers of all time Warne. It promised to be a fascinating duel between the blond leg spinner and a batsman with great concentration prowess and having all the shots in the book. Moreover, both were at their peak as Warne had just destroyed the Saffer batting line-up and even when he was the captain of the side, SRT was scoring tons of runs.

What made the duel more interesting was SRT in a bid to get ready for the challenge made former Indian leggie Sivramkrishnan to bowl from around the wicket on rough patches in the nets. It shows that here is a player, who was just born to play the game of cricket. In the first innings of the first test, Warne won the battle as in the first innings, the astute captain Taylor played the old trick of leaving the gap at cover open and himself standing at slips which in turn tempted SRT to go for the cover-drive, but could only get an edge which was easily taken by Taylor. Unfortunately for Warne though, it was a one-way traffic since that first innings success as SRT pummeled him into submission. Tendulkar's counter attacking of Warne on a wearing pitch in the second innings of that match with India behind was a treat watch. I haven't seen any batsman, who has been able to hit Warne out of the rough on a spinning track with him turning it miles, sometimes SRT didn't even come to the pitch of the ball, but he kept smashing him for fours and sixes. India won the test, but that didn't stop SRT from treating Warne like a club bowler in the few one-day tournaments that were played at that time. Smashing Warne all over the park seemed like his favourite past-time and after that series, Warne even said that he was getting nightmares of SRT belting him all over the park.

Tendulkar's second stint as the captain and the disastrous tour of Australia

In 99, the selectors decided to give SRT a second chance as the captain of the side. It was a mistake which the selectors would regret later. SRT never seemed comfortable as the captain of the side and the selectors should have looked at appointing someone else as the captain. It must be a co-incidence, but the key point to notice was, when Azhar captained the side, India used to play mainly at home, but poor SRT, as when he was the captain, India would be touring Australia or the Safferland.

So, under the captaincy of SRT, India embarked on a tough tour to Australia in 99/00. Australia were starting to look like the invincibles and India had an inexperienced side. On expected lines, it was a disastrous tour for the Indian team as India were whitewashed 3-0. SRT played a fine knock at Melbourne, when for the umpteenth time, he got zero support from the other end and Laxman at Sydney showed that he was a very very special player, but India didn't had much to cheer about during that tour. Even the great wall of India Dravid, struggled against the likes of McGrath. No wonder, Dravid rates McGrath as the best bowler he has faced. The only person who may have smiled was the board member Lele as he famously said that India would lose 3-0 before the tour!

The new age of  Indian cricket

As the world entered the new millennium, cricket was ravaged by match fixing controversies or more famously known as Cronje-gate. The match-fixing controversy didn't spare Indian cricket either as Azhar and Jadeja were banned by the Indian board. What made it worse was, for the second time around SRT resigned as the captain of the side. So, Indian cricket seemed to be at the crossroads, but as the time went by, there seemed to be a ray of hope for Indian cricket as under the able leadership of Ganguly, India looked like were becoming a tougher unit. A few players like Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag began to emerge out of the shadows of SRT and finally India were more than a one man army when playing away from home. In 2001, against the invincibles Australia, Laxman and Dravid showed to the cricketing world that India was no more a one army by coming up with an epic partnership to end Steve Waugh's dream of conquering the final frontier.

Tendulkar shines at the 2003 world cup 

After tasting success in England in 02, the next big assignment for the Indian team. Yes, India had a bad tour of the Kiwiland, when on pitches that seemed to be of the same colour as the ground, India struggled. One may have even thought that it was a place for the cattle to graze. The fact though was, even with those losses India were expected to do well at the WC as the conditions were different in South Africa.

India started the tournament on a bad note by losing to the all conquering Aussies, so the match against England became vital for both teams as the winner of that match looked certain of progressing to the next round. Going into the match, a lot was expected from the little master and just like a true champion, he delivered by scoring a quickfire fifty. Before the match, England's speedster Caddick made comments about SRT  having chinks against the short ball and the little master didn't take it lightly as the first bouncer Caddick bowled was dispatched for a six. It was a stunning hook shot as he picked the length so quickly and it looked like it was a shot in anger. SRT continued to be a scourge for all teams during that WC which included his marvellous knock against Pakistan, when he played some cheeky upper-cuts of Akthar. SRT though, would have been hurt by the loss in the final against Australia. India were chasing a mammoth total and in an attempt to look for quick runs SRT succumbed nevertheless, it was still a tournament in which SRT showed that he was still a force to reckon with.

Tendulkar and injuries

At the end of the 2003 WC, SRT had played cricket for over fourteen years and as expected, playing constant cricket was taking its toll on his body and for a period of time he was let down by injuries. None was worse than that tennis elbow which looked like would end SRT's glorious career. He seemed to be a pale shadow of the player he once was and recently in interviews even SRT said that he feared his career may have come to an end. One after another, critics joined the bandwagon of asking SRT to quit the game. Some of his harshest critics included his former teammate Manjrekar and former Australian captain Ian Chappell. The outgoing Greg Chappell too indicated that Tendulkar should retire from the game. When SRT scored a duck in the vital game against Lanka in the 07 WC, it even looked like the critics may have been right about Tendulkar's career coming to an premature end.

Tendulkar hits a purple patch


Now, Tendulkar isn't a champion for nothing and I am sure he would have taken all those criticisms to his heart and must have worked very hard to get back to from. He surely came-back with a bang as since the 2007 WC, he has been ultra consistent. In 2008/09, he was able to break Lara's world record as the highest run-getter in test cricket and this year, he has been in phenomenal touch as he has already got  couple of double hundreds. Yes, he may no more be the cavalier player that we saw in the 90's, but has become an great accumulator of runs. He doesn't play the pull shot too many times and I don't see him playing his signature shot, the  back-foot punch yet, continues to score runs for fun and the Aussies even now don't know how to get him out!  I surely think SRT is still hurt by that defeat in the semifinal in the 96 WC at home and would like to end his career with a world cup medal to his name. In simple words, I would just say  that no one, but it is up-to SRT to decide when he would end his career.

Tendulkar's technique

Mere mortals like me perhaps shouldn't talk about the technique of a genius, but I would like to say a few words about his technique.

Tendulkar's technique depends on economy of movement and great balance. His technique is sometimes described as a floating technique as he tends make that little shuffle just when the bowler is about to bowl and he responds intuitively.  He sometimes takes a leg-stump guard to force the bowler to bowl at his stumps and if they get their line wrong, he can easily flick it. It is a huge gamble and only a genius like SRT can make it work. The biggest factor to consider is, how still his head is and till the nth moment he watches the ball. I sometimes feel that he has the eyes of a hawk as if it is slightly short he easily sways away from the line. As he keeps his head still and his great balance means that he can be orthodox or unorthodox and if he wants to, can score runs front or even behind the wicket., in short 360 degrees.

Is there any weakness?

Since he started playing cricket, bowlers have tried every trick in the book, but even after playing 21 years of international cricket, he continues to score runs for fun. So, does that mean he has no weakness at all?

In my humble opinion, if there is any weakness in his game, it is when he plays a straight drive. It is one of his favourite shots, but occasionally, he can play that shot from the crease which can leave him vulnerable against a swing bowler early in his innings. Jimmy Anderson has got him out five times by bowling a fuller length and Hoggy too has dismissed him. Couple of examples I can remember include Anderson bowling full at Oval and SRT getting bowled as he didn't move his feet. Hoggy too got him out at Lord's by bowling a similar delivery. The fact though is, both those dismissals came early in his innings and once he gets in, more often than not he doesn't miss out when playing the straight drive.

Seam bowlers have looked to get him out by bowling a bouncer which tends to leave SRT.  McGrath got him out at Edgbaston in the 99 WC by bowling a superb bouncer, Flintoff did the same at Mohali in 05/06, I have seen Lewis troubling him with some decent bouncers and even Olonga is said to have got him out in a tournament in Sarjah.  SRT is no more than a school ruler, so however good he maybe, sometimes it can become difficult to play a lifter. The fact though is,  as Gavaskar once said, no one likes facing bouncers and every batsman has to look at ways to counter it. So, if a batsman gets out to a very good delivery once in a blue-moon it can't be called as a weakness.

Tendulkar's critics

In any field, one would see a plethora of people, who just seem to sit on a sofa and criticise people for the sake of  it. The same can be said about cricket, as I have seen so called experts criticising SRT which to me looks funny.

The first criticism is that he doesn't win games. Now, let us understand that it is a team game and one can't win a match without the support of others. The only way SRT could have won matches like at Perth, Capetown, Edgbaston, Wellington, Melbourne and many more was, if he had played at both ends. I seriously ask a question regarding what more can a batsman do then scoring runs and playing till the end of the innings like he did at Edgbaston, Perth, Capetown and Melbourne? He surely can't play at both ends and when he got support like at Headingley in 02 or at Madras in 08/09, India was able to win the match..

The counter argument that critics would say is, India had batsmen like Sidhu, Azhar and Manjrekar in the early and mid 90's. Now, Sidhu was a classic case of someone, who was a bully at home and was like a rabbit caught in headlights away from home. Even now, if someone takes up the name of Fraser, I am sure Sidhu would go underground! Azhar's record away from home too isn't anything to write home about. He scored heavily in England in 90, but as I said that was the year, when pitches in England were more like roads. Manjrekar was technically well equipped, but most of his success came before SRT made his debut. He had a wretched tour of Australia in 92 and was never the same again, especially after he was said to be paralysed by a deadly slower delivery by Hughes in that series in Australia lol.

It also helps to have a good bowling attack as in the end, bowlers win matches. In the 90's though, the Indian attack was modest and when bowlers can't take wickets, a batsman can't do more than just looking at  drawing the game like SRT did at Old Trafford in 90.

The critics of course would refer to matches like the WC final in 03, the match at Madras against Pakistan in 99 and the game against the Windies at Barbados in 97. Now, if they don't agree to facts like he was affected by back spasms against Pakistan and he had no other option, but to go for that pull shot of McGrath in the WC as India were chasing down a mammoth target,  I would just say that we are thinking of few matches in a career spanning 170 odd tests and God knows,  how many onedayers. So, can't he fail in any game?

Even if someone looks at the facts, it shows that SRT averages over 65 when India have won test matches and most of his one-day hundreds have resulted in victories. Yes, a small blemish can be, in the fourth innings he doesn't have a great average, but even that is improving as he scored a masterful hundred at Madras against England and scored couple of vital half centurions in recent times.

Finally, I would say that he isn't just a great cricketer, but a great ambassador for the game of cricket. As a cricket aficionado, I just hope that he ends his career on a real high.

7 comments:

Freehit said...

Gb,

Man,this article is really as long as his career.I couldn't find time to read it as of now.But I will do it soon.
Great job.(even before completely reading,I can say that,surely a lot of effort has gone into it.)

Cheers !!

kwowledge_eater said...

That was great read. You are truly Mad Cricket Fan. lol After seeing comparisons taunts by few morons over Internet talks/comments, I feel he should never retire from Cricket. It's like making runs are too easy. Forget about runs, I just ask critics to stand and field for 171 tests and 442 ODI, I want to see how many those great game analyzer critics can do that. I mean we are the real fans, why should we decide, what others have to say. I have seen you comment, what you have thought, I like that.

He tried his level best twice to win world cup for India. TWICE. And still people find way to tease him. I mean certain Critics try too hard to be "Unique", and end up making silly judgments. I am glad that Sachin fails sometimes, otherwise it would have been really boring to watch his career, and like him scoring runs alone and rest doesn't. That would be boring. Also, I should mention even though after this long career, even I can get him out if he makes mistake while playing. As we know that how fragile our sport is, and how hard is to be cricketer and score runs or take wickets.

greyblazer said...

Yeah the article is long and I even thought of not posting it as it is so long haha.

greyblazer said...

Especially on internet one can find fans on sites who just go to cricinfo stats guru and come up with meaningless stats. Occasionally when I try to argue with them it gives me headaches. Cricket isn't played on a piece of paper. It is always interesting when his own teammates like Manjrekar start saying crap maybe he is jealous that he didn't achieve much.

Shridhar Jaju said...

Brilliant post, GB! It was great to read! (Took quite a bit of time too)...

There is one interesting video that I have seen on Youtube where Harsha Bhogle speaks about Sachin Tendulkar at IIM-C. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-7jL7o8kYs

Note the point where Harsha Bhogle talks of how Sachin told his team to approach the target of 360 set by Australia in the finals of the 2003 World Cup.

A good job done, GB!

Sidthegnomenator said...

Long, but I'm with Shridhar - brilliant. The man is surely something, isn't he?

greyblazer said...

SJ,

Thank you, I would look at the link later.

Sid,

Anyone who makes his fc debut at 13, test debut at 16 and even after playing 21 years of test cricket still gets double hundreds is something! My gut feeling is if India wins the 2011 WC he may retire.