The god of large things

I intended, once the personal rush had subsided, to come back here and do a piece on thoughts during, and in the wake of, Sachin Tendulkar’s solo show yesterday.

I ended up having to write a full-fledged piece for India Abroad, the paper I help edit and produce, and for Rediff.com [text version here].

Read also, a Dileep Premachandran piece that predates that knock; this one appeared in Mint yesterday morning.

Perhaps we in India can’t really fathom the full extent of the adoration and expectation that he has had to deal with in that time. Matthew Hayden, another batting colossus of our age, gave voice to what many outsiders feel when he wrote: “His life seems to be a stillness in a frantic world and I admire his mental strength. When Tendulkar goes out to bat, it’s beyond chaos—it is a frantic appeal by a nation to one man.”

Over and, for the week, out — will be back here Monday, and for Sunday’s game, occasionally on Twitter.

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34 thoughts on “The god of large things

  1. Its only now I caught up with all spicy comments on the God of Small Things post.

    All good tales have an ending, lets hope the ‘God’ has a happy ending as well.

    Sachin to majority of Indians was a God-send to a population who dint have the self-belief that we could take on the world in our own terms. That he could single handedly change the course of a match by either a superlative display of batting was a re-assuring feel to us that we can overcome and reach the top in whatever we do. Hence when he succeeded, we did and when he failed – more than India failing, it was ‘I’ failed- we couldnt stand it.

    And when Prem- you write like that…many of us would feel hurt as it is not just about Sachin its about’me’.

    Hence the angst.

    Alltogether – a fine post from you Prem, written not for the gallery – but from the heart.

  2. Pingback: Sachin redux « Smoke Signals

  3. And a last comment to Prem- I dont know if you had watched the full innings or not. There were overs when Sachin and Raina were batting- those overs where Sachin faced four-five dot balls continuously. Thank God he had already passed 100. Otherwise, you would have got another stick to punish him for being “selfish”. And when I think of it- yeah, he might have been selfish- may be he knew India will lose the match anyway, and he just wanted to improve his average. Yeah, right…!!!!!! Prem, don’t you think so?

  4. I hope that Prem would remove his “selfishness theory” glasses and look at things in a different way. Even after having so many talented dashing batsmen in the team, the safest bet India has to build an innings still revolves around Sachin. Of course, Dhoni is there- but he prefers to bat lower down-which makes some sense also. Gauti has been terrific last year, but I am not sure about his current form (The way he got out in the last match almost confirmed it- playing across over a wrong line and getting bowled- that usually does not happen to people in good touch, especially in case of a touch player like Gauti). More than anything else, there is one thing Prem should have seen- Sachin is a guy who can score at a strike rate of around 80 without taking any undue risks. I do not think that India has that utility and flexibility from Sachin if he tries to bat in any other way. And I think Sachin also thinks that way because he bats that way. And I believe Dhoni also thinks that way because he permits it. Why Prem doesnt think that way? Not because he is too naive to undestand that. It is because he is blinded by his “selfishness theory”.

  5. Guys, dont waste your time replying to this prick! His views change after every match.Consistency,man,Consistency! you can find it only in Sachin’s batting.

    Sachin is God! 🙂

    • Prem is an excellent writer and more often than not makes sense when he writes about anything! Don’t use foul mouthed language, just because you don’t agree with him. He has been one writer who understands the nuances of the game.

      • Vijay, there is no doubt Prem understands the nuances of the game. That is not the allegation here. He has tried to unnecessarily defame a great innings with a twist, which wasn’t there- that shows a deliberate irresponsibility from his part. Why do you want to blame somebody without a reason? Why can’t he consider Sachin just as another Cricketer- who can fail or struggle at times? Why does he think that he is somebody who can pull out Magic any time he wants? It is actually Prem who wants Sachin to perform like a God- do whatever whenever he wants. I, and most majority of his fans, understand he cannot do anything with a bat whenever he wants. By suggesting that Sachin can do it, and blaming Sachin for not doing it and keeping a ironical pomp that I think he is a “questionable God”, Prem commits a criminal error in judgement- which needs to be lambasted.

        I have a question to Prem- pick out the inningses where Sachin blasted the bowlers from the word go. I mean within the first 2-3 overs of the match. I can pick very few- Centurion innings against Pakistan is one. I vaguely remember he took on McGrath in an ICC champions trophy- but not sure if it was too early in the innings. Then, probably that 124 against zimbabwe in Sharjah in 1998. Anyway, you take consider inningses where Sachin scored rapidly. I will bet you 95% of those matches, he would have opened up only after 5 overs or so. He has been around for 20 goddamn years, and everybody knows what kind of batsman he is- he wants to set his eyes before doing anything( and as far as I know, it is his philosophy of batting, and may be life itself). To compound that, when he has a guy like Sehwag at the other end- what on earth does Prem expect Sachin to do in the first few overs? Converting that small aspect of innings building into “sacrifying the team objective in front of personal ambition” is nothing but criminal journalism, worse than yellow papers.

      • Its not just one innings, JII. Just because you expect sachin to hit a century everytime, his other performances does not go uncounted. His 40 was the top score in one innings. If that is not noteable, then what is? Similarly, there is another 30+ which is not good, but not so bad either, especially compared to the series average of Sehwag, Yuvi, Gambhir and Raina.

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