Sachin, redux

I know I said the previous post was my last on the topic for now — but this deserves marquee mention. Greatbong has a piece up on the achievement that sums up what Tendulkar has meant for so many of us for so long. And he does it with three delicate brush strokes:

The old Sachin radiated heat. The new Sachin gives light.

But he still remains the sun.

Perfect. And yet another example of what I keep talking about: the best cricket writing invariably comes not from the bylined ‘cricket correspondent’, for whom this is a profession, but from the fan for whom cricket is a passion.

24 thoughts on “Sachin, redux

  1. Here is something a close friend wrote on facebook, though some of you here might enjoy it too:

    It is the year, 2200 and a sense of gloom hangs heavily upon the entire planet. Nature is undergoing an upheaval, yet again. It feels like volcanic ash was everywhere, and yet never has it been quite as cold in Kenya. The landscape was covered with tiny ‘thermohuts’, dwelling units for the last 10 million people on earth. The thermohuts were lined up neatly and narrow walkways between them allowed people to walk from their hut to the ‘usambazaji mahali’, the food distribution center.

    Maansi stood anxiously, in front of her hut waiting for her husband and son to come back. It was well past noon and they were late for dinner. They couldn’t find a hut closer to the ‘usambazaji’, this one was 10 klicks away but was more spacious. Besides, the ‘Bill&Melinda’ people said that they were a younger family and that they could walk the distance.

    Ramesh and his son Sachin were walking back with the supplies. “One more klick and we are back home son…”, said Ramesh beaming with pride on how his 11-yr old had not uttered a single sigh through out the journey. He had insisted he come along to help.
    “Sachin, give me the bag, you look tired.”
    “It’s ok dad. I can walk longer…” Sachin said as he shuffled the bag to his other hand.

    Maansi had started cooking dinner as they entered the hut. As they huddled next to the fire to get warm, waiting for her to be done, Sachin turned around and said, “Dad, can you tell me again the story of the time when the first double century was made?”

    Ramesh was silent for a few seconds. He thought about it. He remembered how his grandfather had told his dad this story and how his father had told it to him. It was a long time ago and yet every time he thought about it, his pains vanished, his worries melted away. It didn’t matter that the sun set sooner the last 5 years, or that the ice cover was approaching. There were very few things that you could cling on to these days. This was one of them. When he told his father the name of his son, his father had given him the slightest nod of approval. Ramesh’s eyes lighted up as he began –
    “A long time ago –”
    “Feb 24th 2010”, Sachin interjected.
    “Yes, indeed.. at a place called Gwalior, the heavens descended on earth. The skies parted and beautiful heavenly creatures sat around the Capt. Roop Singh Stadium. It was the 46th over and 194 had been the previous highest score in the entire history of one-day cricket, and that day it changed…. ”

    Outside, the skies grew darker and the cold wind howled. The thermohuts glowed with warmth as humanity tenaciously held its ground and for as long as humans prevailed, so did the legend.

  2. It is a LOT of hard work, discipline etc…

    I don’t think Tendulkar, himself, ever said that he is the best. Nor Lara, Ponting or Bradman or (….) for that matter.

    It’s we who are talking about it.

    So why are people bashing Tendulkar instead of bashing those who are making Tendulkar the best. The A H’s don’t understand what they are talking? :-0

    None of us is perfect – Sehwag can throw his wicket when he is set and supposed to play a responsible innings; Tendulkar seems to play selfishly… BUT that’s what they are – they are human beings with emotions – they are doing the best to deal with so many things and trying best to contribute their own way.

    As long as they are not hijacking the game by an Azhar act to fix the match or putting their interest in front of winning the match for the country – it’s in the best interest if Tendulkar slowed down at 90 to get a 100 – that’s his psychology. Once he got a 100 he converted to another big score. Otherwise India might have made 340 and lost the match. It’s sometime better to be selfish when you look at the larger interest. Again J A’s fail to understand what they are talking because all they have done is talking in their whole life. When you go out to achieve something you won’t be talking anymore such nonsense.

    Let’s move on……..

    GOOD JOB INDIA – Congrats Sachin and hope a LOT of youngsters who after a overnight success forget what brings them success at first place learn from this person – he is right there in the dressing room – look at him, don’t need to go anywhere for inspirations or to know what-to-do.

  3. Tendulkar-bashers’ ultimate survival kit:

    You had to see this coming. The entire world going ga-ga over Tendulkar after he reaches another milestone. Not me, no sir. He can win every match single-handedly from here on, but I will remain strong in my resolve that he is just another record-making, self-centred, tax-free Ferrari-seeking celebrity. So I put together this survival kit for all nay-sayers to counter those Tendulkar Kool Aid-drinking maniacs. Just flash one of these ‘facts’ when you are confronted by one of them:

    – Two-hundred, shoo-hundred. Didn’t that girl score more than 200 long before he did?
    – Please, he took 9 balls to go from 191 to 200. What player with 20+ years of experience takes that long? And what’s with all the cramps? He’s only 36. Can’t he keep himself fit enough?
    – Answer this for me: If he were playing in a World Cup final at the WACA with Akram, Younis, Marshall, Steyn, McGrath and Ambrose bowling to him, if he was batting for the worst Indian team ever and if he had to score 250 runs in 150 balls to win the World Cup, would he have done it? How about if Ponting, Lara, Bradman, Richards, etc. were playing for the said opposition? Would he have gotten them all out and won the match for his team? Don’t think so, so stop talking about him being the greatest. I can come up with more such hypothetical situations where he would definitely fail and I can prove it conclusively.
    – Anyone can score 200 against a mediocre bowling attack consisting of Steyn, Morkel and company. The only reason no one else has done it because they don’t have his arrogance or hunger for attention.
    – I have a lot of canned statistics (Bradman has 99% test avg, Tendulkar was McGrath’s bunny and many such insightful ones) but I don’t want to waste my time.

    • Let’s have a debate on this dude… are my answers to your arguments:-

      1. He might be a record making batsman, but doesn’t that mean that the runs that he makes get added to the team’s total? Or is there a special rule for him where his runs are not added to team’s tally?
      2. Self-centered?That’s news!! He’s is the most down to earth and humble sporstperson that you may ever counter. No tantrums, nothing. He does what he knows best.
      3. Cut that Ferrari crap. It wasn’t his fault.
      4. Ms Edwards did it before Sachin, agreed. But we never said he’s the 1st person to make it. We said he’s the first man to do it. Simple.
      5. He took 9 balls because he was tired. Playing in the Gwalior heat for almost 3.5 hours is bound to get you. Anyway, Dhoni was blazing at the other end, so he didn’t have to blaze as well.
      6. No he won’t be able to win the match. But neither will Ponting or Lara. Because what you have asked is basically impractical. And that has been the bane of Sachin bashers like you. You seem to ask for moon when it comes to him. Yes, seemingly he’s not performed that well in big matches. But he’s been as consistent as you can ever think of and has set the levels which Ponting will die for.
      7. Steyn and Morkel mediocre? In the above point, you included Steyn as one of the quicks on WACA pitch. Foot in mouth, eh? SA team is a strong team. Admit it. The record did not come against B’desh or Zim.
      8. Bradman played all his 52 matches in Aus and Eng. But surely that cannot be held against him. It wasn’t his fault. Does that make him any less mortal? It doesn’t matter if Mcgrath had Sachin;s number most of the times. Whats imp to know is what was Sachin’s average in all those innings. If he scores a hundred at Melbourne and gets out to Mcgrath, well, I won’t complain.

    • Anil:

      Atleast one of the two following things are possible here-

      1. You have no frigging clue what cricket is or how it works.
      2. You are paid to write what you have written.

        • Thank you NB for your concern towards our knowledge of English(or lack of) but you need to understand that we are not writing for an English daily. Once you start writing on a passionate topic like Sachin, you are not worried about the typos or the grammar. The idea is to send the point across, which, i hope with your extreme understanding of English, was indeed sent to you.May be you need to develop a sense of compassion towards us lesser mortals.

          • My extreme understanding of English tells me that you are still incapable of understanding Anil’s humour. Just stick to commenting on Rediff.

            • Guys, guys, guys..i call it quits. I was here to express my views, not to have personal attacks on anyone. My sincere apologies to anyone whom I may have offended. If i couldn’t understand Anil’s humor, well, it was my mistake. But then i thought some of the comments here were a little condescending.hence my responses. Anyway, SRT still rocks and I wish he continues to do so for many more years. Cheers!!

  4. They interviewed Lata Mangeshkar over phone as SRT neared 200. She was watching it on TV, and recalled meeting him when he was 16. According to her, “he never speaks a bad word about anyone, always looks for the good in everything”.

    What Prem wrote about the covenant of SRT is absolutely true. 200* is a type of outlier innings that has eluded SRT. Couldn’t have happened to a better batsman or a better person. Slept happily that night!

  5. Prem, Yes, the words moved me.

    Though not as much as the opening piece of commentary on Cricinfo when SA came to bat. (Caps mine)

    “The South African openers are making their way out. The Indians have taken their positions. Gibbs will take strike. Praveen Kumar to bowl. Hashim Amla’s the other man. TENDULKAR’S AT SLIP. Off we go. What can we expect? ”

    Wow. After an inniing like that, what kind of passion makes you coe back to defend that total.

  6. Those are truly immortal words. “But he still remains the sun” … I don’t think I will ever forget those words.

  7. Yes I read greatbong after somebody had posted a comment in your last post.

    The last three sentences are amazing and accurate. He is a great writer just like you are.

  8. Thanks Prem. I did comment on GB’s post that these 3 lines would achieve some kind of blog-immortality. Its likely true that any time Sachin is talked about in the near or maybe even distant future all GB readers will remember this. I guess this must be a writer’s dream.


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