The adulation and love for a deity stems from staunch spirituality and an essential belief in the goodness of the all-pervading force. Essentially, this undaunted belief is what makes such love pious and so different from any form of platonic love towards a mortal being. In the annals of world cricket, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is like efficacious demigod. Every time he graced the field sporting Indian colours, he was a mere mortal supercharged by the streak of immortality. The legacy left behind by the master has had such a stronghold on Indian audiences that every time India plays a game the reverberation of the immortal phrase “Sachin Sachin” can still be heard.
Happy Birthday Master.
Sachin Tendulkar not only played for more than twenty years, but also left behind indelible impressions in the minds of his disciples and epitomised the fact that you can be good at something and enjoy it to the fullest. The panache with which he played the straight drive was a mere prelude to the gentleman like acceptance of umpiring howlers. He brought along with him a childlike craziness to get out on the field and it won’t be an exaggeration to say that he didn’t only score runs; he controlled the emotions of a huge country with his blade.
Let’s look at some of his less celebrated innings which were played under severe circumstances.
Chasing a stiff target of 271 against a spiteful Pakistani bowling attack comprising the likes of Wasim, Waqar and a young Saqlain, India found themselves in a spot of bother as they lost their first five wickets for 82 runs. What ensued next was a battle against excruciating pain and incisive bowling.Sachin Tendulkar had been suffering from back spasms and by the time he got out for 136, he had laid out a spiritual knock played under the most severe condition. As was the norm in those times,Tendulkar’s dismisaal triggered a dramatic collapse and India snatched defeat after being on the cusp of victory. It was Tendulkar’s greatness that he blamed himself for not carrying India to victory rather than questioning the dubious cricket played by the others.
Scoring a ton against one of the minnows of International cricket surely cannot feature in the list of best innings played by Sachin Tendulkar. But, it actually cuts a difference case when the innings is played just a few days after one has lost his father. The visual of an emotional Tendulkar looking skywards after scoring a hundred still gives goose bumps to the game’s elite fans. Battling against personal woes, Tendulkar mustered all strength and batted with a benumbed mind to score 140 emotional runs against Kenya in the 1999 World Cup.
The glitz of T20 Cricket has given us many household names who have made a reputation for themselves as superstars. But, don’t we still miss that diminutive individual who scored runs, gave his best for his country and quietly walked into the sunset against West Indies at Mumbai after representing his country in 200 Tests?
We don’t need to answer that.