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Monday, November 18, 2013

Farewell Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar retired today from all formats of cricket matches today. Many has paid homage to this legend and much has been already said about his retirement and figures. I will add few words. I don't call him God but sure rank him as one of the best auteur of the game. I assume him as the last gentleman of the cricketing era giving place to aggressive new India. Sachin was raised in tradition of Mumbai batsmanship, aggressive in strokes yet solid and calm in defense. He took it to greatness with his action and achievements.

Rahul Dravid, Robin Singh, Hansie Cronje and Heath Streak are my favorite cricketers. I like Sachin but never loved him. Yet, he was always there as a symbol of hope. During 1990, if Tendulkar failed, TV sets were closed considering all was lost for India. In those days, Indians rarely have something that can be termed as world class. Sunil Gavaskar has given us inspiration that one can be second-to-none with sheer will and hard work. Gavaskar was combination of rock solid guts, the classic technique and full commitment to stand up to such hostile fast bowling of his era. Kapil Dev was similarly inspiring because fast bowlers were non existing species in Indian cricket history. Kapil was generating sufficient swing, bounce, accuracy and work horse like stamina on the dead pitches with athletic fielding capabilities. I always saw Sachin as a combination of both of these stalwarts : First Among Equals at world level amid figures like Brian Lara, Steve Waugh, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, and Jacques Kallis.

Qualities like Longevity, Dedication, Perseverance, Focus, Ambition and Humility are part of his status. He has even attracted admiration from the players of other country for his composure and behaviour on & off the field. But why I admire him, for his Integrity. All games is safeguarded by their popularity. Whole nation was in the state of shock due to match fixing scandals in 1999. Yet, Sachin's honesty and integrity healed fans and they gave moral support again to Indian cricket team. Indian media has bipolar disorder who either give people as god-like status in good times, while every weakness is dissected in loss. Hence, a career with traces of controversy is an extraordinary achievements. Even without evidence, minor allegation against him like ball tampering in SA 2001 and Monkey gate in Australia tour are insignificant. That career record makes one wonder about miracle named Sachin.

I was kid in early phase of his career and hence not seen great innings of Sachin against fast pitches against England, Australia and Pakistan. This one is hailed as mark of new era in world cricket.

I saw him first delivering match winning last over in Hero Cup semifinal.

I saw him destroying pace attack in foreign condition at South Africa.

I always remember his back to back explosive innings at Sharjah amid sand storms.

I was glued to radio commentary for Chennai Test of 1999 against Pakistan. I was heart broken when chasing 271, Sachin had made 136 with severe back pain & batting with grim resolve in losing cause.

Sachin's batting against Pakistan at Centurion in 2003 world cup match is unforgettable.

I rate heroic 175 against Australia in Hyderabad as an example of lone man fighting a battle.

That double century of Sachin against South Africa was so perfect example of building inning with speed and calculative risks.

Even ad featuring Sachin are now memories of past.

This was one my favorite.

A part of his success goes to the his family, friends , players and his coach. His cricketing records will be broken. Thanks Sachin for so many good memories. Profile of Sachin on Cricinfo.

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