Sorry and Thank You, Sachin!

As I started to write this post, a billion hearts are counting each clock tick before the actual start of a test match that will be remembered for the iconic Sachin Tendulkar playing his 200th and his last international match of his glorious career.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar for me, is more than a human (perhaps a super-human and not GOD unlike many of us fans believe he is). No doubt his cricketing brain is something that we have to do a lot of research on, to understand how he could be on top most of the times tuning himself to counter opponents’ plans, what distinguishes him from other contemporary great cricketers is his way of handling criticism and deification!

Sachin Autograph

In my view, Sachin is the most criticised (rather scrutinized) cricketer of all time. If India lost when he got a hundred, people said he plays for records and not for winning matches for the team; if he gets out soon, people said he will not play in important matches. Every tom, dick and harry commented on his shot selection. He got bowled out thrice consecutively, we said his reflexes are slowing up. Journalists like Arnab Goswami nailed him in interviews like this asking when he would retire, as if it was their right to know everything going on his minds.

Who are we all and people like Arnab (apologies for taking specific names) in front of Sachin Tendulkar? Its his humility that accepted whatever we expressed although he knows we don’t fit to comment on him!

Sachin, “as you are all set to retire in the next 5 days (or less), for all the criticism and comments that we (mere mortals) have made on you, we all should feel sorry for you before we thank you! Otherwise we will remain the most disloyal cricket fans.

Thank you Sachin, for bearing the burden of more than a billion hopes on your shoulders each time you walked in to bat, thanks for all the entertainment you provided with bat and ball in all formats of the game, thanks for introducing the destructive batting in ODI cricket, thanks for showing us that getting 200 in an ODI is possible, thanks for all your monumental Test, ODI and T20 innings (I don’t have better vocabulary to describe them, so I am refraining from writing about them), thanks for showing us the true gentlemanly behavior on and off the field.

Finally, salutes to your skill, determination, commitment and integrity!

I am sure you will never be forgotten by the cricketing world for all your achievements and I am honored to have been born and grown up in ‘the era of Sachin Tendulkar in the world cricket’. I will proudly tell witnessing your greatness to my children, grandchildren and many generations to come, as long as I can! Finally I pray the almighty that you shall have a great last test match, allowing you to play freely without any burden unlike what you did for 24 years! Now, its time for you to relax and time for people like me to believe the hard fact that you will not be seen in action anymore after November 18!

Cheers!!!!”

Is IPL a clean world?

While I started to write this post, Rahul Dravid was speaking at a Press Conference in most bizarre situations he would have imagined himself to be in. “Face is the index of mind,” yes.. it read he is distressed! Not only Dravid, the news of 3 players who were arrested on charges of spot fixing came as a shocker for all the true cricket fans. It was not just this incident alone that prompted me to write this post, but I have been thinking for several days about the IPL and the contribution (or lack) of it to the cricket. This just came as a right time to plug it in a midst huge uproar in India and the cricket playing nations on the integrity of IPL.

IPL has made the fans loyal to their local clubs and rightly so, because of several reasons. But how good is it contributing to cricket? Are we seeing a clean world?

We have already seen the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, unarguably the right representatives of the gentleman game losing their cool, shouting and bragging. Its tough to imagine the greats who have always controlled their emotions on and off the fields behave such way. I believe there is some added pressure from the franchises apart from the pressure of billion hopes on them, that is leading them to this kind of surprising behavior.

We have seen the players sledging in the international cricket but not this kind of absurd behavior not only from the three I mentioned above but also from almost everyone. A wicket taken by a bowler, even after getting hammered for lots of runs by a batsman leads to a rather meaningless bragging by the former. Giving send offs to the batsmen has become the daily business of watching on the TV. I have never seen such kind of emotions running in the players at any level of cricket except for in IPL. What’s the reason for this? Is it because the players are feeling “belonged” to franchises more than they belong to country? Sad part of this story is that the very next year the same player may be playing with the guy who he has given a nice meaningless send off, thanks to the transfers and auctions.

And then came the Spot fixing which the ICC and other cricket boards have been insisting on to have a check on the proceedings of the IPL for many years. The credit of the good of IPL if any, will be happily taken by the BCCI while it runs away from these kind of issues very smartly. Where will the BCCI hide its face now after this shame on Indian cricket? IPL, since the time of initiation, has been surrounded by a monster called “dollars” which is the primary reason for the players to lose their track. Who would have expected Dravid to come to a press conference as a captain of a team that had players who betrayed the Cricket and its fans?!

I am not trying to say that IPL is useless. Yes, it is certainly useful and successful in getting the emotions out of the best gentlemen of cricket in the current arena. It is also successful in bringing the dark shades of Indian players and Indian cricket out. More importantly, it has succeeded in getting the international players understand the Indian conditions so that they play well in their bilateral and other series at international level.

Above all, IPL is a huge market which if handled by able administrators can lead to a wonderful world. Else, the current start of the dreadful scenario can eat away the roots of its parent, the Cricket!

Why shouldn’t Sachin retire?

Hello,

Most often than not, we feel that we know more than what the professionals in a particular field know. And in India, particularly in Cricket, we tend to dictate the terms for the players as if they are enjoying their sport at our mercy.

As always, one of the hot topics these days has been Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from international cricket. Each of us has a vision for his career and unfortunately we miss to believe he has one too for himself! I am not going to support/criticize anyone in this regard but would like to be one among all of us who has a vision for his career and trying to portray it.

Should Sachin retire immediately?

Yes? No? Yes, we are in a position that we can’t stand on a particular side of the coin. We still want to see the awesome straight drives, magnificent punches off the back foot, gentle paddle sweeps and what not!

Yes, we all admit that his dip in form is hurting, we were in more agony after every time he got bowled OUT. Sure, he too is and that’s what we saw in Bengaluru test after he got out, which is surely not a good sign. But I have more reasons why he shouldn’t retire immediately than I have for the other side of the coin.

  1. We have 3 youngsters in the team who are still not very equipped to play in the international test level and we need someone who can guide them to settle down.
  2. A famous saying… “Form is temporary, but class is permanent!” Why can’t we enjoy his class for few more months?
  3. He is not playing that bad either, considering the others (including the captain himself) in the team. Then why just target him and increase the amount of pressure on his shoulders which is already huge?
  4. In the past 1 year which we term as the lean phase of his career, he showed flashes of brilliance although he couldn’t convert them into big scores. His second innings in Edgbaston, the Oval, first innings in Melbourne, Sydney, flashy 50 odd against Pakistan in Asia Cup…
  5. We need an experienced campaigner like him, particularly in the absence of Dravid and Laxman, the next time we tour abroad.
  6. And what’s wrong if a newly born child gets a chance to see his straight drive and say “Wah!”

… many reasons that he should stay. Let’s pray God that he gets back his lost form soon and get some runs against England which will boost his confidence so that he can continue long.

I am pretty sure he would give his hands up when he feels he can’t play anymore. But let’s hope it gets delayed as much as possible for the good of Indian team!

Sachin Tendulkar.. A match winner? or pure entertainer? or both?

Hi folks,

We are in the stage where just 3 World Cup matches are left, each of them is a virtual final for the teams. The World Cup 2011 has drawn attention of many because of many on-field and off-field reasons, one of them primarily being the notion (hope, for few?) that this is the LAST World Cup for batting maestro, a.k.a. Sachin Tendulkar, popularly called as GOD by many of his fans. Of course, the encounters like India-Australia and India-Pakistan, to name a few, have added much spice to the World Cup.

Let me just stick to my topic in this post, my feeling on whether Sachin is a match winner or a pure entertainer or both.

Considering the most easiest of those, let’s see if he is a pure entertainer. I don’t think anyone needs an explanation on this argument that he is the most successful entertainer of all Cricketers. The chant “Sachin…Sachin” when he plays in India and abroad speaks about it. It may be primarily because he virtually chases (for many, he plays for records!) all the records in the record book by playing all the shots in the cricket book (for many, he is a cricket book!), like the way they have to be played (unlike the likes of helicopter or aircraft shots 😛 ). More than anything, he plays under the pressure of a billion hopes that he scores a century each time he comes to bat. In that sense, because he didn’t/couldn’t satisfy them each time, he might be considered a pure entertainer whenever he played a big innings and a heart-breaker for many whenever he failed! However, more often than not, he is always a pure entertainer.

Coming to the toughest debate whether he is a match winner, many start being very critical with his play when team loses. I agree, he didn’t win many matches single-handedly and I also would like to hint people that cricket isn’t/can’t be a one-man show all the times. Keeping aside the matches India lost badly when he hadn’t performed (many say he plays for some record and gets out after reaching it!), there have been many instances when he did almost everything what he could, but team lost because of other 10 members not performing well. In that case, it’s very unfair on the part of critics that he can’t win matches and he is NOT a match winner. But a match winner is the one who wins the heart of people whenever he comes on to the ground, who gives more often than not his 100%, who mentors his team-mates and help them play better and who always plays the game in a different level. In that sense he is a genuine match winner.

Now, let me try to put the same with the help of records and myths people have about Sachin not being a match winner.

  1. “Whenever he scores a century, India loses”. Absolutely a myth it is! Out of his 48 ODI centuries, India won JUST 33 times and we expect him to win single-handedly all the games, which is not possible in cricket.
  2. “He is not as good a match-winner as compared to the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj and Dhoni”. A myth which seems to have supportive records but once a thorough understanding is got, everyone agrees that it is a myth too! Coming to Sehwag, I hardly find many ODIs when he played to his potential. Yuvraj is in my view the 2nd biggest match winner in current Indian team after Sachin. Few people tend to argue that he is a good match winner based on the number of times he scored a 50 and India won. One has to note that he is a middle-order batsman. Whenever a decent start is provided by the openers, it becomes easy for middle-order to try and play till the end (as he played against Australia in Quarter Finals of World Cup 2011). I’m not undermining his or any middle-order batsman’s efforts anyways. I have due respect for them. And, finally people start talking about Dhoni, I feel there is no need to include him in the list of the best match winners for India.
  3. “He only plays for records, not for team”. Absolutely not! He plays for team, in the process of which, he gets to records. Please find the number of times he got out in 45-49 and 90-99. If he were to play for records he should have gone to a century of centuries many years earlier!

I don’t want to expand this post much longer and letting you get bored, but my strong opinion is that he is the best match-winner for India, day and night playing under the pressure of a billion hopes for more than 2 decades.

So, the third option that I had in the topic is deduced and he is not only a genuine match-winner but a pure entertainer!

That’s all folks, I didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings and I hope you also share some interesting facts with me. Any comments are always welcome.

A Player born to Excel!!!

Hi everyone,

Just got out of the awesome mood after my favorite player, in fact everyone’s, Sachin Tendulkar scored a massive 200* in an ODI for the first time. Truly unbelievable, unforettable, unconquerable and many words, which I’m not presently getting into my thoughts, define that Innings!

Awesome off drives, gorgeous inside-out hits, charismatic leg glance and what not! That innings contained everything!

I cannot comment any more but express my hearty thanks to Sachin for demonstrating the meanings of “A Player born to Excel” and ” An Innings of a Lifetime” at Gwalior today.

Many players come and go. Only few players of his kind play long and long and prolong their career with awe-inspiring performances. This record is certainly one of his best. There can be many players in the future who can score more than double hundreds in ODIs but Sachin will certainly remain as the person who showed everyone that it is also gettable.

Finally, I’m proud of being a fan of Sachin and I wish he scores more and more, plays for long long time and satisfies the greatest dream of every fan of Indian cricket, “Winning a World Cup” in 2011 in India.

20 Glorious Years!!!

Hi everyone,
Let’s all be happy and celebrate the historic moment of Indian Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar’s 20th Birthday in International Cricket!!!
20 years of Cricket, fighting with various injuries and pressure of the hopes of 1 billion fans, is magical; absolutely possible only to Tendulkar.
Tendulkar’s words, “My name is Sachin Tendulkar and I play for India” are truly awe-inspiring in the hearts of many Indians and we all feel privileged to watch him in action for so many years with such passion, commitment and determination.
I wish and let’s all wish him many more years of Glorious Cricket and win World Cup 2011 for India.
All the Best, Sachin!!! Thumbs Up

An Innings of a Lifetime!!!

Hello everyone,
I finally found some time to share my thoughts through my blog, eventually its about Cricket and what others??!!
I’m one of the greatest fans of Sachin Tendulkar, the God of Cricket and am sure, no one can deny this after talking to me in person! The knock of Tendulkar on 5th November, 2009 was an awesome one and simply one of this best. To be frank, now-a-days I rarely watched him playing live, the knock which I could see after 16th May, 2009 brought in me enormous amount of Happiness which I cannot convert into words. I have always been worrying a lot for not being able to watch his game live because of keeping myselves busy with some other important works.
The match on November, 5th was at Hyderabad, my city; I even got a chance to watch the match by sitting in the excellent Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, but could not utilize it because I was busy; I feel a lot for not attending the match, now!
Coming to the match, I can say it was simply mind-blowing and heart-breaking! I used two paradox words because it was mind-blowing while Sachin was playing and it was heart-breaking when he was out and subsequently everyone followed him! 😦
Can anyone who has seen that knock of Tendulkar and who doesn’t know him, agree to the statement that “He is 36 and half Years old, he cannot play as he was, he is going to retire in less than 2 Years,…..”?! I’m sure no one could agree with that.
In my little sense of English, I can describe the innings of Tendulkar as a mixture of “Awesome Cover Drives, Excellent Glance, Gorgeous on-drives, terrific hooks, above all, fantabulous straight drives!” The innings stands as one of the best innings of the ODIs.
Should someone supported him while playing, the result could have turned the other way round. It should have been a day to be written in Gold, in the History of Indian Cricket, chasing 351. Tendulkar, the gold mine for Indian Cricket tried to make it possible, but unfortunately, at the end of the day, he did not receive support from the other end and thus cost us the game. Yet, no one can forget the Tendulkar’s knock but they can happily forget loosing the match.
Tendulkar has the highest number of runs than anyone in ODIs as well as Tests, highest 100s, highest 50s, most number of runs in world cups, and what not! Someone was holding a banner in the match when he scored 17000, that banner was comparing the Gold Rates to his ODI runs and hence his value…. What more does he need?
I hereby would like to make it clear to all who are reading this blog, not to criticise Sachin anymore when he fails. It is part and parcel of the game to fail in an odd match, but we should respect his dignity and the honour he brought to his team and his country and ultimately everyone of us. Hope Tendulkar plays for years together with same energy and let’s all wish him to be fit and win the 2011 World Cup for India.
Thank you for going through my blog, any comments are always welcome.