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Updated: April 2, 2011 03:52 IST

You just cannot stop the little master!

Vijay Lokapally
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NEVER ENOUGH: Sachin Tendulkar, seen here after a practice session on Saturday, plays with an amazing passion to improve, innovate and dominate. Photo: K.R. Deepak
The Hindu
NEVER ENOUGH: Sachin Tendulkar, seen here after a practice session on Saturday, plays with an amazing passion to improve, innovate and dominate. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Past players have silently admired Tendulkar's amazing passion to keep improving

You just can't stop him from playing cricket. Twenty-one years into the profession, no one, not even in private, discusses any retirement possibilities for this senior statesman of world cricket.

“Leave it to him,” said Sunil Gavaskar once. “It should be his decision,” insisted the wily Wasim Akram.

True, Sachin Tendulkar would not waste a moment in taking the big decision when the time comes. “The thought (of retirement) has not occurred to me even once,” the batting guru told this correspondent last year. Bad news for bowlers!

Bowlers, without exception, continue to shiver when confronted with the challenge of snaring, or, to speak strictly, containing him. His attitude reflects his mindset. It says, “Born to rule.”

Classic

No batsman played Akram with assurance. Tendulkar did. Few batsmen could clobber Shane Warne. Tendulkar did. Their rivalry on the field lifted the game a few notches, the bowler plotting and the batsman thinking, each anticipating the other's next move.

It was classic cricket in the middle. Some of it was recreated in his duel with Dale Steyn recently in South Africa.

We have watched Tendulkar evolve as a batsman. His eyes rarely wander when the bowler begins his run.

With a steady head, he keeps the body as close to the ball as possible. And the bat is unerringly straight. He brings an aesthetic balance to his stance, so calm, so assured, so classic.

Many past cricketers, some of them greats, have silently admired his amazing passion to keep improving, innovating and dominating.

As Kapil Dev once remarked, he is “an institution.” The cricket world continues to marvel at the little master's monumental contribution towards not just serving but enhancing the game too. His dependability and desire to excel are infectious.

Continues to grow

His work, really, is a process that has grown with time. And it continues to grow. Like a young student, he celebrates a victory wildly. When the team loses, Tendulkar mourns, too, quietly.

Tendulkar hates losing. For confirmation, check with Navjot Singh Sidhu. It had rained the entire day in Kandy (in 1993) and the team had retired to the serene confines of the hotel.

A knock on the door woke Sidhu up. “Chal TT khelte hain (let's play table tennis),” was the tempting invitation from Tendulkar. He was armed with two rackets. Sidhu was game.

Tendulkar, who prided in his table tennis skills, was soundly beaten. The session was over in quick time. Sidhu wore a smile.

The next day Tendulkar knocked again. “Chal, TT khelte hain.” The result was the same.

And then Sidhu got a three-day breather. Our man was practising furiously. One more request followed. Tendulkar won that day and Sidhu never received another “Chal TT khelte hain” invitation again.

Childish streak

This childish streak to win, and only win, continues to motivate Tendulkar even today. He is not a bad loser, for he never fails to appreciate the opponent. He is known to respect a good performance, even if it comes from the junior-most member of his team.

Rising benchmarks

His enthusiasm and camaraderie is best seen in the intensity with which he takes his partner's runs. His benchmarks keep rising in number and scale.

One remembers a rainy afternoon at Hobart. “The ground is flooded. How will you play cricket now?” I asked.

“You have indoor nets,” he pointed to a hall.

“But what if the indoor school is flooded too?” His mischievous smile summed it up. “Then I will play book cricket.”

You really can't stop him from playing cricket!

More In: Cricket | Sport

SACHIN will soon retire from ODI.No prompting needed.Sachin will go now with his dream realised.

from:  Jayendran
Posted on: Apr 3, 2011 at 12:11 IST

Sachin Tendulkar is a legend. Such a cricketer has never existed before. And will never exist again. His gratitude to his dad after every performance is unique and has rewarded him more than any other player in any game. He can never be compared with anyone else. May God bless him with a long life.

from:  P.K.Viswanath
Posted on: Apr 3, 2011 at 05:18 IST

India has been fortunate to be blessed with brilliant people in different fields, be it Srinivasa Ramanujan in Math, Swami Vivekananda in spirituality and the musical maestro Ilayaraja.

In the sports arena, we have probably only one name that comes up now and will continue to be the only one , God knows, for how many generations to come, and that is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
Dhoni brings power to his play but aptness to his description of the qualities of people, and he has rightly said, in fact, hit the nail on the head, when he said that 'Tendulkar was made by God to play cricket'. Nothing more can explain the greatness of Sachin than this pithy sentence.
To me,what is so remarkable about this man, is that he is so very humble about his achievements ,in this age of loud mouth, breast beating after achieving even moderate things, that it makes every one of us think likewise about our own limited achievements in our sphere of activity.
I pray God to give him all that is best in life and to me in the short-term , the least, we as Indians could give him back is the awarding of 'Bharat Ratna'. Needless to say, it is the title that will be honoured by associating itself with this 'demi-god' of cricket.

from:  K.S.Ranganathan
Posted on: Apr 3, 2011 at 05:00 IST

This article is more like stating the obvious and lacks the more important critical aspect, that is succession, related to Indian Cricket. Sachin Tendulkar is already 37 and it is but natural we need to find younger players who are powerhouses to replace him soon. It is impossible Sachin Tendulkar can be eternally playing for a nation. Virendra Sehwag, Yuvaraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Goutam Ganbhir are all match winners in their own right. They have torn the best bowling in the world apart. It is not only Tendulkar who has done like this. Also it is important that we bring out other brilliant young players of India to the fore from the shadow of Tendulkar. Therefore a tiring Tendulkar should soon be replaced and he should show magnanimity by leaving his place to younger players. We have seen quite a bit of Tendulkar. It is necessary we have to see newer faces who can occupy the cetnre stage for sometime for the sake of Indian Cricket. In fact in this World Cup Yuvaraj Singh has shown phenomenal capability and has been a match winner. His natural game is a treat to watch. We should bring in more people like this. Gavaskar is not correct in saying that we should leave it to Tendulkar. No. We should decide. We should have the courage to bid good bye to Tendulkar for his sake and India's sake.

from:  Gowrishankar
Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 at 13:03 IST

Sachin Tendulkar as rightly pointed out has served the game meticulously. But the most striking fact about him is that his contribution to the nation or the world perhaps is as great as his contribution to cricket. He is a worthy role model for any aspiring individual dreaming to make it big not just in sport but in any stage of life. When all the world around him is corrupt, he shows us the path of righteousness.

from:  Vishnu
Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 at 07:51 IST

He is a phenomenal character and amazing personality. He is a role model to every young indian, what ever may be their career path. Unless impeccable dedication and immaculate commitment are put together, one cannot reach such a pinnacle in career and personal life. He is simply matchless and good to recollect his moments on the eve of final match. If india wins, it befits his entire contribution to our country, even if we dont win, it doesnot matter, he will be remembered as a legend.

from:  Kiran Maddu
Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 at 06:46 IST

I want to cry reading this and show this to all who want to excel in any field.

from:  Balaji Pitchaimani
Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 at 05:51 IST

Hope Tendulkar gets his wish to lift WC 2011. That will be the icing on his cricketing career. But I am sure he will play few more years at least for India.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 at 00:51 IST
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