Up, up and away!

Crowd cheering for Sachin Tendulkar. Photo: K.R. Deepak   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Sachin. Unbelievable, mind-blowing, fantastic, out of this world... need more adjectives? Consult Webster.

What can be bigger than more than one billion people hoping and praying for one man to cross 22 yards? It is a funny game, this game called Cricket. Adjectives can't describe him. Five foot 5 inches tall, 36-years-old and already acclaimed as God by many of his colleagues. That's Sachin Tendulkar.

Towering over others

A ruckus in the Parliament, blasts in Pune, a fire accident in Bengaluru, the railway budget, yet one incident overshadows all this. Sachin Tendulkar doing what no man in the history of the sport has ever done before — scoring a double century in an ODI. There have been many greats in cricket — Sir Don Bradman, Sir Vivian Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Sir Richard Hadlee to name just a few — but this man stands above them all.

Now I know the man stands only at 5'5” for a reason. Shouldering the expectations of an entire nation for over two decades does weigh a man down!

Ravi Shastri rightly called him “Superman from India” when he reached his double century. It was indeed a superhuman effort from a man who, like wine, only gets better with age. Superman's weakness was Kryptonite, Sachin Tendulkar's weakness is his age. Life, after all, has its ups and downs. Likewise, fate hasn't spared this great man either. He has faced many obstacles: captaincy at a young age when the team was surrounded by many senior members who supposedly undermined his tenure. Not to mention the ball tampering incident.

Simply reading the statistics of his achievements boggles one's mind. Every aspiring young Indian would definitely call him a role model. Commitment, dedication, humility, the ability to understand oneself, to operate within his limitations, desire, greed (in a good way)… it seems as though we are jotting down postulates of a religion. If Cricket is religion, then Sachin is God.

So what's next for Sachin? A national award should be conferred upon him soon. Knighthood isn't far away and the next century is one match away. One wonders, what will happen after him? That leads us to the next question. When will he retire? One good guess says due to his insatiable hunger and appetite for the game he might well play into his 40s barring further injuries. Also one feels as a humble and a down to earth human being, the next year's showpiece event at the subcontinent, the World Cup could well be his last if India does get the Holy Grail.

Living legend

Every generation has its own heroes. This era in cricket history will glint with his achievements from his debut at Rawalpindi in 1989 to February 24, 2010, Gwalior. The consistency with which he is scoring runs these days is incredible. Records are meant to be broken but not Sachin's. They will always be etched in our memories.

For 20 years he has batted through pain (at Chepauk vs. Pakistan), through personal loss (vs. Kenya 1999 WC) and against nature's fury (in Sharjah vs. Aus). Such is the class, such is the genius of one man. Sach is Life. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Power card

Statistics means nothing to this man, who has given his all for Indian cricket.

But there is always an urge to measure the worth of a human being.

Stats are one way of fully comprehending his genius.

Over 600 games played, close to scoring 100 centuries in all forms of the game (T20 not considered).

442 One-day internationals

17,598 one-day international runs

46 One-day international hundreds

45.12 One-day international batting average

166 Test matches played

13,447 Test runs scored

47 Test hundreds

55.56 Test batting average

Don't forget he is a handy bowler too — medium pace, leg breaks, off breaks…you name it and he can bowl them.

Varun is a II Year B.Tech. IT student at SRM University.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 5:47:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Up-up-and-away/article16482176.ece

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