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Sep 05

Let the master create some magic

The pic says it all, doesn’t it?

As soon as Sachin missed that straight delivery in Bangalore and got bowled, I saw many comments, status updates and what not, covering the whole of social media. Everything was coming down to one single point. The old man should retire now. Comments like- “if you are unable to play straight deliveries, you need to hang your boots soon”, were commonly read on the net.  Does the master blaster deserve exaggerated judgments every time he makes mistakes?

The genius showed his character in his very first test series after being hit by a bouncer from the lethal Waqar Younis. He was bleeding profusely and as Navjot Singh Sidhu described (the non striker at the time of the incident) he heard only this from the kid- “main khelega- main khelega”.  He went on to score a half century in that innings but more importantly the magician showed what he is made up of. There has been no looking back since. Whether it was the 1996 world cup or the 2011 World cup, he has been the backbone of Team India. I still remember the 143-134 innings against Australia in Sharjah. I was 9 year old then and had just developed passion for cricket. Those 2 innings were enough for a 9 year old to believe that this man is something different and not just any other cricketer. It was the 2003/04 series in Australia when this belief got cemented. The later part of the year 2003 was low on runs for Sachin; critics had started pointing fingers; people started talking about the form and the aura, that they believed was getting diminished after every test match. Tendulkar answered everyone in the best possible way. A 241 not out at the SCG against the then best team in the world Australia. It was a flawless innings that saw almost no off drives, the reason being his dismissals in the preceding innings due to the very same shot selection. For a batsman of his caliber, resisting this shot on the full length deliveries testifies his mettle.

Ever since I got to know about this run producing machine, I have thought about the monumental pressure he faces every moment that he walks down to the center. Calling him GOD does not deny the fact that he too is made up of bones and blood. He will feel the pressure; he will feel the responsibility of fulfilling the expectations of millions. Even after all this, people always say that he made just 4 runs in that 2003 World cup final. People always say that India loses when he scores a century. Many a times have I heard the comment – “yaar jab chalna chahiye tab nahi chalta” (Whenever it is needed, he doesn’t score). I think the other way. I don’t forget that it was he, who scored 98 against Pakistan in the same world cup even after cramps and helped the team win. Nor do I forget that this man scored 140 when he was still recovering from the shock of his father’s death and responsible for taking India to the super sixes in the 1999 World Cup. There might be a few incidents where he did not deliver and the team lost but he has also given many glorious moments for the nation to cherish for a long time.

Sachin after the blitzkrieg against Kenya in 1999 World Cup

I recently went to see the concluded test match against New Zealand just to see this top flight batsman play right in front of my eyes and not just on television. I was unlucky that I could not see him bat. However the shine was still there. It was the 4th ball of the 2nd Innings of New Zealand batting. McCullum worked it on the leg side and the ball was racing to the boundary. Sitting at the elevated stands at the deep point area in the stadium, I clearly saw Sachin chasing that ball with all the effort he had and managed to pull it off by sliding at the perfect time. Replays showed that it was clearly cut off and he saved 1 run for his team. For people watching it on TV and in the stadium- it was probably a very good fielding effort. For me it was a breathtaking moment. I saw a 39 year old man running like a 22 year old with all his effort to save that 1 run for his team. For me it was magical. I saw the dedication. I “felt” the dedication. And I somehow feel that this dedication should overshadow the fact that he got clean bowled by a delivery straight enough to be easily played off (according to many people). He is still the best man to look at whenever that exquisite straight drive is recalled in my imagination. That one view of the master getting across to the off stump all the way and gently flicking the ball to the mid wicket area with minimum power to get maximum result will be a treat to my eye for a long long time.

Even after a lot of record breaking performances (including the 200* against South Africa) the man had this one dream remaining – to hold the world cup trophy in his hands. He achieved this dream finally in 2011 after playing for 22 years. He helped team India get to the final. He scored in this tournament as well but again failed to perform in the finals. However I think that was the biggest gift that Team India could have given to this living legend. It was a gift because that night Sachin slept without any burden on his shoulders. He must have been relieved because of the fact that Team India is in safe hands. The youngsters are capable of seeing victory even if he doesn’t perform. There was nothing left to achieve for him after this. He was all set to enjoy the game now. But people won’t let it be that way. There was this new thing to put some pressure on him – the century of centuries. Even though Sachin would not have thought about it, the hype was immense and I feel it somehow got to him. He was again expected to deliver that 100th ton. Although delayed, he achieved this historic feat as well.

Sachin finally with the beauty

Now that he got bowled thrice in succession, his retirement talks are doing the rounds. I am not against the concept of giving youngsters a chance. However I think the genius should not be forced to retire. The playing XI needs to be fit, dedicated and must perform. Sachin is 38 but he still has the fresh blood. His dedication is unquestionable and far as performance is concerned he has lead India to victory on enough occasions so as to be a part of the team for the near future.I don’t second the opinion that he should play on for one more decade either. I just feel that we should let him decide when the right time to hang his boots is. He deserves to enjoy this game a bit more.

All of us know that these are his last days as an active cricketer. I hope he doesn’t retire under the same pressure that he has efficiently performed under over the past 2 decades.  Instead of tweeting “Sachin should quit soon” maybe we can deliver the message “Play your heart out Master”. That is the least we can do for this Champion of the Game. Until he says it’s time up let us just enjoy these last pieces of perfection, the final shows of brilliance and the climax of excellence. Till the time he bows out, Let us just sit back and see the artist create some magic.

About the author

Ayush Sharan

Sports lover, ardent fan of Sachin, Klusener, AB, Gilchrist.
Twitter: Ayush_Flint


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  1. Arshdeep

    Well written Dude!! It’s a nice compilation of some important moments of Sachin’s life in a summarized manner. It’s good to see that someone is brave enough to openly speak his heart out and not just provide a neutral view on every topic. I have a small suggestion on your writing style. I suggest try not to use same words again and again in the article. For example “hang his boots”. I hope you take it in a positive manner. And best of luck for the future. You guys are doing great work.

  2. Priyank Srivastava

    totally agree with what u have here……. I find it hard to digest the audacity of people who haven’t ever picked up a bat all their life talk about his retirement…… and how can we forget some amazing comebacks he’s had in the past coming stronger every time – be it tennis elbow, back problems, ankle injury etc etc…… things that have threatened to end his career have surrendered meekly to his passion for the game……. only HE knows when it’s time…. till then, enjoy God’s presence while he’s still blessing us with it !!

  3. ctg

    nice read. sachin should play as long as he’s fit to play. if he has few more years of game in him and you don’t utilize that, and want him to retire, toh #AapChutiyeHain

  4. Raj

    Nice Read

  5. Abhay Raj

    Loved it

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