When Tendulkar walked out to bat in a Test match for the first time, Rajiv Gandhi was India’s Prime Minister, the Berlin wall stood and USSR still existed. The internet was nascent, mobiles phones were hardly used in US and never used in India. Most of us reading this article were probably less than 10 years old. The world has changed dramatically but Tendulkar remains the best in the world.
Tendulkar completed 20 years of international cricket on 15th November 2009. Out of the 21 men who played in his first test match he played in, all of them have retired over 5 years ago.
His technique, determination, brilliance, ability and talent all have been hailed over the years by everyone who has attempted to write about cricket. I do not want to write about it, it would be mere repeating of words. But hats off to a man who plays 20 years at the highest standard and has only let his bat do the talking.
I do not wonder at the ability to play for 20 years or the talent which scores the highest number of runs in Tests and ODIs. I wonder what goes on behind that cranium of Tendulkar. Does he feel the pressure at all? Does he feel tired of expectations and the criticisms? Does he think like we mortals do?
I reckon he is the perfect example of a person who feels comfortable with his own ability, does his best and puts on a invisible coat of something which makes him immune from all the pressure of expectations around him.
With a total of 12,773 runs in Test cricket and 17,178 runs in ODIs, Sachin Tendulkar has nothing to prove. He is already a legend and will remain so until Cricket is played. But he continues to play, as if he is not aware of his own achievements.
Some people have criticized Tendulkar at various times. Often the grouse being he doesn’t win India matches. Often people forget that Tendulkar has won India many matches but being a team sport he cannot win all matches. To all the critics of the great man and fans alike, I would like to remind that Tendulkar will someday retire and there will be a day when you wont ever get to see Tendulkar take his stance playing for India on live television or at your local city stadium. So sit back and enjoy the last few years of this great man’s career and appreciate anything that he has to offer because players like him don’t come along everyday and we are lucky to be around in the Tendulkar Era.