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Bat-Man Forever: Growing up admiring a legend

Sachin Tendulkar, Sports News, Cricket, Cricketer, Player, Batsman, God of Cricket
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Web Admin

Web Admin

5 Dariya News

New Delhi , 22 Apr 2023

I was in the eighth grade when I first saw Sachin Tendulkar play in Kolkata in November 1991. South Africa were playing their first official international match since getting suspended from the sport in 1970 due to apartheid and Eden Gardens was chock-a-block with fans, and our excitement was palpable.

Sachin was already a star by then. Chasing a paltry total (177), India were left reeling at 60/4 with the yet unknown Allan Donald ripping apart the top order with his lightning pace.But Sachin stood firm amid the collapse before guiding India to a comfortable victory with his former schoolmate Praveen Amre playing the perfect foil.

That knock of 62 was enough to turn me into a Sachin fan for life. He was by far the best batsman I saw till then. And the view remained the same after 22 years when the master called it a day after playing a record 200th Test against the West Indies at his home ground, Wankhede Stadium, in November 2013.

It was an emotional moment to see Sachin bat for the last time. It was unbelievable too as even after 24 years, Sachin played with his head still, a beautiful balance with the bat coming down from straight over the middle stump.Class is truly permanent.

But it was us who put Sachin next to god, while all the man in question did was bat, hour after hour, day after day, year after year.And his childlike love for batting went on to shatter almost every record a batsman can hold. 

A roughly calculated estimate shows that Sachin spent nearly five years of his life on the ground. He will be 50 on Monday.Playing passionately over such a long period deserves to be applauded.

Sachin's dismissal at the Wankhede in 2013 might have saddened those who believed numbers matter the most. But for true cricket lovers, each and every stroke that came out of Sachin's willow in the swansong Test was a celebration.

The nation cheered every time the Master dished out his trademark straight drives, deft late cuts or the back-foot punches piercing the off-side cordon.While people often say he rarely won matches for India, stats reveal a different picture. 

Sachin scored 33 of his 49 ODI centuries in wins, and averaged more than 56 in team wins, at a strike rate of 90.Among those who scored at least 5,000 runs in wins, only Brian Lara and Vivian Richards have higher averages. In terms of hundreds scored in wins, Ponting is next with 25.

The respect Sachin earned across the globe is enormous. And that has been the case since 1989 when he walked out to bat as a 16-year-old rookie against Pakistan, then loaded with fiery fast bowlers.

In 1992, noted cricketer-turned-columnist late Peter Roebuck saw Sachin crack a sublime ton against Australia on a green top at Perth, widely regarded as the most bouncy pitch in the world.

This is what he had to say: "Sometimes it is a privilege simply to be there. Perth was one such occasion. To see Sachin Tendulkar bat for two hours was like getting transported from our humdrum world and taken to a distant land, a land of magic, an impossible land in which a boy of 18 summers can bat as a man can seldom ever have batted."

No wonder that Allan Donald had famously said: "I have learnt you don't sledge a Tendulkar. Having words with them simply makes them even better."Happy 50th champ!

 

Tags: Sachin Tendulkar , Sports News , Cricket , Cricketer , Player , Batsman , God of Cricket

 

 

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