Tendulkar's destiny never in doubt

Tendulkar has kept his serenity and concentration in the cauldron of international cricket.


LONDON:
From the moment he took guard as a 16-year-old against Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis on a green-tinged pitch in Karachi in 1989, Sachin Tendulkar's destiny looked assured.

The diminutive Indian, who announced on Thursday he will retire at the age of 40 after playing a record 200th test against West Indies at home next month, scored only 15.

But his technique and composure won the respect of the great Pakistan pace trio who had subjected him to several vicious blows to the body during a torrid debut.

In the following year Tendulkar scored a century of staggering technical assurance for one so young at Old Trafford to save a test against England and in 1992 he flayed the Australian fast bowlers on a lightning fast pitch at the WACA in Perth.

Longest career span for an Indian player: 24 years and one day.
1 / 30
IANS | Photo by IANS
Sat 16 Nov, 2013 6:15 PM IST

Before he turned 25, Tendulkar had scored 16 test centuries and he now has collected a record 100 centuries in tests and one-day internationals, a record unlikely to be broken.

Even the incomparable Australian Don Bradman, whose feats at the crease against the imperial masters England during the Great Depression sustained an emerging nation's morale, did not endure the pressures Tendulkar has faced in a cricket-obsessed nation over 24 years at the peak of his profession.

Bradman's test average of 99.94, nearly 40 runs ahead any of any of his nearest rivals who have played at least 20 matches, is the most famous statistic in the sport.

All the other major run-scoring records belong to Tendulkar. With two tests still to play, Tendulkar has scored the most runs in tests and one-day cricket. His 51 test centuries and 49 one-day hundreds are also records.

SIMILAR STYLES

Like Bradman, who once asked his wife Jessie to watch Tendulkar on television to confirm his own impression that the pair had similar styles, the figures can tell only part of the story.

According to the historian Ramachandra Guha, Tendulkar is the best-known Indian alive with a status equivalent to a Hindu god or a Bollywood film star. When he faced former Pakistan opening bowler Akram the television audience in India exceeded the entire population of Europe.

"Batsmen walk out into the middle alone," wrote the Indian poet and critic C.P. Surendran. "Not Tendulkar. Every time Tendulkar walks to the crease, a whole nation, tatters and all, marches with him to the battle arena.

"A pauper people pleading for relief, remission from the lifelong anxiety of being Indian, by joining in spirit their visored savior."

"Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time, the best player without a doubt -- daylight second, Brian Lara third." - Shane Warne.
1 / 25
Fri 20 May, 2011 12:58 PM IST

Somehow Tendulkar, who can not leave his house in his native Mumbai, the centre of the Bollywood film industry, without being mobbed has kept his serenity and concentration in the cauldron of international cricket.

Small and compact, like his childhood idol Sunil Gavaskar, he stands still and perfectly balanced at the crease, playing with equal authority of either back or front foot while excelling in the cut and drive.

At his peak, as he was in 1998 when he tamed Shane Warne, nobody can have batted better than Tendulkar.

During a magical 12 months, he scored three centuries and a half century in five tests and nine hundreds in one-day internationals.

Australian Warne, widely regarded as the best leg-spinner to have played the game and named as one of the five cricketers of the 20th century by the Wisden almanac, paid tribute on Thursday to a man he first encountered as a teenager in 1992.

"His spot was never in question for the 24 years that he has played for India," said Warne.

"He has got something special about him. We saw that when he first came on the scene. To score a hundred in Perth and then in Sydney, showed that there was a special quality in the man."


ALSO SEE:

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore lose nerve, lose game

Bangalore lose nerve, lose game

IPL 7, GAME 11—Vinay's over, Lynn's catch turns last-over finish in KKR's favour. More »

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting the IPL as a means of protest against the grime in the game may not yield the desired results. More »

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gautam made an eight-ball duck in the opening game against Mumbai and in the second game against Delhi, he lasted only half those balls. More »

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

The group opposed to Srinivasan alleged that since BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel belongs to the president’s group, he was intentionally delaying the SGM… More »

April 24: A legend is born

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 41 - here's a look at some offbeat moments from the Master Blaster's innings. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Sanath Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those… More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals… More »

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

Dalmiya said that it was the first time that the BCCI had been faced with a situation where the apex court had hauled up the Board and it should have acted… More »

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

The ECB continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation… More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »