Sachin Tendulkar-20 memorable years and the journey goes on

Sachin Tendulkar – the most comprehensive batsman of the modern age and the most analyzed cricketer in the history of the game has completed 20 years of playing non-stop, remarkable cricket for his country this month. The journey started way back in November 1989 when a young 16 year old Sachin was up to face one of the toughest challenges any batsman could get – playing in and against Pakistan facing the deadly fast bowling attack of the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Abdul Qadir. The bowlers might have wondered what sort of harm a boy of 16 could do to them especially when they dismissed the young man cheaply in the first test. To Sachin there was no turning back ever since the following matches when he murdered the mighty bowling attack all around the ground with powerful pull shots, square cuts and drives.

Perfection in timing, shot selection, foot movement, body posture, head control, balanced elegant and precise shot-making, fast efficient running between the wickets and sportsman spirit covers most of the adjectives in cricketing terms.  And it all comes down to the name of this one man known to millions of Indians and cricket aspirants across the globe. The great Sir Donald Bradman has once said Sachin is the only player who reminds him of his own days and ways of playing cricket. If there’s one person apart from Sachin who can play all kinds of cricketing shots in the world that too with point perfection and timing and one who has never been dropped from a single for even once in 20 years he surely would be the 8th wonder of the world.

Over 20 years he has been one cricketer who is loved and respected throughout the world not only for revolutionizing the art of batting but for living up to the fact that cricket is known as the Gentleman’s Game. While in form he is every bowler’s worst nightmare, every batsman’s idol, every youngster’s dream and every patriotic Indian’s pride.

Even his mere presence in the team creates a sort of a mental and physical motivation to his teammates, not to mention when he bats at the crease there is hope for the non-striker in any pressure situation even if it’s a tail ender. Throughout the 90’s Sachin has been a lone weapon for the Indian team in a batting innings. 75% of the team’s total would be contributed by him and yet India loses the game. Things  however took a turnaround after 2000 when the Indian team was a more focused and balanced one which realized the importance of stressing on team spirit, collective performance rather than putting pressure on one individual. Sachin has changed his ways ever since then – for better or for worse. Till today he has contributed over 30,000 international runs and holds almost all sorts of batting records in both Tests as well as ODI cricket.

Probably why that special touch of the master’s bat will not fade for hundreds of years to come is because it has had or would ever have few equals in history.