Sach Is God – Don’t Compare him with XYZ

Sachin Tendulkar has given two generations of fans memories that will last a lifetime, and it is not possible for anyone to replicate that.

He wore the Indian tricolour on his heart and helmet, but managed to remain unbelievingly untouched by jingoistic jousts. He never abused the opposition ,never brought the game to shame, and never let go off his middle class values.

Sachin Tendulkar was not just another player on the cricket field; he was a part of our homes, an integral constituent of our everyday life. When one loses such an entity, the sheer volume of the gap felt in the heart forces you to express yourself to the best of your abilities. The fact that there are countless number of articles expressing the same only tells you how important a figure Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was in our lives.

There’s a certain buzz that goes around a cricket field, one which charges an individual’s senses and, like current, passes on to everybody in proximity and hollers the words ‘Sachin’ repeatedly while watching him walk out to bat. That isn’t the voice of a thousand fanatic fans climbing over each other to watch their hero, nor is it a chaotic assembly of over-excited lunatics; it is the voice of India, unified, strong and loud, sticking together and throwing themselves behind one individual. You could raise a finger against our politicians and filmstars, but nobody can dare touch the sheen that is Sachin Tendulkar.

He has had 23 years of consistent running amok across the world, destroying bowling attacks, and submitting captains on to their knees. Sachin wasn’t just another legend, he was a myth troubling every bowler until they came face-to-face with the man. At 5 foot 5 inches, Sachin sent shivers down longer spines and even starred in nightmares of certain renowned bowlers.

Sachin Tendulkar 41st Test Century, Sachin Tendulkar, Sachin scored 103, India vs England 2008, India vs England in Chennai, Cricket

In a generation where idols are difficult to imagine, and those successfully being smothered by their fame and money, Sachin Tendulkar was a temple of idealness. Children wanted to become scientists, but cited him as their inspiration. Tendulkar created reverberations across all fields and marked his stamp in the influenced eyes of the youth.

People clamored to get a glimpse of the star, performed aartisin his name, named children after him; we revered him to such an extent, that we even convinced ourselves that he was God. If there was anything that couldn’t be done, Sachin was there to deal with it. Every failure was a hammer to the heart and a knife through our belief. We rose him to a pedestal even the most proud of stars wouldn’t want to reach, but Sachin fearlessly carried the weight of a country on his shoulders and toiled on for 23 long years.

Sachin Tendulkar, Perth, Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2008, Australia vs India 3rd Test 2008,

Each time he walked out to bat, a nation walked with him, hoping fervently for their sole hope to deliver. He carried the yoke of being an Indian from an India that was yet to look beyond its colonial masters for acknowledgement and appreciation. He was the legitimacy we craved for, the representative we had always wanted, the idea we never knew existed. He was our passport to acceptance; our gift to the world.

Do you remember that surge of pride you felt during the Perth Test when a 19-year-old Tendulkar showed maturity way beyond his years and played probably the greatest innings ever seen on Australian soil? Or that sense of ecstasy you experienced during those two nights at Sharjah in 1998 when Tendulkar tore apart the Australian attack and almost single-handedly won the tournament for India?

Or that agony you suffered in the match against Pakistan at Chennai in 1999 when Tendulkar, battling back spasms, dismantled Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis but fell agonizingly short of the finish line?

Or that six off Shoaib Akhtar in the 2003 World Cup when he rattled the Rawalpindi Express? Or that bullet of a straight drive past Brett Lee in the 2008 CB Series?

And finally when you watched, with your eyes moist and your throat choked, as Tendulkar delivered his farewell address on the 16th of Nov 2013 at the Wankhede?

The sad part in sport is that if you have not  experienced a moment first-hand, no matter how many times you watch video clips or hear from others, it will not be possible to recreate the same effect.

No player in the world has  yet reached the stage where the stadium would become empty after he gets out, a stage where fans would switch off the television when he gets out, a stage where a train would stop to watch him score a hundred or a stage when crowds from distant lands would flock to the stadium just to watch him play. This is Sachin Tendulkar. Our God, Our Emotion.

“When Tendulkar plays well, India sleeps well.” –Harsha Bhogle

Whenever Sachin Tendulkar strode out to bat for India, he bore the expectations of more than 1.2 billion cricket crazy Indians. No Indian cricketer, or for that matter, no cricketer in history (with the exception of Don Bradman) has been under more scrutiny than Tendulkar.

A failure from any other player was accepted, but a failure from Tendulkar stung the average cricket fan. Think of the 1999 Test against Pakistan in Chennai. Tendulkar scored 136 out of India’s target of 272, but yet, when India lost, some half knowledge people viewed it as a personal betrayal from Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, a 16-year-old got selected to play against Pakistan in Pakistan. It was a ground-breaking news at the time. He became the youngest cricketer to represent India. Wasim Akram even said that he looked like a 14-year-old. It was bravado from the kid to face the likes of Akram, Waqar and Imran Khan at their peak.

The youngster soon began to take giant strides in international cricket. There was something about him that made him popular among people of all age groups. Gradually, he attracted the attention of a lot of people across the globe. As his career started growing, BCCI started getting more revenues. For the first time in Indian cricket history, ESPN decided to telecast India’s matches by paying a hefty sum to the Indian cricket board. Tendulkar had become the face of Indian cricket.

The English county Yorkshire changed its rules to facilitate him to play for them. This was a proud moment for India.

He gave many such moments of pride to India in his 24-year long career. Sachin Tendulkar’s rise facilitated Indian cricket’s rise. Through most parts of his career, he was the one who always kept the Indian fan’s hope alive.

 

The common question across India during the Indian innings was: “Is Sachin still batting? ”

For a lot of people in India, Tendulkar means life. There have been so many people who fasted when Sachin batted. Many people celebrate his birthday as if it is their own. A lot of people relate their life’s incidents to Sachin’s scores. Sachin is like a son to a lot of fathers and mothers; a grandson to a lot of elderly citizens.

Tendulkar achieved a lot in his 24-year long cricketing journey which was the journey of the whole nation. Before his arrival, scoring hundred centuries in a career seemed unimaginable. During the 90s the master blaster had turned into an emotion which will never happen to someone.

Once a fan

quoted a common example of a conversation between a son and his father. India was taking on Australia in a one-day international in 2015. India was chasing a massive targ

They lost the wicket of Virat Kohli in the fifth over of the innings. The son was disappointed with the dismissal. “The game is over,” he said. A quirky reply came his way “we still have Dhoni, Dhawan, Rohit Sharma ,Kartik, Pant….”

Let’s rewind the clock now. On a gloomy day in 1997, Sachin Tendulkar was batting. Tendulkar had crossed his century and India required 80 odd runs to win from the last 15 overs. The centurion was dismissed off the next delivery. The television was switched off and the son was told to sleep.

Sachin hits sixth double century, India vs Australia 2010 Bangalore, Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Sachin Tendulkar, India wins Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2010

This is the major difference between the Sachin and others. One of the players carried the burden of the nation on his shoulders whereas the other is playing cricket.

Sachin inspired a lot of cricketers of the current generation. Not only Indians, many international legends of the game have said that they were inspired by the Master Blaster.

Many times Virat Kohli said” Don’t compare me with Sachin. He is God. He is two levels above any player. He is my idol.”

Sachin hits sixth double century, India vs Australia 2010 Bangalore, Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Sachin Tendulkar

The fact that Kohli was inspired to play cricket by the man himself tells us how invalid his comparison with Tendulkar is. Tendulkar is not a legend, he is not an icon, he is not an idol.

He is an emotion.

An emotion, which people who have witnessed his career, will never forget. No XYZ can replace him. No one can replace him.

Dear Sachinists He is not my Sachin, He is not your Sachin. He is Our Sachin. He is Our emotion, our God.

Sachin Tendulkar – Above Cricket

 

 

( source : inputs from different articles of sportskeeda )

 

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