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Posts Tagged ‘sachin

Abhi jao chhodkar (although) dil abhi bharaa nahi

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When Viru had a bad phase he was dropped. Same was the case with Gauti and dada. Dhoni’s the captain, else he should (would?) had been dropped ages ago. The same rules however do not seem to apply to Sachin despite his fairly average form in the last 20 odd months. The only reason I don’t complain about this preferential treatment of Sachin is because …  well, it’s Sachin! I am (like a million others) his biggest fan. He’s the sole reason I still follow cricket. My biggest fear these days is that Sachin will one day get dropped – the boy man deserves to go out on his own terms. 

When Lata Mangeshkar continued to sing into the 2000s, I really wished she would stop. There were only so many songs you could listen to by accounting for the fact that the was into her seventh / eighth decade of professional singing. I wasn’t disrespecting her abilities or belittling what she had achieved. I only feared that she was sullying her own legacy. 

Sachin’s legacy is not just his runs – it’s the awe and respect he inspired in both teammates and opposition, and the joy he gave to his countless admirers. He might still have the ability to play on and accumulate runs and records, but it will be a sorry end to a glorious career if he stopped being the ‘Sachin’ I’ve loved and adored. With Ponting retiring, I doubt anyone (other than Kallis, maybe) will now be able to even come close to his stats. To put it In geek terms, the marginal benefit of him playing on is near zero.

He probably missed a golden chance to retire on 2nd April 2011. The most memorable moment of the World Cup for me was not Dhoni’s winning six over long-on – it was when Sachin was hoisted by his teammates on their shoulders in appreciation of him bearing the burden of the nation’s expectations for a good part of 2 decades. He again had an opportunity to do so when he reached that (fairly arbitrary) landmark of 100 international 100’s. He probably wants to go out with a bang – maybe if he wins us the final match at Nagpur with a fabulous hundred (or better, a double or a triple!), maybe he will retire. 

At the risk of sounding overtly dramatic and repeating myself, I will quote Harvey Dent here – “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

And that’s why I want him to retire.

(Posted in response to this post on this excellent blog by one of the most sports-enthusiastic people I’ve known)


Written by sujaybedekar

December 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

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He’s the man

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An aunt of mine from Auckland is in town right now, and she had quite a few interesting anecdotes to share today. We all know that Australia started off as a colonial prison – it’s something we’ve given them enough heat about quite often. What we don’t know (at least I didn’t) is that New Zealand was the retirement home for England’s mentally challenged individuals. This apparently is the reason for there being an usually high proportion of individuals with those kind of problems there. This is not the anecdote, just a fun fact, stretching the definition of ‘fun’ to its limit.

My aunt’s a big fan of cricket as well as a big supporter of the Indian cricket team. Credit to her, she’s managed to sustain this interest in spite of staying outside the country for more than thirty years. New Zealand (and Auckland in particular) loves its cricket. The Indian diaspora there have been fairly cricket-crazy, and they’ve been closely attached to NZ cricket ever since Glenn Turner married a Punjaban and settled down there (and she went on to become a Mayor of some town as well). As a result, every visit of the Indian cricket team to New Zealand is a pretty big deal for people there. With the advent of the Indian Premier League, a lot of talk shows have had discussions about how cricket has started displacing Rugby as a lucrative career option due to the opportunities in India!

A friend of my aunt knew someone who knew someone, which allowed him to go and visit the team which went there early this year. This was around six in the evening, and the only person he managed to catch up with was V. V. S. Laxman. Laxman, tells  my aunt, leads a pretty spartan and religious lifestyle, sleeping on the ground to keep his back in shape and doing pujas on a regular basis. There was speculation that the match we lost in Auckland (although we had won the series already) was in fact thrown by the guys because they had booked slots for Scuba diving and Parasailing and such stuff, but Laxman didn’t seem too keen to comment on this. When asked whether it was possible to meet any of his teammates, he said that all of them would be out partying hard, so the chances of that were extremely remote. Sehwag would be around, he guessed, but only because he was there with his family. The only person he was certain would be in his hotel room was … well, it is quite obvious … Sachin Tendulkar.

Every person who’s grown up in Bombay/ Mumbai is by default a Sachin fan (devotee, to be precise). I am one, so is my aunt and so was her friend. So naturally his discussion with Laxman led to the topic of the Master Blaster. Laxman told him the real reason why Sachin continues to be an automatic selection to the team even after two decades of playing the game at the highest level. The mere fact that Sachin is in the team gives people hope, no matter how bad they might be playing. If he is yet to bat, the ‘boys’ have the assurance that Sachin is yet to come, which allows them to play their natural game. If he gets out, they feel obliged to play for Sachin as his desire to win games for the team continues to be infectious and unmatched. Laxman talked of how Dhoni has always maintained that he doesn’t mind being given a squad of youngsters without any seniors for ‘advice’ or ‘guidance’ with one exception – Sachin has to be a part of every squad. Sachin is not just the run-getter, he’s the rallying point, the morale-booster. The sentiments of the entire nation are mirrored in the team, clearly. He talked of how Sachin still feels bad about not being picked for the West Indies tour in 1989-90 because the selectors felt he would ‘get hurt by the fast bowling’ (Sachin apparently cried like a baby when given this excuse. He was just sixteen then, so his reaction is quite understandable). And he found it laughable (demonstrating it with a loud laugh) that people raised doubts about Sachin’s commitment and motivation. Laxman talked of things we have discussed and contemplated during extensive sessions of armchair coaching, and it feels nice to receive validation from a source so very, very special like him.

Some people consider this to be a bad thing – the fact that even after twenty years, a country of a billion individuals has been unable to come up with even one worthy replacement. But given that it’s taken us ages to get an Olympic gold medal, I think we need to put our sporting achievements in perspective and stop being so harsh on ourselves. Also, we need to realize that Sachin is a once-in-a-lifetime / once-in-a-generation player. So maybe we should do ourselves a favour by simply marveling at our good fortune at having been a part of ‘the generation when Sachin played.’

Note: All those people reading this post right now who are already brushing it off by calling it ‘just another crazy fan’s mad ravings’, all I have to say is – well, nothing much other, really. ‘Guilty as charged’, for one. ‘I know who you are, and it’s never too late to join the club,’ for another.

Written by sujaybedekar

October 13, 2009 at 11:47 pm

I proud to be Indian

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There’s this thing people keep talking about called momentum. School kids are quick to define it as “m x v bar” and get done with it. Sports commentators, however, go on and on about how important a factor it is, apart from luck, form and ability (in that order). And after watching yesterday’s IPL T20 Mumbai Indians v/s Chennai Super Kings match, I think I can safely say –

Master and the Mauler

The performance by Mumbai was almost faultless. It was, to quote Ravi Shastri (and I apologize rightaway and in advance too) a good toss to win. As expected, Mumbai decided to field first. Shaun Pollock gave a masterclass (4-1-9-1) in how to bowl in the right areas with the pitch having something in it for those willing to bend their backs. He showed why bowlers like him and McGrath are like wine – they age with time and only get better as the years go by’. He also debunked the theory that people should retire once they are past their prime, because clearly, form is temporary, class is permanent. The ‘special one’ from Delhi – Ashish Nehra – was not too bad either. The Dhawal Kulkarni kid bowled well too, except for the last over where the occasion got to him and he showed that he needed some more experience. But in hindsight, it was a good thing that Chennai got to 150.

What followed next was pure magic. Entertainment of the highest order. I remember reading somewhere about Sanath Jayasuriya’s admiration for Sachin Tendulkar, and he mentioned after the match how reassuring it was to have someone like Sachin at the other end. The sixes he hit (eleven in all) so easily with those treetrunk-like arms went longer than just into the crowd – they justified why Mukesbhai was willing to rely so much on his ability that he shelled out $900,000 for him. They also validated why he was considered to be the best opening batsmen in the subcontinent (and possibly the world) for a very long time.

At the risk of sounding cheesy and so very Tendlya-obsessed, I must say that it was Sachin who made all the difference. There was a certain confidence in the team, the way they stuck to the plan, how they fielded well and batted brilliantly. This could not have come from anywhere else but their el Kapitan. His mere presence was like a tonic for all the Men in Blue.

I hark back to the 1998 series in Sharjah v/s Australia when Sachin played what was probably his best ODI innings ever. I remember Tony Greig going bonkers in the commentator’s box and gushing over and over – “Oh what a player. What a fantastic player.” It’s more that ten years (!) since that happened, but the admiration for Sachin has not dimmed one bit. ‘Soorya’ is 38 right now, and it seems like he could easily play for a decade more. Maybe Sachin’s (he’s only 34 :P) resolve to play in the next World Cup (in 2011 IN INDIA!) is not as unrealistic as some people are so eager to say. Here’s hoping that he plays on and on, and that the Indians keep on winning! 🙂

Written by sujaybedekar

May 15, 2008 at 11:54 am

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