Sachin Tendulkar's contributions to Indian Cricket apart from his batting
Innumerable players played cricket and made themselves famous. Then there is Sachin Tendulkar who played cricket and made cricket famous. That's the influence that the genius wielded on the world.
Sachin Tendulkar is not just a name, but an emotion in World Cricket. It is a name synonymous with perfection, class and grace. Master Blaster was (and continues to be) the heartthrob of a billion Indians since the turn of the 1990s, as he carried a nation's expectations with him for more than two decades.
Sachin's career was largely about defying the odds as he redefined the benchmarks for brilliance, consistency, and longevity. He testified the fact of age being just a number, debuting at 16 and retiring at 40, giving us 24 unblemished years to cherish for ages to come.
He inspired a whole new generation to take up the sport with his contagious passion, including the likes of Virendra Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli. 34,357 runs, 100 hundreds and 76 Man of the Match awards, Sachin's contribution to the game was far superior than these statistics suggest. He left an everlasting impact on the game of cricket, with a charisma that can never be recreated.
The Golden Arm
We would have been denied the privilege of witnessing the most quintessential batsmen had it not been a piece of advice from Australian great Dennis Lillee. The Master wanted to become a fast bowler until he tried his fortunes with the bat and the rest is history.
Despite being the most iconic batsman of India for over two decades, Sachin made vital contributions with the ball on numerous occasions, and bowling spell proved to be defining moments for the team.
Able to bowl medium pace, leg break and off break, he was often called by his captain to break the mammoth stands by opposition batsmen. Sachin had a golden arm, and was instrumental in breaking crucial partnerships.
Sachin was particularly spectacular at Kochi, as he claimed both his ODI 5 wicket hauls at the venue. Being dismissed cheaply on both occasions, Sachin weaved his aura with the ball, as he ran through the opposition's batting line up. While he derailed an Australian run chase in the first instance in 2001, it was Pakistan at the receiving end on the second occasion in 2005.
The legend also chipped in on various important occasions in Tests, including 3 valuable scalps of Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne in the iconic Test against Australia in Eden Gardens.
Sachin remains the only bowler to defend 6 or fewer runs in the last over of an ODI twice. What's more astonishing, he had not bowled before on both the occasions. Undoubtedly, his best effort with the cherry was his heroic last over in the 1993 Hero Cup Semi-Final versus South Africa, defending 6 runs in a tense final over.
Tendulkar finished with 201 wickets across formats for India, with 154 scalps in ODIs, 46 in Tests and a solitary wicket in T20Is.