Sachin's tryst with destiny
“Yet another hundred for the little master, Take a bow Sachin!!It was a pleasure watching him bat!”
How many times have you heard this? It has been the same for the past 24 years; every single match is a delight to watch, just to see him in action. His name never fails to invoke the oohs and aahs in the stadium and dread on the face of his adversaries. Who can forget the nightmares Shane Warne had to face after Sachin had dealt with him? It gets even better to know the fact that Warne was in his prime.
Destiny is God’s will, but the voyage and the endeavour to achieve separates us as an individual. The curly-haired wonder was destined for stardom even before he made his debut. It was in his fortune to take the path of cricket, the path which would lead him to what he is today. He has walked through everything with a humility that every individual aspiring to be a star should learn. Destiny has always guided the batting maestro in the right direction. Sachin desired to become a fast bowler, but fate had other plans for him when bowling great Dennis Lillee asked him to focus on batting. From then, it has been a roller-coaster ride for the champion batsman who has captured all the records that are to be earned.
Sachin’s strength is his method of stroke-play he employs against different types of bowlers. The man was full of innovations, always out-thinking the bowlers to great effect. The improvisation against Shane Warne, when he stepped out of his crease to hoick him over the covers- that shot that is called “the inside out shot” which is now played by a majority of batsmen in the world. It got better against the fast bowlers; when he played the upper cut, a shot that allows him to work a bouncer towards the third man boundary.
It isn’t all; Sachin is a shrewd and calculative batsman, who never lets go of a chance to score. His average is still sky-high after all these years due to his calculative performances. Sample this – the semi-final for the 2011 WC between India and Pakistan was a high octane affair, with the heavy weights trying to outdo each other. Sachin opened the innings with Sehwag; Sehwag was off to a flier, belting a wayward Umar Gul for five consecutive boundaries, but wasn’t crafty enough to keep himself on the field. On the other hand, Sachin was struggling to meet the ball, but he made sure that he stayed in even after the Pakistani bowlers were getting the better of him, though the fielders did drop some catches. The will to grind in spite of his form makes him unique. Even when he is struggling to meet the ball, he will wait for the right balls and gets 30-40 runs before getting out – priceless runs which helps the team in the end.
Sachin is shouldering the hopes of a billion for more than 20 years, and he continues to do so even today. For his legion of fans, his batting keeps the Indian team in the reckoning, while his dismissal marks the end of the team. But it is indeed true that Sachin’s presence on the field has always boded well for the team and he is a modicum of hope for the Indian supporters.
One could call him the lone warrior, for he has battled single-handedly to rescue the team from trouble. “When in trouble, call for Sachin! If he can’t, then no one can!!” He has played the role of the rescuer to perfection on countless occasions leading the team out of trouble in tough situations. He had some reprieve after the emergence of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, but he did not cease from playing his role.
“Legends have to leave someday, but their foot prints remain behind; the substance they were made of is there for everyone to see.” Yes, Sachin might leave the game soon enough, but his legacy will remain even after twenty years from now. I’d probably be telling my child about Sachin Tendulkar before introducing him to the game.
Much has been said about him, whole sagas have been composed, but still the effect he had on us cannot be conveyed through mere words. Losing him would not be just for his fans, or for India. I have grown up seeing his batting. I was always sure that he would play on forever. The mirage has drawn to a close and we have been pushed down to face the cruel reality of having to live minus his presence.