Monday, March 3, 2014

Sachin…Sachin!!!

Sachin_at_Castrol_Golden_Spanner_Awards_(crop)
This is the way his fans chanted whenever he came out to bat…… I have taken up writing on this man as I had been requested by my school cricket captain Hitesh Shukla(of yester years) and dear friend to write on Sachin.
I have been toying with this idea myself to write on a man who is beyond compare not only in his cricketing skills but in everything he has done. Nevertheless I thank Hitesh for asking me to write on a legend in fact it is a pleasure but not easy to write on an encyclopedia. I refer to him as an encyclopedia because of the vastness of his achievements’ not only as a player but also as a human being. Before I continue I must thank my captain Hitesh who lead our school side very well and continues his role as a captain even today as he very politely directed me to write on "The Encyclopedia" Sachin.
This I would say is the abstract side of cricket i.e we still continue to play this wonderful game of cricket (though we are well past that age atleast on paper) but not on the 22 yard turf but here by analyzing an Encyclopedia who is so vast in his achievements but not bigger than the game itself which I am sure even Sachin will readily agree.
Now as I continue my thoughts are very clear much in contrast to the dark sky which is patiently waiting for the break of dawn. The other contrasting aspect is the temperature which has woken up the thermometer  from 3 degree celsius to the comfort zone of 15 degree Celsius. My ever so fickle mind will not rejoice but instead is dwelling on the hot topic on hand “Sachin”.
One thought has just entered the grey area of my being and I let it stay because I fully agree with it, i.e one of the reason Sachin is head and shoulder above all other cricketing greats is he never thought that he is bigger than the game itself. The way he has conducted himself shows that he is with a sense of gratitude towards the game which gave him a platform to perform and excel. He never took the game for granted.
The philosophy with which he has carried forward his career really amazes me.  He listened to the voice of his calling. During an interview he was asked what he thinks of his vast fortune and fame he promptly replied…”I just go out and enjoy my batting and rest everything follows”.  I think this summarizes it all.  
It is something like this when you carry out a task because you enjoy doing it then obviously there is focus, sincerity, honing of the latent skill …….. which ultimately crystallizes into the best skill in business.
Before commencing this write up I was just going through the statistics of Sachin’s achievements with an idea of including them in this write up. However I realized two things…..
  1. It is certainly mind boggling
  2. It could fill up another volume.
This prompts me against including them in this writeup. Moreover it is futile to write on something which is common knowledge so I decide to write on a unexplored area and that according to me would be what makes a person like Sachin tick…… why is Sachin ….. SACHIN TENDULKAR a man synonymous with success. Why is he so different from others.  Why is it that inspite of being so talented other cricketers are not at par with him.  Infact what other cricketing greats have said about Sachin is on record and is as follows:
 
  1. I saw him playing on television and was struck by his technique, so I asked my wife to come look at him. Now I never saw myself play, but I feel that this player is playing much the same as I used to play, and she looked at him on Television and said yes, there is a similarity between the two... his compactness, technique, stroke production... it all seemed to gel………Sir Donald Bradman
  2. In terms of technique and compactness, Tendulkar is the best……….Desmond Haynes
  3. He is 99.5 per cent perfect. I'd pay to see him………Viv Richards
  4. Technically he stands out as the best because of his ability to increase the pace at will………….David Boon
  5. There is no shame being beaten by such a great player, Sachin is perhaps only next to the Don…….Steve Waugh
  6. Sachin is cricket’s god……….Barry Richards
  7. India's fortune will depend on how many runs the little champion scores. There is no doubt Tendulkar is the real thing………Sunil Gavaskar
  8. A complete batsman — he's the best in the business………..Mohinder Amarnath
  9. Sachin is an attacker. He has much more power than Sunny. He wants to be the one to set the pace. He has to be on top. That's the buzz about him…….Jeff Thompson
  10. If I've to bowl to Sachin, I'll bowl with my helmet on. He hits the ball so hard……..Dennis Lillee
  11. You take Don Bradman away and he is next up I reckon……..Steve Waugh
  12. Don't bowl him bad balls, he hits the good ones for fours……..Michael Kasprowicz
  13. Hell, if he had stayed, even at 11 an over he would have got it……..Allan Border (after India won the Coca-Cola cup in Sharjah)
  14. He is a perfectly balanced batsman and knows perfectly well when to attack and when to play defensive cricket. He has developed the ability to treat bowlers all over the world with contempt and can destroy any attack with utmost ease……..Greg Chappell
  15. I'd like to see him go out and bat one day with a stump. I tell you he'd do okay………GregChappell
  16. He's a phenomenon. We have to be switched on when he plays allow him no boundries, for then he doesn't stop……Mark Taylor
  17. Tendulkar is the most complete batsman I have stood behind. I saw the hundred in Perth on a bouncy pitch with Hughes, McDermott and Whitney gunning for him – he only had 60-odd when No 11 came in. I've seen him against Warne too………Ian Healy
  18. I still think Tendulkar is the best batsmen in the world, ahead of Steve Waugh and Lara…….Glenn McGrath
  19. There's no doubt about it. He is the best……..Tony Grieg
  20. Technically, you can't fault Sachin. Seam or spin, fast or slow nothing is a problem……Geoffrey Boycott
  21. A little genius. Reminds me of Sunny Gavaskar……Keith Fletcher
  22. Cricketers like Sachin come once in a lifetime and I am privileged he played in my time……..Wasim Akram
  23. While I keep hoping he gets out, I must admit that his stroke play is a treat to watch…….Mark Waugh
  24. I have seen God. He bats at number 4 for India……Mathew Hayden
  25. You have to watch India in India truly to appreciate the pressure that Sachin Tendulkar is under every time he bats. Outside grounds, people wait until he goes in before paying to enter. They seem to want a wicket to fall even though it is their own side that will suffer…….Shane Warne
  26. You have to decide for yourself whether you're bowling well or not. He's going to hit you for fours and sixes anyway. Kasprowicz has a superior story. During the Bangalore Test, frustrated, he went to Dennis Lillee and asked, 'Mate, do you see any weaknesses?' Lillee replied, 'No Michael, as long as you walk off with your pride, that's all you can do…….Shane Warne
  27. I'll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six. He was unstoppable. I don't think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar. He is just an amazing player…….Shane Warne
  28. His shot selection is superb, he just lines you up and can make you look very silly. Everything is right in his technique and judgment. There isn't a fault there. He is also a lovely guy, and over the years I’ve enjoyed some interesting chats with him………Allan Donald
  29. First and foremost, Tendulkar is an entertainer and that for me is as important factor as any fact or figure. Too often boring players have been pushed forward as great by figures alone. For sheer entertainment, he will keep cricket alive…….Barry Richards
  30. Sachin is a genius. I’m a mere mortal……Brian Lara
  31. The thing I admire most about this man is his poise. The way he moves, elegantly without ever looking out of place in any condition or company, suggests his pedigree……Bishan Singh Bedi
  32. Among all the celebrity that I have served Sachin is the only celebrity who leaves the toilet absolutely clean and fresh after use on flights and his behaviour is like a perfect gentleman…………….Airhostess on JetAir(as told to me)
These are comments from names which need no introduction, However the most relevant and the best one is at the last  which reflects how Sachin has conducted himself  as human being. 
I am sure no other player in the world of cricket  could evoke such reactions from other great players.  One difference between Sachin and the others could be the perception of success.  Now talking of Success…according to me more than the resultant success the journey to achieve the target is more relevant and that reflects in Sachin’s long career.
It is common knowledge that there is no substitute for sincerity but dedication is a must. These are two sides of a coin which are needed to achieve the targets successfully.
As I take this write-up further I would like to give my view on these two aspects i.e there is a very thin line which differentiates sincerity from dedication. Sincerity as I see is in-borne quality of an individual wherein he is true to whatever he says and does while dedication is always connected to a cause like in the case of Sachin it is the game which he loved so much.
Sincerity is an unconditional aspect but dedication always has a reason. Consider any task on hand  which is backed by only one of the two aspect then the results are there but not to the extent which Sachin achieved. Here we can say that sincerity is a scaler quantity and dedication is the vector which has quantity and also has direction. So when both come together the result is exponential in magnitude and there for all to see.
All the above mentioned names possess either of the two virtues but Sachin possess both and that is why he is the god of cricket.
I want quote an example of his sincerity and dedication. The world witnessed it. Sachin lost his father during the world cup in 1999. He travelled half the world to attend the funeral of his father in Mumbai. He could have chosen to be with his family but he was back again in the team after two days to attend to the call of duty for his country.  To come back in the face of such  huge personal loss and score a century  is the mark of a real man which only reflects his sincerity and dedication.
India has produced two little masters Sachin and Sunil Gavaskar whose achievements put together is virtually beyond any human reach. But at this point in time I am forced to compare the two little masters whose wickets were considered very valuable till the last day of their international cricket career.  
Sachin’s hunger to score runs of every ball needed improvisation of strokes. In the mid nineties  Sachin used the reverse sweep with devastating effect.  He must have scored atleast a 1000 runs using the reverse sweep so effectively against the likes of  Shane Warne and others.
The point noteworthy of both the players have been their focus and determination both have played and scored tons against the best attacks of their era. Though the technique of both batsman have been the best in the game but for me as far as the technicality of the game is concerned Sunil Gavaskar’s compactness, the copy book straight bat, the high elbow pointing towards sky as he stood upright with only the bat in between his face and the blistering bouncer of Malcom Marshall cannot be forgotten.
The way Sunny negotiated the bouncers from a Denis Lillee, a Collin croft or a Jeff Thomson was a sight I cannot forget. The ever so little sway of his head as he moved it away from the line of the ball without moving his body and watching the ball till it reached the gloves of a Rod Marsh or a Jeffery Dujon spoke about the arrogant confidence he had in his technique so much so that he never wore an helmet which the batsman of this era consider mandatory.
Till date I have never seen any batsmen display such confidence but nothing to take away from the two greats both of them achieved records of most runs scored by any batsman at their time but the only difference between the two being that there was a tint of brashness in Sunny which prompted him to mince no words when he felt things were being done unfairly.
In contrast Sachin only let his bat do the talking. You would never see Sachin ripping his shirt off as a show of defiance a la Saurav Ganguly after the Natwest victory. Instead he would let his bat do the talking. What comes to mind is the world cup match where an animated Shoaib Akhtar was dispatched for a six in between point and thirdman of the fourth delivery of the world cup one day international . This six was immediately after a display of aggressive body language by the tear away fast bowler. Later on Virendra Shewag took the cue and gave some rough treatment to Akhtar.  Sachin’s presence in the middle always rubbed on to the other team mates which also motivated them to push their performance a notch up.
I have never seen frustration get to Sachin except for an isolated incident when the stand in captain Rahul Dravid declared the innings when Sachin was `on 194 in Multan which would have been his 4th  double century. Later in the TV interview for the first time God showed that he had a human element as well when he expressed his frustration by using politically right words and just gave a mild reaction saying “ he was indeed surprised by captains decision to declare.”
As I continue to write on Sachin  I realise that I have been writing in tandem for the last two days and though my friend my captain Hitesh had asked me to be brief but the man in question is so simple and a genuine human being that writing even a brief write up ends up being lengthy.  However inspite of having so many cricketing virtues, Sachin  possesses all the virtues required to be  good human being.  Sachin has been through all testing times including the match fixing controversy in which India lost half its team and other teams were Pakistan and South Africa but Sachin’s name did not feature in any controversy because he is certainly above all these petty things .
One passing thought which comes to mind which I had penned down a few months ago.
NO ONE CAN CHANGE DESTINY
NO ONE CAN WRITE YOU OFF
IF YOU ARE DETERMINED WITH NOBLE INTENTION
THEN DESTINY WILL CHANGE ITSELF FOR YOU
AND SUCCESS WILL BE YOURS…..
 
Ofcourse Sachin was destined to be great and very rightly so he is ……. for me  the greatest player and to top it........ a even better human being.  I appeal to all the legends out there not to be-little this little man who has achieved so much  so that his fans consider him as God of cricket. 
How can the learned legends refer to God as “perhaps only next to The Don”.  ….. We must remember that Sachin holds most of the records a batsman can think of.  He has kept the staticians busy by forging new records every series he has played and probably holds the record of having the highest number of records any cricketer has to his name.  How can we justify that just because the Don holds the highest average in test cricket he is the best.  We must remember that if The Don had played as many matches as Sachin in all probability the Law Of Averages would have caught up with him and his average would definitely dip down.  Moreover no player has lasted as long as Sachin with a career spanning 24 years and being at the top speaks volumes of his mental and physical fitness.
However greats from different era cannot be compared but the only yard stick should be the actual records and not averages.  Records are definite and can be measured but averages are notional and subjective. 
With due respect to The Don, let God take his place as the supreme and let Don take his own position.  Afterall.people only remember how we behaved with them as a human long after we are gone despite our stupendous achievements which only reflects the power of creativity and pales in magnitude against the human element.
 
By Blogger Jags
with inputs from www.google.com and motivation by my captain Hitesh Shukla

































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