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Celebrating Sachin Tendulkar's 20 glorious years [Update: 28th year]

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Sachin's first ever interview published in Mid Day in 1986 wajzgx.jpg Read the last sentence :giggle:
Seems to be another Sandeep Patil in the making.
:hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical:

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'Proud' Maharashtrian Sachin says Mumbai belongs to all Indians Even as politicians in Maharashtra like Raj Thackeray are increasingly using the "Marathi Manoos" card, iconic Mumbaikar Sachin Tendulkar on Friday walked a middle path and said the financial capital belonged to India. "Mumbai belongs to India. I am a Maharashtrian and proud to be a Maharashtrian, but I am also an Indian," said Tendulkar to a specific query at a media meet here on the eve of completing 20 years in international cricket. Tendulkar made his international debut against Pakistan in the first Test at Karachi in 1989 and is all set to play his 160th Test against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad, the venue of the first Test of a three-match series, on November 16. :adore: LINK
way to go sachin .. :two_thumbs_up:

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India's proudest possession By Peter Roebuck 10r4dq0.jpg Tendulkar has gone two decades being a blend of the sublime and the precise, incapable of ugliness or of being dull; and those are among the least of his achievements Sachin Tendulkar has been playing top-class cricket for 20 years and he's still producing blistering innings, still looking hungry, still demolishing attacks, still a prized wicket, still a proud competitor. He has not merely been around for two decades. From his first outing to his most recent effort, a stunning 175 in Hyderabad, he has been a great batsman. Longevity counts amongst his strengths. Twenty years! It's a heck of a long time, and it's gone in the blink of an eye. The Berlin Wall was taken down a week before Sachin Tendulkar first wore the colours of his country, Nelson Mandela was behind bars, Allan Border was captaining Australia, and India was a patronised country known for its dust, poverty, timid batsmen and not much else. In those days Tendulkar was a tousle-haired cherub prepared to stand his ground against all comers, including Wasim Akram and the most menacing of the Australans, Merv Hughes. Now he is a tousle-haired elder still standing firm, still driving and cutting, still retaining some of the impudence of youth, but nowadays bearing also the sagacity of age. It has been an incredible journey, a trip that figures alone cannot define. Not that the statistics lack weight. To the contrary they are astonishing, almost mind-boggling. Tendulkar has a scored an avalanche of runs, thousands upon thousands of them in every form of the game. He has reached three figures 87 times in the colours of his country, and all the while has somehow retained his freshness, somehow avoided the mechanical, the repetitive and the predictable. Perhaps that has been part of it, the ability to retain the precious gift of youth. Alongside Shane Warne, the Indian master has been the most satisfying cricketer of his generation. Tendulkar's feats are prodigious. He has scored as many runs overseas as in his backyard, has flogged Brett Lee at his fastest and Shane Warne at his most obtuse, has flourished against swing and cut, prospered in damp and dry. Nor can his record be taken for granted. Batsmen exist primarily to score runs. It is a damnably difficult task made to look easy by a handful of expert practitioners. Others have promised and fallen back, undone by the demands, unable to meet the moment. Tendulkar has kept going, on his toes, seeking runs in his twinkling way. In part he has lasted so long because there has been so little inner strain. It's hard to think of a player remotely comparable who has spent so little energy conquering himself. Throughout, Tendulkar has been able to concentrate on overcoming his opponents. But it has not only been about runs. Along the way Tendulkar has provided an unsurpassed blend of the sublime and the precise. In him the technical and the natural sit side by side, friends not enemies, allies deep in conversation. Romantics talk about those early morning trips to Shivaji Park, and the child eager to erect the nets and anxious to bat till someone took his wicket. They want to believe that toil alone can produce that straight drive and a bat so broad that periodically it is measured. But it was not like that. From the start the lad had an uncanny way of executing his strokes perfectly. His boyhood coaches insist that their role was to ensure that he remained unspoilt. There was no apprenticeship. Tendulkar was born to bat. Over the decades it has been Tendulkar's rare combination of mastery and boldness that has delighted connoisseurs and crowds alike. More than any other batsman, even Brian Lara, Tendulkar's batting has provoked gasps of admiration. A single withering drive dispatched along the ground, eluding the bowler, placed unerringly between fieldsmen, can provoke wonder even amongst the oldest hands. A solitary square cut is enough to make a spectator's day. Tendulkar might lose his wicket cheaply but he is incapable of playing an ugly stroke. His defence might have been designed by Christopher Wren. And alongside these muscular orthodoxies could be found ornate flicks through the on-side, glides off his bulky pads that sent tight deliveries dashing on unexpected journeys into the back and beyond. Viv Richards could terrorise an attack with pitiless brutality, Lara could dissect bowlers with surgical and magical strokes, Tendulkar can take an attack apart with towering simplicity. Nor has Tendulkar ever stooped to dullness or cynicism. Throughout, his wits have remained sharp and originality has been given its due. He has, too, been remarkably constant. In those early appearances, he relished the little improvisations calculated to send bowlers to the madhouse: cheeky strokes that told of ability and nerve. For a time thereafter he put them into the cupboard, not because respectability beckoned or responsibility weighed him down but because they were not required. Shot selection, his very sense of the game, counts amongst his qualities. On his most recent trip to Australia, though, he decided to restore audacity, cheekily undercutting lifters, directing the ball between fieldsmen, shots the bowlers regarded as beyond the pale. Even in middle age he remains unbroken. Hyderabad confirmed his durability. And yet, even this, the runs, the majesty, the thrills, does not capture his achievement. Reflect upon his circumstances and then marvel at his feat. Here is a man obliged to put on disguises so that he can move around the streets, a fellow able to drive his cars only in the dead of night for fear or creating a commotion, a father forced to take his family to Iceland on holiday, a person whose entire adult life has been lived in the eye of a storm. Throughout he has been public property, India's proudest possession, a young man and yet also a source of joy for millions, a sportsman and yet, too, an expression of a vast and ever-changing nation. Somehow he has managed to keep the world in its rightful place. Somehow he has raised children who relish his company and tease him about his batting. Whenever he loses his wicket in the 90s, a not uncommon occurrence, his boy asks why he does not "hit a sixer". Somehow he has emerged with an almost untarnished reputation. Inevitably mistakes have been made. Something about a car, something else about a cricket ball, and suggestions that he had stretched the facts to assist his pal Harbhajan Singh. But then he is no secular saint. It's enough that he is expected to bat better than anyone else. It's hardly fair to ask him to match Mother Teresa as well. At times India has sprung too quickly to his defence, as if a point made against him was an insult to the nation, as if he were beyond censure. A poor lbw decision- and he has had his allocation- can all too easily be turned into a cause celebre. Happily Tendulkar has always retained his equanimity. He is a sportsman as well as a cricketer. By no means has it been the least of his contributions, and it explains his widespread popularity. Not even Placido Domingo has been given more standing ovations. And there has been another quality that has sustained him, a trait whose importance cannot be overstated. Not long ago Keith Richards, lead guitarist with the Rolling Stones, was asked how the band had kept going for so long, spent so many decades on the road, made so many records, put up with so much attention. His reply was as simple as it as telling. "We love it," he explained, "we just love playing." And so it has always has been with Tendulkar. It's never been hard for him to play cricket. The hard part will be stopping. But he will take into retirement a mighty record and the knowledge that he has given enormous pleasure to followers of the game wherever it is played. LINK

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Vengsarkar pays tribute vengsarkar.jpg "What I admire about Sachin is his humility, respect for elders and the passion for the game that he has retained even after so many years and after achieving so much in cricket. He has not changed at all," former India captain Vengsarkar said in praise of the master batsman who made his international debut on November 15, 1989. The former chief selector told PTI that he had his first look at Tendulkar's precocious talent during the 1988-89 series against New Zealand when he invited the prodigiously talented schoolboy to the Indian team's net session. "I had heard about his exploits (in schools and junior cricket) in 1988-89 when I was India captain and Vasu Paranjpe (former Mumbai cricketer) told me I must make it a point and see him play. We were in the middle of the series against New Zealand and I invited Sachin for the nets," Vengsarkar recalled. "I was very impressed after seeing the way he batted against Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, Maninder Singh and Arshad Ayub at the nets and the same evening the Mumbai selectors met and picked him to play his first Ranji Trophy tie against Gujarat. He played very well and went on to make a hundred (100 not out) in his first game," the former middle-order stylist said. "Then he got picked for India. At that time we never thought he would score so many thousands of runs or play for 20 years for the country," Vengsarkar said. Vengsarkar was emphatic that the 36-year-old batting genius, scorer of 12,773 runs in Tests and over 17,000 runs in ODIs, is the best batsman ever to play for India. "I can definitely say he has been the best batsman produced by India, not only for the sheer number of runs he has scored but also for the pace at which he has got those runs which has given the bowlers enough time to bowl out the opposition," said the 53-year-old former captain. Vengsarkar remembers very well the brilliant hundreds scored by Tendulkar as his India teammate in England and Australia at Manchester, Sydney and Perth and said even at that age he had a very mature head on his shoulders. "As a teammate, I have seen him score his first 100 that saved the Test for India against England (119 not out at Manchester in 1989-90 series) and the hundreds he scored against Australia (on his first tour in 1991-92) at Sydney (148 not out) and Perth (114 out of 272)," he said. "They were amazing innings and even at that young age he showed a lot of maturity. He was also physically strong. We knew then that he would go on to achieve bigger things in cricket," he said. One of Tendulkar's best innings in domestic cricket was a blistering near-ton he scored against Haryana in the Ranji Trophy final in 1990-91 at the Wankhede Stadium when Vengsarkar was the team captain. "I can also never forget his blistering innings of 96 against Haryana (led by Kapil) in the 1990-91 final at the Wankhede Stadium when we chased 350-plus runs in 65 overs and were down to 30-odd for three. It was an amazing knock, one of the best I have seen," he gushed. Mumbai lost that match by a heart-stopping two runs after they made a great effort to chase the target (355) by riding on Tendulkar's early pyrotechnics and Vengsarkar's brilliant unbeaten knock of 139 on virtually one leg. LINK

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The Berlin Wall was taken down a week before Sachin Tendulkar first wore the colours of his country' date=' Nelson Mandela was behind bars, Allan Border was captaining Australia, and [b']India was a patronised country known for its dust, poverty, timid batsmen and not much else. In those days Tendulkar was a tousle-haired cherub prepared to stand his ground against all comers, including Wasim Akram and the most menacing of the Australans, Merv Hughes. Now he is a tousle-haired elder still standing firm, still driving and cutting, still retaining some of the impudence of youth, but nowadays bearing also the sagacity of age.
Worst Peter Roebuck article in a long time. Oddly enough Sachin fans are much happy to see their "God" appreciated when it is their country that is being dissed. Timid batsmen Peter? Wasnt Amarnath acknowledged by every great fast bowler of his time as the bravest batsman?? Pray do tell which English, or Australian for that matter, received the same accolodate at the time? And that is not even considering Gavaskar who was easily one of the top 2 bats of his time alongside Viv Richards. Has flowery language deluded your judgement so much that you completely forget Sunny's record in cricket?? And while we are discussing 80s did you happen to forget how India won the 83 World Cup, and was the favorite to win the 87 World cup too? Speaking of 87 World cup was it not the most popular World cup till date, with the most mammoth crowds and better arrangements than what your nation England could provide in 75, 79, 83?? It is bewildering to see you mention as Indians being patronised and do exactly that! Get real Peter, India was a cricketing power much before Sachin arrived. Sure as a batsman Sachin achieved a lot for India but if folks like you dont relate India with poverty these days it has nothing to do with Sachin, more to do economic reforms. What a sweet and juicy piece of trashy article this was. xxx

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Worst Peter Roebuck article in a long time. Oddly enough Sachin fans are much happy to see their "God" appreciated when it is their country that is being dissed. Timid batsmen Peter? Wasnt Amarnath acknowledged by every great fast bowler of his time as the bravest batsman?? Pray do tell which English, or Australian for that matter, received the same accolodate at the time? And that is not even considering Gavaskar who was easily one of the top 2 bats of his time alongside Viv Richards. Has flowery language deluded your judgement so much that you completely forget Sunny's record in cricket?? And while we are discussing 80s did you happen to forget how India won the 83 World Cup, and was the favorite to win the 87 World cup too? Speaking of 87 World cup was it not the most popular World cup till date, with the most mammoth crowds and better arrangements than what your nation England could provide in 75, 79, 83?? It is bewildering to see you mention as Indians being patronised and do exactly that! Get real Peter, India was a cricketing power much before Sachin arrived. Sure as a batsman Sachin achieved a lot for India but if folks like you dont relate India with poverty these days it has nothing to do with Sachin, more to do economic reforms. What a sweet and juicy piece of trashy article this was. xxx
Tbh while reading the article I too felt bad with the way how Roebuck ridiculed our country and players of the past. He could have easily avoided mentioning that since it was never going to add any charm to what he wrote. Except for that silliness, article is quite good.

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Aamir Khan Pays tribute 1430_photo.jpg You will be surprised to know that I have seen Sachin bat against the best bowlers at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) even before he played for India. I clearly remember, Dilip Vengsarkar had come to the Indian team nets with a 14-year-old. After the nets he asked the boy to pad up and handed over a brand new ball to Kapil Dev. Kapil thought Dilip was trying to play a prank and he bowled some dollies to the kid who looked visibly upset. Dilip went to Kapil and insisted that he should bowl at his normal speed. Kapil, reluctantly, bowled some quick balls but the boy faced all of them with great confidence. Now he was happy. Kapil’s ego had been hurt. After all, how can a 14-year-old handle him so easily? He marked his run-up and bowled some nasty balls. But the lad faced them with supreme confidence. We were stunned. After the session, Dilip told Kapil, “This is the wonder boy I was talking about. His name is Sachin Tendulkar.†“Goodness me,†said a startled Kapil. “At this age he seems so matured. You are right; he is special.†All of us were tracking his progress, primarily through newspapers. Less than two years since that amazing net session, Sachin was awarded the India cap. Our career started almost at the same time. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was released in 1988; Sachin made his international debut in 1989. I first met him when he was invited to give the muhurat-shot clap for our new film Avval Number. He was very shy and far too polite. Since then we have nurtured a special friendship. I would like to narrate two stories which are close to my heart. We were in the final stages of Lagaan and were in need of some sound bytes. You usually hear two kinds of noises in a packed cricket stadium. One is a giant roar when something spectacular happens. The second is a deafening silence when something goes unexpectedly wrong. An India-Australia match was played at the Wankhede Stadium. I called Sachin so that he could get us approval from the right authorities to record sound bytes when the match was on. Sachin promptly got us the consent. The stadium was full and we got the bytes we dearly wanted. When we listened to the track, we had to cut almost 80 per cent of the footage. The reason? When Sachin is on the field spectators will continuously chant: Saaaachin, Saaaachin. It was not possible to use those sound bytes given that Sachin was not playing any role in Lagaan. Before its release I invited him for a private screening. It was an amazing scene: Sachin watching Lagan and I watching him. I was dying to see his reactions. The film rolled on and when Bhura took his first wicket in the film, Sachin unwittingly lifted his left hand and appealed: “How’s that.†I was relieved. That was it; I knew we were on the right track. I felt confident that the cricketing part in the film was just fine and the chances of success bright. I was invited for the Indian Premier League final (of its first edition) at the DY Patil Stadium. I was damn lucky since I got a seat next to Sachin. During the course of the match I asked him about the possible bowling changes. He explained the situation and predicted who would be bowling next. The change was made and the same bowler, who he had foreseen, came in to bowl next. For the next half an hour he was reading the game like an open book. He was only making an accurate prediction of the bowling changes; he was spot on with his views on field placement. He could even sense what shots the batsmen would play. It was unbelievable. I was stunned by his observations, his knowledge of the game, and the way he read the minds of the opposition. Completing 20 years in international cricket is a great achievement. I think his single-mindedness, dedication, passion for the game and his values have made this possible. His enthusiasm remains undimmed. Even after reaching this stage, he is so simple and humble. He is still fighting fit and motivated too. Let us enjoy watching the legend for a couple of more years at least. LINK

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Tbh while reading the article I too felt bad with the way how Roebuck ridiculed our country and players of the past. He could have easily avoided mentioning that since it was never going to add any charm to what he wrote. Except for that silliness' date=' article is quite good.[/quote'] I am reluctant to let it go as a mere mistake, more so since Peter Roebuck was a cricketer in his own right and was captaining Somserset in 80s. All the examples I mentioned earlier are from his cricketing days. I did not even bother to mention 2nd class examples: Dileep Vengsarkar scoring 3 100's at Lords(probably Roebuck's hallowed ground), Kapil scoring 292 runs in about 240 deliveries in 82(I would dare Mr Roebuck to give me a single example of a "cavalier" English batsman who has scored at that SR abroad) etc etc. This is either complete ignorance or just a blantant act of setting the bar of Indian cricket heritage so low that Sachin comes across as being a Superman. Thats my 0.02c, didnt mean to change the theme of this thread. xxx

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Tbh while reading the article I too felt bad with the way how Roebuck ridiculed our country and players of the past. He could have easily avoided mentioning that since it was never going to add any charm to what he wrote. Except for that silliness' date=' article is quite good.[/quote'] If you read closely, his article has nothing special,. I preferred that article much more which Harsha retrieved from Sports world, or some of the interviews where Sachin said that Kumble was the best Indian cricketer of his generation. Yesterday, he had a long press conference where journalists kept asking him question which he has replied several times. One journalist had an interesting way of repoting this conference: ...how we wonder what you are HIS EYES give it away. Behind the public reserve is an animated man. THE AFFECTION AND SUPPORT from the cricket fans of the country was immense. You need people to share your success and I have more than a billion people. That is more than enough for me. Sukhwant Basra MUMBAI: Somewhere, far removed from his public face, frolics the real Sachin Tendulkar. Perhaps that man is not reserved, modest or always in control. Under the glare of the arc lights it seems to peek hrough once in a while -- in the form of a blazing sil ver belt buckle that's almost as wide as his hand, or the shiny black crocodile skin shoes that match the buckle twinkle to shine. The flashy Tendulkar inhabits a private world; facing his nth press conference, he is decidedly bland. There's an u nderlying restlessness to the man sitting in the chair. His neck bobs all the time-- back and forth and sideways with a distinctive tendency to flop towards the right shoulder. 2j0mikw.jpg Then, it's all stretched out when responding to a question that has him more animated than most. Its all very bird-like. Sometimes hawk, largely dove. The left hand's steady with the microphone grasped. The right is whirring about with fingers splayed when he gropes for the correct words and lies limp when the query refuses to excite him. The shiny-shoes-clad feet begin to move as an answer drags out. In the hour plus that he faced a volley of questions, they have done a full tap dance circumambulating the space under the table. They, after all, are free from scrutiny under the wood. There, they can frolic a bit. The man who terrorises bowlers with temerity, refuses to hold eye contact with a questioner for the length of a retort. After all, those eyes are the most naked bit in the shell that he cocoons within. The warmth is there, the vibe is positive but the armour is always up. Just, the eyes are a giveaway. They glaze over at a controversial poser, sparkle with boyish humour at questions that amuse and come alive when he is talking pure cricket. The focus of a mind that spells 175 even at the age of 36 is clear in the way he streams out all the background commotion. It is white noise. He does not ask for long questions, which are actually a series of them woven into one, to be repeated. He reels off the answers. Just that the answers have been accumulating over 20 years. It's the same stuff over and over again. 2f06j2u.jpg "Every individual should respect another... whatever you say or do you have to think twice," he says to a query on why he has never lashed out with angry words. That attitude doesn't make great copy but perhaps that's exactly why he makes a great cricketer. "Cricket lies in my heart. I enjoy playing cricket. It comes naturally. It is my life and I enjoy every moment of it." There's a robotic one-dimensional aspect to his subservience to his God. Something that does not allow him to rest easy on the last great knock. "Others talk about the last game, I think about the next one." Perhaps someday Tendulkar will let his guard down and speak his mind without being too bothered about the ease of others. He may yet take on the toughest of posers and rip through them with the abandon only his willow flashes as of now. "People have appreciated me the way I am. Why change what you are when people anyway like you the way you are?" Perhaps someday he will get over the bit that he has to be liked by everyone and allow a peek into his private world -the place where he is all human and no superstar. Perhaps. (The interaction was organised by the World Sports Group, who manage Tendulkar) VERBATIM 20 YEARS is a long time and I have many special moments and it would be difficult to count them. But the first one (Test), the first day walking out in the playing XI in Pakistan probably was the greatest moment. I KNOW there is lot of cricket left in me because I am still enjoying it. I am not thinking of retirement. At some stage, I will have to, but I don't need to think of it right now. IT WAS a long journey and what I did after that was a reflection of my contribution to the game in the country. Playing for the country was my childhood dream and I have fulfilled my dream. I am fortunate to have played for my country for so many years.

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A tribute by Sir Viv Richards 13240.jpg Sunny (Sunil Gavaskar) hung his shoes in 1987, and Sachin Tendulkar emerged in the international cricket scene in 1989. I envy Indian cricket’s fortune as they have had two batting legends (back to back) in Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. For a number of years, I have enjoyed watching Sachin bat. He has got a perfect blend of defence and aggression. I also admire his ability to score runs in both forms of the game. I distinctly remember one interaction between us. The 2007 World Cup was a disaster for the Indian team. They lost to Bangladesh – it was just one bad day and suddenly the Indian team was under tremendous pressure. Eventually, they lost to Sri Lanka and were thrown out of the tournament. Now they had to face the wrath of one billion Indian fans. A friend of Sachin told me that he was in a state of shock and feeling depressed. He wanted me to have a chat with him. I was more than happy to do so. During the course of the next match in Antigua, I got a phone call from Sachin. We had a hearty chat for almost half an hour. I told Sachin that he was already a legend and that he should not pressurise himself to perform in every match. I said, “Sachin whenever you are going in to bat, do not expect that you should play a match-winning knock. At this stage of your career your role in the team is more than just a player. You should be a mentor to the team, a guide to the younger players.†I also bluntly asked him, “Are you sure in your mind about why you are playing now?†He told me that his body was holding up and he was not merely going through the motions. His motivation to perform at the highest level was still there. He is so honest in whatever he does. He proved that his hunger to perform at the highest level was still there when he played some great knocks during the Indian team’s tour to Australia (2007-08 series). He scored two centuries in the Test series. Furthermore, he helped India win the triangular ODI series. I admire Sachin as a person too. He is so polite; his mannerisms are heart-touching. He is a living legend and a wonderful role model for world cricket. LINK

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Beast pays tribute Shahid-Afridi2.jpg It’s an honour to talk about the man I’ve admired all my life. As a kid I enjoyed watching Sachin’s feats on television and he was one of the reasons why I fell in love with the game. His style in his initial years was all-aggression. Now, of course, he is more matured in his approach. I got my world record (fastest century in one-day cricket) with Sachin’s bat. I remember we went to Kenya after playing an under-19 tournament in the West Indies. Incidentally, Waqar Younis was in possession of that bat. Sachin wanted him to get a willow of a similar make from Sialkot. Waqar suggested that I try it, for somehow he felt it would work for me and I would enjoy myself. I instantly liked the feel of the wood and the balance. With the bat I achieved the world record but if my memory serves me right, Sachin has also got out with it a few times. I still have the bat, for it holds a special significance for me. First, I got the world record with it. Second, the prized possession belongs to Sachin. I value the bat as though it is my bride. But let me emphasise that be it Sachin or Brian Lara, I have never allowed myself to be intimidated by anyone. I’ve, in all these years, played cricket from the heart. It is natural that you would be in awe of Sachin but at the same time you need to lift yourself. True he has been brilliant against us, but there were occasions when I was in rhythm and managed to dismiss him. Yes, it’s never easy when you are up against him. Usually I want to have him at the non-striker’s end, so that I can concentrate on plotting the downfall of the other batsman. On my first tour to India I asked him to point the areas where I could improve. We had a one-on-one chat and he did give me a couple of suggestions. I know he is the kind of person who will always have something useful to offer whenever I need it. I have fond memories of many of his special innings. There was one knock at the Lord’s but, in Pakistan’s context, I would like to pick his innings in the Bangalore Test in 2005. He was in his elements on the last day. I remember dismissing him which opened the floodgates for us to win the game. I think I got him out seven-eight times in our exchanges, which is an honour for me. LINK

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This is one guy Raj Thackray will not take panga with.
My first thought :hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical: :hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical::hysterical:

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Guest Hiten.   
Guest Hiten.
Worst Peter Roebuck article in a long time. Oddly enough Sachin fans are much happy to see their "God" appreciated when it is their country that is being dissed. Timid batsmen Peter? Wasnt Amarnath acknowledged by every great fast bowler of his time as the bravest batsman?? Pray do tell which English, or Australian for that matter, received the same accolodate at the time? And that is not even considering Gavaskar who was easily one of the top 2 bats of his time alongside Viv Richards. Has flowery language deluded your judgement so much that you completely forget Sunny's record in cricket?? And while we are discussing 80s did you happen to forget how India won the 83 World Cup, and was the favorite to win the 87 World cup too? Speaking of 87 World cup was it not the most popular World cup till date, with the most mammoth crowds and better arrangements than what your nation England could provide in 75, 79, 83?? It is bewildering to see you mention as Indians being patronised and do exactly that! Get real Peter, India was a cricketing power much before Sachin arrived. Sure as a batsman Sachin achieved a lot for India but if folks like you dont relate India with poverty these days it has nothing to do with Sachin, more to do economic reforms. What a sweet and juicy piece of trashy article this was. xxx
I never liked Roebucks' article for the same fact that he never misses a chance to take a potshot anything that is Indian. Last week he took his cheapest shot at one of the Indian franchises' in IPL (KKR). I never bothered reading his tribute to SRT on cricinfo...was planning to but thanks to you for highlights his dull low-blows. And "you" folks need to go easy on SRT fans' bashing. Even we consider that no one is greater than our country, then why the need of generalizing ?

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I never liked Roebucks' article for the same fact that he never misses a chance to take a potshot anything that is Indian. Last week he took his cheapest shot at one of the Indian franchises' in IPL (KKR). I never bothered reading his tribute to SRT on cricinfo...was planning to but thanks to you for highlights his dull low-blows. And "you" folks need to go easy on SRT fans' bashing. Even we consider that no one is greater than our country, then why the need of generalizing ?
His articles reflect some arrogance. He believes in sensationalism. He has written some quite pathetic stuff in the past.

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Time to stop talking Tendulkar All around us today all of India is talking a language called 'Tendulkar'. His twenty years has led to actors delivering lines, singers hitting notes, academics offering profundities, colleagues offering praises over partnership, coaches delivering theories, friends telling their tales. Yet, most of his admirers remain unknown. They climb trees to look into a stadium, push the one ahead of them to grab a cheap seat, stand on the street shifting from one foot to another, duck down security barriers, run along the team bus to catch sight of him. When they see him, they become the single biggest sound in cricket. Today, it is they who are smiling silently. If they are merely distant fringes of his life, flecks seen from behind his sunglasses, he is at the centre of theirs. Because every time Tendulkar sets off to the crease, he takes with him the only thing they own - their pride. And today, that is bursting. Twenty years on, the batsman of their dreams is still there - and he remains real. In his twentieth year, Tendulkar has of course been turned into a monument, a deity. As India stretched itself through the 1990s and into the new millennium he went from Cherub-Face to Funky-Haircut, prodigy to big brand. He owns the Ferrari and a Mike Knopfler guitar hangs on a wall in his house. He is thought of as so valuable now they will cut trees to produce some 35kg piece of furniture about him and call it a book. But Tendulkar is where he is because when it comes to what he does, he has hung onto the most ordinary of descriptions. He is truly precious because he has remained the working man. Sure, his work happens to be visible and public. Sure, it attracts and seduces India, sending a country's blood pumping. Yet to him, it has remained his craft, his trade, his soul and he has given it his complete absorbtion. It is the quality that has made him the batsman he is. Not his eye, his timing, not even his gleaming, polished talent. Skills and gift could take him a distance, but only his mind in cricket and his heart towards it, could have lasted twenty years. When he bats, everyone watches. He reaches a demographic which the movie star and the politician would envy but will not ever possess. Male and female, young, middle-aged and old, business mogul and the man who polishes his shoes, students, teachers and drop outs, Indians in every corner of the country and the nooks and crannies of the world. When he had his tennis elbow injury, a room in his house piled up with medicines, oils, plasters, bandages, supports, sent by his fans from everywhere. In the time Tendulkar wrote the story of his career, he has given us ours. Pradeep Ramarathnam, a multinational executive in Bangalore today, thinks that Tendulkar brought sons and mothers closer. And in a way, God as well. In the 1990s, Ramarathnam's mother who never followed cricket, watched Tendulkar with him, amazed by the young batsman's age and mastery. Whenever Tendulkar arrived at the crease, Ramarathnam was told to rush off and pray for him. It was his mother's way of teaching him the prayers, but the son believed it was his way of ensuring Tendulkar didn't get out early. Well, he hasn't. Every fan has a personal Tendulkar story about the man's presence that has nothing to do with chance meetings. The twenty-year anniversary has led to a wild outbreak of festivities in the media with Tendulkar probably sitting through more interviews in the space of a few weeks than he has done in two decades. It is his twentieth year, but actually his 21st season. Think about it, it is in those seasons he has made his name, reputation and those towering records and he's already crossed twenty. The meticulous man would probably have noted 2008-09 as No. 20 passing by. That slipped out of the rest of our thinking and even statisticians didn't send out alerts. It didn't matter. Tendulkar turned up from South Africa and sent out his: 175 in Hyderabad that sent TV ratings and India's pulse racing. So never mind talking Tendulkar. As season 21 continues after the celebrations of Year 20, all that must be felt is contentment. All that must be experienced is enjoyment, all that must be appreciated is presence. It is what Sachin Tendulkar has given us all.
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/70882/Top%20Stories/Time+to+stop+talking+Tendulkar.html

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Ganguly wants Tendulkar to fire at the 2011 World Cup 2009-11-14 19:22:00 Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly wants Sachin Tendulkar to fire at the 2011 World Cup. On the eve of Tendulkar's 20th year in international cricket here Saturday, Ganguly said: 'I hope he keeps on firing. If he fires in the 2011 World Cup and leaves an impact in the team then India could have a big time.' Describing Tendulkar as the best role model for sportsmen, all-rounder Irfan Pathan also wants to see the master blaster as a member of the World Cup winning team in 2011. India, alongside Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are hosting the 2011 World Cup. Ganguly congratulated Tendulkar for completing 20 years in top flight cricket. 'It's a fantastic achievement playing 20 years for the country. Perhaps he is the best batsman I have seen,' he said. He recalled his maiden interaction with Tendulkar in the under-15 national camp at Indore in 1987-88. 'I had heard a lot about him because even then he was making news. He was considered a special talent and has lived upto expectation for two decades,' he said. Describing himself as fortunate for playing over 300 matches with Tendulkar, Ganguly said he has fond memories of the Mumbaikar on and off the field. 'I treasure these experiences. We have many sweet memories,' he said. Ganguly termed Tendulkar's 175 at Hyderabad against Australia as his best One-day International innings. 'It was perhaps his best ODI innngs. At least the best I have seen,' he said.

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He has been mentored by Sachin Tendulkar since his debut in South Africa when he scored his first hundred while batting with the maestro and has since formed one of the most devastating opening pairs in world cricket. Here’s Virender Sehwag’s very special tribute to his hero. When you two bat the synergy is excellent. What do you guys discuss while batting? We enjoy each other’s games, have fun in the middle and push each other on. When I play a good shot Sachin speaks to me and often tells me that he knows I can hit more of such shots and I do the same. We just stay focussed and enjoy our time out there in the middle. Sachin is a legend, isn’t he? For 20 long.. (Sehwag interrupts) He is not simply a legend. He is God. He is the god of cricket and it has been an absolute privilege to be able to share the dressing room with him and play with him. Talk a bit about the famous centurion partnership in the 2003 World Cup in SA? Pakistan had scored 273 and the Indian dressing room was completely quiet. Sachin was only listening to music and wasn’t even talking to anyone. When the umpires walked out to the middle I went up to him to tell him that we need to go out and we did so. The moment we stepped out to the middle he said he would take first strike. This was because Wasim Akram was bowling and I hadn’t faced him before. In the very second over he tore into Shoaib Akhtar and hit the fantastic six over point. He followed it up with three boundaries and we raced off to a blistering start. The Pakistanis were abusing us in Hindi and I urged him to continue hitting them. That was our retort for their behaviour. Also, let me say that the hit over slip or point is a stroke I learnt from Sachin and have used it ever since. Sachin has now said that he will play the 2011 World Cup. Your thoughts. Why only 2011 he is fit enough to even play the 2015 World Cup. See his innings in Hyderabad. He fielded for 50 overs and then came out to bat and played for 47 overs. Not many Indian players have been able to do that over the years. He still practices more than any youngster and he is fit enough to play for many years. After practice Gary throws balls at him for over 40 minutes and he continues to knock them around. His dedication is infectious. Off the field he is a fun-loving guy. He loves playing video games and enjoys going to the movies with us. I am fortunate to be able to spend time with him and it is fantastic that he will play the 2011 World Cup. He is Sachin’s best buddy. He has been presented with eight bats by the master over the last two years and thinks Sachin was well capable of picking 350 wickets had he been a bowler. Sachin completing his 20 years in international cricket is a very special occasion for this sardar from Jalandhar. Harbhajan Singh shares his views about Sachin. Bhajji, Sachin completing 20 years is a special moment for you as well. Isn’t it? Absolutely it is. And to remain at the very top for all these years makes it all the more special. He is an extraordinary man and a truly great friend who I can turn to at any point in time in my life. Tell me about your first meeting with Sachin? I met him for the first time in Jalandhar. India was playing Sri Lanka and I was asked to come and bowl at the nets to the Indian batsman. By the time I reached the ground the practice session was over. Sachin came out and spoke to me for two minutes. It meant the world to me. Tell me about sharing the dressing room and anything in particular that you have learnt from him? I have learnt a lot from him both on and off the field. Off the field I’d only eat Indian food when we travelled out of India. Sachin was the one who told me not to restrict myself to makai ki roti and chicken (laughs). He has introduced me to a wide range of cuisines and I have now learnt to adapt to all conditions and palettes. On the field I learnt the outswinger from him ,which I use if I have to bowl early in the innings. I have picked many wickets with this ball. He is blessed. I haven’t seen many who can spin the ball as much as he can. Had he wanted to be a bowler he could easily have picked 350 wickets. Not many remember that it was Sachin with the ball who won us the famous Kolkata Test in 2001 against Australia. The two of us bowled in tandem and he picked up three crucial wickets on the last day of the match. Did he give you anything after that special performance of yours? He gave me a pair of spikes. Had it been today I’d have asked for his Ferrari! But those spikes are invaluable for me. Over the last two years he has given me 8-9 bats of his own. I have been batting with them ever since and my batting has improved considerably over the last couple of years. Sydney remains a Test match I must ask you about. Did it help you during monkeygate that Sachin was out there with you? Of course it did. Had Sachin not been there the situation could have gone completely out of control. He was a calming influence and did much for me all through the controversy. He is a special man and I wish him all the best with everything he does even after he retires from the game in a few years.

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Whenever talk veers towards the early excitement around Sachin Tendulkar’s talent, I remember the words of Kapil Dev. I had broken the news to the Indian team in the dressing room about Sachin making a hundred on Ranji Trophy debut . The first to respond was Kapil, who immediately told his teammates ,‘‘ Please don’t go overboard over this performance. We have also had our prodigies in Haryana. There was Rajdeep Kalsi. But he flattered to deceive.'' Kapil’s Mumbai teammates, like Dilip Vengsarkar and Sanjay Manjrekar, sniggered. They had been following Sachin’s performances since he was 12. They had played with and against him. They knew the buzz. They knew what happened with Kalsi would never happen with Sachin. Mumbai cricket has its system of checks and balances and people with the right priorities usually let a talented young one sail through to the top seamlessly. Also, word spreads around Mumbai’s cricket maidans very fast. When Sachin scored his first fifty for Shardashram against Don Bosco he was barely 11, but umpire DS Gondhalekar immediately told Sachin’s coach Ramakant Achrekar that his ward would one day play for India. In Achrekar’s own words, Sachin was a ‘‘ natural” . He says: ‘‘ By the time he was 12 or 13 I knew he would reach the top. I had to tell him one thing just once, and he would stick to it.”' Still, there were people not willing to get carried away. Like for the semifinal of a suburban tournament, Sachin was left out of the XI by the Hind Sevak skipper . When the skipper got a scolding from Achrekar, Sachin was picked for the two-day final against Prabhu Jolly Young. In the first innings he was out first ball, for a duck off the back of his bat. The bowler was a little known legspinner, yours truly! The members of the team cursed this bowler for denying them the pleasure of watching the prodigy from close quarters. In the second innings, Sachin hit three boundaries in a row off Ajit Pai, former India seamer, before being run out by his skipper. He went back crying to the pavilion. This is the ‘check-and-balance ' system. There were a few Doubting Thomases. The city had seen many young talents. Quickie Ramakant Desai played for India before he played for Mumbai and Budhi Kunderan did likewise. Madhav Apte claimed all ten wickets in the Giles Shield and played for India as opening batsman . Ravi Shastri had been catapulted into Test cricket within a year of his first-class debut. Nadeem Memon was among the senior players when Sachin played for John Bright in the F Division of the Monsoon tournament Kanga League, which is a test of batsmanship because the deliveries rise off the drying pitches. Says Nadeem, ‘‘ Achrekar Sir asked me to include Sachin, who was about 12. There were some who thought he might get hurt but he got 16 not out. Vinod Kambli, Samir Dighe, Iqbal Khan, Dattaram Pandit were also there in the side.” Two teammates who saw him from close quarters at that raw age were Amol Muzumdar and Sairaj Bahutule. Amol Muzumdar was waiting for his turn during the world record 664-run stand with Vinod Kambli, while Sairaj Bahutule was in the opposition, in the St. Xavier’s High School bowling lineup. Amol recalls,‘‘ We knew he would play Test cricket but not for 20 years. I was not in Achrekar’s stable initially but with coach Anna Vaidya. “But at Shivaji Park this buzz was there. I remember once I was travelling in a bus with my mother . Sachin was in the same bus. I didn’t know him then. I told my mom when we saw Sachin get off, ‘That’s Sachin Tendulkar, he will play for India.’” Amol adds, ‘‘ He had special talent . At that time the stress was more on correct technique and temperament, less on flamboyance . But Sachin had this terrific ability to hit the ball which we never saw in others. When one knows that one can hit any bowler it is a big plus point.” Sairaj Bahutule is all praise for Sachin’s consistency, right from the U-15 level. ‘‘ He hit big runs off me in that world-record stand but he played the bowling on merit even at that young age, which is remarkable.”' Naresh Churi was another Achrekar chela like Amol Muzumdar , who missed the international bus in spite of having performed and taken the route that Pravin Amre did — Ranji trophy for Railways and Duleep for Central Zone. He says,‘‘ I had passed out of school when Sachin joined but when in town I would go to the nets and see him. Sir had a special net for the extra-talented . Once I saw Sachin hitting in the air and asked him, ‘You told us to keep the ball along the ground but Sachin is doing the opposite .’ Achrekar told me, ‘When he hits, he not only middles the ball but he clears the ground. Plus he doesn’t get out when he lifts the ball.’ I appreciated the logic and I knew then that Sachin was special.” Churi says at the same time there were many who were pointing out that Vinod Kambli was the greater player. ‘‘ Once I took our Railways coach Vinod Sharma to watch a Shardasharam game. After Sachin got out with some 250 runs still needed to chase down Anjuman’s 500-plus score at Azad maidan , it was Vinod who scored over 250 and earned us victory. Sharma was impressed more by Vinod. But I insisted that Sachin would be the one.” Soon after, when we were in Delhi for a Ranji game, Sharma knocked on my door in the morning saying,‘‘ Your Sachin has been picked for Mumbai.” When the late Raj Singh Dungarpur saw Sachin play at the Brabourne Stadium in the schools final, he remarked about his maturity. About how when the field was spread out, Sachin would turn his boundary-bound drives to longon and long-off for twos. How he didn’t hit the ball in the air for nearly two days. No wonder it took little persuasion for Raj Singh, as chairman of the national selection committee, to pick Sachin for India ahead of the likes of Gursharan Singh and Praveen Amre. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Sachin makes time stand still.

In a sport that specialises in the manufacture of instant stars and transient celebrities, Tendulkar is the real thing. Even now, twenty years Sachin after his debut, there's always a sense of occasion every time he comes to the crease, no matter the game, no matter the place Many tributes to Sachin Tendulkar. This month will begin with a recollection of one of his epic innings. I wish to cite one of the shortest. It was in Melbourne, my hometown, on Boxing Day 2003. It was a day rich in entertainment, containing a Virender Sehwag century full of eye-popping strokes. Seldom, however, have I sat in a crowd so obviously awaiting one player, and when Tendulkar appeared they radiated happiness and contentment, bursting into heartfelt applause. Tendulkar at the MCG? Delayed Christmas presents come no better. Except that it was all wrapping and no gift. Tendulkar feathered his first ball down the leg side, and was caught at the wicket — a miserable way to fall for any batsman, in addition to being a lousy anti-climax . The crowd had hardly ceased cheering than it was compelled to resume, cheering Tendulkar off, and the feeling afterwards was almost devastation. You could hear the sibilance of conversations, as connoisseurs ruminated that cricket sure was a funny game, and fathers tried explaining to sons that even the greats had bad days. About three overs later, three spectators at the end of my row got up and left. It was mid-afternoon , Sehwag was still mid-spectacular , and they left. This was not what they had come for, and they would accept no substitute. I had to stay — it was my job — but I could easily have followed them. The hollow feeling persisted all day. When it comes to communicating Tendulkar's place in cricket history to future generations, I suspect, this is what will be most significant, and also the hardest to convey. In the twenty years of his career, international cricket has changed unrecognisably: elaborate and ceremonial Test cricket has been usurped, economically at least, by the slick, shiny celebrity vehicle of Twenty20. Yet even now, Tendulkar makes time stand still: every time he comes to the wicket, no matter the game, no matter the place, there is a sense of occasion. It needs no pop music, no cheerleaders, no word from his many sponsors. He is announced by his accumulated excellence, the effect somehow magnified by his tininess: little man, big bat, great moment. His entry could not seem more dramatic if he was borne to the crease on a bejewelled palanquin by dusky maidens amid a flourish of imperial trumpets. This, moreover, has been the case almost for longer than one can remember. I first saw Tendulkar bat live in England in 1990. He looked so young, so small, like a novelty item on a key chain. Any sense of frailty, however, was quickly dispelled; instead, there was a sureness of touch, not just impressive but altogether ominous. You told yourself to remember him this way; you wanted to be able to say you were there; he was going to be good, so good. By the time he first toured Australia eighteen months later, he simply oozed command. All that held him back, and it would be a theme of his career, especially abroad, was his sorely outclassed team. Sometimes, this looked almost eerie. Ten years ago in Melbourne, India and Tendulkar played a Test at the MCG. To distinguish between the two was only fair. India were terrible, a shambles. Kumble dropped the simplest catch imaginable from the game's second ball and took 2-150 ; Dravid batted more than three and a half hours in the match for 23 runs; Laxman and Ganguly failed twice, the latter playing on to Greg Blewett, of all people. Tendulkar batted as if on a different pitch, to different bowlers in a different match. Shane Warne came on in front of his home crowd with Australia in the ascendant. Tendulkar promptly hit him into that crowd beyond mid-off . Brett Lee, in his debut Test, bowled like the wind. Tendulkar treated him as a pleasant, cooling breeze. The follow-on loomed, apparently unavoidable. Tendulkar guided India past it, toying with Steve Waugh's formations, making the fielders look as immobile and ineffectual as croquet hoops. Had it not been for his ten teammates, Tendulkar could have batted until the crack of doom. As it is, he had to rest content with 116 out of an otherwise bedraggled 238. And this wasn't just an innings; it was, at the time, a synechdoche of Indian cricket. No matter where he went, Tendulkar was the main event, preceded by acute anticipation, followed by grateful wonder, seasoned with sympathy, that such a flyweight figure had to bear such burdens. There is no discussing Tendulkar, even in cricket terms, as batsman alone. He is also, of course, Indian cricket's original super celebrity; as Pope wrote of Cromwell, ‘damn'd to everlasting fame' . In this sense, he has been preternaturally modern, at the forefront of developments in the culture of stardom in his country, with his telephone-number television entanglements and sponsorship deals, and his reclusive private life. Without Tendulkar's prior demonstration of cricket's commercial leverage, Lalit Modi and all his works would have been unthinkable. What's truly amazing, nonetheless, is that the simulacrum of Tendulkar has never overwhelmed the substance. He has gone on doing what he does best, and has done better than anybody else in his generation, which is bat and bat and bat. Like Warne, albeit for different reasons, cricket grounds have been a haven for him: in the middle, he always knows what to do, and feels confident he can do it. Life is full of complications and ambiguities; cricket by comparison, even shouldering the expectations of a billion people, is sublimely simple. Tendulkar's fame, then, is of an unusual kind. He is a symbol of change, but also of continuity. What's astonishing about his batting is not how much it has changed but how little. He set himself a standard of excellence, of consistency, of dominance, and challenged the rest of Indian cricket to meet him up there. Gradually, in the 21st century, albeit not without setbacks, stumbles, financial excesses and political wranglings, it has. His presence now is an ennobling one. First it was his excellence that rubbed off; now it is his integrity. Cricket today specialises in the manufacture of instant stars, temporary celebrities, glorious nobodies. Tendulkar acts as a kind of fixed price or gold standard. To choose a well-loved and well-worn advertising catchline, he is ‘the real thing' . In his sheer constancy, in fact, Tendulkar unwittingly obscures just how completely cricket has been transformed, to the extent that it is almost impossible to imagine his fame being replicated. Who in future will play international cricket for twenty years, losing neither motivation nor mastery? Who in future will master all three forms of the game, capable of spontaneous spectacle and massive entrenchment alike? Who in future will excite us simply by walking onto the field, just a man and a bat, and disappoint so seldom? Recalling how shocked, even grief stricken, was that crowd in Melbourne six years ago as Tendulkar's back was swallowed by the shadows of the pavilion, I find myself brooding anxiously on the thought of what it will be like when he disappears for the last time. 154 That's how many one-day wickets Sachin has claimed with his gentle leg-breaks . Nehru Stadium in Kochi has been his happy hunting ground, with both his fivers coming there — 5 for 32 against Australia in 1998, and 5 for 50 against Pakistan in 2005. The Pakistani giant Inzamam-ul Haq was an unlikely Sachin bunny, falling to him seven times 44 Test wickets have been fewer with 3-10 against South Africa at Mumbai in 2000 being his best.

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During the course of the match I asked him about the possible bowling changes. He explained the situation and predicted who would be bowling next. The change was made and the same bowler, who he had foreseen, came in to bowl next. For the next half an hour he was reading the game like an open book. He was only making an accurate prediction of the bowling changes; he was spot on with his views on field placement. He could even sense what shots the batsmen would play. It was unbelievable. I was stunned by his observations, his knowledge of the game, and the way he read the minds of the opposition.
:adore: :adore:

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Something I wrote about my earliest memory of Sachin. I remember being curious about Sachin Tendulkar. I knew he was a really young kid, a few years older than me, selected for the Indian team. Mum thought he was cute with his curly hair. We didn't think much of him except that he was the baby of the Indian cricket team. Then Karachi happened. The ODI was reduced to a 20-over exhibition game. Pakistanis had a formidable total up. Qadir was outfoxing our batsmen throughout the innings. Out steps little Sachin, and boom goes Qadir. 6, 0, 4, 6 6 6. The Karachi crowd was stunned and amazed at the dichotomy of seeing such brutish strokes come out of someone who looks so innocent. How can you hate the kid ? And it didn't stop there.. Akram came in, and Sachin hit him around too ! We couldn't believe our eyes sitting in front of the TV. This was the post-Miandad-Chetan-Sharma time when the Pakistanis were considered oh so formidable, and we had become used to seeing the Indian team giving in meekly to them. And then out of nowhere comes this baby faced curly haired boy who shows no fear, hits 53 runs from 18 balls and gets us so close from an almost impossible position. Quote from Sachin about the match "When I came in to bat we needed 69 runs in five overs or so. I had a go at Mushtaq Ahmed who had taken two wickets and hit him for a couple of sixes. Qadir then came up to me said, "Bachchon ko kyon mar rahe ho? Hamein bhi maar dikhao" ("Why are you only hitting the kid? Hit me too.") Qadir was a great bowler and I was only playing my first series. I didn't say anything, but it fired me up. I took up the challenge and gave it a go. Ultimately we fell short only by four runs." A Hero was born, and the fact that he took us so close but tragically failed to win made him appear more vulnerable and human to the people watching him. He wasn't the unattainable adonis that people looked up to and idolized. He was the sincere little son whom mums wanted to comfort after seeing him disconsolate on losing, he was the older brother who smashed the living daylights out of our "enemies" and showed no fear, he was the cute baby faced boy who was making a name for himself and becoming a heartthrob among all the young girls, he was the gritty hardworking son whom dads hoped would make them proud, and one by one he was slowly becoming the hope of a billion people, the main protagonist of a movie that had its ups and downs, joy and anguish, jubilance and heartbreak, . Sachin had arrived, and was on the way to becoming a legend. But along with him, Cricket was reborn in India as a wholesome form of entertainment, as a replacement for the fading bollywood industry of the early 90s which people from all walks of life flocked to for a little bit of Sachin.

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:hail: When did he start wearing the Indian flag on his helmet? Early 00s? Only ever seen him bat once in the flesh, and that was at MCG two years ago. Day Two. Dravid was dismissed for 5 off 66 balls last ball before lunch. I knew Sachin was next in, so as I was having lunch, I pondered what would happen next. Almost immediately he came in the run-rate picked up from its moribund ~1 run per over. He was threatening to bring India back into the game almost by himself. As soon as he left, bowled by Stuart Clark for 62 (out of 89 while he was there), the innings collapsed. So 90s, I thought to myself. I knew I'd witnessed something special, even if it was a cameo. Time just seems to stand still when he is batting. That hasn't been the case the times I've seen Lara and Ponting bat (and I've seen a fair bit of them, mostly in ODIs).

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A tribute by Atul Ranade MENTAL STRENGTH IS HIS BIGGEST ASSET 5niwqx.jpg Tendulkar may have reached the pinnacle of his career, but that hasn't stopped him from living life to its fullest. Here's a peek... My favourite Sachin innings The 98 he scored against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup at Centurion. I can't forget how he belted Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar all round the SuperSport Park. The way Sachin executed his innings was remarkable. Chasing 270-odd runs, it was a terrific effort against a formidable Pakistan pace attack. His greatest strength It has to be Sachin's mental strength. He puts in a lot of effort to improve his physical fitness. We trained for hours before the Australia series at the Bandra Kurla Complex. He knows his body well -- how to treat it and when to rest it. It is difficult to break his concentration. Weakness Sachin's tendency to glide the ball to third man seems chronic. He has got out so many times edging a catch behind the stumps trying to get cheeky. Sachin & me After he scored his 35th Test hundred, Sachin called me from the dressing room. He was slightly emotional, as he finally surpassed Sunny sir's record. He was tense not because he was on the verge of breaking the record, but it was the media hype that got to him. A huge tension was off his shoulders and I could feel it too. (Sachin's best friend Ranade spoke to Bivabasu Kumar) Navjot Singh Sidhu pays tribute HE COULD HAVE DONE BETTER AS A SKIPPER 10pd2dw.jpg My favourite Sachin innings To start with, I would say the `Desert storm' innings Sachin played in Sharjah in 1998 was one of the best. The master batsman showed how he could dominate the bowling and play shots at will. Sachin also played a superb innings in the Chennai Test against Pakistan and scored a hundred despite struggling with back spasm. Although India lost that Test, the world saw what a player Sachin was despite not being at his best. On his first Pak tour, he was hit on the nose. But the then 16-year-old did not lose courage and scored a brilliant half-century to draw the Sialkot Test. His greatest strength He has got a wolf in his belly, which is always hungry for runs! Sachin just knows how to convert obstacles into stepping stones, defeats into triumphs and weaknesses into strengths. Weakness He is almost flawless when it comes to technique, but I feel he could have done better as skipper. When it came to captaincy, things did not go his way. Sachin & me I feel blessed and thank God that I played alongside such a great player. Opening the innings with him and watching him from the non-striker's end was always an inspiration for me. (As told to Aseem Bassi) SACH FRAMES BON VIVANT Tendulkar may have reached the pinnacle of his career, but that hasn't stopped him from living life to its fullest. Here's a peek... 2m5gwnt.jpg1z3cuwl.jpg34ordd4.jpg1hza6x.jpgogb3x2.jpg1zohw77.jpg2ahvakg.jpg2hx5a39.jpg2nl5moh.jpg1zgf58x.jpgx5ccnc.jpg

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Anshuman Gaekwad - I was lucky to be the manager of Team India when Sachin Tendulkar was in his prime. The assignment gave me the opportunity to watch some of his scintillating knocks live and understand his approach to the game. Almost a decade on, I fondly remember his three knocks — two against Australia and one against Pakistan — in the 1997-98 and 98-99 seasons not only because of the quality of his batting but also for his mindset. Shane wanes The first match of the India-Australia Test series in Chennai in March 1998 was pitted as the battle between Sachin and Shane Warne. And knowing Sachin, I was sure he wouldn’t want to come second best. Before the match, on Sachin’s request, we invited leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan to nets. We created a rough outside the leg stump and asked Siva to pitch his deliveries on it. Things, however, didn’t go according to our plan in the first innings. We were bowled out for 257. Some useful partnerships lower down the order helped Australia gain a 71-run lead in the first innings. But I knew, we could still turn the tables on Aussies. I walked up to Sachin, who was in the physio’s room at the Chinnaswamy stadium, before our second innings. “Look Sach, I think we still have a chance to win the match. But for that, we need a quick 70 from someone. Who will do it?” I asked him. “Don’t worry, I will,” Sach replied. But the way he batted next day was amazing. He hit Warne all around the park. As anticipated, Warne came round the wicket and tried to pitch his deliveries on the rough on a wearing track. But Sachin was equal to the task, he swept, pulled, drove and cut Warne with disdain. His 155-run knock helped India win the match by 179 runs and set up the series for us. Desert storm We were down in the dumps in the Coca Cola Cup in Sharjah in April 1998. Only a monumental effort in our final group match against Aussies could see us enter the final of the tri-series. Australia batted first and scored 284. We needed to score 254 to qualify for the final. Sachin sounded the warning bells for the Aussies by whacking two Michael Kasprowicz deliveries into the stands. A desert storm saw the match being interrupted for a while. Our target was reduced to 276 and in order to qualify for the final, we had to score 237. And after the desert storm, Tornado Tendulkar took the Aussies head-on. He hit every bowler. He was finally dismissed for 143 off 131balls. His knock was studded with five sixes and nine fours. His scintillating ton ensured India’s qualification. After the match, when I reached the hotel in Dubai, I happened to come across Kasprowicz in the lift. He called me out loud, “Hey coach! How to stop this man (Sachin)?” I told him, “ Kasper, listen. Only Sachin can stop Sachin and no-one else.” I was late to retire to bed that night. It was well past midnight and I was about to fall asleep when I got a call from Sachin seeking permission for a quick chat. He told me, “I think there is a slight problem in my technique, Anshubhai.” This coming from a man who had just decimated the Aussie attack puzzled me. “When I am trying to loft the fast bowlers, I am not getting the right elevation? How can I rectify this?” he asked me. Well, in all my years I have been associated with cricket I have never come across a more committed man. To me, Sachin is a perfectionist. He is 99.9 per cent perfect. Sach went on to score a hundred in the final too, which saw India lift the Coca Cola Cup. Post-ton pain Sachin was fighting back spasms during the first Test of the series between India and Pakistan in Chennai in January 1999. We needed his presence and he took the field. The match ebbed and flowed both ways and India needed 271 to win in the fourth innings. Sachin, troubled by a sore back, almost led India to an unlikely win. But he fell 17 runs short of victory scoring a superb 136. The tail-enders caved in and India lost the match by 12 runs. Sachin was shattered. At the post-match presentation, Sachin was declared man of the match. But Sach was no where to be seen. I went to the dressing room and found him sitting in a corner with his face covered with a towel. I tried to draw his attention. But couldn’t. I never saw a more shattered Tendulkar.

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MAN-CHILD SUPERSTAR by Rahul Bhattacharya Sachin Tendulkar comes to the ground in headphones. He might make a racket in the privacy of the bus, who knows, but when he steps out he is behind headphones. Waiting to bat he is behind his helmet. The arena is swinging already to the chant, "Sachin, Sachin", the first long and pleading, the second urgent and demanding, but Tendulkar is oblivious, behind his helmet. At the fall of the second wicket, that familiar traitorous roar goes round the stadium, at which point Tendulkar walks his slow walk out, golden in the sun, bat tucked under the elbow. The gloves he will only begin to wear when he approaches the infield, to busy himself against distraction from the opposition. Before Tendulkar has even taken guard, you know that his quest is equilibrium. As he bats his effort is compared in real time with earlier ones. Tendulkar provides his own context. The conditions, the bowling attack, his tempo, his very vibe, is assessed against an innings played before. Today he reminds me of the time when … Why isn't he …. What's wrong with him! If the strokes are flowing, spectators feel something beyond pleasure. They feel something like gratitude. The silence that greets his dismissal is about the loudest sound in sport. With Tendulkar the discussion is not how he got out, but why. Susceptible to left-arm spin? To the inswinger? To the big occasion? The issue is not about whether it was good or not, but where does it rank? A Tendulkar innings is never over when it is over. It is simply a basis for negotiation. He might be behind headphones or helmet, but outside people are talking, shouting, fighting, conceding, bargaining, waiting. He is a national habit. But Tendulkar goes on. This is his achievement, to live the life of Tendulkar. To occupy the space where fame and accomplishment intersect, akin to the concentrated spot under a magnifying glass trained in the sun, and remain unburnt. "Sachin is God" is the popular analogy. Yet god may smile as disease, fire, flood and Sreesanth visit the earth, and expect no fall in stock. For Tendulkar the margin for error is rather less. The late Naren Tamhane was merely setting out the expectation for a career when he remarked as selector, "Gentlemen, Tendulkar never fails." The question was whether to pick the boy to face Imran, Wasim, Waqar and Qadir in Pakistan. Tendulkar was then 16. Sixteen and so ready that precocity is too mild a word. He made refinements, of course, but the marvel of Tendulkar is that he was a finished thing almost as soon as began playing. The maidans of Bombay are dotted with tots six or seven years old turning out for their coaching classes. But till the age of 11, Tendulkar had not played with a cricket ball. It had been tennis- or rubber-ball games at Sahitya Sahwas, the writers' co-operative housing society where he grew up, the youngest of four cricket-mad siblings by a distance. The circumstances were helpful. In his colony friends he had playmates, and from his siblings, Ajit in particular, one above Sachin but older by 11 years, he had mentorship. It was Ajit who took him to Ramakant Achrekar, and the venerable coach inquired if the boy was accustomed to playing with a "season ball" as it is known in India. The answer did not matter. Once he had a look at him, Achrekar slotted him at No. 4, a position he would occupy almost unbroken through his first-class career. In his first two matches under Achrekar Sir, he made zero and zero. Memory obscures telling details in the dizzying rise thereafter. Everybody remembers the 326 not out in the 664-run gig with Kambli. Few remember the 346 not out in the following game, the trophy final. Everyone knows the centuries on debut in the Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy at 15 and 16. Few know that he got them in the face of a collapse in the first instance and virtually out of partners in the second. Everyone knows his nose was bloodied by Waqar Younis in that first Test series, upon which he waved away assistance. Few remember that he struck the next ball for four. This was Tendulkar five years after he'd first handled a cricket ball. Genius, they say, is infinite patience. But it is first of all an intuitive grasp of something beyond the scope of will - or, for that matter, skill. In sportspersons it is a freakishness of the motor senses, even a kind of ESP. Tendulkar's genius can be glimpsed without him actually holding a bat. Not Garry Sobers' equal with the ball, he is nevertheless possessed of a similar versatility. He swings it both ways, a talent that eludes several specialists. He not only rips big legbreaks but also lands his googlies right, a task beyond some wrist spinners. Naturally he also bowls offspin, usually to left-handers and sometimes during a spell of wrist spin. In the field he mans the slips as capably as he does deep third man, and does both in a single one-dayer. Playing table tennis he is ambidextrous. By all accounts he is a brilliant, if hair-raising, driver. He is a champion Snake player on the cellphone, according to Harbhajan Singh, whom he also taught a spin variation. His batting is of a sophistication that defies generalisation. He can be destroyer or preserver. Observers have tried to graph these phases into a career progression. But it is ultimately a futile quest for Tendulkar's calibrations are too minute and too many to obey compartmentalisation. Given conditions, given his fitness, his state of mind, he might put away a certain shot altogether, and one thinks it is a part of his game that has died, till he pulls it out again when the time is right, sometimes years afterwards. Let alone a career, in the space of a single session he can, according to the state of the rough or the wind or the rhythm of a particular bowler, go from predatorial to dead bat or vice versa. Nothing frustrates Indians as much as quiet periods from Tendulkar, and indeed often they are self-defeating. But outsiders have no access to his thoughts. However eccentric, they are based on a heightened cricket logic rather than mood. Moods are irrelevant to Tendulkar. Brian Lara or Mohammad Azharuddin might be stirred into artistic rage. Tendulkar is a servant of the game. He does not play out of indignation nor for indulgence. His aim is not domination but runs. It is the nature of his genius. The genius still doesn't explain the cricket world's enchantment with Tendulkar. Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis are arguably not lesser cricketers than he, but have nothing like his following or presence. Among contemporaries only Shane Warne could draw an entire stadium's energy towards himself, but then Warne worked elaborately towards this end. Tendulkar on the pitch is as uncalculated as Warne was deliberate. Warne worked the moments before each delivery like an emcee at a title fight. Tendulkar goes through a series of ungainly nods and crotch adjustments. Batting, his movements are neither flamboyant nor languid; they are contained, efficient. Utility is his concern. Having hit the crispest shot between the fielders he can still be found scurrying down the wicket, just in case. Likewise, outside the pitch nothing he does calls up attention. In this he is not unusual for the times. It has been, proved by exceptions of course, the era of the undemonstrative champion. Ali, Connors, McEnroe, Maradona have given way to Sampras, Woods, Zidane, Federer, who must contend with the madness of modern media and sanitisation of corporate obligation. Maybe Tendulkar the superstar, like Tendulkar the cricketer, was formed at inception. Then, as now, he is darling. He wears the big McEnroe-inspired curls of his youth in a short crop, but still possesses the cherub's smile and twinkle. Perhaps uniquely, he is granted not the sportstar's indulgence of perma-adolescence but that of perma-childhood. A man-child on the field: maybe it is the dichotomy that is winning. The wonder is that in the years between he has done nothing to sully his innocence, nothing to deaden the impish joy, nothing to disrupt the infinite patience or damage the immaculate equilibrium through the riot of his life and career.

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'Tendulkar controls the game' What are the things that set the great man apart from mere mortals? The ability to read the game acutely, pick the ball early, dedication, discipline and more The first time Virender Sehwag met Sachin Tendulkar was in March 2001, at a practice session ahead of the first ODI of the home series against Australia. For Sehwag, Tendulkar was the man who had inspired him to skip exams in school and allowed him to dream of cricket as a career. Sehwag was shy then, and didn't speak to his hero. He got 58 off 51 balls and picked up three wickets. Tendulkar later walked up to him and said, "You've got talent. Continue playing the same way and I'm sure you will make your name." That ability to motivate youngsters is one of the traits, Sehwag says, that makes Tendulkar special. Here he tells Cricinfo about 10 things that make Tendulkar stand out. Discipline He never comes late to any practice session, never comes late to the team bus, never comes late to any meeting - he is always five minutes ahead of time. If you are disciplined, it shows you are organised. And then he is ready for anything on the cricket field. Mental strength I've learned a lot of things from him as far as mental strength goes - on how to tacke a situation, how to tackle a ball or bowler. If you are not tough mentally, you can't score the number of runs and centuries he has in the last two decades. He is a very good self-motivator. He always said to me: whatever the situation or whichever the bowler you face, always believe in yourself. There was this occasion in South Africa, early in my career, when I was not scoring runs fluently, so he suggested I try a few mental techniques that had worked for him. One of the things he said was: Always tell yourself you are better than others. You have some talent and that is why you are playing for India, so believe in yourself. Picking the ball early He can pick the ball earlier than other batsmen and that is a mark of a great batsman. He is virtually ready for the ball before it is bowled. Only great players can have two shots for one ball, like Tendulkar does, and a big reason is that he picks the ball very early. Soft hands I've never seen him play strokes with hard hands. He always tries to play with soft hands, always tries to meet the ball with the centre of the bat. That is timing. I have never been able to play consistently with soft hands. Planning One reason he can convert his fifties into hundreds is planning: which bowler he should go after, which bowler he should respect, in which situation he should play aggressively, in which situation he should defend. It is because he has spent hours thinking about all of it, planning what to do. He knows what a bowler will do in different situations and he is ready for it. In my debut Test he scored 155 and he knew exactly what to do every ball. We had already lost four wickets (68 for 4) when I walked in, and he warned me about the short ball. He told me that the South African fast bowlers would bowl short-of-length balls regularly, but he knew how to counter that. If they bowled short of a length, he cut them over slips; when they bowled outside off stump, he cut them; and when they tried to bowl short into his body, he pulled with ease. Luckily his advice had its effect on me, and I made my maiden hundred! Adaptability This is one area where he is really fast. And that is because he is such a good reader of the game. After playing just one or two overs he can tell you how the pitch will behave, what kind of bounce it has, which length is a good one for the batsman, what shots to play and what not to. A good example was in the Centurion ODI of the 2006-07 series. India were batting first. Shaun Pollock bowled the first over and fired in a few short-of-length balls, against which I tried to play the back-foot punch. Tendulkar cautioned me immediately and said that shot was not a good option. A couple of overs later I went for it again and was caught behind, against Pollock. Making bowlers bowl to his strengths He will leave a lot of balls and give the bowler a false sense of security, but the moment it is pitched up to the stumps or closer to them, Tendulkar will easily score runs. If the bowler is bowling outside off stump Tendulkar can disturb his line by going across outside off stump and playing to midwicket. He puts doubts in the bowler's mind, so that he begins to wonder if he has bowled the wrong line and tries to bowl a little outside off stump - which Tendulkar can comfortably play through covers. In Sydney in 2004, in the first innings he didn't play a single cover drive, and remained undefeated on 241. He decided to play the straight drive and flicks, so he made the bowlers pitch to his strengths. It is not easy. In the Test before that, in Melbourne, he had got out trying to flick. After that when we had a chat he said he was getting out playing the cover drive and the next game he would avoid the cover drive. I thought he was joking because nobody cannot not play the cover drive - doesn't matter if you are connecting or not. I realised he was serious in Sydney when he was on about 180-odd and he had missed plenty of opportunities to play a cover drive. I was stunned. Ability to bat in different gears This is one aspect of batting I have always discussed with Tendulkar: how he controls his game; the way he can change gears after scoring a half-century. Suddenly he scores 10-12 runs an over, or maybe a quick 30 runs in five overs, and then again slows down and paces his innings. He has maintained that it all depends on the team's position. If you are in a good position you tend to play faster. He also pointed out that the batsman must always think about what can happen if he gets out and the consequences for the team. The best example is the knock of 175. I was confident he would pull it off for India and he almost did. Building on an innings I learned from Tendulkar how to get big hundreds. He told me early on that once you get a hundred you are satisfied for yourself. But it is also the best time to convert that into a bigger score for the team because then the team will be in a good position. If you look at my centuries they have always been big. A good instance of this was in Multan in 2004, when he told me I had given away a good position in Melbourne (195) the previous year and the team lost, and I needed to keep that in mind against Pakistan. In Multan, in the first hundred of the triple century I had hit a few sixes. He walked up to me after I reached the century and said he would slap me if I hit any further sixes. I said why. He said that if I tried hitting a six and got out the team would lose the control over the game, and I needed to bat through the day. So I didn't hit a single six till I reached 295. By then India were 500-plus and I told him I was going to hit a six! Dedication This is the most important aspect of his success. In his life cricket comes first. When he is on tour he is thinking about nothing but cricket, and when he is not on tour he dedicates quality time to his family. That shows his dedication to the game and to his family. He has found the right balance. From Cricinfo

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart started composing at the age of five. Pablo Neruda wrote his Book of Twilights when he was 19. Sachin Tendulkar was all of six when he took up a bat in earnest. By the time he was 15, he was the most talked-about schoolboy cricketer ever. More than two decades on, he remains Indian cricket’s man for all seasons, the repository of a nation’s hope. Those that played with him in the days of auld lang syne have long since migrated to the coaching field and the commentary box. Tendulkar, his eyes perhaps set on a World Cup swansong on home turf, continues to mark his guard and settle into that unmistakable stance. What is there left to say about this man? At the age of 18, he was standing on tiptoe to drive and cut Australia’s finest on his way to a century in Perth. At 21, he decided that he’d like to open in one-day cricket. He’s still going strong 45 hundreds later. A few days short of 25, he played an innings, with a desert storm as backdrop, that will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to see it. At 30, faced with the longest lean trot of his career, he memorably decided to eschew the cover-drive in Sydney, ruining Steve Waugh’s farewell with a 241 that was an enactment of monastic denial on a cricket field. The records and the catalogue of achievement will be cherished for years. What’s even more admirable though is the manner in which he’s dealt with unimaginable fame and untold riches. When he was still a teenager who had yet to make his Ranji Trophy debut, Ramakant Achrekar, his coach, said: “People don’t realise that he is just 15. They keep calling him for some felicitation or the other. The other day he was asked to inaugurate a children’s library. This is ridiculous. These things are bound to go to his head. He will start thinking he has achieved everything.” The wonder of Tendulkar is that he never did. A couple of years ago, at a bookshop in the newly opened Bangalore Airport, I happened to see an entry in the visitors’ book. Beneath the familiar signature, there was one line: ‘Sachin Tendulkar, Indian cricket team.’ To others, he may be primus inter pares, the ubiquitous face of his sport, but after all this time and all those halcyon years, he still views himself as part of a bigger picture. That picture has changed beyond our wildest imagination from the time that a curly-haired 16-year-old walked out on to the field at the National Stadium in Karachi. Back then, cricket was still a sport. Passionately followed, but hardly the commercial behemoth that it has since become. Over the next few years, Tendulkar did for cricket what Michael Jordan had done for the NBA and what Joe Namath and Super Bowl III did for the NFL. When he walked to the crease, a nation stopped to watch. Even now, at restaurants and airports, Blackberrys come out and ball-by-ball updates are discreetly accessed once people learn that “the boss is batting”. Those that don’t really know India well speak of cinema as the country’s greatest unifying force. That’s nonsense. Amitabh Bachchan’s oeuvre resonates little with the man in Tamil Nadu’s interior, just as Rajnikanth is little more than an object of curiosity to someone in Punjab. But Chennai or Chandigarh, Guwahati or Cochin, Tendulkar walks out to undiluted acclaim. With the exception of Gandhi, perhaps no other Indian has managed to rally so many behind the flag. When he reached his century with the last stroke of the match in Chennai a year ago, it wasn’t just a stadium that cheered and danced and wept. Coming three weeks after the terror attacks in Mumbai, there was something pre-ordained about it all. A few days earlier, he had released a commercial with the line: “I play for India, now more than ever”. There may not have been a cape or a mask, but there were no murmurs of dissent when Kevin Pietersen called him Superman. His struggles with captaincy make him human, and the heartbreaks of Chennai (1999) and the Wanderers (2003, when a World Cup final was lost even before he came out to bat) will perhaps haunt him for the rest of his days. But when all is said and done, the 36-year-old continues to do what the schoolboy did. And as we ponder what makes him tick, maybe we just need to listen to a nursery rhyme that’s sung to one of Mozart’s tunes. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

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God's Top 20 MOMENTS in 20 years, described by God him self! 1. The first time I put on my India cap It was a great moment for me. If I am not mistaken, Chandu Borde, our team manager, handed me my cap. But there was no presentation ceremony like they have today. 2. My first Test hundred It came at Old Trafford in 1990. Manoj Prabhakar helped me with some determined batting at the other end. I was not at all surprised by what he did that day because I had played with him earlier and I knew that he was a terrific competitor. We prevented England from winning. 3. The counter-attacking 114 at Perth This ton is a favourite of mine. Australia had four quick bowlers (Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes, Mike Whitney and Paul Reiffel) but I thought McDermott was the most challenging to face in Perth. Throughout the series he was their main bowler. 4. Bowling the last over against SA in the 1993 Hero Cup South Africa needed six runs to win in the last over. There was no plan for me to bowl that over but I said I was very confident of bowling it successfully. I conceded just three and we won. 5. 82 (off 49 balls) against NZ as opener in 1994 I was the vice-captain then and our regular opener Navjot Singh Sidhu woke up with a stiff neck. I requested Azhar (Mohammad Azharuddin) and Ajit Wadekar (coach) to "just give me one opportunity and I am very confident of playing some big shots. And if I fail, I'll never ever come to you again". 6. Winning the Titan Cup in 1996 South Africa were playing terrific cricket right through the tournament. We adopted a different strategy. As captain I chose to have five fielders on the on side. I told Robin Singh not to bowl seam but cutters into the body and make them score everything on the on side. Maybe that came as a surprise for them.. This was one low-scoring game that I can never forget. 7. 1997 Sahara Cup win over Pakistan We were without our top three bowlers for this tournament, which I led India in. We were without Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Anil Kumble, but we had Abey Kuruvilla, Harvinder Singh, Debasish Mohanty and Nilesh Kulkarni as newcomers. It was a fantastic effort and we beat Pakistan 4-1. Incredible! 8. Scoring 155 against Australia in the 1998 Chennai Test I thought getting used to that angle from Shane Warne was important. Before the Test I not only practiced with Laxman Sivaramakrishnan but Nilesh Kulkarni and Sairaj Bahutule in Mumbai too. They gave me a lot of practice. I clearly remember saying to my friends after I scored a double hundred for Mumbai against Australia that Warne has not bowled a single ball round the wicket and I know that he will do it in the Test series. 9. 1998's sandstorm hundred in Sharjah against Australia The first of the two back-to-back hundreds in Sharjah, 1998. Tendulkar highlighted the similarities between his Sharjah efforts and the two special knocks in the 2008 tri-series finals in Australia in terms of how small a gap there was between the two matches of each of these series, which made it so difficult on the body. Shane Warne greets Sachin Tendulkar after India's victory in the final, Australia v India, Sharjah, April 24, 1998 Shane Warne greets Tendulkar after India's victory in the Sharjah final © AFP 10. Meeting Don Bradman in Adelaide Without doubt, the most riveting moment in my off-field career. The trip to Adelaide in 1998 with Shane Warne was truly special and to meet him on his 90th birthday made it even more memorable. It was great to spend 45 minutes to an hour talking cricket with him. 11. Beating England at Leeds, 2002 Sanjay Bangar played beautifully for his 68 and he put on a good partnership with Rahul Dravid, who played superbly. I remember going to bat after tea and Andrew Flintoff was bowling a lot of short-pitched stuff round the wicket. I moved pretty well the next day and I remember leaving deliveries off Matthew Hoggard, who bowled a few overs outside the off stump. I paced my innings well (193) and went past Sir Don's tally of 29 Test hundreds. 12. Match-winning 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup There was that six off Shoaib (Akhtar) but there were other shots which I felt good about in that match. I was playing with a finger injury and the finger wouldn't straighten. I avoided fielding practice through the tournament because I was experiencing a lot of pain while catching. I gave fielding practice though. 13. First series win in Pakistan, 2003-04 Undoubtedly one of the top series wins in my career. Remember, Pakistan had a good side and we went there and won convincingly. 14. 35th Test hundred, v Sri Lanka in Delhi, 2005 There was this pressure which was building up to go past Sunil Gavaskar in the Test century tally. The room service and housekeeping people in my hotel only spoke about me getting century No 35. I was glad and relieved when it happened because I could then start enjoying the game again. 15. Beating England in Nottingham in 2007 We have always managed to come back well after a defeat or saving a match. This is a classic example. We escaped defeat in the opening Test at Lord's but came back to win in Trent Bridge. 16. Beating Australia in Perth in 2008 We were determined to win this Test after what happened in Sydney. We shouldn't have lost in Sydney considering we were in a good position on the first day, but then the world has seen what happened (referring to the umpiring). 17. The CB Series triumph in Australia in 2008 Not only India, but all other sides found Australia too hard to beat. My hundred in the first final at Sydney was satisfying but the second match in Brisbane was tough. We went to bed at 3 am in Sydney after a day-night game. I just could not sleep and woke up at 8 am to catch a morning flight. I was trying every possible thing to be fresh for the next day's match. The next day we won the toss and batted. It was quite humid so the conditions were tough. We knew that the first half hour was crucial. I thought even if I don't get runs quickly, it's fine because if we don't lose early wickets, the big strokeplayers can always capitalise on the start and that's what happened. Sachin Tendulkar picks up a souvenir, India v England, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day, December 15, 2008 Tendulkar picks up a souvenir after steering India to victory in Chennai, 2008 © AFP 18. Going past Brian Lara's Test run tally in Mohali, 2008 Becoming the highest run-getter in world cricket doesn't happen overnight. Lara is a special player and a guy who is a good friend. We respect each other immensely. To go past his tally meant that I have contributed something to cricket. 19. Second-innings Test hundred against England in Chennai, 2008 Awesome feeling to get that hundred, which I dedicated to the people of Mumbai. It was a very emotional time. It was important to stay there till the end and I remember telling my batting partner, Yuvraj Singh, that it's still not over so don't relax. I recalled that close game against Pakistan in 1999 when we lost by 12 runs. 20. 175 against Australia in Hyderabad, 2009 I know my body well and I know how much I can push so I was not surprised to score a 175 at the age of 36. Even if I had to complete those 20 runs by running them, I was absolutely fine. I was a few runs short of completing 17,000 ODI runs before the match, but that wasn't playing on my mind. However, every now and again it appeared on the scoreboard. That's not important to me. The important thing was to go out and win. courtesy CRICINFO

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once u do that' date=' please link me a copy[/quote']
Can I also get a copy? :dance:
Sure. I think all the articles will come in within the next two days. I will make a PDF after that and will definitely send you copies.:two_thumbs_up:

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THIS IS THE REASON WHY A MAN HAS GONE SO FAR! GOD PLAYS FOR THE TEAM NOT FOR HIM SELF! Do you feeling lonely when you do well and the team still loses? I have never been asked this question before. But, actually, yes you feel bad because I've done well but the team hasn't well. But I play for the team and it is not about individuals. You got to win as a team. So you are not excited and you cannot share that wonderful moment with people because you've lost the game. It is a difficult thing. But on the brighter side when you have one billion people to share your joy there is no better than that. But when that doesn't happen you look forward to the next game, and try and make sure that you perform better as a team and do something special which can make all of us smile.

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GOD LIES

I am not god: Tendulkar New Delhi, Mon, Nov 16 2009 Legions of fans may adore him as god of cricket but Sachin Tendulkar insists that he is only a mortal who loves playing for his country. "I'm glad so many people follow my career. But I am not a god. I just love cricket, playing for India," said Tendulkar, who completed 20 years in international cricket today. India opener Virender Sehwag had said Tendulkar was not just a legend of the game but was actually the god of cricket. Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden also once famously said, "I have seen god, he bats at number four for India." Tendulkar said he was just a cricketer, who happened to enjoy the support of a sea of humanity. "I'm an individual but there is a huge force behind me, a big team. My teammates, family, kids, friends and fans. When I go out to bat, I play on their behalf," he said. "I had not thought of playing for so long for the country but thanks to the support from all quarters I could play for 20 years for my country," he told NDTV. In an illustrious career of 20 years of international cricket, Tendulkar said that only twice has he thought that his career was over. "The first one was on my first Test against Pakistan. I scored just 15 and I thought whether I would get the chance to play the next match but I got. When I scored 58 or 59 in the second Test I was relieved," he said, recollecting that match in Karachi on November 15, 1989. "The second one was when I had my tennis elbow injury. It was a tough time till I had my surgery. I could not sleep at night. I could not hit a cricket ball and I thought my career was over," Tendulkar said. Tendulkar would rate his match-winning 103 not out against England last year in the Chennai Test ahead of his 114 against a fiery Australian pace attack in Perth in his first tour Down Under in 1991, as it had come after the Mumbai terror attack. "I would say the Perth innings was one of my top innings. But the innings I played last year in Chennai would be ahead of all because of the horrible incident that happened in Mumbai just before that match. "So many people lost their near and dear ones and nothing could have compensated for that. But by that win we were able to divert for a fraction of a second their attention from their sorrow and that was our credit," he said. Asked whether he would like his son follow his footsteps and play cricket, Tendulkar said he would not force Arjun take up the game. "He is just 10 years old and he should be left alone. But I won't force him (to play cricket). If he is to play cricket it has to find way in his heart first and then go up to his head. This is not only for Arjun but for all the youngsters," Tendulkar said. "At the moment he (Arjun) likes to hit a lot of sixes. Twenty20 ka jamana hai (Twenty20 is the current flavour)," he quipped. His two captaincy stints have been a grey area of sorts in his otherwise illustrious career, but Tendulkar insists he enjoyed the experience "as a package". "I did not feel that captaincy was too much of a burden. Obviously, it was an honour to captain my country. It was a different experience. We won a Test against Australia, won the Titan Cup, beat Pakistan in Toronto but failed to win against West Indies chasing 120 at Barbados. "As a package I enjoyed it. It was about learning and I learnt from it," he said. Tendulkar rued he could not be part of the history-making Indian team under Rahul Dravid that won a Test series in West Indies in 2006. "That was a fantastic moment for Indian cricket. I would have loved to have been part of that team. I called up Rahul Dravid after the victory and congratulated the team," he said. Asked what legacy he thinks he would have left for the future generation, Tendullkar said, "I want to be remembered as somebody who is unselfish, a team man, who always thinks for the team first." © PTI

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The God of all things - by Saurabh Somani In 1989, during the selection of the Indian team for the tour to Pakistan, the selectors - led by the late Raj Singh Dungarpur - were faced with a tricky question. They had in their minds an outrageously talented young boy, who they were sure would represent India with distinction. The question they wrestled with was whether the boy should be thrust into the lion's den so soon. And the den couldn't have been more hostile than a tour of Pakistan, facing the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan in their backyard, with crowds everywhere baying for the blood of the Indians. Would selecting the boy for the tour be the right decision? Would it leave him with mental scars that would retard his development? Would they be risking a potentially world-beating future for a tenuous present? The selectors then were each nominated from different zones in the country. As they debated the question - so the story goes - two of the selectors thought the boy was ready, and two of them wanted to wait. The ones who wanted to wait had the valid question: "What if the tour proves to be too much? What if he fails?" On hearing this, another selector turned to the fifth man in the room, who had not expressed his opinion yet. This was the West Zone selector who had seen the boy blitz all comers across all playing divisions. The words he is supposed to have said sealed the deal in favour of selection, though none of the five men could have known just what they were about to unleash into the cricket world. The selector from the West Zone simply said: "Gentlemen, Sachin Tendulkar does not fail." And he hasn't - for twenty years and counting. Batman puts on a cape, Spiderman wears a costume, Superman sheds his normal clothes to reveal his true self - Sachin Tendulkar needs only to pick up a bat in hand to be a superhero. This is not an attempt to dissect the man statistically. It is not an attempt to provide expert views on his cricket. It is not an attempt to add to the paeans being sung about him as the cricketing world celebrates twenty years of excellence. This is simply an intensely personal view by a fan of a man who remained a hero from boyhood to adolescence and beyond. What do twenty years mean to a fan? It means a vignette of images that Tendulkar has left us with. From running around in a playground during the 1992 World Cup and yelling, "India beat Pakistan. Tendulkar is the man of the match!" to remembering the headline that announced that Tendulkar had scored his second ODI century after taking an inordinate amount of time to score his first - a headline that said, "Rutherford Ruthless, Parore Roars, but Tendulkar, Prabhakar steal the limelight." From getting excited in 1994 when he made his then-highest Test score of 179 to feeling cheated when he was not awarded the Man-of-the-series in the 1996 World Cup for being the highest and classiest scorer in the tournament. From remembering the painful struggle he went through as captain in 1997 - when he had to battle not only opponents but officials as well - to feeling exhilarated throughout much of 1998, as the destroyer in Tendulkar returned to quell not just Australians but sandstorms too on an unforgettable night in Sharjah. From having our hearts broken along with his when he miscued a Saqlain doosra in the Chennai Test of 1999 to having our faith in the game restored during the match-fixing scandal, when it was revealed that bookies would take bets on Indian matches only after he got out. From remembering the 2003 World Cup as an image forever frozen of Tendulkar cutting Shoaib Akhtar over third-man for maximum to shaking our heads in disbelief in 2004 at the amazing self-control and discipline of a man who did not play a single cover drive in an innings of 241 not out. From exulting with him at burying the ghost of 'finishing' matches for India in the CB series in 2008 to the sharing his solemn joy and humility at bringing a Test victory to the nation immediately after his city had been ravaged by scum towards the end of the year. As the years rolled by, we got used to a different Tendulkar, and his 2003 heroics seemed the last time he would throw back the years and bat as he had in his youth. His average and strike rates didn't suffer, but he had made a subtle shift from run-plunderer to intelligent accumulator. And then, as he so often has in the past, he showed us that the plunderer still remained in a knock that was as inspiring as it was heart-breaking. Through proxy-wars and floods, through terrorist attacks and droughts, through living under corrupt politicians and battling for survival at work or school - through it all, it was one man that brought us hope. One man who needed only to wield a bat to unite the most diverse country in the world. A hero who did not need a script, arc-lights and endless retakes to have the audience gasping in awe, but played out his dramas in real-time. And yet, even he has fallen short of universal acclaim. His knock of 175, and others like it in his career when he led India to the doorstep of victory but fell short of actually marching in only to see his team-mates fail around him, has been the catalyst for re-igniting the debate about whether he has won enough matches for India. The analyst in me wants to examine the question using all kinds of criteria and statistics, but for today he has been banished by the fan. And a good thing too, because it is with a fan's eyes that I can see what I wouldn't otherwise. It is his failures as much as his success that brings him closer to us. Without them, he would have been the perfect man - so perfect that we would have been forced to admire him from afar. But when he perishes at the doorstep of victory, we bleed with him. And we are reminded that even though he performs superhero-like deeds, he is still human. The sages who seek silence to meditate go to the loneliest reaches of the planet to achieve it. But if they were looking for that unreal moment when there is a silence so pervading that you could hear a feather drop, they need to attend a match in India when Sachin Tendulkar plays. Most of the time, when he bats the noise will be deafening. But when gets out, as he must because he is mortal, they will hear the most deafening silence that it is possible to hear. And they will hear it in a stadium jam-packed with frenzied fans who have all come to pay homage to their God. Even in defeat, Sachin Tendulkar weaves miracles.

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A comment from cricinfo..

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (November 15 2009, 22:47 PM GMT) On Sachin I can only tell this anecdote. "An avid cricket fan went into coma twenty years ago. When he awoke from his coma in Hyderabad he woke up to people carrying Ipods which were powerful than the biggest computers in his time. India was out of Foreign Exchange rut but is buying Gold to bailout the IMF. World is rocked by by the vicious kind of terrosim not seen before.An African American is a US President. World had changed totally for him. But being an avid cricket fan asked the excited nurse about the game tonight. She said India is in a tight corner fighting for win ,entire top order is gone but as always there is still chance if this guy is around. Excitedly the guy asked who the batsman is . She said Sachin Tendulkar and I am told the whole staff ran back to revive him again. Everything changed but something never changed . That is Sachin for you. The patient was last heard yelling the whole 20 years is nothing but an elaborate joke on him." Ok I have the patent on this
Good one :haha:

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