Home Sport Sachin Tendulkar Turns 50: The Little Master Still Rules Over Hearts Of Cricket Lovers, More Than A Decade After Retirement

Sachin Tendulkar Turns 50: The Little Master Still Rules Over Hearts Of Cricket Lovers, More Than A Decade After Retirement

Sachin Tendulkar Turns 50: The Little Master Still Rules Over Hearts Of Cricket Lovers, More Than A Decade After Retirement

It is hard to imagine that Sachin Tendulkar has turned 50 years of age today. That is because more Indians (and cricket lovers all around the globe) still remember as a young teenage boy with a bat having ‘Power’ logo displayed with sheer disdain to a bowler hurtling the red cherry at over 140mph. The chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ still reverberate in your ears as if any moment he’ll once again pick up the willow and send the bowlers and fielders scurrying for cover.

It’s been almost a decade since Tendulkar took his final bow in international cricket after a glorious career that spanned over 24 years, produced over 34,000 runs (34,357 to be exact) and an unprecedented 100 international centuries. But Tendulkar’s impact on Indian cricket goes beyond the sheer staggering numbers – he is cricket’s first ‘demi-God’.

For almost 20 years, Sachin carried the Indian team on his shoulders, the fortunes of the team ebbed-flowed with the form and fitness of Sachin. At a time, when the world was slowly getting used to the concept of ‘Google’ and ‘World Wide Web’, the first thing the fans searched desperately was ‘What is tennis elbow?’ in the early 2000s.

The ‘desert storm’ of 1998, the ‘heartbreak of Chennai’, the tears for his father in 1999 World Cup, the heroics of 2003 World Cup to the ‘Little Maestro’ finally hoisted on his teammates shoulders after the 2011 World Cup win – we have all lived Sachin Tendulkar’s cricketing journey. “Son, life is like a book. It has numerous chapters. It has many a lesson in it. More often than not, failure and sorrow are bigger teams than success and happiness,” – these are the first lines from Sachin Tendulkar’s Autobiography – ‘Playing It My Way’.

Sachin Tendulkar’s Failures Are Always Backed Up By Success

The words of Sachin Tendulkar’s father always rang true in his career. His first stint as captain of the Indian cricket team ended in total disaster but was followed by some of the most sublime batting ever seen by the ‘Mumbai Maestro’. In his book, Tendulkar calls this period as his ‘four-month honeymoon’. It started with the decimation of another legend, the late Shane Warne, in a three-match Test series against the Australians in 1998.

Tendulkar made a massive statement even before the series, turning out for Mumbai and scoring his maiden first-class double hundred against an Australian attack featuring Warne and that too off just 192 balls.

The series was followed by the ‘Coca Cola Cup’ of 1998 in Sharjah and two of Tendulkar’s greatest hundreds in ODI cricket against the mighty Australians came in this tournament. The second of those tons culminated on his 25th birthday. “The post match presentation turned out to be really special. Steve Waugh said they had lost to me, which was quite something coming from the Australian on a day which also happened to be my twenty-fiftieth birthday,” Tendulkar recalls in his autobiography.

Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Second Wind’ from 2007 onwards

The 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean was probably one of the lowest points in Sachin Tendulkar’s life. The former Indian captain had come back from another disastrous campaign – his 5th World Cup since making his WC debut in 1992 – crashing out from the first round itself. Tendulkar in his own words admits that the thought of ‘retirement’ did cross his mind.

“Headlines like ‘Endulkar’ hurt deeply. After eighteen years of international cricket, it was tough to see things come to this and retirement crossed my mind,” says Sachin Tendulkar in his autobiography.

For the first time in his illustrious career, Tendulkar had dared to speak out against a head coach of the national – former Australia batsman Greg Chappell. “It seems to me that Greg Chappell must take a lot of responsibility for the mess. I don’t think I would be too far off the mark if I said that most of us felt that Indian cricket was nowhere under Chappell,” Tendulkar said.

The Indian legend bounced back once again by scoring a century and 91 in what was the ‘Commonwealth Series’ final in Australia under the leadership of MS Dhoni to win the tri-series against the ODI World champions. “We had beaten Australia in Australia and were also delighted to have proved Ricky Ponting right. He didn’t have to play the third final just as he predicted,” Tendulkar cheekily recalls.

‘Sachin Tendulkar enjoys Don Bradman-like stature’

Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri pays the ultimate tribute to Sachin Tendulkar – comparing him to the legendary ‘Sir Donald Bradman’. “Sachin Tendulkar enjoys a Don Bradman-like stature in the game. I’d say probably greater in terms of influence, given that the times he played in saw the cricket universe expanding to numerous countries and becoming a multi-billion dollar industry,” writes Ravi Shastri in his book, ‘Stargazing’.

Shastri went on to elucidate how difficult it is to maintain sustained excellence in in world cricket and on top of that carry the expectations of billions like in India, one can easily say there will not be another ‘Sachin Tendulkar’. He is to another ‘half-century’ by the ‘Little Master’!


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