Friday, October 11, 2013

Tendulkar Sattrumurai

Strangely, I was reminded of this match today. As a little boy I vividly remember watching this entire series with my uncle. A boy called dindi kept stepping into my house and commented "that selfish guy is only looking for a century. not a win". On a pitch where Kapil opened the bowling with Maninder singh, Gavaskar opened the batting in 4th innings and was playing a knock similar to Tendulkar's Chennai 136 against Pakistan. It was one man battling against 1 bowler who was making the pitch spit snakes. It was not a team against another team. It was 1 man waging a war. After Gavaskar got out my uncle was like "I am never going to watch cricket again".  The cleansing process of life is fascinating. The old are washed away and replaced by the new in no time.

As Tendulkar sets aside his last two paasurams for a Sattrumurai before he sings his mangalam, I stand depressed. Not only because of the cliched childhood dying. It is.  I am also sad that I am not as sad as I thought I would be. I enjoyed a particular brand of Tendulkar. I didn't watch him because of an 'Indian' spirit or for the "for love of country" nonsense. I didn't think cricket was a team game where 11 people do a coordinated attack to topple the other 11. I switched off the TV when Tendulkar got out. It really didn't matter to me what happened after that. I'd take a Tendulkar 100 and an Indian loss any day thrice on boxing day. I saw the game because it was a 1x1 battle between a supremely talented batsman and an attacking bowler.  Here was a batsman who rose above the mediocrity surrounding him. Throughout the 90s when he walked in at nothing for 2 wickets which quickly became nothing for 5 wickets, he demonstrated the difference between mediocrity and class  when facing high quality bowling attacks. For that we have to thank the reasonably good batsman who played for India in the 90s who played their part in showing why the bowling was difficult so that Tendulkar could show us why he was special. These other players do include Dravids, Azharuddins Laxmans, Manjrakars and Gangulys of the world. 

I didnt think his skill was waning. This was just another challenge he would have outgrown in due course. I watched Tendulkar for the moments he created. He scored 10 or 12 runs against Donald in Durban but there were a couple of 4s there that I would rather watch as opposed to several centuries of other batsmen put together. He made 12 runs in Perth against Wasim and Waquar but the two or three 4s he hit was worth the $200 I paid as a stipend earning student and the fines I subsequently paid for illegally installing a dish antenna in a student apartment without permission. I watched Tendulkar the batsman. Salivating at the possibilities. He did what no other batsmen could do in the art of batting. That he was a cog in the wheel for a team to win some trophies was a distraction. It was tax that I had to pay to watch him bat.


Rahul said...

Man who played for records will play his last match to create another record.. He was very happy when he scored 100th 100 but it doesn't matter to him that India lost to Bangladesh.. Dravid declared when he was at 194 n.o. and India won against Pakistan and Sachin blasted him for that.. Now he took this decision after BCCI put pressure on him..

Anonymous said...

Unlike Gavaskar, Sachin has always put country first and never promoted other Marathi cricketers. On the contrary, when Gavaskar captained our national side, he had half the team drawn from Mumbai and Maharashtra.I have different sets of serialized parameter values accordig to which Sachin & Gavaskar are not even in the same or parallel universes.

Speaking of Tendulkar's retirement, the selectors should have let him score his 50th ODI hundred. That was rude. Word on the hill is that Sachin never recovered from Sathya Sai Baba's demise. He has been underperforming ever since, and Sai bhakts usually cite his tearful condolence at puttaparthi as a reason.

Now that Sachin's gone, i'm an openly "popcorn-obsessed soccer and football fan" without an ethical trilemma in choicing.

ttm said...

I blogged about that 96 here:

I was in school that day but I think he got out at 180 and then Binny threw the bat around.

Anonymous said...


who were the cricketers from Mumbai and Maharashtra who had a free entrance into the Indian team in Gavaskar's captaincy? Love your comment dude.


Amandeep seera said...

Very Good Blog around Sachin Tendulkar. He was indeed the best Batsman Cricket could offer. The Innovation is one of the most important things for a International Player. And Sachin Rose up to the toughest Challenges. There were numerous occasions where only Sachin was the Scoring one in the entire team. And there were times he didn't score at all and rest of the team did fine. Of course these things take a toll on your psyche, but he was Perfect still.He played so Artfully that i think even some other players can cross the benchmarks he set, but he could do it as Art Fully As Master Blaster did. It feels good when you read about the small things of the Person You love.