Posted: December 24, 2012 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, Opinion
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Kaustubh Pimputkar

“A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes.”

Finally that moment came, thanks to media, thanks to critics. Thanks for not giving us a chance to watch him bat for the last time. What Mayans predicated became true, finally something happened which came as a shocker. A person who played 463 matches, served country for 23 years, scored 18,426 runs with an average of 45, went out the way of someone who may have been just your average cricketer let alone a remarkable one as he. Is this what we wanted? I agree that he is not among the runs. But doesn’t he deserve a grand exit in front of 30,000 spectators, hooting ‘Sachin… Sachin…’ ? I think he deserved better.

A person who got standing ovation every time, wherever he traveled, announced his retirement sitting at home, without playing a match, just before selection committee meeting, on the eve of the series against arch-rivals Pakistan and he said, “I call it a day”. As is their wont the media speculated what happened behind the scenes that perhaps forced this decision on Sachin. Many raised their eyebrows, so do I.

Whoever has put efforts in making this happen, did not do right thing. Any soldier would have loved to go and fight for the last time before quitting the service. Sachin is no less than a soldier for us and he would have definitely wanted to play the one dayers against Pakistan, against whom he made his debut at Gujranwala (Pakistan) in 1989 at the age of 16. He deserved to go out like that. But it didn’t happen.

Very easily we Indians forget the past. We are used to saying things like “ salute to only rising sun”. I would like to tell something to critics that it’s not your fault, it is because you are born in India. You have achieved what you want, I hope you are happy now. Now you got all four greats of Indian cricket: Ganguly, Laxman, Dravid and finally the little big man Sachin. Now target next senior person, i.e. Sehwag, after that Yuvraj etc. If you don’t want senior players and if you don’t respect them, then why you allow them to be a senior. Fire them before they become seniors. Play your Under-19 side as the national team. That would make you happy.

Sachin was India’s aggressor, sheet anchor, six-hitter, opener and finisher: he was the start and the end for much of the 90s in ODIs. He reserved his best for Australia. He’s seen taking Australia to cleaners on his 25th birthday in Sharjah in the Coca-Cola Cup finals. © Associated Press

Like billion fans, for me too it is very hard to digest the fact that he won’t be wearing blue jersey anymore. I started playing cricket  by watching him play like every other cricketer in this modern era did. I remember after watching him bat on TV next day I would to try same shots over the bowler’s head with straight bat. I never felt like watching a match once he got out (Indians who grew up in the 90s would know that). And that’s because I love his batting more than anyone else’s. He is a complete batsman. I always liked the way he carried his celebrity status, very humble. I admire him as a person more than as a batsman.

My 4 favourite Sachin knocks

1. The one against Australia in 1998 Sharjah (143), I still remember those sixes which he hit against Australian pace bowling and treated them like local bowlers. He was like a man possessed, in a zone.It was the most brilliant and destructive knock I have ever seen from Sachin. Sheer dominance by a great batsman against world number one side. Fleming will be wondering about how this guy danced down the track and hit him over long-on and long-off repeatedly, because no fast bowler in the world like batsman hitting them straight sixes. He took India in the finals of Coca-Cola cup, single handedly.

2.For me, second best is 134 against Australia in same Coca-Cola cup finals at Sharjah where he hammered all Aussie bowlers. He unleashed some of his breathtaking strokes and power. I still remember, I was in Mumbai on that day. After depositing Aussie pace-man Michael Kasprowicz on the roof of Sharjah stadium Tony Greg said “This man is nearest to Bradman there’s ever been.” I don’t remember exact line, but he put Sachin in the the league of cricket greats when he was yet to score his 30th century. Now he is on the Everest of 100 centuries.

3. Third best for me is 98 against Pakistan in 2003 world cup while chasing a target of 274. I still remember that six which he hit off Shoaib’s bowling over third-man. That six was adjudged as “best shot of the tournament”.

4. Fourth best is first ever double-century of ODIs. I have watched that video of his 200 not out more than 50 times, probably because that is the only full inning video I have of his batting. I liked the way he used the crease on that perticular day, especially against Steyn gun. Steyn bowled three fuller length balls outside off-stump. Sachin couldn’t put them away. Answer to those deliveries was a fine flick on the onside, similar delivery, he premeditated and moved towards off-side showing Steyn all three stumps behind him and picked a boundary on the onside. Superb shot! First word that came to my mind was “WOW”. Even Steyn’s reaction suggested that he too couldn’t believe that he could get hit on that delivery. I saw somewhere in Marathi news paper that before the match Sachin had chat with the curator, Ajay Sahasrabuddhe to understand the nature of the pitch, and he had assured Sachin it was a “Donshe chi wicket” (pitch worthy of a double century)

Sachin’s highest point as a one-day cricketer: with the 2011 world cup trophy. © Associated Press

Now coming back to present situation, I strongly agree that, his decision (could be a forced one) to quit ODIs will give chance to the future players. As Dravid said we don’t have enough talent on the benches. Though he said in context of Test cricket, same is applicable for ODIs also. So we need some more time to prepare and get ready for the 2015 mega event

But for me cricket revolves around Sachin, his batting, his cricketing talent. No one in this world can fill in his shoes. “There was only one Sachin in the past, there is only one Sachin at present, and there won’t be any Sachin in the near future.”

Salute the great man, the legend. Thanks for the entertainment which you did for for two decades. But GOD for God’s sake, please, please, don’t leave Test cricket like this.

Thank you Sachin!

Kaustubh is a Software Engineer based out of Bangalore. He captains his club side CECC on weekends.

  1. Lokesh Malwiya says:

    Copletely agreed dude.He deserved to declare his retirement with much more dignity and respect.Whole country thinks him as one of the prime contender for Bharat Ratna and still he had to declare his retirement from ODI with such a quiteness.This was not expected even in my wildest dreams..

    Thanks to Sachin for his relentlesss effort and hard work to add the quality and fame to indian cricket.His enthusiasm and dedication to the game will always be unforgettable.

  2. Yash Chavan says:

    I completely agree with Kaustubh. Cricket will no longer be a Religion as Sachin the God has decided to stay away from the game. Its really saddening not to see him play in ODIs anymore..
    His retirement was always on cards but the way he announced his retirement came as a shocker to one and all. He definitely deserved a better farewell.. If the scores of only one test series is the yard stick to measure performance, i guess Indian Team will have to look for 11 new players to fill in the shoes of current 11…
    But one thing is for sure, India might be able to find 10 pairs of shoes and 10 blue jerseys but none who deserves the No. 10 Jersey like Sachin did. Thanks to Sachin we Indians had an option of choosing ‘Cricket as a religion’..Unfortunately it has now been wiped out.. He is the cricketer India needed but didn’t deserve..I pity his critics bcoz they got it their way but they will have nothing to do now as the greatest cricketer ever has bid adieu to the gentleman’s game…Sachin was the reason that got families together watching matches all day long, kids thronging to cricket coaching camps in summer vacations. I guess the Cricket clubs in India will have a tough time convincing parents to get their children enrolled to cricket coaching now that they don’t have anyone they can look up to in Cricket.
    I would like to sum it up :
    R.I.P: Indian Cricket

  3. Very well said Lokesh. I would like to say that he is already a “Bharat Ratna”. He does not need mercy from the authorities. World knows that he is a jewel of India. But the honor which he deserves he didn’t get at the end. Happy endings only happens in movies and not in reality.

  4. Despite of these complements we are seeing normal exit.

    Wasim Akram – A player who is gifted by god.

    Michael Clarke – A man who has the capability to hit the same ball in 5 different areas on the field.

    Bret Lee – Greatest global superstar.

    McCgrath – A player who can hit u for sixes inspite of ur bouncer.

    Shane Warne – My night mare.

    Steve Waugh – All plans were made for him only.

    Ricky Pointing – God of straight drive.

    Lara – Best batsmen of among all era

    Brian Lara(WI)-“I want my son to become Sachin Tendulkar.”

    Mark Taylor(aus)-“V did not lose 2 a team called India, v lost 2 a man called Sachin”

    Hashim Amla (SA)-“Nothing bad can happen 2 us if v were on a plane in India wit Sachin Tendulkar on it.”

    Waqar Younis (Pak)-“He can play that leg glance with a walking stick also.”

    Andy Flower (ZIM)-“There r 2 kind of batsman in the world.
    1 Sachin Tendulkar and 2. all the others.”

    Matthew Hayden (AUS.)-“I have seen God. He bats at no.4 for India in tests.”

    Don Bradman (AUS)- “I c myself when i c Sachin batting.”

    Australian Fan-“Do your crime when Sachin is batting, b’cos even God is busy watching his batting.”

    Barack Obama :
    “I don’t know about cricket but still I watch cricket to see Sachin play, Not b’coz I love his play
    its b’coz I want to know the reason why my country’s production goes down by 5 percent
    when he’s in batting”

  5. Well said Yash… I found couple of sentences from your comment really touching.
    1) India might be able to find 10 pairs of shoes and 10 blue jerseys but none who deserves
    the No.10 Jersey like Sachin did.
    2) He is the cricketer India needed but didn’t deserve.
    I absolutely agree with you.

  6. bhushan says:

    Superb….luved it

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