Peerless Sachin

Watching cricket has been a joy for more than two decades. There were periods of disappointment for Indian cricket fans as Team India was not always successful. But there were players who made the fans proud and followers of the game interested and excited. Since the days of Donald Bradman, no player has made such a huge impact on the game as much as the Little Master from Mumbai, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. For 23 years since he made international debut in 1989, Tendulkar has been the reason for many cricketers around the world to follow the game. Gems like Tendulkar are rare, and we have been fortunate to see a genius in action. His fans are so used to see him score at will against the best of bowling attacks that it has been sad and disappointing of late to see to fail, fail regularly. They just want to see only the dashing and aggressive Tendulkar, and not the one who has they have seen struggle of late. Age has obviously caught up with one of the most celebrated players in the history of the game. Tendulkar has not been able to produce the kind of magical innings that we saw him scoring in the past very regularly.

Curtains finally came down on Tendulkar’s illustrious One-Day International career. On Sunday, gauging the agony of his fans, he announced retirement from the ODI. For more than two years, he has been very selective about playing ODIs. The brand of cricket he played doesn’t require record books to prove his class or excellence. Of course, the records are stunning: he played most number of ODIs (463), scored the most number of runs (18426), the most of number of centuries (49), 154 ODI wickets as a bowler, and he is the first batsman to score a double century in the format. Best bowlers of his time have given glowing tribute to his batsmanship – he has been the bowlers’ nightmare. Having begun as a middle-order batsman, the right-hander redefined the art of one-day batsmanship after moving to the top of the order accidentally in 1994. There were batsmen like Sanath Jayasuriya and Krishnamachari Srikkanth but they were unorthodox and more of hit-and-miss players. Tendulkar seamlessly combined his orthodox style with streaks of aggression. 

Coloured cricket of the ODI format may perhaps never be the same without the maestro from Mumbai – he attracted crowd, provided brand value to the game, and also brought money to the game.

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