has Tendulkarised cricketing Excellence
A Profile Of The Most Prolific Scorer Of All Times
By S Zeyaur Rahman
Hain aur bhi duniya mein sukhanwar bahut acche
Kahtein hain ki Ghalib ka hai andaaz-e-bayaan aur
(There are quite a few wonderful men of letters But Ghalib's mastery of
expressions is unparalleled)
How beautifully and befittingly said! Perhaps nothing else could have
described the unique position that Sachin Tendulkar occupies amongst the
batsmen of his times, if not all times. Conventional terms like a class
apart, brilliant, genius, etc fail to bring out the complete dominance
that Tendulkar has over his compatriots. It is no coincidence that a
person, who remains unparalleled in his field till date (Ghalib), was able
to adequately and accurately compare the relationship between a master and
Let us have a look at Tendulkar's rivals and their standing vis-ŕ-vis
him. His biggest challengers are Brian Lara, Mark Waugh, Inzamam, De Silva
just to name a few. Yes, they are all accomplished masters of the game.
But it is only the artistry of Tendulkar that can give a new dimension to
the parameters themselves.
Look at the records that Tendulkar has already achieved. Feats considered
unsurmountable, superhuman …and we can safely assume that he is half way
through to his career. The rate at which he is scoring runs in both the
forms of the game, one can dare to imagine that he would have passed
25,000 runs and a century of centuries by the time he retires. The very
thought of this possibility is breathtaking.
What makes Tendulkar so special? So special that the greatest of them all,
Sir Don Bradman found his reflections in him! Brilliance was a word
associated with something extraordinary but momentary. But Tendulkar has
imparted continuity, consistency, a kind of permanence to this phenomenon.
Year after year, day after day he has been shattering records and
achieving the unachievable. Scribes have been compelled to use words like
great, stupendous, marvellous, superb, …with a mundane regularity every
time that Tendulkar walks out to bat. The only word that can do justice to
his performance is that Tendulkar has tendulkarised cricketing excellence.
Sachin was a prodigy ever since he started wielding his bat. But nobody
had expected a redefinition of cricketing excellence when the 16 year 205
day old lad made his debut at Karachi. He was in headlines immediately,
when he hit Abdul Qadir for 27 runs in an over. It has been one long
upward journey ever since.
His first century at Old Trafford saved the Test for India. He stood tall
among ruins in Australia, which included a brilliant hundred at Perth
paling his own effort at Sydney. His romance with the World cup began the
same year and as of now he is the highest scorer in the history of the
One marvellous feat followed another and it would be impossible to recount
them. What do we begin with?
His 49 ball 82 at Dunedin which signalled his incarnation as an opener, or
his back to back centuries against Australia at Sharjah, which won the cup
for India, or his last over in the semifinals of Hero Cup, or the amazing
140 the same week in which he lost his father, or his merciless 186 at
Hyderabad, or his delicate first double century, disciplined centuries all
over the world, demolition of every attack the list goes on endlessly and
it would be futile to pursue the end.
I would have stopped if Tendulkar's praiseworthy deeds stopped with the
cricket. The manner in which he has conduced himself is worth emulating. A
picture of composure, a model of grace, an example of elan. In his high
profile life it will be difficult to associate him with any controversy
that casts aspersions on his character and integrity. Of late this virtue
has become rare and therefore more important for the game.
Any angle, any dimension, any perspective, any parameter. Tendulkar has
awe inspiring record everywhere. I find prose, even at its lyrical best,
hopelessly inadequate in portraying him. I have to take recourse to a poem
by Sir Henry Watton that would explain Tendulkar's uniqueness amongst the
greats of his times
You meaner beauties of the night
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light
You common people of the skies
What are you when the moon shall rise?
You violets that first appear
By your pure purple mantles known
Like the proud virgins of the year
As if the spring were all your own
What are you when the rose is blown?