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Tendulkar, a record-setting batting 'god'


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sachin tendulkar, tendulkar retirement, india cricket
Sachin Tendulkar. -Photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting once said that he would probably be batting in a wheelchair if he survived in world cricket as long as Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar spent 23 years at the crease in the one-day game before retiring from 50 over cricket on Sunday with a record unlikely to be matched.

The 39-year-old amassed a record 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers with 49 centuries. South African Jacques Kallis is his nearest active contemporary with 11,498 runs and 17 hundreds.

“I think he is an amazing player,” Ponting once said.

“You look at his records, and they are quite incredible. And to think that someone can stay in the game for 20 years is pretty remarkable as well.”

Feared and respected by opponents, Tendulkar changed the definition of Indian batting, shrewdly combining orthodox and unorthodox shots to dominate any attack on any surface at home or abroad.

He brought not only flair and flamboyance, but also aggression to Indian batting, doing away with the days of the defensive approach with his attractive stroke-making against both pace and spin.

Legendary India opener Sunil Gavaskar, the first batsman to complete 10,000 Test runs, said he was convinced Tendulkar would achieve greatness when he first saw him bat in the nets more than two decades ago.

“It is hard to imagine any player in the history of the game who combines classical technique with raw aggression like the little champion does. There is not a single shot he cannot play,” he said.

Tendulkar shattered batting records, earned millions of dollars and was revered as a demi-god by his fans, but humility remained his prime virtue.

If there was any arrogance, it was only in his batting because he loved to dominate bowling with exciting and aggressive strokeplay, always putting the team's interests first in a glorious career.

As he helped India rise steadily in both Test and one-day cricket, his refrain was often that “I never play for records” or that “individual delight fades before a team's celebration”.

“The way he conducts himself and handles fame and everything that goes with being Sachin is a great example for all sportsmen,” Australian leg-spin great Shane Warne wrote in his book “Shane Warne's century”.

“On the field, he has never put himself before the team.”

Technically sound, temperamentally unflappable, quick to adapt to different conditions and a shrewd judge of line and length, Tendulkar came very close to batting perfection.

Tendulkar earned the sobriquet of “Master Blaster” for the audacious batting in the first decade of his career before becoming more selective in his shot-making following injuries to his elbow, back and ankle.

Such was his stature that his failures were as hotly debated as his successes and when he missed a match due to an injury his medical bulletins became a national obsession.

Australia's Don Bradman, widely considered the greatest Test batsman of all time, once said Tendulkar's style of batting reminded him of his own, which was based on dominating and demoralising the opposition.

That Tendulkar will still be available for India in Test cricket will come as a relief for team-mates and fans alike despite his lean streak in recent months.

Comments (33) Closed

Goga Nalaik Dec 23, 2012 07:21pm
Ciao Belo
ram Dec 23, 2012 07:51pm
Hanif Muhammad too. & Mischievious Miadad(na kisiko de Daad)
ram Dec 23, 2012 07:49pm
Betting god for many
Marathi Dec 24, 2012 01:28pm
Hahahaha......That was d joke or u r not slept well last night
Mo Dec 23, 2012 03:58pm
This is such a fake article. Record setting GOD ? Yes, No Doubt about it ! But putting the team before way, Tendulkar only and only played for himself. In his 23 years of International cricket he has never pulled a Javed Miandad or a Virat Kohli. Virat Kohli single handed beat pakistan in the last Asia Cup scoring 183 !!! Dhoni is under fire yes but can play under immense pressure. Tendulkar could never stand the pressure thats why was never captain, he only played for himself and its about time people realize that !
Cynical Dec 23, 2012 11:55am
A sad day for all those who made a career in the media belittling the poor chap, who himself always been so humble and never claimed to be any type of god, least of all 'god of cricket'. Sorry, they still have some time left for themselves. He hasn't retired from test cricket as yet.
Munesh Dec 23, 2012 12:30pm
legend goes!!! fellig sad about ur retirement but one day it has to be... you will always be missed..:)
Mr.T Dec 24, 2012 09:42am
When hero's born in India OR When hero's born in Pakistan. Pakistani make their hero's, celebrities. Media played significant role for doing that. So when they become celebrity then it's business, then it's matter of money, So no more patriotism no more heroism just business...
vijay singh Dec 24, 2012 08:40am
no doubt unparallel in cricket history
Cynical Dec 24, 2012 02:51pm
"If Inziman ul haq was slim, he could be having more record then Tendulkar" Off course he could. Then, if Tendulkar was Muslim he could have had more record than slim Inziman. Do you think before you type.
Adeel Dec 24, 2012 11:57am
undoubtedly, Tendulkar was a legend cricketer !
Fahad Dec 24, 2012 06:24am
yet another legend fades away. Will surely miss his amazing batting. From a Pakistani Cricket Fan
asad saqi Dec 24, 2012 06:47am
Javed Miandad of pakistan was similar to him. If Inzimam ul haq was slim, he could be having more record then Tendulkar :)
India Dec 24, 2012 02:23pm
We will miss Sachin Hero :(
SRT fan Dec 24, 2012 04:07pm
I dont know for how long you are watching cricket. There was a time when people used to go home after Tendulkar is out. Indian team was one man army. He has won entire series single handledly not just a match!!
abdulazeez Dec 24, 2012 04:51pm
only two legends in the history of world cricket........Bradman & Sachin
Anony Dec 24, 2012 04:57pm
A batting god??? I'm assuming the writen is not a muslim. I thought dawn was a Pakistani newspaper, with no indian columnists. It's so very strange.
Anony Dec 24, 2012 04:58pm
I actually agree with you on this. Inzi was much more talented.
Anony Dec 24, 2012 04:59pm
Anony Dec 24, 2012 05:00pm
Well said.
Raman Dec 24, 2012 05:55pm
Better look at statistics and history before commentry. Few examples are world cup match with pakistan. With australia in Sarjah. There are number of examples. Virat Kohli no doubt is a good batsman. He has to sustain and deliver consistently like Tendulkar did
srinivasakumarmn Dec 24, 2012 06:17pm
if sachin was as tall as inzi he would have anhilated all stadium, would have played for 10 more years..
Chulbul Pandey Dec 24, 2012 07:03pm
And if my aunt had a beard and mustache, she would be my uncle.... If I had a million dollars.... Saqi ji, pay the credit where it is due. That's called good sportsmanship!
Patil Dec 24, 2012 07:14pm
Mr 'MO' wake up and remember the match of world cup 03 March 3 India-Pak what Tendulkar scored 98 and you wil get answer......this wil be enough for you.....
Cynical Dec 25, 2012 09:47am
Take it easy. Just a mention of the word 'God' and your ears perk up. The author is only qualifying his Sachin's batsmanship. He is not saying that from tomorrow Sachin is going to be a preacher of a new religion.
Cynical Dec 25, 2012 09:48am
And the proof of that????
Praveen Dec 25, 2012 03:39am
hehe... seriously...
Syed Shah Dec 25, 2012 06:34am
If your moderation takes a day and it still shows it is "under moderation" the whole idea of a comment is lost. It gets stale. If you don't want to print why do you solicit comments? If you do then have the courage to print them even if something is not to your liking.
dr dang Dec 25, 2012 07:15am
His ability to take pressure was unbelievable.. No sportsman on this planet can last that long with the kind of pressure tendulkar had. Honestly, you could find Amitabh,or the khans or even Tom cruise at a event in Mumbai..But tendulkar was out of bounds. He can create mass hysteria anywhere. To keep his head steady for over 2 decades as one of the world best sportsman, tendulkar deserves a Nobel prize. He is not a lightning but a Haley's comet wait another thousand years before a person like Sachin is born.
ankit Jan 01, 2013 05:05pm
first bharat ratna then any thing else like noble prize etc
sanj Dec 31, 2012 09:20pm
he has not faded away
mumtaz Dec 27, 2012 08:06am
no understand
Cynical Dec 27, 2012 01:12pm
Don't forget Shane Warne and Muthaia Murlidharan.