Home > Features >

Sachin Tendulkar: The emotions of watching the maestro in the dying stages of his career

Sachin Tendulkar: The emotions of watching the maestro in the dying stages of his career

Sachin Tendulkar equalled Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 81 First-Class centuries on Day Three of the Irani Trophy match against Rest of India on Friday © Getty Images (Representation Pic)

February 8, 2013: Sachin Tendulkar scored a hundred in the Irani Trophy that helped his draw level with the most hundred in First-Class cricket by an Indian, held by Sunil Gavaskar. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the joys of watching Tendulkar bat in the dying stages of his fairy-tale career.


Sachin Tendulkar romped to his 81st First-Class hundred as I started writing this article. The commentators had written Mumbai off for the Irani Trophy fixture, but he had kept his side with a display of batting that can be only described as, well, as nothing that is a part of my limited vocabulary.

It has suddenly become irrelevant that he has just now reached 25,000 runs in First-Class cricket. The fact that he has taken Pragyan Ojha, the best Indian spinner, for 37 runs off 27 balls with five fours and two sixes, is also completely irrelevant now. He may bring Mumbai back into contention for the tournament, the same way he brought his country back at Sharjah nearly 15 years back, or he may not.

This is not, though, about who wins the Irani Trophy. This is not about how much Tendulkar scores. This isn’t even about the paddle-sweeps off Ojha or Harbhajan Singh, or the blazing cover-drive off Shantakumaran Sreesanth, one ball after he was hit on his shoulder by a snorter from the same bowler. This isn’t about the crowd cheering for his hundredth run, when it had actually been a leg-bye.

In a year’s time he will possibly sit behind a microphone or take up coaching or get involved in politics. I have no idea what he will do. What I do know, though, is the fact that the joy of watching cricket will not be the same anymore. The drives and pulls and cuts will be history. That Indian tricolour on his helmet will not be seen again. And worse – possibly the worst – bit is that someone else will walk out to bat for India with two wickets down. That is something that has not happened since what seems like the beginning of time. But it will happen.

So this innings, just like whatever he will offer us more, is to be savoured without a word. This may be his last season. He may not pick up a bat again; the cover-drives may not pierce brutally through the unsuspecting grass again; the bowler may not applaud anymore if the ball is driven straight past him to the fence; the slog-sweeps off a spinner may not look as regal; and that smile that looks so infectious and innocent even at forty will not adorn the ground in future.

Let us forget everything for the next few months. Please. Let our sore eyes cherish whatever he has to offer in the final phase of his career. Let us stop with the criticisms altogether. Let us simply sit back and enjoy. He will not be around for long now. Let criticisms not be the last words we have uttered during his illustrious career.

Let him enjoy the sport. And let us enjoy the fact that he is still enjoying his sport, after handling the pressure of a billion over a span of 23 years. Let us allow him to bat in peace for this one final time. Let us simply sit back and relax, and bask in the glory of being his countryman.

Make the most of him while he’s still there. Once gone, however you repent, he will not be back again.

(A hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobiac by his own admission, Abhishek Mukherjee is a statistical analyst based in Kolkata, India. He typically looks upon life as a journey involving two components – cricket and literature – not necessarily as disjoint elements. A passionate follower of the history of the game with an insatiable appetite for trivia and anecdotes, he has also a rather steady love affair with the incredible assortment of numbers the sport has to offer. He also thinks he can bowl decent leg-breaks and googlies in street cricket, and blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Jasprit Bumrah: Sachin Tendulkar giving me my debut cap was my most memorable moment with Mumbai Indians

Sachin Tendulkar fans turn Durga Puja pandal into cricket stadium

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab KKR vs Dolphins Kolkata Knight Riders

Afghanistan invites top cricketing nations to play cricket at their backyard

High Court forms selection committees for Rajasthan cricketers

Rohit Sharma ruled out of India-West Indies ODI series

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should appoint Virat Kohli as Test captain: Mohammad Azharuddin

CLT20 2014: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will look to maintain consistency against Chennai Super Kings says George Bailey

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Jayasinghrao “Mamasaheb” Ghorpade: Royal connections, loyal to Baroda

Hedley Verity’s ‘lucky escape’ during the Bodyline series

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Leaked: Mrunal Jain goes semi nude – view pic!

6 changes that take place in your breasts during pregnancy

Why a steady heartbeat is bad for you

Ontario Reports Lower Budget Deficit

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to launch in India on October 10

Research Breakthrough Offers Huge Benefits To Diabetics

Alia Bhatt goofs-up again, unaware of Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan’s resignation!

Windows 10 Technical Preview now available, here’s how to download it

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here