What has contributed to the Tendulkar aura are his humility, discipline and his ability to stay clear of controversies © Getty Images
What has contributed to the Tendulkar aura are his humility, discipline and his ability to stay clear of controversies © Getty Images

 

By Sindhu Kashyap Borpuzari

 

“Miles to go before I sleep.”

 

The immortal words of the great poet Robert Frost aptly describes Sachin Tendulkar, who is going strong after 21 long years in international cricket. Matching that passion is the insatiable appetite of his fans who want to devour anything written about the maestro.

 

Tendulkar commenced his international career at the very young age of 16 and against the most fearsome pace battery in Pakistan’s cricket history. The cricketing world was flabbergasted by the youngster’s stroke play, application and character. The genius kept raising the bar from that point. He did face the occasional criticism, but the great man responded by making his bat to do the talking. What stood out, apart from his penchant to chalk up centuries and milestones, was his undiluted passion for cricket despite years of sweat and toil in international cricket. “Cricket is my first love“, as he often says.

 

Tendulkar is arguably the best batsman the world ever after Sir Don Bradman. The legendary Australian had himself opined that Tendulkar’s batting reminded him of his own game.

 

What has contributed to the Tendulkar aura are his humility, discipline and his ability to stay clear of controversies. He has been a great ambassador of the game – dignity personified and a great role model. Recently, he refused a lucrative liquor endorsement offer because he did not want to be a poor example. He did not want to sacrifice his principles for money.

 

Now in the evening of his glittering career, Tendulkar is batting at his peak and looking as hungry as ever – including the T20 format of the IPL, where he almost took Mumbai Indians to title triumph.

 

Are you wondering if Tendulkar is close to retirement? At one press conference, a journalist dared to ask when he was planning to bid adieu. Tendulkar replied: “You should be in some other press conference”. The answer says it all.

 

But, he has hinted that he might retire from the ODI format after the World Cup 2011. It will be a great way to go if India wins the 2011World Cup at Tendulkar’s home ground.

 

(Sindhu Kashyap Borpuzari is a journalism student and a cricket enthusiast from Mumbai who is also passionate about singing and acting)