Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a name which has made the country proud, promoted the game and brand INDIA worldwide. The aggressive right hander is better known as the “Little Master-Blaster” and is the demon for the world’s best bowlers. Even the great Sir Don Bradman once said, “Sachin is one of the greatest players in the history of cricket.”
The talent and greatness of this maestro is unmatched and his humility makes him more adorable. He is the one player who has faced more criticism than anyone else in the game. The ‘good part’ is that the most of his critics are not even near him in his stature, and their knowledge about the game can also be disputed. He has been subjected to criticism every now and then and in the last couple of years all hells have broken loose where the self proclaimed critics are clamouring for his retirement.
The one thing which disturbs me is the expectations of this cricket frenzy nation from him. Last year, when he was getting out in 90s, people were becoming restless and questioned his mental strength. He failed in the 3 innings of the recently concluded CB Series and people started running after him suggesting retirement, taking a break, etc.
The good thing about Sachin is that he never speaks but lets his bat do all the talking. He bounced back in the last three innings of tournament, and inspired the team to a rare win. For all those who feel that time for Sachin is over, they must look at his batting scores in the year 2007, be it a Test or ODI. The basic problem is that people want him to score a century every match. Even if he scores the crucial 30s and 40s, they see that as ‘bad’ performance. If you have such expectations then I am sorry to say that these people are helpless. They need to realize that he is human too, and it is not possible for him to meet those unreasonable expectations, even great Sir Don was unable to do so!
The other set of his critics are those who question is attitude and commitment to the game. My simple reply to them is – Before pointing fingers at others, see that you if are doing a credible job.
The fact is that the cricket crazy mass of India have been so spoilt by the Masters’ exploits and thus they expect so much from him. The more he has succeeded, the more has been expected. This is the reason they are not ever satisfied by him. I doubt if there has been any player in the world, in any sport, who has been subjected to such intense and back breaking pressure. Sachin has taken all those things in his stride. This was the reason Shane Warne regarded Sachin as the mentally toughest batsman he ever bowled to.
There is no denying that Sachin is approaching the twilight of his career, but he is not over yet. He has been through many crests and troughs but has always bounced back. His selfless approach and devotion to the game coupled with no ego or attitude problems make him the most respectable person in the arena. Sachin has commanded respect all over the world and the reception that hostile Sydney crowd gave him after his century in the first finals is the latest proof of that. We are the luckiest people to see Sachin playing in front of us because you get this offer only in a lifetime. We must cheer for whatever he has in store for us. You are free to criticize the performance but not the performer. And my request to all those critics: “Please don’t make decisions for others!”
[Image coutesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/teemus/131265823/]