Saturday, March 17, 2012

100 100

So I had to write about this. This will be one of the many 1000s of articles/ posts about Tendulkar's 100th century. Although a '100' is quite an arbitrary number, being human we consider it a milestone. If he had ended his career at 99 centuries, we would have longed for that one more.
For many Indians, cricket for the last half of the 90s and the 2000s was a lot about Sachin Tendulkar. This guy is five feet five inches tall and has been called one of the worst sledgers in cricketing history because of his uncounth stubbornness at the crease and his focused and composed demeanour. He has always let his cricket speak for him and cricket fans the world over hail him as the little master.
For me, it is emotional just seeing him play well. The way he removed his helmet, looked at his bat and then looked up - may be at his father - it made me want to cry a little. When India won the world cup, I was happy for him because he needed it for the country. I wonder what he feels everytime he does his country proud and when he knows that he is such a revered figure in this country. I remember his performance in the '96 world cup and in '98 in Sharjah. The younger population will never understand what it meant to us when we saw him unleashing the demon within and clobbering mighty bowlers with his mouth shut.
For me, he has been larger than the Indian team and he has been a face of India in many parts of the world. A 100 100s don't mean much, may be it is as good as 99 or 101 centuries. There have been so many times that he has been dismissed in the 90s, and he in fact holds the record for the most number of times dismissed in his 90s, largely due to his fantastic and long batting career.
I remember his slight stride with a the straight face of the bat at a 45 degree-ish angle off the vertical and the ball would go soaring away for a six. People would be perplexed with his technique and with his effortlessness. I remember how charged the atmosphere was in the Sharjah series when we had to attain a certain number of runs to qualify for the final. Am not sure why that series was so important but it is etched in my mind. 143 runs. Long live Sachin.

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