Well, well, well. I think this article describes what the genius has gone through, very well. The one thing that must not be forgotten while comparing cricketers (actually, you should not even compare) is the amount of cricket that they have been made to play. I think Sachin has played rather too much of cricket. It is not just the number of years, but the number of times each year. A human body is not going to sustain that kind of abuse should I say. I understand that he knows it, but I guess that there is a sentiment of doing-it-all, taking-the-burden that I see underlie his approach to the game he's mastered and wants to do it more.
This is speaking for Sachin. But I really think that that is the case (not that it matters). I see the guy willing to undertake everything to win. That's hardly professional in a team game. He needs the much coveted luck. He gets it sometimes but most of the time, he's not lucky.
The wear and tear is proportional to longevity. It's time that he considers the amount of cricket he plays.
Let's look at the statistics of the India's tour of Australia. Unlike he speculated, I don't think this is the highlight of his career, but it is up there.
- Innings played: 08. Runs scored: 493. Average: 70.42 (Only second to Matthew Hayden who was rested at the Perth Test).
- This is superior to both Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid who were both better than him in 2003-4. In 2003-4, Rahul had scored phenomenal 619 against Ponting's 706.
- Did not play the only T-20 and everyone wondered why he didn't play.
- Till now, has scored a paltry 128 in 7 matches. But then there is a game against SL and if he is not dropped from the squad, he can (and will) uplift the average.
- Only other players who also played the Tests and are doing better than Sachin are Hayden and Ponting (thanks to the Sydney Hundred) with 161 and 188 runs respectively.
It's just too much of cricket that distinguishes him from others. One can always argue that Ponting also plays that much or more cricket. But there is an undeniable difference and that is the difference between teams. Australia are a more disciplined team. They had Bevan and then Hussey who just won't get out. They will steady the ship no matter what. I agree, Dhoni has started coming of age and he is doing a marvelous job of leading a young team. But that's only a recent story. Australians can play care-free cricket because they have professional approach. Everyone wants Sachin to play his vintage game (Oh for Goodness' sake, I am tired of the phrase "Vintage Sachin") but not take chances.
And there is another difference and that's of bowling attack. Look at the way Sreesanth and Pathan bowled to Australians in 10th CB-Series Match. Too much of width and too short for too long! I hate to say this, but if Sachin were to get that kind of bowling ...
I agree, Malinga's delivery that squared him up was a gem and I am sure Sachin won't forget that delivery ever.
I am sure he can play a cautious knock of 50-odd runs and then all the people would say that they are not used to seeing him that way. Oh Come on! Every batsman however great he may be, has to get through lean patch and has to laboriously get himself out of that. He wants more luck in such cases. Fortunately for India, Sachin did not have to undergo long patches (with reasonable amount of cricket) of inactivity. But these careful knocks are a must to get back into the rhythm.
So, the point is curtail the amount of cricket and there comes the paradox in this article. I almost am spellbound by the Indian Premier League. The story of IPL is so mind-blowing that I wonder if this is for the better of cricket or ways for the wealthier to get even more so. Several tycoons and celebrities on Indian media and business are involved in this storm. More ironically, Sachin has accepted to take the iconic status for the Mumbai IPL Squad!
This is unbelievable. Am I seeing the other face of celebrities (who are remarkable at their trade) who would do anything to remain in the lime-light? I hope not. I hope Sachin does not want to do it for the sake of lime-light and money.
Who's going to read my blog? I am not a popular columnist for any big-budget news-paper or web-site. I am not even sure if my blog post will appear in any search-engine query on relevant subject. I am just a Sachin Tendular fan, but a fan of a different kind.
On 24th Feb 2008, I write that I am surprised by Sachin's decision to play for the IPL. I know he knows all about it, but still, I want to cry out loud saying "Your health is much more important than this money-coated, mind-blowing league called IPL". Please try to keep away from it!
If I want Sachin to read any one of my posts, it is this one.