For those who love him, more so for those who do not…
It is extremely difficult to carry the burden of expectations, and when the expectation is from millions of cricket crazy crowd it becomes near impossible. When everybody expects you to make a century each time you walk to bat, would it be fair to call your slight dip in form, your injuries, your fifties, 40s and 20s, a failure.
People claim he play for records, I say let him, when one has the ability to break and own possibly all the batting records then why not? Having said that you cannot disagree with me when I say even while playing for records, the records have never come in way of India’s victory.
For those who say he doesn’t win matches, I would like to say he brings India so close to victory from near impossible situations, giving that ray of hope, how many can claim to do it? I would not mind going on to the extent that when he plays no one else does. Isn’t it unfair? There is no one to accompany him or to finish the task that was made possible from an impossible by him.
For years he had carried the burden of entire batting line up on himself. I can claim that during late 90s and early 2000s even in the distinguished presence of players and late bloomers it was like “Tendulkar khel raha hai kya? toh jeet jayenge”, “Tendulkar out ho gaya, change the channel yaar”.
I can go on and on, cite instance by instance and prove that he is match winner, but I believe he does not need any proof or certificate of his match winning ability, his talent, his attitude towards game, his being a tremendous positive influence of youngsters in dressing room. I will just wish him all the luck and play on…
If you have time do read the timeline below:
February 23-25, 1988
A monster in the making
Sachin Tendulkar, 14, and Vinod Kambli, 16 compile a 664-run unbroken partnership for Shardashram Vidyamandir against St Xavier’s at Azad Maidan. Kambli makes 349 not out, Tendulkar 326 not out. It remains the highest partnership recorded in any form of cricket, until in November 2006 two schoolboys from Hyderabad – Manoj Kumar and Mohammad Shaibaz – overtake the record with an unbeaten 721-run partnership.
December 11, 1988
Truly first-class debut
At 15, scores an unbeaten century against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium to become the youngest Indian to make a hundred on first-class debut. Was picked after Bombay captain Dilip Vengsarkar watched him negotiate Kapil Dev in the nets.
December 14, 1989
Bloody-minded to start with
On the last day of the last Test of his first Test series, in Sialkot, gets hit on the nose by Waqar Younis – also in his first series. Falls down, gets up, and wipes away the gushing blood. Medical assistance is declined. Is eventually out for 57.
August 14, 1990
How young is too young?
At 17 years and 112 days, becomes the then second-youngest centurion in Test history. His 119 not out against England at Old Trafford is a majestic rearguard action that enables India to hang on for a draw. It still remains among his most valuable Test innings.
February 2-3, 1992
Sculpts a counter-attacking gem of 114, after India fall from 135 for 6 to 159 for 8, at the WACA, the bounciest cricket pitch in the world. It is his favourite Test innings.
Yorkshire opens up
Becomes the first overseas signing for Yorkshire.
November 27-28, 1992
Thousand reasons to cheer
At 19 years and 217 days, becomes the youngest player to reach 1000 Test runs, during his 111 out of India’s 227 in Johannesburg.
February 11-12, 1993
Mad in Madras
Scores his first Test century at home. Hits 24 fours and a six in his 165 against England, as India win by an innings and 22 runs.
November 24, 1993
Golden arm is unveiled
With South Africa needing six runs to win off the last over of their Hero Cup semi-final against India, bowls a sensational over, giving them just three, and India victory.
March 27, 1994
Opens a can of worms
Opens in a ODI for the first time – against New Zealand. Goes on to make 82 off 49 balls.
Signs a five-year contract worth Rs 31.5 crore with WorldTel, which makes him the richest cricketer in the world.
His World Cup
With 523 runs at 87.16, is the highest scorer in the World Cup held in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Scores two centuries and three half-centuries.
August 8, 1996
Captaincy, part I
Is named captain of the Indian team, at age 23.
January 2, 1998
End of captaincy, part I
Is sacked from the captaincy after a 15-month tenure during which India won three out of 17 Tests.
His finest series
Gets his maiden first-class double-hundred and two hundreds and a fifty in three Tests against Australia. India win the home-series 2-1.
April 22-24, 1998
Scores two blazing, back-to-back hundreds against Australia at Sharjah to help India reach the final and then win it.
January 30-31, 1999
His greatest innings… almost
Makes 136 chasing 271 in Chennai against Pakistan with an injured back. Gets out with 17 runs to get; India fall short by 13.
July 28, 1999
Captaincy, part II
Is reappointed captain – without his consent – after India, under Mohammad Azharuddin, fail to reach the semifinals of the World Cup in England.
March 20, 2001
A thorn in Aussie flesh
Scores a century in a famous decider of a famous series, against Australia. India win 2-1, denying Australia the “final frontier”.
March 31, 2001
The road less traveled
Becomes the first player to score 10,000 runs in one-day cricket in the course of his 139 against Australia in Indore.
November 19, 2001
Is cautioned and fined by match referee Mike Denness for trying to “change the condition of the ball” during the Port Elizabeth Test. The resulting outcry in India and the impasse between the Indian board and the ICC leads the latter to review the jurisdiction of match referees.
December 21, 2001
Caught out of his crease
Is tied down by the over-the-stumps tactics of Ashley Giles in Bangalore, and is stumped for the first time in his Test career. It also highlights the start of his discomfort against left-arm spinners.
August 22-23, 2002
Move over, Sir Don
Overtakes Don Bradman’s tally of 29 Test centuries, misses double-century by seven at Headingley, but India win by an innings and 46 runs.
His World Cup, part II
Scores 673 runs at 61.18 in the World Cup, taking India to within a win of the world crown. His 98 against Pakistan in an exceptionally anticipated match is one of the best knocks played by Indians at World Cups. Even though Australia are the champions, he is named the Man of the Series.
Privilege, what privilege?
Draws flak for a duty waiver on the Ferrari 360 Modena, which is gifted to him by the Fiat group on his passing Bradman’s mark of 29 Test centuries. Finally offers to pay the $245,000 duty, which is covered for by Fiat.
Economy over style
Scores a century without a cover-drive, goes on to get an unbeaten 241 in Sydney, and rates it the best among his centuries. Australia manage to hold on for a draw, and the series ends 1-1.
March 28-29, 2004
Robbed of a double?
Scores an unbeaten 194 in Sehwag’s Multan Test. Later says he was surprised the Indian team declared with him so close to the double-century.
Cost of playing catches up
Tennis elbow surfaces, during the Videocon Cup in Holland. Misses the Champions Trophy in England, and then the first two home Tests against Australia.
March 16, 2005
Ten thousand, twice over
Becomes the fifth man to score 10,000 Test runs in course of his 52 against Pakistan in Kolkata. India win the match by 195 runs.
Tennis elbow refuses to go away
Goes for the surgery for the tennis elbow, misses a triangular in Sri Lanka, a tour to Zimbabwe, and the Super Series in Australia.
October 25, 2005
Back, and how
Makes a roaring return to international cricket, with a 93 off 96 balls against Sri Lanka in Nagpur, in India’s 350 for 6.
December 10, 2005
In scoring 109 against Sri Lanka in Delhi, becomes the highest centurion in Test cricket, overtaking Sunil Gavaskar’s 34.
March 19, 2006
Home crowd turns hostile
Struggles for 1 run in 33 minutes against England in Mumbai, and after he is dismissed, he is booed off the ground by his home crowd.
Tryst with the knife
Goes to England for surgery on his right shoulder. Misses the one-dayers against England and the tour to West Indies.
September 14, 2006
Back and how, part II
Makes a stunning comeback, with 141 off 148 balls against West Indies in a DLF Cup ODI in Kuala Lumpur. India lose the match by D/L method.
Is “rested” for the first time in his career, for the three-ODI series in Bangladesh. Scores two centuries in the two following Tests.
Finally, a win outside subcontinent
With 228 runs at 38.00, makes a significant contribution to his first Test-series win outside the subcontinent, as India beat England 1-0 to win the Pataudi Trophy.
January 4, 2008
Sachin Cricket Ground
At an SCG full of worshippers, scores a sublime unbeaten 154, his first century in more than two years and 19 Tests, against opposition other than Bangladesh.
March 2, 2008
Sachin Cricket Ground, Part II
Scores his first ODI century in Australia, in first of the CB Series final. The innings is the foundation India build their first tri-series in Australia on.
October 17, 2008
Scaling the summit
At 2.31pm on a hot Mohali Friday, Tendulkar steers debutant Peter Siddle towards the third-man boundary for three runs to break Brian Lara’s record for most Test runs.
November 5, 2009
Crosses 17,000 ODI runs during his 175 off 141 balls in a run-chase of 351 against Australia in Hyderabad. It is a chanceless innings that ends 19 runs short of the target, but India choke after his wicket and lose.
February 24, 2010
The 200 barrier falls
A stunning display in Gwalior makes Tendulkar the first male player to score 200 in a single innings in a one-day international. It comes off just 147 deliveries, powering India to 401 and a comfortable 153-run win against South Africa.
Awards and rankings
Tendulkar wins his first ICC award, the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, by being named the Cricketer of the Year during the 2010 ICC Award ceremony in Bangalore. A week later he reclaims top spot in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen for the first time since 2002. He is also named in ESPNcricinfo’s all-time Test World XI, the only presently active player to make the team.
December 19, 2010
A half-century of Test centuries
With India battling to save a Test, Tendulkar bats serenely against a difficult South African attack in Centurion to become the first man to score 50 Test hundreds.
Feb 19 – Apr 2, 2011
World Cup glory, at last
After five unsuccessful attempts, Tendulkar finally gets his hands on the World Cup trophy as India win the tournament in style. He contributes handsomely to the win, scoring hundreds against England and South Africa, 85 in the semi-final against Pakistan, and is the second-highest run-getter in the tournament with 482 at an average of 53.55. During the course the tournament, he also becomes the first batsman to score 2000 runs and six centuries in World Cup matches.
Note: The timeline is not compiled by me. All credit goes to ESPN CRICINFO for wonderful timline they have created, thanks!!