Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Hangover

Its been more than two days now since Sachin made 200 but I am still not over it. Have seen his batting highlights about 15 times and read around 50 blogs/articles on the innings. Have been discussing the innings and the entire career of the little champion with any and everyone who is interested to talk about it. I dunno if I have gone mad or what but this elation and jubilation does not seem to end. People have written about him getting a Bharat Ratna, honouring him with knighthood, compared him to Sir Don and the rest, but all this is nothing. If anything all these awards will attain a whole new definition if these were given to Sachin. I mean how would another Ian Botham or a Gary Sobers even think of being called "Sir" after SRT is knighted? Would it not be unfair to the rest of the world to be compared to the legendary maestro of Indian cricket.
All this feels like a very long and pleasing hangover, when every little thought is filled of those off drives, those flicks on the leg side off yorker length balls and that subdued "I know I have done it" reaction along with scenes of people dancing with joy and cursing Dhoni at the same time.
I just wonder what goes on in his mind. He knows everything about people's expectations which started even when he was in his teens. He knows everything about how people react to his scores. He knows what bowler will bowl which ball to him. He also knows that by scoring that double ton he has probably (and I use this word because it is Sachin we are talking about) surpassed all levels of individual brilliance that are there to achieve in this great game. For people like me who have grown watching him bat and breaking records, it was a matter of time when something like this happened. Yes, we were a bit impatient in the late 90s when we thought our hero was at his peak (like all mortals are in their 20s) and would lead our country to glory. Maybe then he was just learning about his own game and saving his best for a very special chapter in this magical journey. Or maybe he really is an incarnation of Vishnu and has his own way of showing his "Leela". Whatever it is, I am waiting and so is the entire country. God or not, the weight of expectations just increased a thousand times on Sachin's shoulders, but don't worry HE knows it as well.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

200 Not Out

After 39 odd years of limited overs cricket this record has finally been shattered. People have tried to accomplish it in the past. Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry (who really??) came so close but gave it away. Brain Lara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Shahid Afridi, Viv Richards, and many many more "attacking" batsmen have been considered as people who could one day breach the 200 run barrier. But they were not able to. Either they lacked the skill or the desire will never be known. 24th February 2010, the day when this landmark was taken down by none other than Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. 
He who is called as the GOD by his followers, he who has graced the game of cricket for more than 20 years and he who has been told to retire from the game by quite a few (if not all) "pundits" of the game. So what is it that our dear GOD has and the others lack. The answer is simple, he is not human. If it were humanly possible it would have been done already. It is not really about the skill and the temperament and the strength but really something else. I find it hard to put it into words at this moment. yes people may one day get as many runs as he has got in this game, yes people may one day score as many 100s but no one can ever even think of being compared to this little champion or come close to getting such adulation from the followers of the game.  No other individual has and ever will drive a billion (if not more) people crazy with every stroke. No other cricketer can claim to bring cheer on so many faces all with a flick of the wrist. People stop whatever they are doing just to refresh a website to find the outcome of each and every ball he plays. People say Sir Donald Bradman was the greatest and that his comparing Sachin to himself was a compliment for Sachin. I wonder what if right now Sir Don was thinking "Ha!! what a fool I was to think I batted like him". 
Critics want him to step down, fans want him to play. I just wonder what he wants to do next. I just wonder if he does win the WC next year what will he do next. I just wonder...