Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SRT 18,000*

25th March 2011 - AHMEDABAD: Sachin Tendulkar crossed another milestone as he went past the 18,000-run mark in ODIs during India's World Cup quarterfinal match against Australia.

Playing in his 451st ODI, Tendulkar reached the milestone with a single off Australian fast bowler Brett Lee in the 14th over of India's run-chase at the Sardar Patel Stadium at Motera. He was 45 short of 18,000 runs before the match. Now he has 18,008!

The 37-year-old Indian maestro is the highest run-getter in both Tests and ODIs. He has till date scored 14,692 runs from 177 Tests at an average of 56.94 with 51 hundreds and 59 half-centuries. His aggregate score in all forms of cricket after this match stands at a staggering 32,710 runs!

Tendulkar, who is playing in his sixth World Cup, is also the highest ever run-scorer in the showpiece event. In fact, in the current edition, at the end of the last game, he leads the pack with 379 runs from seven innings with 2 centuries.

However, he just missed out on a special “tribute” - playing against India, Don Bradman struck his 100th first-class century at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1947 and Thursday night Sachin Tendulkar could not repay the compliment by scoring his 100th international century against the Australians. India, though, ended Australia's 12-year-old dominance over the World Cup by winning the quarterfinal and Tendulkar played a big part in it, scoring a fifty.

The setting at Sardar Patel Stadium was perfect for Tendulkar's special knock. He raised hopes with his aggressive stroke-play but departed in the 19th over when he edged fast bowler Shaun Tait to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin after scoring a valuable 53 off 68 balls. In fact, Tendulkar didn't even wait for the umpire's decision and started walking back (just like he did in the last game), but a hesitant Ian Gould asked him to wait while he consulted with the third-umpire to check the legality of the delivery. TV replays showed Tait was on the verge of bowling a back-foot no-ball but didn't ground his heel and thus it ended the hopes of billions of fans, who were eagerly waiting to see Tendulkar achieve the feat at Motera, which has history written in every nook and corner of the stadium.

The stadium was special for Tendulkar as 12 years ago it was where he got his maiden double Test century against New Zealand. This is also the same ground where Indian legends Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar achieved historical landmarks. Kapil broke New Zealander Richard Hadlee's record to become the highest wicket-taker in Tests, while Gavaskar became the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Tests.


Footnote: After 2009, he tweaks again

WHO TURNED the ball most for India on Thursday? It was neither Harbhajan nor Ashwin or Yuvraj. It was the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar. It’s a while since Sachin last bowled for India. And the fans,who came to see Sachin scoring his 100th ton in international cricket, were ecstatic when they saw Sachin having the ball in his hand in the 30th over of Australian innings.

It was almost after two years that Sachin was seen rolling his arms in ODIs.He last bowled against the same opposition in Guwahati in 2009. And just in his third delivery, Sachin had Aussie vice-captain Michael Clarke beaten all ends up.

Seeing the pitch providing assistance to spinners, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni threw the ball to the master blaster to bowl the 30th over. The first two balls were not on the mark and both Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting collected a single each.But the third one saw some vicious spin. It was a well-flighted one that pitched outside leg, and Clarke attempted a forward defensive shot but the ball spun prodigiously and went past the batsman’s off stump.Clarke looked bemused. Maybe the delivery was too good for him. His two overs cost nine runs.

Zaheer Khan was India’s standout bowler, but the ball of the game was bowled by Sachin Tendulkar. The Little Master proved that he is a genius with the ball too. If it were to be bowled by an Englishman, the English media would have declared it the ball of the century.

Tendulkar, bowling the 30th over of Australian innings, was asked to swing his arm around. In the absence of a leg-spinner, Tendulkar bowled some leg-breaks and came out with deliveries that would have made a certain Shane Warne proud. He turned the third ball of his first over square, the ball pitching outside the leg stump and missing the off-stump by a distance.

Michael Clarke, facing the delivery, was reduced to a mute spectator. He just saw the ball spin and beat him. He missed the edge but a better batsman would perhaps have got out to the delivery. Clarke, looking awfully off-colour, was not good enough to negotiate the delivery.

Tendulkar, incidentally, was bowling in an international after over 15 months. He went on to bowl another over and conceded just nine runs in his two overs at an average of 4.5. One would have wished Dhoni to give Tendulkar a few more overs and Munaf Patel a few less.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sachin Vs Pak

1. First Innings

2. Vs. the legendary Abdul Qadir

3. Abdul Qadir

4. Destroying Aamir Sohail

5. Independence Cup 1998

6. 2003 WC - Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoiab Akhtar

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is Sachin Tendulkar the greatest cricketer ever?

Sachin Tendulkar after scoring his 50th 100 in Test cricket  
It is tempting to assume that, statistically at least, batting after Sachin Tendulkar will be like mountaineering after Everest. But it was Sunil Gavaskar who put that in perspective upon becoming the first player to score 10,000 Test runs. He said that history always remembers the first to a landmark. Edmund Hillary, Roger Bannister, Neil Armstrong. Even if someone betters his record, no one can take credit away from Tendulkar for being the first to make 50 Test centuries.

If Don Bradman himself hadn't said so, it is unlikely that Tendulkar would be clubbed with him. When the Don pointed out the similarity between the two to his wife, Tendulkar was only 23; it might have destroyed a lesser man. But is he the greatest batsman of all time?
Bigger and better:
The glib answer first. Yes.
Because it is in the nature of sport to produce bigger and better champions.
In sports where progress can be measured, this is seen in the faster timings, longer jumps and greater heights recorded by modern athletes. In 1988, Ben Johnson needed to pump himself with stanozolol to run the 100 metres in 9.79 seconds. Last year Usain Bolt ran it in a comfortable 9.58.

Sachin Tendulkar  
Tendulkar is a 'one-stop shop' of batting skills

What about team sports?
The paleontologist and baseball nut Stephen Jay Gould once wondered why there were no near-perfect averages in baseball any more. He put it down to declining variation, and far from endorsing the myth that the champions of the past were greater and that standards have fallen, he showed how it proves the opposite - that the standard of the sport has improved.

Declining variation is simply the difference between the average and the stellar performance. As more players get better overall, the difference between the figures of the top player and the rest falls. Or as Gould puts it, systems equilibrate as they improve, a point demonstrated by analysing decades of baseball scores.
Statisticians adopted Gould's baseball methods to analyse Test batsmen and concluded that "for a current player to be relatively as good as Bradman - factoring in the bunching together of today's great players - he would need to average around 77."

The batsman with the best average today is England's Jonathan Trott, who in 16 Tests averages 57.28. No one is even suggesting that Trott is a "great" batsman, so clearly we must look elsewhere for a definition of greatness. Figures alone aren't enough. Longevity is one (Bradman played from 1928 to 1948 with a break for the war years), impact on team results is another, impact on the opposition, quality of bowling attack faced - these are quantifiable.

What about the weight of expectations, the pressure from a billion and more fans, the influence on the game itself, the power to change the way people think? A nation rode on Bradman's shoulders every time he went out to bat, but it was a small nation, hardly comparable to the nation on Tendulkar's back.

Second coming
Bradman's stature has grown every year that he hasn't played, and doubtless Tendulkar's will too after he is finished with the game. That is the romance of the sport.
Donald Bradman 
Bradman toured only England

More than a decade ago, I wrote that Tendulkar was like the Taj Mahal - there was nothing new to be said about either. But his "second coming" in recent years as a less destructive but in some ways more fearsome batsman calls for a whole new assessment based on his creative strokeplay and the sheer joy of displaying them around the world. In cricket, as in art or literature, there cannot be a single "greatest". Still, this is the bedrock of all sporting discussions. Woods or Nicklaus? Pele or Maradona? Spitz or Phelps? Such debates have fuelled more arguments, sold more newspapers and emptied more kegs of beer in bars around the world than arguments about politics or religion. Not even Bradman enjoyed unanimous acceptance as the greatest. In Australia, many thought Victor Trumper was the greater player, despite an average of 39.04.
Bradman and Tendulkar have much in common. Tendulkar is, like Bradman was, a one-stop shop where state-of-the-art batsmanship is on display.You could go to Virender Sehwag for the cover drive, or VVS Laxman for the on-drive or Rahul Dravid for the square cut or Kevin Pietersen for the lofted drive and so on - or you could get them all under one roof, as it were, with Tendulkar.

What next?
Where the careers of Bradman and Tendulkar begin to diverge is in the range and variety of international cricket the Indian has played. There were no one-day internationals in Bradman's time. Bradman toured only England; he only played Tests at 10 venues - five in Australia and five in England. In contrast, Tendulkar has played Tests in 10 countries, one-dayers in 17. He has played at 94 venues.

Sachin Tendulkar fans at a cricket match 
Tendulkar is a national icon

Bradman batted on uncovered wickets, Tendulkar had to counter reverse swing. A whole new strategy - bodyline - had to be worked out just to counter Bradman's genius. It consisted of bowling fast, virtually unplayable deliveries at the batsman's body with a phalanx of fielders on the leg side. If you played the ball, you were caught, if you didn't, you risked serious injury. Bradman had his worst ever series, averaging just 56.57, and bodyline was outlawed. After 50, what? A hundred international centuries (Tendulkar has 96), perhaps a World Cup win, maybe 200 Test matches? Tendulkar has become used to those setting goals on his behalf moving the goalpost as he achieves these with almost monotonous inevitability.Indian fans are happy to divorce individual performance from team effort, celebrating one loudly enough to drown the disappointment of the other. Only 20 of Tendulkar's 50 centuries have led to team victories. But that, too, is only a number - as Tendulkar said of his 50.

Also Read:


How does Sachin do it? 

Tendulkar keeps it real

The Most Touching Tribute to Sachin

This is one of the most touching tributes to Sachin I have come across. Read past the horrible English and abominable spellings and I guarantee that you will get goosebumps!


The evening of April 23rd 1973 was an ordinary one you would think, Lord our god was having a regular day, his friends were outside playing cricket. He wanted to join but was too busy making designs & attending to complaints. His friends mocked him, his mom was like, "atta kuthehi jaycha naiye khelayla. kaam kara!" He so wanted to play. but determined & powerful as he was he said, "Baas, udya dakhavtoch!" Then dawned the pious morning of 24th April 1973 & his show that started on February the 15th 1989 hasn't stopped!
That was the day mankind was blessed with hope, talent, determination, inspiration & that smacking cover-drive. God said "let there be a player for those who can't play, cuz maybe they are busy, have duties, are ill equipped in any way, have dreams, lack determination, need inspiration, need addictions, need something to take their mind off things, are disabled, basically for all mortals. Karachi drew flak but confirmed entry, But "Mai Khelega" hinted longevity & determination.

Manchester '90 hinted at genius,
Chennai '93 claimed singularity,
Sydney '92 meant prodigal;
Perth '92 was magical,
Colombo '94 implied belonging;
Nottingham '96 confirmed genius
Cape Town '97 was princely,
Sharjah '98 confirmed coronation
Dhaka '99 displayed performance;
Bristol '99 showed passion, responsibility & emotions
Chepauk '99 was tragic, hinted human;
Chepauk '99 & '08 confirmed peerless & granted redemption
Natwest '03 showed adaptability & commitment,
Sydney '04 hinted @ sainthood,
Dhaka '04 was comeback,
Hamilton '09 was Supremacy Re-Born
Sydney '08 exorcised the demons;
Eden Gardens '10 was another step.
Jaipur'10 confirmed God!
Wankhede, Mumbai '11 …. should not matter.
Forest Gump was a fictitious character who ran for little more than 3 years & won Oscars, this man (?) has been running for more than 20 and still draws flak for the Ferrari! The journey from Shivaji Park to Wankhede of little more than 10 kms takes about 30 minutes by local train, this particular one has lasted 21 years and features more than 30000 instances of running up & down that 22 yard strip. Sometime in the near future he will stop running, take off his guards, hang his boots as they say, put his feet up & enjoy a cheesy-fatty burger & beer for breakfast. Slowly he will be able to do the small things he craves like having the Kirti college wada-pav, hanging out at Marine drive with old pals, not driving the Ferrari, attending award functions or having dinner at Hilton. Sometime in the near future the shoulders will heave a sigh of relief, the fingers will straighten, the heels will cool, the painkillers will stop, the lower back support will come off and the only the eyes will moisten at mentions of Chepauk, Sharjah, Perth & Shivaji Park. He will have done his part, it's another matter whether the people will be satisfied or not. It's not in his hands. Math suggests he will have, but destiny takes over where math ends. We can just Hope & pray.
It's a reality we have to face; and the sooner we accept it the better it will be for us. Ours is a country living in nostalgia & hope, nothing wrong in that. But, sometimes in reminiscing & dreaming we forget to revere the present. Remember in school when after a typical mathematics exam we used to ask the teacher, "Will we get marks for steps?" We had an idea the answer will be wrong, but somehow to us that didn't mean we had not put in efforts. To our parents it always did. Ends should not be a judge of the commitment put in the means.
Remember how our parents did not let us go out for a night out to our friend's farmhouse cuz we were too young @ 17 to do that & it was outside city limits? He was 16, travelling to a country with whom we had fought 3 wars, which remains to this day our biggest enemy & whose bowlers thought that getting a batsman 'out' was to get him to not be physically able to play the next delivery. From the foggy, bloody Karachi morning of February 15th, the dusty Sharjah night, the chilly Manchester morning, the hot Chepauk afternoon to the divine Jaipur evening the journey has attracted all the adjectives this language had to offer. Now we resort to mere sounds, intonations & swear words."Gacchi dakhavli.", "Kadak!", "aaaaaaiiicchhhya gaavat!!!" & "baba laagle" sadly cannot be termed as adjectives.
Coaching, sport merchandising, FMCG & advertising industries were riding solely on him for years, more critics & 'experts' have made money on him than you can imagine, more people must have retired from cricket after he started playing than people appearing on reality shows, every time a teenager shined, his throne was said to be in danger. But he stood. Lasted. All the Graeme Hicks, Saeed Anwars, Inzamams, Pietersens, Pontings, Shane Warnes, Wasim & Waqars, Donalds of the world have come and gone, they just were not enough to deter him. There is no proof that the sun will rise tomorrow, but in this world of seeming chaos there is one order that it is impossible to hide the sun after he rises. There will be prodigies, there will be displays of brilliance, statistics suggests that there might even be someone who will manage to score more runs...but will there be a better on-drive, a more sonorous cover-drive, more conviction in a straight drive, more nirvana in that raised bat, a more joyous celebration of a wicket? Will there be another one? No. End of debate.
This might be sounding a bit pessimistic cuz I am talking about the end of something which all of us who have held a willow fathom, but only because it took me a while to realize that yes we are having difficulties with comprehending what we will do when he is not around anymore, whom will we look up to, where will we dump our sadness? What will unite us? But the bigger problem which we selfishly seem to have overlooked is what will HE do? Not that he is incapable of doing anything else, cuz only God knows what he has created with so much attention & what are his creation's limits, but we seem to think of him as a machine that has been producing since the ribbon was cut 20 years back. We have no memory of him not being around. He has just been there, taken for granted. Just like the sun...
There came a time when he was riding a tiger in search of the tiger; the tiger he was, he knew, he owned & controlled. He was deciphered, figured out, if the critics were to be believed. The believers were quiet & confident. It's been 6 years since a leading newspaper printed an iniquitous headline, 'Endulkar?', I await the day when ill have the power to say to them "In your face!" that is what makes him different from us, he doesn't think about retribution, he thinks about duty.
Taoism says 'be vacant & you shall remain full'; he emptied himself, went back to where it started & retraced his steps and as always just like after the eclipse the sun is brighter he came back stronger. He knew he had the ability, he knew he loved doing it; he had to make his body believe in his love. Today he is truly the Tao of Cricket. I weep for the future of cricket as a visual attraction medium. The silence that follows his wicket is said to be the loudest sound in sports, let us make a deal that the applause that will be heard on his last day on the field shall be one of the most resonating sounds in sporting history. So I ask you all today to clap and contribute to the decibel levels, because the sound needs to reach the heavens, God needs to be told that we are thankful. Gather your tears because we need to repay the sweat. Stand up, fold your hands, close your eyes and worship because none of us will be alive to see another remotely like him.
It won't matter if next time you think you can't pull something off & don't remember 143@ Sharjah, next time you think you are in pain & can't think of 136 @ Chennai or 140 @Bristol, next time you think you can't find a way but don't remember 241 @ Sydney...but remember, every time that you feel your feet are above the ground think of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. We owe him that much...
Cheers & Good Luck to everyone for WC '11.


The rise of SachIndia


The 1990s was a time of awakening for the Indian economy. It was a time of VCRs, Walkmans and Maruti-800s. It was an age when still cameras needed roll film, there was only one Bachchan, Air India was still making money and the gift-toting NRI uncle was treated as a VIP. It was also the era of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

If Manmohan Singh broke the shackles of the nation’s economy in 1991, the same happened on the cricket field through the bulky bat of a 5-foot-5 batsman with a squeaky voice and the most vicious on-drive ever .Tendulkar, with his middle-class upbringing in suburban Mumbai’s Sahitya Sahawas, went where no man had gone before.
As our economy began its majestic rise,the nation saw hope in this genius from Indian crickets capital. Finally, we had a player who went after the impossible. If Gavaskar was the man who staved off defeat, Tendulkar was the prodigy who always eyed victory he was the competitor who gave the opposition a taste of their own medicine. Cowed down for years, it was time for India to hit back, whether in business or on the cricket pitch and hit back we did, with aplomb.
In Sachin, Indians saw the aggression of Richards, the technique of Gavaskar, and the heart of Kapil. And when he entertained them, they forgot their troubles, rooting for the little bundle of dynamite who made blond bombers look pedestrian. For Sachin, failure was not an option. Old women prayed for him, executives skipped office, and an entire generation dreamt of becoming cricketers. While the Little Champion was at the crease, there was always hope.
Carrying a super-heavy bat, synonymous with the burden of the nation he bore, he had his days on the pitch and as had our roaring economy. If there was desert storm in Sharjah where he singlehandedly destroyed the Australian attack),then there was also the sensex crossing the 10,000 mark. Sensexational said one TOI headline, Batman Begins said another. Our forex reserves went up at the same speed with which Tendlya accumulated hundreds. We lost to Sachin, Aussie captain Steve Waugh once said.
As India’s software engineers began putting their stamp on global markets, a resurgent Team India, inspired by Sachin, started doing something they had rarely done before winning abroad. Once that barrier was breached, there was no looking back.
Of course, it’s not just his batting talent that has always been revered (or the fact that he turns the ball more than any Indian spinner) but also the humility that this magician brings to the turf. This is the same person who sits atop a mountain of advertising cash. Remember the commercial where every kid wears a Sachin mask or the one where the soundtrack screams Sachin aala re, echoing the thoughts of millions of Indians. Even now, he seems omnipresent.

Through the years, as India’s economy gained momentum, the economy of the Tendulkar household didn’t do too badly either. Sachin’s path breaking multi-crore deal with WorldTel made him cricket’s first millionaire. Not that he let it affect his game. He stayed in the zone, the monk with the Ferrari.
Now, 20 years after the reforms that transformed our sleeping economy into a crouching tiger, and ages after an enthusiastic boy convinced his skipper to let him open the innings, we are one of the two fastest growing big economies in the world, while that teen with the squeaky voice has become a legend.

Still, when he goes out to bat, India holds its breath.


Sachin has scored highest aggregate runs and maximum 100s and 50s in both Tests and ODIs game.He also holds the record of most 90s in ODI,getting out 18 times in the 90s | Has hit 1,943 ODI and 1,892 Test fours,which is the highest for any batsman |Played 177 Tests and 446 ODIs,the highest by any player | His 21-year,71-day career is the longest among current players as well as cricketers who have played more than 100 Tests | Is the only player to score more than 1000 Test runs six times and 1000 ODI runs seven times in a calendar year | 

In the 2002-03 ICC World Cup, he scored 673 runs, the highest for any player | In 1998,he scored 1,894 runs in ODIs,the highest number of runs scored by any batsman in a calendar year |Has scored 9 hundreds against Australia,the highest against any team by a single batsman | Has scored 1,778 runs in the 42 innings he has played at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in UAE,his highest on any ground | Has faced 778 different bowlers, of whom 528 have failed to get him out even once | Of the 250 bowlers who managed to get him out, Brett Lee has been the most successful, scalping him 14 times | Sachin has scored 600 runs off Muralitharan, his highest off any bowler | Has faced 47,788 balls in international cricket. This is equal to 7,965 overs | In his over 21-year career, he has spent 1,145 hours on the pitch | The total distance he has run to score all these runs works out to 711 km!

Check out this dude who’s got Sachin’s autograph tattooed!