What a knock? 175 from 141 balls, while chasing a mammoth total of 351. People have short term memory loss; this year sachin has scored 3 centuries (the highest by anyone this year) at a very good average better than most others. Yet people say he has grown old, and he should hang up his boots. Now this 175 is again rubbing char in the face of all those critics. There is one problem with people, especially Indians; they cannot accept the success of others. Being in the US, I watched the matches live through streaming channels and with 1000s of people chatting in the chat window. Few started saying that he has grown old and is becoming a burden to the team and his strike rate is pathetic. Then when he blasted off, they said that he cannot go on to score a big one. He then scored brilliantly, they said he will play slowly to get his 100 and will not worry about the required run rate. He blasted sixes and eventually scored the fastest century in any India-Australia ODI. Then they said, he will get out with his score around 120, he went on to score 150 and still continued. They all became silent, and when just 19 runs were required from 18 balls he got out. Yeah, now the vultures started coming again, saying that whenever he scores a century India loses. How pathetic?
Immortality is the genius to move others long after you yourself have stopped moving, Sachin became immortal in the minds of millions around the globe, not after this innings but nearly a decade before, when he rewrote the way cricket should be played.
A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself; that creation is a child of solitude.
Sachin and Lara belong to that category. They played the solos, when the whole team crumbled; they stood tall among the ruins. Sachin is one step ahead, though as he has done it quite often in both forms of the game. He has isolated himself from his surroundings and from the way other thinks and approaches the game. During the sandstorm innings, he played to win the match and he took us so close. We were not even given a chance to qualify; he took India to finals and then went on to march towards the victory when he got out. Then came, Laxman and others who were happy to remain not out and let India lose. While chasing, 140 odd sachin scored 82 from 48 balls in a difficult track, the team that followed him struggled to get even singles. When sachin blasted 137 runs out of the total 271 against Srilanka in 96 world cup, the rest of the team struggled to get runs. When sachin scored 65 in the semis of 96 world cup, the whole team put together struggled to get that much runs after his dismissal. The Chennai Innings of 136, is another testimony. There are so many other bitter sweet memories, when sachin was the lone warrior, but India lost eventually.
One thing is, we remember the scars for our lifetime, but forget the desserts the next day. Sachin has given us tons of such desserts, his 155 knock against Aussies, his world cup performances, sharjah finals, back to back knocks in Australia, the 100 in Chennai against England and lot many, but we don’t even remember these, as he scores at will and we forget it. We remember the matches only when he raises much above the good players to be in a plane of his own, and when people around him found it difficult to even understand the way he approaches the game and falters. Those bitter sweet memories linger in our minds forever, bitter because India lost, sweet because there is no match for such peerless knock.
Only creations like these will be eternal.
I am still dumbstruck. (I need to use double superlative here) One of the most happiest days in my life. I will write another article once this feeling sinks in.