There is a dialogue in a Japanese movie titled ‘Initial D’. If translated it means “God is also Human, but he can do things which ordinary people can’t do”. What ordinary people cannot do in a cricket field is to write their own script. There may be great players, but they are bound to go along the lines of their fate. They may have great stats, but very few people can write their own script, which will look better than fiction, a fiction about a super hero. In cricket, Sachin is the only one who can do it. So, to me Sachin is the God of Cricket.
Mumbai, arguably the best domestic team in India. To get in to the Mumbai team is as difficult as getting into the Indian team, and if a guy can do that when he is less than 15 is some thing which will not happen for the ordinary. To score a century in debut in Ranji is a great thing, which very few people have done so far. This guy not only scored a debut 100 in Ranji, but also in all the three domestic formats in his debut. Mere good player can never do this, not even a great player.
Let us see some of the scripts which Sachin wrote for himself along the way.
1) In his very first series in Pakisthan, when sachin hit a six of the then young Mustaq, Abdul quadir went down to him and told him “Why are you hitting sixes against a kid, try hitting my balls”. You all know how sachin answered that. 4 sixes in a row against the great abdul quadir. Hitting 4 sixes in an over against an international team is a huge achievement, that too when he was 16 and that too against a great spinner and that too after he threw up an open challenge. How do you rate this script?
2) Though he became the second youngest to score a test century and the youngest ever to score test centuries in Australia, one thing eluded him. Great performances in ODIs, he used to play way down the order, and always ended up playing good cameos of 30 to 60 runs, but never contributed in a big way as he comes way down, and the scoring rate then was very poor, that he hardly got any overs to make a huge contribution. In the New Zeal Land Series, Sidhu was injured and when India was looking for a new opener. This guy walked up to Ajit Wadekar (the coach) and Azhar (captain) and requested them to send him as an opener. Do I need to say more? People talk about jayasurya and kaluwitharana starting the concept of attacking in the first 15 overs. The truth is, Sachin started that almost 3 years before jayasurya and kalu. He scored 82 of 49 balls with 15 fours and 2 sixes. Which made the people commenting say “Dynamites also come in small package”. While chasing a score of 140 odd in a difficult track and when all his team mates struggled to score runs. Who can write a better script?
3) Even before that knock, during the 91/92 season. In the multinational series, in Perth India scored 126 in the first innings, ravi shasthri scored 33 from 110 balls. While west indies were chasing, they lost quick wickets and in the end they required 6 from the last over and the top scorer for west indies cummins was playing. A superb slip catch by Azharuddin, off Tendulkar’s claimed the last wicket with the scores level. This is not the only time when he bowled the last over and changed the course of the match. The first day night match in eden gardens against south africa, south africa well placed with just 6 runs to win of the final over with 3 wickets in hand. Sachin just gave away 3 runs of the last over to wrap it up for India. From then on, he went on to win matches for India even with the ball at several occasions.
4) In 1998, in Sharjah just before the sandstorm match Steve Waugh rated Bevan as the best odi player in world. You know what happened? He won 3 man of the matches award in that tournament along with the man of the series (twin hundreds) and made the same Steve Waugh, to say we won against the 10 but lost to one man. This is the total event, just think about the sand storm knock. When he promised the coach that he will take India to the finals and he just did that. Had he got some support from laxman he would have taken India to victory. (In this series, he really ruined the career of a very good bowler called as kasprowich)
5) Against Zimbabwe a genuinely quick olonga got sachin out twice in the same match. He got him out of a noball and then again by a legal delivery. He rejoiced like anything. How sad, sachin nearly ended the career of olonga in the finals. What an assault? (P.S: but the highlight was his six against Andy whittal which sailed out of the ground crossing the tallest stand)
6) The much anticipated india-aus series was underway, even before the start of the series the mind games started. The first match was between a sachin led Mumbai and a full strength aussies. Sachin waited for nearly a decade to blast Shane Warne and co to score his first first-class double ton. That was his first first-class double century. He captained the side beautifully and took india to a massive victory against aussies. Then the first match was in Chennai, and Shane with a good spinning delivery got sachin out when sachin tried a lofted shot. India finished the innings conceded a first innings lead of 80 odd. Shane went on to say, that he never used all his tricks in the warm up match and that is why sachin scored a double ton and in the test match he got sachin out cheaply. He also added that he will never reveal all his tricks in a tour match. Sachin never replied anything, and what happened after that was a part the famous folklore of Shane’s nightmares. (I was really fortunate to witness this match in Chennai and sachin hit 4 sixes and two of that was hit in my direction in midwicket) his 155* sealed the match in India’s favor and from then on, Shane gave the due respect to the cricketing God.
7) 1999 – one of the saddest years of sachin’s career. The 99 world cup. Again the match fixers and crappy people pushed him down to number 4. He lost his father when india was participating in the world cup. Without him india even lost to Zimbabwe. He returned after the funeral of his father. It was a match against Kenya, but Indians were morally down, there was even a placard saying “India can win Kenya, miracles do happen”. He is always the hero of his scripts, so what else can happen? He dedicated a rapid fire century to his father. His father would have been the proudest father in india. Every Indian man dreamed of having a son like sachin.
8) From the 2000s talks of sachin slowing down, injuries and other stuff came up. People wrote off sachin for the 2003 world cup. As usual, india wobbled against Holland (though sachin scored a 50) and india was treated like kids by aussies (sachin again was the top scorer and all others fell very cheaply). Indian fans as usual burnt the effigies of ganguly and co and pelted stones at the houses of people. Where else can the Indian team go other than to the cricket GOD? Sachin promised the people, that the team will fight till the last ball is bowled and will give 100% He is a man of his word, and he did exactly what he said, took india to the finals. On the way to the finals he decimated the pakis. Incidentally sachin gave farewell to saeed anwar as sachin made that match as his last match. The legend of world cup 2003 will be spoken till there is world cup for odis.
9) Caddick before the match told the press that he will sort out sachin and has plans to get him out.. Only one thing got out; that was the ball, it went out of the stadium and never returned. In fact that shot was considered to be one of the best shots of this century. The same thing happened to the big mouthed sohaib akthar.
10) He was accused of not scoring a ODI century in Australian soil in odis. His average was poor in Australia in the odis. India played reasonably well to enter the finals. Sachin played a beautiful knock of 40 odd, which helped india to win a low scoring match against aussies. As usual the critics pointed out that india has never won a tri nation series after the natwest series, and sachin lately has not scored in the finals (which was wrong) and sachin has never scored a century in Australia and his performance is below par. Above all in an interview Ponting said “We are very confident. We will never go to Adelaide (as the third final was scheduled there), in the history of vb series it always gets over in the first two finals”.
Then when reporters asked sachin to comment about Ponting’s statement, sachin said “Yeah, we will not go to Adelaide, because we will win both the finals”. He is a man of few words but when he speaks, he will exactly do that. He scored an unbeaten century (117*) to win the first final and an awesome 92 in the second final to get India the trophy, which Indians rate on only after the 83 world cup and the World Series.
11) One of the saddest days of Indian history. The commercial capital of India, Mumbai was rocked by a few terrorists. Everyone got shocked, the whole nation shed tears on that day. Team England Left India because of security reasons, but later came back for a two test series. India did not recover from that shock. The man hailing from Mumbai, returned to the field in his favorite hunting ground (Chennai). The ad in which he starred, (RBS) he repeatedly said “I now play for India more than ever”.
After early losses in the first innings he top scored among the top 6 six players with a composed 37, but unfortunately got out. A comprehensive performance by England, led to a situation where England declared with india needing 387 runs to be scored with almost 4 sessions.
The highest runs successfully chased in India is around 260, and with a mammoth 387 to chase, no one gave india a chance. Sehwag started of brilliantly, but with quick wickets falling, it was upto Sachin and Yuvi. No one knows how exactly Sachin scored his runs, he never gave a chance to the opponents. The ball was gripping and bouncing alarmingly (a chennai pitch on the 5th day). Sachin brought out his chest guard and took some blows willingly, when they tried a negative line. Yet, he was in such a zone that he controlled the proceedings completely and along the way guiding Yuvi to bat sensibly.
Then came the magic moment, he scored his century and as well the winning runs of the same ball, and also broke the jinx of not scoring a hundred on the fourth innings for over a decade (The strange thing though is, in his entire career, he has played only 32 fourth innings, and scored 3 centuries and a few 50s, which is not bad by any means, but we all know the yardstick with which sachin’s performance will be measured). Like what he said in the RBS commercial, he played more for India then than ever before.
Though not his best innings of Sachin.. It is again a script well written. These kind of things will not happen for a good player or a great player, this will happen only for legends.
All these things are just the tip of an iceberg. Many great cricketers can boast about good knocks played by them, but how many of them can speak about such legendary events? This will not happen even in the dreams of cricketers.
Of course.. There is reason to call Sachin as the Cricketing God
Please do give your valuable comments, or some other miracles done by sachin which you would like to share..