Mar 192012
 

My lord, I rise before you in defense of my client, though he has not signed me up. I ask you to grand me special permission to defend my client who has been labeled with lot of names since about a year, but has remained silent bearing the torments. It was the humble opinion of my client that answering or back answering his tormentors would have given enough fuel to the fire and it would have been difficult to silence them. He chose to remain silent but I refuse to bear this injustice. I will defend him, as I know he has done no wrong.

Thank you my lord.

I begin with the backdrop for this defense. My client has been playing this game for a long time. In-fact, the longest anyone has ever played. He has earned himself a fame, which other players would envy for. Any child who lifts a bat in his hand yearns to be as famous as my client. In-fact, people have been so obsessed by his style, elegance, success in batting that they have altogether neglected the other avenue of expertise, bowling as I had mentioned in one of my previous case. Nothing wrong in trying to be him. That instills a passion and love for this game which is a necessity is we need a quality batsman. Of course, that hampers the development of a good bowler, but that’s besides point today and my client has no hand in this unbalance.

Then there came time when my client was compared with God. My client, humble as ever, rejected such a title, knowing fully well the enormous responsibilities that came with it. He kept on stating that he was a mere creation of God. But the general public did not give up. They even compared him with the great batsman of yesteryears, and one such players, who has been very successful during his times, managed to see his own image in my client. People relentlessly decorated him with titles like the little master, the master blaster etc. The latest of it being “The Centurion”. My client finally accepted that the people had their own way of showering affection and gave up. Still I would state for the record that neither of this titles have been given to my client on his request, or acquired by any illegal means.

But off-late my client has been on the receiving end of the public wrath. People have tried o tarnish his image in whichever way possible. This has happened due to certain events a year back.

As you might very well know, a player scoring a 100 runs in a single inning of a match, gets it recorded as a century against his name. My client has been master at it. His technique, concentration, game flow has been very good all through this years. He has managed to suppress all the batting records of this game and raised the bar to a level, very much difficult for any current player. He has done it during past 22 years of his career playing this game. Yes my lord, 22 years, that’s how long he has been playing. No other player has managed such a feat during their times. The above fact highlights the fitness levels of my client for such a long period. Others have played and weathered. Not my client. He makes himself available.

But some elements in the society seem to be against my client playing the game. It all began about a year back when my client scored the 99th century of his career. It was very much anticipated at that time that he would score the 100th one, the century of the century, very soon. But my client had failed to do so until very recently. This has led to a public backlash against him, humiliating him in public media, without giving due consideration to all that he has done for his country. I try to defend him on three grounds, Social, Psychological and Statistical.

If you have a superhero in front of you, you tend to have high expectations from him. This happened with my client. My first line of defense presents him as merely a victim of social expectations. As the public elevated him to the  level of God, their expectations rose high. It was expected from him to score larger amount of runs each time he took to crease. He was just human and he demonstrated that, though not willingly or voluntarily, by making a low score in number of matches. It went unnoticed each time since along the way he kept on reaching some milestone or the other, which kept the general public engaged. He wanted to pile runs for the team. They wanted milestones. There were many centuries along the way but after the 99th one, people focused on the next milestone, the 100th. It was obvious that people had this as the target, and the human, my client, flunked number of times in trying to reach the target. Meanwhile the public discounted  his failure hoping that he would succeed in the next game. This expectation was then served by media the way they treat hot news. Spiced up and peppered. Along with this they added a zing of a news which hinted to his retirement after his 100th. My client initially neglected this and went along with his game, scoring runs as they came by. But the expectations gradually were converted to taunts, then anger and finally full blown hatred against my client. Every match was treated as being scheduled for his century and every failure was treated as incompetency on his part. Children who didn’t know how to clean their nose, started commenting on how “that particular delivery” should have been played by my client. Whenever my client came close to scoring hundred, people started taking note of the exact number of balls “wasted”. Commentators meanwhile added fuel to public anger when they replayed the delivery again and again and analyzed how my client should have played it successfully. They forgot that as against the comforts of their air-conditioned cabin, my client as standing in that sweltering heat, in a noisy stadium where concentration was easy to lose. Finally they decided that it was time for my client to retire and well known sportsmen and analystsstated that his age was preventing him from going any further. They compared his fitness with their fitness at his age. Little did they know that my client follows a very strict fitness regime. The ghosts from the closet came out saying that my client scoring a century was a bad omen for our country and we rarely won. This is untrue my lord, as will be proven by me further. I would just like to state here that the society raised the bar for him a bit too high, and though no one amongst them have ever reached there, they expected my client to conquer it each time.

My second line for defense revolves around the psychological effect on my client. My client was well aware of the public expectations and though he very much wanted to fulfill them each time, he was and always will be of the opinion that he should play his natural game and success will come along. He has done it all throughout his life successfully. He knew that the century of he century was looming nearby but did not want to haste it as it would adversely affect the performance of the team. He played the game ball by ball during last one year and came close to the target set by people number of times. And failed to reach it. But people did not notice his score. People noticed his lost opportunity. And they kept on counting them. Then their expectations grew very high and that was voiced through media. My client duly noted it and knew time was ripe to bring joy to the people. But as he has rightly said, he is not God. So the opponents who were stronger managed to defeat him on number of occasions. The ghosts from the closet came out again saying that all his previous records were of no use to the country and he played for his own selfish motives and so on and blah blah. My client did not respond. He knew better. But this did get on to him a number of times. He decided to just get over with it by hook or crook and again failed at it number of times. The last time he got close to the public expectations, he decided that enough was enough and played the slowest game of his life. He finally managed to achieve what public wanted but at a price. A price which later cost our team the match. Naturally, people again pointed out that his “centuries” meant no good to the team. Maybe it was time for him to retire, they said. It was expected that his centuries alone should be match winners. Little did they realize that there are 10 more players in the team who have to perform. Winning the game is a team effort, not an individual one.

My third line of defense focuses on pure statistics. Just take the case of his centuries. Hundred of them in-fact. It is normally said that each time he scores, our team loses. Untrue. He has scored 51 centuries in tests. Of which we won 20, have drawn 20, lost 11. Is that too bad? Out of 49 centuries that my client has scored, the team has won and amazing 34 times. We have lost 13 times, tied once and had no result once. If I may take the liberty, I recollect many lost matched where he has scored but the entire team has failed to support him. So why blame him for their failure? There is also an unverified fact floating around that my client scores only against weak teams. Let’s get this straight. He has scored the best against the strong teams. His highest number of centuries is against Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, England, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, West Indies, Pakistan in that order. The last time I checked, these were very strong teams. There are many other statistics to reveal, all which will point to the high level of integrity, competency and fitness of my client. It will take a lot of the courts time to reveal then, but if required, they will be presented.

I request your honor to pass an order preventing the general public and the special “experts” from harassing my client into retirement. This will be a big loss for the team and the country. His selection in the team will always depend on sole discretion of the selectors. Similarly, his retirement should he his decision. He will be available whenever his country demands such and will not bow to cheap mudslinging. I have utmost respect for your judiciary wisdom and expect that you will pass a favorable verdict.

I rest my case…….

Mar 122011
 

The big man of the cricket, also called as the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar is in the heat of the action all throughout the world cup until now. He is either busy getting 100’s and 50’s(these are just another numbers for him, but for us they are achievements) or sliding and diving around the field saving runs, doing both the things for the team. But there have been speculations all the time before the world cup, that he might quit after the tournament.

No matter what the results for India, he is sure to be asked the question after this tournament. Is he quitting from the international cricket? Does he thinks that he has had enough of cricket for life and may want to settle with his family?

Sachin-Tendulkar1

 

I think I know what his answer will be. “Where did you get that idea? Why do you think I should retire? Am I not doing it right for India?”

It is an impression amongst the self proclaimed gurus of the game, or of any other game for that matter, that a sportsperson should retire at the peak of his career. That way, he goes graciously and is remembered for a long time.

But, why can’t a player who is performing well and is confident about his fitness, stay on with the game for a longer time? Why should age factor come in the way? If he performs well, can he not put himself well above in the achievements’ charts in that particular sport?

Michael Schumacher did not retire at the peak of his career. But does that wipe off his 7 championships? Is he not remembered for that? Tiger Woods continue to play, and may underperform at times, but does he not perform miracles in the dying stage of any tournament? If health and age should have been considered as retirement factor, Lance Armstrong should have given up on cancer, shouldn’t he? Age is just a condition against which these players fought and continue to fight.

So now should Sachin Tendulkar quit? Give one reason. Not the age one…..Not the fitness one. Because those become invalid arguments.

Or better still. Give one player to the Indian team who has Tendulkar’s commitment, fitness, desire to better his game and his sporting spirit. Give one player who attends all the practice sessions, sober, and ready to bat(left and right handed), bowl and field. Give one player who, even after having all the above qualities, have not been distracted by the endorsement industry. If you find one, Sachin might consider making the room.

Else, quit suggesting him to quit!!

Dec 192010
 

See? The title doesn’t make any sense. Neither the number 50 nor 100 in itself. Even the combination doesn’t ring any bells. But now they will. Because  The Master Blaster has proven his worth once again.

Sachin Tendulkar has reached his 50th ton in test cricket, a feat, which cannot be broken by any test cricketer of current generation. It has been an elusive target to conquer, and The Little Master has always been his usual humble in saying that he is never after targets and milestones, but has been playing for his team, his country. We all know it’s true, but we are sure the he has pushed some critics and criticism to his back. And this is one target which all the Indian cricket lovers wanted him to achieve .

Sachin Tendulkar

The number 50 will have a special place in 1/6th of this world’s population. From now on, there will be a significance to the number 50. It will be " The number of test centuries scored by any batsman in the history of test cricket, with Sachin Tendulkar" being the man to achieve the milestone.

Oct 142010
 

A double hundred and the record of being the only person to cross 14000 runs in the longer version of the game, during the first innings. An elegant fifty ensuring that India demolishes the Aussies, in the second inning. A record of 49 centuries in test, and that of 46 centuries in the one day game. Being the only person in this world to score the 200 runs in a single game and a total of more than 17000 runs in his one day career. An impressive performance in the shortest version of the game, a game which is customised for youngsters. Commanding a high respect from the greatest batsmen and bowlers of our era. And many more achievements. All this speak the greatness of the man, rightly called as “The Little Master”. Still it took more than 20 years for people to recognize him as the biggest contributor to the game. The very rare, emotional roar, by Sachin, moments after winning the Bangalore test was the most fitting reply to all the critics who think that he is not a match winner.

Cricket, as people call the game in which 11 people try to find the ball hit by one man, is a team game. A team game is any game that requires the efforts of the entire team to get the best results. A weak link or a two in the team can be a liability for it. In a relay race, a slow runner can ruin the chances of the three fastest runners in the world. But we will never say that the three runners do not have the winning ability. In a soccer game, a weak defender may effect many goals, and we blame the weak person not the best player(if he has not messed up). An out of sync member in the boat race, will slow down the entire team. Whom do we blame here?

But when Sachin single handedly scores half of the target, and rest of the 10 players manage to total less than half of his score, effecting a loss, Sachin is to be blamed. How fair is that? Is it the case that he alone is paid to concentrate on field, whereas others do it for charity? When a ball is bowled, and passes the batsman, its easier for the commentators to assert that the batsman should have driven it for four, or swept it. Because he sits in his air conditioned room, with all the time in the world to analyze the situation from multiple cameras. The batsman has a fraction of a second to decide where to hit the ball. No hawk eye, no replay, no slo-mos…Just play the ball. In the face of such adversities, Sachin has managed to amass so many records. His records shouldn’t be considered as a sign of his selfishness(which they are not), but as a gauge of how much he has contributed towards Indian cricket.

Rest all depends on the team. If it was for him to win the match alone, he would have to bat in place of the other ten batsmen. Then it would be justified to blame him entirely for the loss.

A match winner is not the one who stays till the end, to hit the winning run. A match winner is the one who paves the path for his team to win the match. Its rests upon the team to do their bit.

Remember the golden word before blaming Sachin. Team !!

May 272010
 

The appearance of the real Sachin Tendulkar on the microblogging site twitter, has delighted his fans in India and world alike. People login quite often, to check out the little master’s status and follow him through his life. And the master blaster, thought infrequent on twitter, he logs in and responds to few of his fans once in a while. Already he is credited to collecting 67 lakh rupees for the cancer foundation, just by publishing the initiative on the site. Such is the value of his words.

As with the physical fan base following a star through out his stardom, Sachin might find it difficult to keep up with this virtual fan base. At present, he has more than 3,00,000 tweeter’s following him, and he manages to communicate with few of them. We have seen how a celebrity is haunted and mobbed by the followers at the gates of his house, or at an outing which he wishes to keep private.

Similar things could happen on twitter.

Sachin will login one day to find himself spammed with thousands of messages in a single instance, from the followers burning the idiomatic midnight lamp, waiting for their hero to come online. It will be difficult to reach out to the genuine fans and keep the spammers at bay. Webrazzi’s, the web avatars of paparazzi, will be waiting for the master to type few words, and bend them as per their requirements.

Sachin’s doing well now by being inconspicuous right now. But he won’t be able to avoid above situation, if he has to maintain his regulay activity on twitter.

P.S. : Sachin, if you read this, don’t get scared of what I typed above. It’s just to motivate you to continue to score on the twitter.

Feb 242010
 

And he has done it again!! Scaling one more peak in his remarkable career, which no other batsmen had ever scaled in history, Sachin Tendulkar, the Master Blaster, broke records after records to set a new record of over 200 hundred runs in a one day international game. Those who have not seen the inning, have missed quite a lot of cricket. Achiving this feat, is quite a big task in this format of game, as the time is limited. Many a batsmen have come close to it, but in the end they ran out of time, or their energies. But Tendulkar, who was on the pitch from the start of the innings till the end, looked fresh as ever. And that too at the age of above 35. He has managed to keep himself as one of the fittest player in the Indian contingent. He has never been in news for missing a practice session for absurd reason, or never found to be placing personal achivements ahead of the needs of the team. May be thats the reason why it took him so long to achive this target.

But he has reached there. And he will stay there for quite some time. Many a times, comparisons are made with the Australian player Ricky Ponting, where he is labelled as another successor to Tendulkar. But I don’t think the next Sachin is in the game yet. People trying to compare other batsmen to be of Tendulkar’s calibre, is itself an indication of his greatness. Previously it used to be a comparison of players with Sir Donald Bradman. But now its with Tendulkar, which speaks of the heights Tendulkar has reached.

At this rate, and by his form, it seems, he will be in th game for quite a long time from now. And we want it too.

Go ahead Tendulkar!! We love it when you are in full flow.

Nov 052009
 

17000…finally!! And there is no sarcasm in my tone, rather a very deep respect for the man.

Though there is not much significance to this figure except the hype created by media, each and every bit of it has been thrilling.

Alone, he has held many a war posts in his career. Alone, he has steered his country near to victory. Yet people say that he has never helped gain victory. All his valor out on ground has been lost to a pathetic display by his mates.

Though I have stopped watching cricket long back, Sachin Tendulkar manages to amaze me with his game. The only reason I might stay glued to a cricket match is Tendulkar being on the Pitch.

It will take a lot of time for him to pass his age and for India to replace him.

Keep Going Sachin!!

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