Sachin and Team India


Sachin Tendulkar – the name needs no introduction. Born on 24 April 1973 in Dadar, Mumbai, Sachin is considered the most complete batsman of all time. He was the face of Team India for more than two decades. Sachin started playing the game at the age of 11.  By the time he was 16, he was facing the likes of Wasim, Waqar and Imran in their own backyard when India toured Pakistan in 1989. He was the man on whom the nation pinned its hopes every single time he went on to the playing field with a bat in his hand.

Sachin was a purist’s delight and his batting had all the principles of coaching manuals – perfect balance, economy of movement, precision in stroke-making, and that intangible quality given only to geniuses – anticipation. He had all the shots in the book. It was not as if he was the only batsman in Team India but the sheer delight and the aura of his performances made it impossible to look beyond him. He was always the first name on the team sheet.

Sachin was always counted among the best batsman of all times and the numbers he conjured is a testimony to this fact. He is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International. He is the holder of the record for the most number of runs in both ODI and Test cricket and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket.

Sachin’s achievements seem greater when looked in the light of the expectations he had to carry every single time he went out to bat. The nation considered anything less than a hundred as a failure for him but he had set those benchmarks for himself. Sachin was the backbone of Team India and though in the second half of his career he had the support of players like Dravid, Sehwag, Ganguly and VVS, he remained the key wicket for the opposition. There are many instances where his brilliance overshadowed everyone else in the team.

He took part in six World Cups and currently holds the record for most runs in World Cups. He had a dream of winning the World Cup for team India and he fulfilled it on 2nd April 2011 at Wankhede against SriLanka. He came close to winning it on a couple of occasions earlier also. In 2003, India reached finals but could not cross the final hurdle against Australia. Sachin was adjudged as the player of the tournament but it meant nothing to the man who always placed the country before himself.

He briefly took up the captaincy of Team India but the tenure was not very successful. However, Tendulkar remained an integral part of Team India and he was seen on numerous occasions in discussion with the captains. He was always ready to use his experience and help the team in whichever possible way. Players like Rahul Dravid and Ganguly under whose captaincy Sachin played credited him for various inputs which proved useful for the team.

He received Arjuna Award in 1994, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1997, India’s highest sporting honor, and the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awards in 1999 and 2008, respectively. He is the only sportsperson to receive the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. He retired from the game in 2013 but is still involved with Indian cricket in many ways. He is part of the team that selects coach for team India.

His journey is beautifully shown in the movie Sachin: A Billion Dreams. The movie, which released on 26th may 2017, depicts his journey from a small boy who played in a blood-soaked shirt in his first match to become the most worshiped cricketer of the world. The aura of the man may have dimmed a bit considering that he is now no more actively involved in cricket but for generations gone by he is still the god of cricket. The generations coming will feel it hard to believe that a man could play for close to 24 years with the burden of expectations of more than a billion people.

If cricket is a religion then Sachin is it’s God.

Read More about Sachin Tendulkar:
Sachin Tendulkar Biography
Playing It My Way Book Review: Sachin Tendulkar’s Autobiography
Top 10 Batsmen in the World of Cricket
Sachin Tendulkar: One of a kind
Who can break Sachin’s record?
Sachin Tendulkar and nervous 90s: just bad luck or more?
Was Sachin a Selfish Player?
Is Sachin an excuse for the BCCI?
The other side of Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar against spin bowling
Sachin Tendulkar against fast bowling
Sachin Tendulkar’s Cricketing Journey
Unforgettable Moments of Sachin’s career
Sachin as the next coach of India
Sachin Tendulkar Records
Childhood of Sachin Tendulkar
Journey of Sachin Tendulkar