Many more happy returns of the day Master Blaster!! I am also an ardent Sachin fan, the one among the torrents of Indians who not only adore but are also head over heels crazy about this genius. On this wonderful day I would like to pen down a few thoughts about this larger than life cricketer, especially his attributes that has had an impact on me.
Dedication & commitment:(Work ethics):
This is one of the sole reason as to how he excelled in his career. He had high respect for his work and this ensured he stayed on stop on the game for the 22 years that he played for India. To quote one particular match when India were playing aussies in 2003-04 he was going through a lean patch and he found out that he was getting out regularly playing the cover drive on the off side. Ahead of the third test he practiced fervently and left all the balls outside the half stump. He went on to make 248 in that match and went on to silence all his critics. That is next trait I will be talking about.
Warding off the critics( His Bat always does the talk):
There is a famous saying in English that says ” Empty vessels make much noise” I am sure all the SRT fans would agree that this was true in the case of most of Sachin’s critics. There were cases when People who hardly represented the country in a few matches commented on his performance, there were cases when a guy who opened for India in ODI, scored 36* at the end of 60 overs shamelessly told that Sachin’s strike rate was very low in tests. Not to forget the lambasting of his captaincy. He managed to treat all of the critics, the same with a smile. Each and every time he reincarnated out of ashes like a phoenix and let his bat do the talking.This was the case in lots of matches, when he scored 248 against Aussies, when he scored his 34th century, when he scored 200 against south africa and so on. There can be no better way to silence the critics.
The Rare talent that he had:
Whenever Sachin went on to bat he was a real delight to watch. The crisp straight drives that torpedoed from his bat, the back foot punch cover drive, the upper cut, the sweep, you name it and he played that shot to perfection. The straight drives against Warne (Sharjah 98), the upper cut against Akhtar (World cup Centurion – 2003), the hook against Caddick in the 2003 worldcup(that literally disappeared outside the grounds), These are some classic & evergreen shots that will remain etched in my memory forever. I adore him for the talent that he had. The 176 against the aussies is a true testimony to this fact. This is one of the primary reasons he is not only adored by Indians but also by cricket fans all over the world. This also might the reason why he might be the next closest thing to Bradman, which was rightly echoed by the great don himself.
The Mental strength that he possessed:
It is not exaggeration if I say that his mind might have been made of adamantium. How is it possible for a man who just lost his dad a few days back to come back and score such a valiant 140. That is one of the innings that propelled him to further stardom. This was also the very reason how went to take on aussies single handedly in the Sharjah Finals & Semis and managed to win it for India. Wickets were going at the other end. But he held his calm, nerves(of steel) and managed to cross the finishing line. Even the sand storms was not able to stop the Sachin Juggernaut. The year was 1999 when he scored a super humane 136 against pakistan. He was suffering from severe back pain but he managed to brave all of that scoring a stupendous 136. He finally fell When India fell short of a few runs where we lost last five wickets for single digit. He managed to ward off the wily saqlain till he was there in the crease. He never failed to hide his emotion at the end where he cried profusely at the end of the match over the agonizing loss. It was heartbreaking to see and the entire crowd burst were moved by his plight. This also might have been the reason as how to he managed to bowl India to victory in the Titan cup giving away only 3 runs in the final over. This was also how he managed to make a comeback after each and every pain staking injury.
The way he handled all the stardom:
Throughout the 22 years of his career it has only been a journey of ascent for the little master. There has been no descent at all. The way he handled all the adulation and stardom has just been amazing. The more heights he reached, the more humble he became. He was seen more of a mentor by his team mates. That was also the reason why he is still on friendly terms with other all time greats like Lara & Pointing.This was exactly why he was more than an inspiration to the current lot of cricketers. To name a few Sehwag, Yuvraj, Kohli, Rohit etc. More than being a cricketer, He is just an amazing human being.
I had lot of key take aways from these traits that I sincerely try to incorporate in my daily Life. Many more happy returns of the day yet again master blaster. May you continue to live hale and heartily for much more days and continue to inspire and enthrall us.