The God of Indian cricket, Tendulkar made his debut at an age of 16 years against arch-rivals, Pakistan in 1989. The world realised his true potential in his first match itself. At this age, most of us would have thought of what career should we take? But, this player from Mumbai was already representing the Indian cricket team. If Michael Jordan was born to play Basketball, Roger Federer for Tennis, Pele for football, M. Tyson for Boxing, Tiger woods for Golf, then Sachin Tendulkar had come down to earth just for a sole reason - to play cricket.
Two of Sachin Tendulkar's records out of many that amaze his fans are his runs in ODI cricket, which stand at 18,426 runs and his 49 centuries. Ricky Ponting stands closest at 13,000 odd runs. He has to score 5000 more runs, if he has to get anywhere close to Tendulkar's record. Karsan Ghavri, former Indian cricketer says, “It is a very hard task for any batsmen to reach that scale. He has set very high standards in batsman-ship.”
Sachin did not achieve these records overnight. He fought it out against the best of the best in international cricket. His battle against Shane Warne, G. McGrath, Wasim Akram, Allan Donald has been etched in memories of Indian cricket fans. Not always did he face success against these players, but the competition was always a visual treat for viewers all over the world.
He has been playing international cricket for 20 plus years now. Ghavri says, “If somebody has to even go close to Sachin's record, he has to play at the international level for 20 years.” With the advent of T20 cricket, it might not be humanly possible for such records to be broken, when the number of ODI's being played has been decreasing alarmingly to accommodate T20's, which garners huge revenue.
Most of the records that Sachin holds, is in the batting arena. In the early part of his career, he used to bat in the middle order. But later on he was promoted as an opener, where he began to excel. He has since then become one of the best Indian openers in the ODI's. His scoring has improved after he took up the responsibility of opening the batting. Ghavri says, “One of the greatest advantage of opening the batting is that one has longer overs to face, while batting in the middle overs one gets lesser number of overs.” Now, he is used to facing the new ball, which is an art that has been perfected by the little master. “His records are mind-boggling”, adds Ghavri.
The player has been under pressure from billions of Indian fans, who consider cricket to be a religion. Poeple have great sense of expectations when the Little master walks into the middle to bat. “For 22 years, fans have been expecting runs from his willow.”, says Lalchand. When asked if any of his records might not be broken ever, Lalchand says, “His record of 100 100's might be difficult to achieve”.
Sachin has been one of the best players to have ever played the game at the international level. If there is anyone who would be able to even achieve even 60% of his record, he will earn a good name and fame in the cricketing arena.
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