We always called him a wonder boy, the little genius, greatest of the greatest. We always placed our all hopes over his shoulders every time he walks out for bat and he given new wing for those hopes. He moved step by step to place himself so high in cricket books, where no one could have reached, we cheered for him, we shouted his name and the boy always replied with a decent smile.
Days passed, months piled up, years added in memories of we all Indians, but one place, the greatest place, was always secured for the man himself; Sachin Tendulkar.
He moved into his second inning, we saw him struggling sometimes, we saw many of his co-players depart in their ways, but he was there like a rock. We saw him ageing, when he said NO to twenty-twenty, but his rising form always kept us guessing that how many more years ahead in this little ‘boy’. Yes! he always remained the same cute boy.
Today on 5th November 2009, we saw again that what he still has in him. We saw him towering 175 runs in just 141 balls with 19 fours and 4 sixes in it. We saw him showing the way to once impossible looking victory. Unfortunately, the history (Chennai, 1999) repeated itself.
That match was vs Pak at Chennai, 1999
Sachin’s score: 136 (probably his best innings to date) in the 4th innings on a vicious turner Sachin coming in at: 6 for 2. Gets worse to 82 for 5(Ganguly’s controversial dismissal). Sachin is the 7th wicket to fall at 254 with India chasing 271. A commentator pointed out an interesting statistic about this game – India made 6 runs before Sachin came to the crease and made 4 more runs after Sachin got out. So, all India could muster without Sachin was a mere 10 runs!!
Match Result: India lose
Today; Match was vs Australia at Uppal, Hyderabad, 2009
Sachin’s score: 175, I will say the best of him till date. He started the innings with Sehwag and remained on crease till 47.1 overs, chasing a target of 350 and he left on a situation requiring only 18 runs more in 17 balls, three wickets in hand, but where the man himself in age of 36 years 195 days faced 141 balls, the rest three wickets could stand only for 15 balls adding just 15 more runs. Other high scores fro the same team were 59, 38, 23 and 17.
Match Result: India lose
What more you could expect from someone who started his ODI career from 18 december 1989? Almost twenty years and he still stands better than the rest. Will anyone question him again?