Ode to the greatest circketer the world would ever see.
I have been watching cricket for about 14 yrs now and ever since i have started watching it with full of passion i have always managed to get a lot of old matches that were played earlier in various telecasts, CDs and through other mediums. I think I can safely say that I have watched indian cricket's current generation of cricketers and the pervious one in action. And India, unlike the west indians and the English, has had most of its cricketing greats from these two generation of cricketers.
Of these, we can sight many such palyers who warrant a mention in this kind of a discussion. Celebrated ones (from both angles by the media) Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vensarkar, Mohinder Amarnath, Krish "Cheekah" Srikaanth, Bishen Singh Bedi, Chandrashekar, Azharudding ( the best slip fielder that india has produced) etc from the pervious gen (forgive me if I missed out someone very important).
From the current generation we have to mention Sauvrav Ganguly apart from ppl like, Srinath (The fastest and most disciplined bower India has had), The accurate Kumble (the workhorse, The wily old fox, the smilin assasin and what not), Rahul the great wall Dravid (Well he has the greatest temperament among all players), Yuvaraj singh, Sehwag, Pathan and fielding sensations Ajay Jadeja, Robin singh and Mohd Kaif.
Ganguly was one other man in the team who could be easily looked up to as a mtch winner. He had all the qualities - talent, class, arrogance of a captain, man management.... etc irrespective of his current form.
But above all this there has been no one and will be no one either who can stir every one of the one billion in this country as THE LITTLE MAESTRO. I somehow cant bring myself to comprehend the command that HE has over the game. I am not going to say anything that people have not told about HIM so far. HE has been much celebrated, criticised, idolized and what not by a nation where democracy and freedom to express is rightly misused by the media regardless of whether it is used up properly for the right things that warrant such a sensationalisation.
The most important thing about SACHIN is that HE got into the team when most of the pervious generation of match winners had collectively retired from international cricket and still pulled up india into reckoning as a great force in the world of cricket. I am surprised cause I have never seen anyone see HIS gaming stlye from this angle though many, unfailingly do this for Rahul the Wall Dravid.
With due respect to the really great talent of Indian cricket, "Dravid has been and such a slow scorer", brings out hues and cries of him being a team man and having structured his game for the need of the team, to stabilize matches when India loses a few quick wickets. Spare a thought for "THE LITTLE WONDER" when all people used to do was to switch off television sets once they witness the fateful finger go up all though the nineteen nineties.
HE has always been the guy to look at in times of crisis. HE has stabilized many a innings in his personal style. Whenever HE gets slowed down on reaching a century people seem to say that He is selfish. What the heck man, HE is getting slowed because there are no more people back in the dressing room who can score the same runs in the double the time as HE could. HE slowed down because HE is being looked up to by a lot of people to take the resposibility of safely finishing the match rather than to gift HIS wicket away trying play some sensational shot.
No other cricketer in the whole world has ever been in such a predicament where in HE has had to think of the whole team rather than his own game and has been so successful at the same time. And HE gets to be called as a selfish cricketer in return. There are so many ppl who are now rooting for the latest senstion Sehwag. Agreed that he is a complete devastater on his day, but why isn't his weekness to hold himself against temptation, to realize his importance and responsibility in the team being blown out of propotion as is being done in the case of The Richest Cricketer In The World ?
The very fact that HIS slight slump in form is being noticed by a horde of media men, public, politicians etc stands testimony ot the fact that no one is capable of working up a frenzy on the feild as HE alone is. HE is a GOD in the land where the only religion that unites all the one billion into one shelter is the religion of cricket. How can one explain the commitment He showed when HE returned in a couple of days from HIs father's funeral lest the nation should lose faith in this religion.
Sachin's retirement, when it happens, will create an unfillable void in the indian team that will not be cemented until the very facet of Indian cricket changes, until the very attitude of Indian crickters changes, until there is a drastic change in the approach of the media towards the game, until there is one more person who can force one from the media to say
"One Raised finger can break a billion hearts".
I really doubt if this can and will ever happen.............................................................