From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

to whomsoever it may concern

In sachin, sports on March 26, 2007 at 10:58 am

This post is in response to a comment on my previous post. The comment in question explains why Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar should retire as of March 26th 2007. I figured Blogger comment sections would have their word limits, so I decided to make a post out of this one…

Now, not a lot needs to be said abt the character of someone who can reel of arguments but cannot be brought to put his name to them. while i do not have the luxury of having fantasy and imagination on my side, i shall attempt to respond to your points ANONYMOUS.

Anon #1 : DIGNITY = no business acumen (anon apparently does not like the food that these establishments serve)

me : so you dont like the bhindi, quite a problem that, i hate it myself…am sure the man himself would apologise to you for having hog-tied you to take you to his restaurant and having force-fed you. dude..its ok to exercise that thing called freedom of choice.

On an unrelated note, heard of the ‘Air-Jordan’ series? or ‘Shaqnosis’ by the same company? or the George Foreman grill? or Canon S3 powershot by Sharapova? or …well you get the idea. Have brand, will endorse…while am sure a restaurant chain titled with your name would draw crowds, it might’ve made more business sense the way its been done? just maybe?

Anon #2 : perfection…chipped f****** nail…london…responsibility means playing when injured. manjrekar is god! he’s short (lol..this is priceless)

me : firstly, i shall persuade him to apologise to you for being short.

I’m no doc, but i think chipped nail and tennis elbow are not necessarily the same thing. i wonder if you’d been told that he chose to play in spite of not being 100% fit how nice you’d have been to him.

Manjrekar…hmmm…ex-wonderboy of indian cricket…the best technique they said…was india’s best batsman (until the man in question came along)…achieved 10% of his ‘potential’ makes his living giving sound bytes…wonder why he would say anything controversial…beats me?

Bubka and Armstrong – Phenomenal athletes in individual sports..individual glory. Shaq? takes him gazillion dollars to don a uniform, let alone step on court. do you really want to go there?

A lesson on cricket rules; you can continue playing a game even if injured, and you can bat with a bandaged jaw. Its slightly harder with an injured arm. The innings against Pak (in Chennai) with an injured back might not prove anything, or it might say everything that needs to be, of course, the fact that 6 players could not rustle up 14 runs is totally his fault.

Anon #3 : forget past performances and focus on last innings especially if its a failure

me : i can see how a hundred here would be better than the 35000 international runs. doesn’t really matter that he scored 40% of the teams runs. you were actually watching this one, so how dare he fail! your most valid point after the one about him being short

Anon #4 : Anon scored well in high-school, inference, sachin should have scored a hundred against SL

me : i tried but i keep convulsing with laughter at this point. ok, try a simple test, gather all the people you can find and have them stand around you while you type your response to my response. the number of times you’ll hit backspace will prove my point about how performing under the gaze of millions is sliiiightly different than you acing your finals. and yeah, some of those games that he performed in, for example the 98 against Pak in 2003 might have been more than ‘intermediates’

Anon #5 : respect for those praying for his elbow

me : praying for his elbow indeed. that might’ve been out of the goodness of our countrymen’s hearts, or maybe..just maybe, the tendency to play the perennial victim, waiting for the saviour to come score the runs and get us a victory, because they know, on their own, they will manage exactly zilch as they go through life.

As for your assessment of his capability, i agree it might carry more weight than what the likes of Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell etc say about him, but pardon me for going with the other group.

Final (or maybe semi-final) word : Your references to the likes of ‘The King’ and Chappell aren’t inaccurate, but how many of their failures did you ever see? How would you rate Viv Richards shot in the ’83 final that cost them the cup? Do you realise that had it not been that shot, WI would’ve made it 3-in-a-row?

Grace? The guy was the first certified cheater in the history of the game (read an account of his placing the bails back after being bowled and asking the bowler to continue).

As far as passion and promise go, even your vivid imagination would have trouble seeing a listless Tendulkar on the field of play.

Oh, by the way, I don’t give a rat’s ass about how your EPL fans react to losses.

Technorati tags: ,
  1. Good one.. You really aren’t just another sport enthusiast! I like what you think.. and that’s exactly what I feel about The Restaurateur!I’ve known Tendulkar for 18 years now (you & I both, I believe!) and if you still think that he merits the blue cap then it surely is one helluva puzzler..Maybe he does.. maybe he doesn’t.. and if you have ever attended school or even a basic management program you’d know better when it comes to choices… He’s OLD, he’s got no fizz (read Pepsi) no power (read Visa) and perhaps no energy (think it’s Boost!).. whatever, I may not be the creative guy here.. but hahahaha… nor is Tendulkar!Why don’t you understand– beats me really– that the era.. the legend that’s Tendulkar has ended.. No bowler (unlike the 90s) thinks it’s a miracle to claim his scalp.. he’s vulnerable.. he’s jittery.. and he seemingly doesn’t have enough will!I have been a huge admirer of Tendulkar.. and I surely watch innings after innings on TV here (whenever they show Indian cricket!) but dude, don’t you see any difference? Are you blinded, like how another billion will be once he scores a ton against a Zimbabwe or a half-baked Paki side.He’s past his prime and there’s no questioning that.. It is fact… 35000 runs are enough to fill pages in Wisden’s books.. but it required only his average in an above-average situation to take India through.. He failed and so did others.. I don’t blame him singularly.. but he’s one amongst them.But the likes of Sehwag and Yuvraj have age to their side.. they have the thirst to cement their names in record books like Tendulkar had (and successfully placed).. Maybe they wouldn’t make it.. but dear-oh-dear.. both of them are better bets (inspite of their failures too) than him for the future of Indian cricket.. (I sincerely hope there would be one)So don’t take this personally.. grey yourself from a pure enthusiast to an analyst.. sometimes you can enjoy the game with an un-biased view better! Just a suggestion.. you obviously know better .. freedom of choice, eh!And.. by the way.. although you seem well read.. you don’t seem to have thought on a fraction of the words.. When one reads a menu (like a 22 year old passionate cricket-loving Tendulkar-praising chap) and finds the bhindi to be Tendulkar’s recco– he doesn’t blink once.. It’s not about the choice there.. It’s about eating what your God (hitherto) loved!Evolve!

  2. you say you’re a fan of the man (and the game i hope) and yet you keep bringing up his endorsements as if those have a correlation with performance? he’s been smart about using the enormous equity his early performances brought him and harnessed it. so? big f***in’ deal! you sound like you’d have been forgiving of his low scores if he wasn’t appearing on so many commercials but thats just flawed need to make up your mind about why he’s lost your esteemed favour. is it his form, his attitude or his age? because if you’re comparing blokes on pure talent, i wouldn’t mention those other 2 indian batsmen in the same sentence. about his game not being the same, no arguments, but my take is its not diminished ability that has caused it, but a repeated battering by all and sundry about him not being a ‘matchwinner’ (defined with simplicity as the guy who’s there when the winning runs are scored, which is the only way kaif could be called that). thats what made him eschew those breathtaking bullets through cover to play a more conservative game. i have disagreed with that approach ( and ( but it only shows he’s human after all and the constant questioning, got inside his reiterate, i DO NOT think he’s past his prime and can decimate the best bowlers, provided he’s got his thinking right. before you jump down my throat, EVEN in this defensive mode, he has a fair bit to offer, by providing a calm head, and i do not think there’s anyone around to challenge him for his spot.and finally, you thoroughly enjoyed playing the ‘cool-calm-rational’ analyst while making some fairly emotion-laden rants against the ads and the bhindi. however, the emotion is not my grouse. i let it show that i love this sport, not so much because of the pepsi-fuelled jingoism, but the way stepping on a cricket field makes me feel. believe it or not, i often give subcontinental formulaic ODIs a miss and wake up at 4am to catch an ashes test to watch high quality cricket. my admiration for the subject of our conversation is a combination of his ability, his presence, the way he’s conducted himself all these years. i fully believe none of the other greats of the game, be it viv, pollock, ponting would be able to deliver under the pressure he has played with all his life, and just for that he deserves the respect of any fan of the sport.cheers!

  3. Well said!I, very much like you and the billion, would love to see Tendulkar perform.. but my apologies again, it’s a far cry!He’s been instrumental in many a victories and many a misses.. but watch him for another year and you’ll know why I said what I said! I hope he changes.. and if doesn’t wish to.. it’s better he leave! He’s made good enough runs (never 40% of the team runs.. now please don’t go running for self-made statistics… 40% of team runs with an average of 44 only goes to show that the Blue team’s average all those years from 89-07 was a mere 102?)… Nevertheless… there are fewer genuine cricket fans than I think you are and I hope you (and I) are awarded the best of games in the times ahead!Regards!

  4. Loved this one ! Here is my 50 cents – I probably dont know as much about the game .. nonetheless ( Bloodsport Someone very wise once said that sports doesnt develop charater . It brings out character… Amen.The most ironic moment of my sunday was when before the Brazil – Aussie showdown , a commentator on ESPN – who definately looked like he needed a gym membership for a birthday present made a unsavory comment about Ronaldo’s weight . @#$%!I guess everyone cant be a hero ..some of us have to stand in the stadium and clap ..but when the gloves come off and the claps turn to blows ..does anyone really have a good perspective on the psyche of an athlete and what it takes to make or break it ? The similarities and differences between Ronaldo’s current and previous form lie one Goal away .I cant help but think back to early spring – when shell shocked I watch show after show in India complain , crib and fall one step short of slandering Sachin .It upset me to no extent . People at work ..on the street the malls was like a black shadow everywhere . None of these same people – have ever played a competitive sport of any sort ..leave alone play it at a national / international level .So it bears no surprise – the complete lack of understanding and disregard fo health , sports related injuries , mental strenght and other hurdles in the way of athletes .I remember one specific headline that said that Sachin didnt have killer instinct . This weekend – I had gooseflesh on my arms reading a similar one that said Ronaldo couldnt convert goals.Sachin was a shy school kid who I’ve seen at the nets in MIG Cricket Club . That same year – when he debuted , my brother remarked that it was the same guy from MIG .When he wasspending days, weeks , years trying to get a break in the politically dominated and class consious cricket team india had in the yester years – where were these reporters?When Ronaldo was born in his abject neighbourhood in Rio and spent night after night practicing his legwork and played for league after league ..every victory a step closer to his dream :Where were these reporters ?How can you talk about his inablity to convert a goal when you werent in the picture while he converted his freaking Life ?! …Beats me .Someone at work asked me last week as I nervously watched Ronaldinho warm up before the match why soccer and cricket were so popular among Indians . I said its because they were sports of the poor people . One out of 22 people or sometimes more needed a ball ..or a bat to play . All you really needed was a dream. You could have 2-3 matches going on the same ground even ..forget the ground ..garages,long corridorrs and streets would do as well.Which is why Sachin changed the face of cricket for so many of us . Personally – I cant breathewhile the guy steps onto the pitch to bat .In my cube at work pinned to my softboard – I have an article from the Hindustan Times. Dated March 22 2006 . Titled ” Let him be ..Let him choose” ..I wish I could type out the entire article . Every sports and cricket fan needs to read this .Khair – what is basically says is that we live our lives vicariously through theirs .We grew up along side Sachin ..watched as the boy became a man ..the man became a legend and the legend became a God …and then selfishly as magic flickered , got upset as the talisman that was supposed to last foreveer ..faltered ..showed signs of being human .Coming back ..We keep saying that the name on the front of the jersey matters more than that on the back ..yet selfishly we burden these poor athletes with the responsibility of the entire game -Have you noticed – when Sachin scores a century – he doesnt look at the stands at the scores of people or flashing reporters …he looks at the sky . When Ronaldinho steps out on the field cant miss the sombre sign of the cross and his looking up at the blue too .Have you seen them break into smiles ? in the middle of the game .Thats how dangerous these athletes are . Anyone who has ever been in any kind of showdown – corporate , civil , or sport related will tell you that there is nothing more disarming or lethal than an adversary who smiles at you . Because while you may be in the game for your own reasons – he’s in there just for love ..Truth is – these players are living their dream , loving their Gods ..and we are nothing but lucky to be the presence of immense talent.I’m 27 now . Definately more cautious and risk averse than I was when I was 19 . When a 19 year old athlete steps out onto the greens – its different than a 27 year old doing the same . Its not about the age – its the experience . While experience is the best teacher of them all – what it also does is make us aware of more than anything ..of things that can go wrong , chances that may not come our way again ..and the moments that cause a split second hestitation .Then the media goes beserk and drops words like killer instinct , guts , fighting spirit and what not . Any Given Day – from stars to soul khadi . All in a days work.But trust me …when push will come to shove and when its mayday …what is not going to matter is the size of the dog in the fight ..whats going to change everything ….is the size of the fight in the dog .And something tells me theres a lot of fight left .Meanwhile – I fold my hands and pray .

  5. well put kau…you saw him as a kid at MIG?…damn…am envious that you might’ve seen him when he enjoyed the game the most. one comment abt your statement “Personally – I cant breathewhile the guy steps onto the pitch to bat” i used to be like that…a long time ago..but then i corrected the worst mistake we can make while watching blokes like these…instead of being terrified of that delivery that might take the outside edge, bask in the brilliance of those straight drives…and when a bowler does dismiss him…don’t grudge him what must be his most memorable moment on the field…coz thats what sport’s all about 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: