It was said he cannot bat well when India really needs him. It was said he isnt a Match winner, or atleast not as big a match winner as some others. Personally for me when I think of the words Sachin Tendulkar it takes me back almost twenty years ago, watching him bat against Pakistan on the grimy television tube. A sixteen year old boy had become a batting sensation and the sensational batsman went on to become legend and even that was a long time ago. Heard a comment from a friend a while ago that Tendulkar epitomises Mumbai.
It is so true. Its like the superhero; everyone admires his super success and so it isnt as entertaining to see him suceed and then the failures of the superhero becomes entertainment. Its important to remember how Tendulkar has never talked about why he has needed to bat carefully and restrict himself. He has never discussed matters that were discussed in the dressing room. We often sing praises to Ganguly as the best captain for giving direction to youngsters like Harbhajjan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan. Its said Tendulkar was not a good captain, cooly we forget he was a captain at the age of 23 and his youngest teammates who were just settling into the Indian cricket team were Ganguly and Dravid. Both players who went on to captain India.
But apart from his contribution to cricket, the stand out quality that remains is his seemingly indifference to expectations. Yes, I will call it indifference because I dont think a person can deal with such expectations like Tendulkar has on him and be sane. Imagine if you have a bad day at work and your patriotism to your country is questioned !! Thats what Tendulkar has dealt with on more than a few occasions. The century in the last innings at Chennai was perfect. It was not the most brilliant of his career but like Harsha Bogle commented it was like how a brilliant writer of literture will take joys in writing a good project report, just to tell himself he can.
The Champion like the city he hails from has been battered, injured and denounced as a has been and even selfish. But like champions both will just keep going, without a fuss, with indifference to expectations of everyone except their own.