Neeru Bhatia on Sachin Tendulkar

There is no hiding from the fact that every time Sachin went out to bat, he was followed by a million prayers and expectations. It was always the same since he made his mark on the world stage as a 16-year-old; as his stature grew, so also did the hopes of his billion Indian fans, who stayed glued to the TV sets till he was in the middle. I was no different, part of the ‘Tendulkar generation’, as I call it, the entire legion of fans that lived, laughed and cried every moment of his cricketing time. Even before I completed my postgraduate diploma course in mass communication and became a reporter in mainstream media, I, as a member of the ‘Tendulkar generation’, was as touched and affected by Tendulkar’s cricketing exploits as the guy or girl next door. By the time he called time on his cricket career in 2013, as the one with 34,357 international runs to his name—at his home ground, the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, as his voice choked with emotion during his farewell speech, time stood still as he spoke, the reporter took the back seat, and the Tendulkar fan came to the fore, memories of all the matches he played and won for Team India rushed forward. This farewell was like none I had witnessed or been part of till now, and there had been a few in my life journey till then.

Gideon Haigh on Sachin Tendulkar

In my journey of over 25 years as a sports reporter/writer, I have been lucky to have watched from the best seat in the stadium many a Tendulkar innings but perhaps the one that touched me the most was the one in the Sydney Test in 2003–04. It was an innings like none other of Tendulkar’s. Devoid of any emotion, it was a meticulously crafted 436 ball, 241 not out made in 613 minutes or 10 hours and 21 minute long vigil. Not a single ball played on the up, each of his 33 fours hot on the ground, finding the gaps, beating the fielder. Not a single six in the innings. An exhibition of supreme control over his batting, pre-decided and pre- planned. Yes, it wasn’t a display of exquisitely timed shot- making that has been so many of his ODI and Test innings; this was something else. A master playing his own way, batting on his own terms. The match and the series may have been drawn 1–1, but if anyone left an indelible stamp on it, it was Tendulkar.

Vikram Sathaye on Sachin Tendulkar

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