Sachin Tendulkar turned 34 today. As someone who has achieved pretty much everything in the game of cricket (apart from winning a world cup, making a triple hundred and scoring at more than 2 runs/over against Ashley Giles), his career is now, admittedly, at crossroads. Although his class and genius are undeniable, age has finally caught up with him, as it does with most sportsmen. Critics are targeting his every move and he can’t even cut a cake these days without upsetting someone.
Tendulkar made his debut in 1989 and since then has flourished in an 18-year long career in which he has acted in innumerable advertisements, while also finding time to play cricket in between. He has frequently been compared to the great Sir Donald Bradman, and Sachin has often confessed his desire to emulate his illustrious predecessor. Though he does not average 99.4, he did manage to score a duck in his final international innings, much like Bradman. Despite being one of the most feared batsmen of his generation, his decline as a player in international cricket since he turned 30 has been drastic. Hardly any hundreds, frequent injuries and a loss of form and confidence have reduced him to a shadow of the player he once was. This is borne out by the fact that his biggest achievement in recent times was attending the Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding. The last occasion he received a ‘Man of the Match’ award was when his beloved city was called Bombay. The only place where he can still display his prowess seems to be inside the pages of a comic book.
Nevertheless, being someone who still commands a large and committed following in the country, the most vital question he needs to ask himself at this critical juncture is – Will I get a shot at acting in movies if I retire from the game of cricket anytime soon? But jokes apart, the truth remains that his future in Indian cricket is in jeopardy, and his stature in the game is on the wane. One wonders what is really going on the great man’s mind as he turns a year older. The aim of this blog is to make some cultured guesses in that direction.
So here goes.
The list is written in reverse order starting with Number 10 and finishing with the Number 1….
The Top 10 thoughts on Sachin Tendulkar’s mind as he turns 34-
10. Why do the so-called “experts” want me to retire? Am getting more endorsement deals than ever before.
9. Must find out if this Ranji Trophy thing is still happening these days…
8. Everyone seems to have forgotten I scored over 1,800 runs in ODI cricket………….in 1998.
7. Wonder if I will captain the team in the 2011 World Cup.
6. Do I endorse Coke or Pepsi? Or both?
5. Don’t understand how are out of the WC. I have more hundreds than the entire Bangladeshi team combined.
4. If I had to suffer from a tennis elbow, how come Roger Federer doesn’t have a problem with his cricket collar-bone?
3. I agree with Saurav. We need to blood more youngsters in the team.
2. So what if I never won the World Cup? Neither did Bradman.
1. What is this bald guy with earrings doing at my b’day party?