It has been a fascinating 12 months for all cricket fans, especially the most die hard followers of the little master. It all started from Australia's last tour of India, when Sachin was not in any bad form at all. Since the end of 2008 when he made 12000 test runs and finally got the bunny of most test hundreds off his back he has been playing like a champion. Scoring 50s and 100s at will and contributing in beating Aussies, SA, Lankans and England in their home ground. But last one year has been a dream. It is all summed up in this picture from the last day of the Bangalore test after he score yet another half century against his favorite foes.
Such emotion is rare for a man who has played for almost 21 years at the competitive level. In fact if anything it shows how much more hungry he is for the game. The most interesting thing about the past one year has been his ability to surprise one and all with shear Sachinacity, (I am sorry there is no other word for it). People know he is good, he is brilliant but he shows them that they know nothing. For me it all started with the 175 against Australia. In that innings everyone knew he would be the one to do it, but the way he did it and almost took India to victory, had even the ardent fans awestruck. The same thing is true for his 200* against the hapless South Africans, who never knew what hit them. Sachinacity was at its best when he was hitting the fastest bowler of his time (Steyn) to the square leg boundary off a yorker length ball outside off stump. Arun Lal on air put some justice to it by saying "He is just showing off today". And what showing off it was. The same attitude was on display in the last series against Ricky Ponting and his men. Hitting one six to get to a hundred may be common these days (thanks to Viru) but two sixes at 93 was incredible and reminded everyone of the "old" Tendulkar of the 90s. A similar thing happened on day 5 when 2 sixes were taken off consecutive balls and the bolwer was almost apologetic as if asking "Now what did I do wrong??"
The man has achieved so much that record books will need to have a separate section of "records without considering SRT". His comparisons with greats like Don, Hobbs, Lara and Richards are laughable at best. To think that someday another Ricky Ponting will take birth and match anything what Sachin has done is atrocious and unfairly ridiculous. If he was born in another country maybe he would not be celebrated as much but if he was indeed born in another country maybe he would not have celebrated as much and achieved as much. Here's hoping that the amazing run continues and our little great man fulfills all his ambitions and reaches new heights every day. Cheers!!