Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sachin, Mere Aanka, Tussi Great Ho! Tohfa Kabool Karo!!!

Sachin, Mere Aanka, Tussi Great Ho! Tohfa Kabool Karo!!!

Bangalore: India virtually came to a standstill between 1700 and 1815 hours today as the country's cricketing God Sachin Tendulkar became the first man in limited overs cricket to cross the individual 200-run mark.

Sachin Tendulkar

And who better than Sachin to take away the record for highest individual total in a one-day match from left-handed Pakistani opener Saeed Anwar who made 194 runs 13 years ago against India at Chennai.

Suffice to say that today, life came to a standstill at offices, restaurants, airports and shopping malls across the country as eager fans glued themselves to any available medium from internet to live television to savour the moment when the maestro got to his 200th run.

In fact, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni got a few "boos" despite smacking the South African bowlers over the ropes as eager fans wanted him to give Sachin the strike so that he could get to 200. What's more, the Master remained unbeaten as he guided India to 401 runs in their alloted 50 overs.

For a man who is past personal cricketing milestones in a 20-year career, it is ironical that every time Sachin Tendulkar gets on the ground he sets one. And today, he set one that may stay for a long time. What was intriguing to many was the manner in which he went about the task.

Starting off as if he had a plane to catch, Sachin blitzed the hapless South African bowlers to all corners while sharing major partnerships with three of the four batsmen who played alongside him. While Sehwag missed out early on, getting out with the score on 25, Sachin built up partnerships with Dinesh Kartik, Yusuf Pathan and Dhoni.

Sachin Tendulkar

He slowed down only after getting into the 190s when Dhoni suddenly took over the aggressor's role and let his senior partner focus on the record. Sachin's 46th one-day ton which turned into a double ton was studded with three sixes and 25 boundaries. That he managed to make 82 runs in singles tells a lot about both his physical and mental fitness.

Tendulkar, who was robbed of a 200-plus score twice last year, must feel a relieved man to be holding a record in one-day matches that would take some beating. Saeed Anwar's record of 194 was matched by Charles Coventry, a player from Zimbabwe who made the score against Bangladesh and ended up on the losing side.

In a way it is poetic justice that a batsman with most runs in tests and ODIs and nearly the most capped in both forms of the game holds this record as well. While Brian Lara continues to hold the highest total in tests, it must be said that there is no better batsman than Sachin to score a double in the one-day game - an arena that he has lorded over ever since Sachin came out to open the batting against New Zealand in the early 1990s.

Given his achievements, it must be said that Sachin is not Cricketing God... he is Cricket! In the words of Abhishek Bachchan on Twitter: I finally know what God really looks like!! He is about 5"5, Maharashtrian and plays cricket!! Tendulkar Bapa Morya!!!

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