One can’t even imagine what it must be like to be Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. To carry the hopes of millions day in and day out, match after match for 19 years is no easy task, but still he has maintained that humble smile( Can’t describe how inspiring it is) and gone out there to give his best each and every single time. Be it the world cup match after the loss of his father, or the latest test match between India and England.
I can say that i was lucky enough to have witnessed it live(even though on T.V) but then i have been lucky several times. I saw him pulverize New Zealand in 1994 when he first started to open, I saw him score over 400 runs in the 1996 world cup, I saw him demolish the Australians single handed at Sharjah, I saw him take India and the hopes of one billion Indians to the final of the World Cup in 2003 and I also saw him play not one but two match winning Innings in the finals against Australia earlier this year. But i have to say its very hard not to rate this 103 not out on the final day of a test match as the best and consider this moment to be my luckiest in the last 19 years.
It is the best because of those non believers who always questioned his effort when India lost a test match or the finals of a one day series. When he came on to the circuit with hundreds in all three domestic tournaments(Duleep, Ranji and Irani Trophy) many said he is just a kid and will not be able to survive infront of the W’s of Pakistan, but he did and how. Then they said that he makes runs but doesn’t make hundreds because he did not have a century to his name for the first 78 one day matches. I don’t even want to begin saying how wrong those people were, 83 and still counting.
Over the years people kept pointing fingers on how he doesn’t perform in big matches, what he gave them in reply is now known as the Sharjha Sand Storm which blew away the Australians. He kept proving his detractors wrong at every step and turn but there was still one thing that he had not achieved, take India to victory with a fighting fourth Innings score. He got the opportunity in Chennai 8 years ago but he fell short by just 17 runs and India lost the match. Needless to say the pain of losing the test to Pakistan was in the hearts and minds of Sachin and his fans alike.
When Sachin came out to bat on the final day with India Chasing 387, the setting was perfect and he did not repeat the mistakes he made the last time. No doubt there was much better support from the other batsmen then there was in 2000 but he was the one who held the innings together on a wearing and spinning pitch. How he played the likes of Swann and Flitoff was just exemplary. How i wished that i was there when India won so that i could hug him and thank him for dedicating all his life to the sport and giving millions around the world a reason to smile and jump in joy (just like he did). And i hope now he has proven to everyone that ‘He plays for India, Now more than ever’.