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 Sachin Tendulkar - The Pride of the Nation   

Sachin TendulkarMaster blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who turned 28 on April 24, 2001, is reckoned as the pride of the nation. To his credit, Sachin has rewritten new records in world cricket, which will continue to inspire the younger generation in the modern era. He is revered as a deity by the teeming millions of Indians - a sentiment echoed by the Australian opener Mathew Hayden in a newspaper column. Sachin can be termed as the Maradona of Indian cricket. Like his favourite football star Maradona, Sachin's diminutive stature is in stark contrast to his reputation as a veritable giant, who wields his bat like a magic wand to cast a hypnotic spell on the opposition.

Sachin took to cricket at a very young age; playing the game for Sharadashram school, where he had teammates like the talented Vinod Kambli. He was initially trained by the renowned coach Ramakant Achrekar at the Kamat Memorial Cricket Club ground in Shivaji Park, Dadar. “Sachin was very young when his brother Ajit brought him to me. As a youngster, Sachin was very dedicated. I feel happy when he comes to meet me,” reminisces Achrekar.

Sachin has paid a perfect tribute to coach Achrekar, by emerging as the best batsmen in contemporary cricket. Sachin was only 16 when he made his international test debut against Pakistan in 1989. This was the beginning of a glorious career, which has unfolded a novel chapter in the history of cricket. Sachin has entertained cricket lovers with his breathtaking batting skills in both versions of the game. He holds the world record of 28 centuries and over 10,000 runs in One Day cricket. He has scored over 6000 runs in Test cricket. Sachin is also a skilled bowler, who can confound the batsmen with his medium pace, off spin, and leg spin. It is no wonder that he has claimed over 100 wickets in the shorter version of the game.

Sachin blasting awaySachin is blessed with a good eye which enables him to anticipate the length of the delivery, after it is released from the bowler's hand. In addition to this, he has a relaxed stance at the crease, sound technique, courage, strength of character and stamina. Sachin is a photographer's delight - when he goes on the rampage and hammers the bowler into submission. The renowned spin wizard, Shane Warne, was quick to realise his batting prowess after he experienced an unforgettable nightmare at the hands of the champion batsman on the Australian tour of India in 1997-98 and 2001.

Sachin's extraordinary feats on the field, has drawn a series of applause from great cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Chappel, and Wasim Akram. The greatest tribute came from the legendary Don Bradman who said that the Indian maestro plays very much like him. Being only 28 years old, Sachin can afford to play for another 10 years of competitive cricket. He is poised to tumble the records of Sunil Gavaskar (maximum Test centuries), and Allan Border (maximum Test runs). Hence, most of the cricket experts have already bracketed Sachin as the most accomplished player, who is on the threshold for greater glory in the new millennium. In the words of coach Achrekar...“Sachin is the most genuine cricketer, I have ever seen. He is capable of breaking all the records. ”

By: Wasim Siddiqui


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