Friday, March 16, 2012

1 v 100

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The possibility of Sachin Tendulkar scoring a 100 100s had occurred to me somewhere around 2007 when India were visiting England. Its significance isn't obvious or acceptable to all. Many have implied it is akin to associating 2 random events and trying to find some meaning.

To me it is a somewhat relevant milestone. Especially for the time in which he played his cricket.

Bradman did not need a batting average of 100 to demonstrate that he was miles ahead of his contemporaries. Likewise, Sachin did not need a 100 international centuries to demonstrate that he is miles ahead of his contemporaries. These numbers though are just one way that confirms their respective standings in relation to their contemporaries of the era they played in.

May be in a few years it will be strike rates that will be relevant to confirm greatness of batsmen in a future era.

Even as Sachin got to his 100th. I had grown to feel disgusted at the drama around it. Even more disgusted at how Sachin handled the media questions about it before and after the milestone. I had also grown to be extremely disconnected with his words and actions. I never thought this would happen but it has.

Today, I am reminded of his first 100. There was no live TV coverage in India of the series where Mohammed Azharuddin was in dazzling form. I listened to the entire series on radio. My grandfather's grand old Phillips radio that was at least 50 times larger and heavier than the iPhone that I used to learn about his 100th.

22 years ago, I was visualizing every word the commentators on BCC were uttering. Today, I had access to the live feed on multiple devices and yet did not have it in me to even care to switch any on.

When he scored his first, I wanted to watch the movie Agneepath in the theaters but never did. 22 years later they remade the movie and I missed this one too.

His first 100 was to make the game richer. His 100th was devoid of any context whatsoever. Only a stark reminder that He is now bigger than the game.

His first saved a game for India, which we should have lost. His 100th cost us a game that we should have won.

His first came as India were well and truly trying to rebuild in earnest. His 100th comes at a time when India is trying hard to regress.

His 100th comes at a time when everything is a google search away. His first came a time when I am not really sure how we found anything.

In these 22 years we have had 2 Bushes in the White house, 2 Clintons (nearly), 3 more Khans in Bollywood (Shahrukh, Saif and Imran), 2 Germanys became one, One Soviet Union became many countries. We have seen 2 Gulf wars, 0.35 seconds shaved from 100 meters sprint world record, 5 Olympic games yield 1 Gold Medal for India...

Its like his 1st came from an entirely different era from the bat of a man I instinctly felt pride for. By the time his 100th came my admiration for Sachin Tendulkar is no longer unconditional.


Anonymous said...

geez grod, you must have reached 40 last year..maybe time to be open-hearted and open-minded once again! like old times! get that generous genuine smile back on your face once again! be nice to sachin and other old friends!

Mayank Jhaveri said...

Although the batsmen as well as the bowlers are to blame for defeat! I was particularly pissed at the way SRT batted.

I think Mahek's tweet sums it up perfectly: "Blame the bowlers for their incompetence by all means,but incompetence is not as big a sin in a team game than playing for a milestone."

Vaibhav Sharma said...

"India should have won the match" yes but India lost because of some very poor bowling in the death. 290 was enough and even bangladesh started slowly. But they scored all their runs in the last 10 runs due to gifts provided by the indian bowlers in the form of full tosses, no balls, length balls etc.
Bowlers should be blamed for the defeat.

Anonymous said...

yes Vaibhav, but apparently our bowlers would have bowled better (& team would be better prepared for the future) if Sachin had scored more runs in as many balls, or took lesser balls to score 114, or not played this game (as in 'retired')


Golandaaz said...

Okay, Anon,

Let's see how open of an heart you have.

Golandaaz said...

Mayank, Mahek's tweet is apt :-)

I guess every game in every sport there is some room for leverage for personal milestones. On occasions SRT is known to use this leverage in over draft.

Golandaaz said...


Its fair to say its a combination of both

Govind Raj said...

I just can't agree any more than this. Exactly my feelings, articulated magnificently. I felt disillusioned. I did watch the 100th run and it was not jubilation but rather sigh of "Oh shit, the damn thing is over now. We can carry on with normal Cricket now".

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, blokes with good writing as well as analytical skills seem to be getting carried away with their daitribe against SRT.

We can drop players who are either - 'unfit' or 'under-performing' or 'detrimental to team building for the future'

Does SRT fall into any of these categories? (possibly no. 3 if i hear blogger correctly, but that can be debated)

If that be so, let our selectors grow some tits, and take him out. Why not start writing continuous blogs on selectors? i forget - we want Sachin to do the 'right' and 'honorable' thing!

What is more conerning is that a 4th category called 'has played way too much cricket already and is not all that exciting any more - to my liking' has now been created. It is not too difficult for such like-minded disgruntled bunch to fall into the trap of micro-analyzing and 'miss'commenting on every ball/run/match/average/stat/quote.

Some time back, a writer in a ToI blog spoke about the 'juniors versus seniors' debate, and i am reproducing it here -


The policy of rotating the team and ensuring that 'youngsters' get to keep playing in the interests of building a team for the future seems, on the face of it, much to commend it. The accepted wisdom is that the Indian team finds it difficult to make room for younger blood, and senior players can take their own time in deciding to fade away into the sunset. Without giving enough opportunity to build new talent, it is clear that Indian cricket will face even greater challenges in the years to come.

So far, so good. The problem is that the framing of the issue in terms of seniors and juniors is spurious, particularly when it comes to batsmen in ODIs. The so-called youngsters are anything but; when measured in terms of matches played and the number of opportunities received to play in the last few seasons.

For instance, Raina has 137 caps, Kohli has 76, and Rohit Sharma has 74. In the same ball park are 'youngsters' like Kevin Pietersen (123), Hashim Amla (54), Dale Steyn (60) and Jonathan Trott (40). Now it is difficult to imagine these names being referred to as 'juniors' by any stretch of imagination. Nor is it true that in recent times, the older players have denied the juniors enough opportunity to play. Over the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Raina has played 53 games, Kohli 59 and Sharma 31 - contrast this with the seniors - Sachin with 13 games, Sehwag 24 and Gambhir 33. In terms of performance, most have done well; Sachin with an average of close to 55 tops the charts, and most of the others hover around the 45 mark, with Raina the only straggler at about 34.

None of the arguments proffered that there are young players who are being made to wait without enough opportunities, or that the jaded seniors are a drag on the team or even that the players in questioned can at all be labelled 'juniors', hold up to scrutiny. When it comes to Test matches, the story is admittedly a little different, but certainly not when we discuss the shorter forms of the game. If the batsmen under discussion included people like Manoj Tewari or Rahane, the question of giving the younger players more opportunity might have come into play, but not when we talk of Messrs. Raina, Sharma & Kohli. Quite simply, there is little to choose between the players going by recent form, and it would make sense to pick whatever seems like the best team on the day without an overarching objective. The tendency to locate any issue in a larger emotive frame is clearly at work here. By seeing this as a question involving a choice between older, established and more powerful names and younger, fitter, determined but more put upon younger players emotionalizes the issue, giving it darker tones and making a conspiracy seem nigh. The seniors versus juniors trope is a familiar one; going through frequent ups and downs, without missing a beat in terms of emotional intensity.

swamikarthik said...

I love the way you have compared the first and the 100th hundred. I was listening to the commentary when sachin got his first 100 too, and like you, i was just filled with pride. 22 years on, it was the other end of the spectrum for me. I was hoping that sachin would get out for 99 or that india would lose the game just to drive home the pointlessness of the innings. talk about schadenfreude.

Golandaaz said...


My disillusionment with SRT has been gradual and well documented in this blog :-)

I don't think it falls in any of the categories you mention and I don't think it SHOULD fall in any preset category

I just don't like what has become of him. He picks and chooses games and tours, does not take a stand on any of the key issues of his time (IPL, DRS, etc), flirts with Federrer when his country is playing a Test and is essentially a star programmer on a team full of good enough programmers.

Not for a minute I think we will miss his batting skills. Averaging 35 odd in Tests away from home can be easily replaced with a batter who averages 25 odd and no one will even miss thing off

When people extend their careers beyond reasonable limits I expect them to add lasting value. Border, Imram Khan, Bob Simpson, etc. Sachin value is purely transactional. If we are going to lose his mentorship after he retires he can be a fulltime cheerleader in the dressing room