Sunday, September 9, 2012

Question – The wrong’un!

Yep! You are not dreaming.  Wait of the century has just ended.  Yes, it was waited even longer than the 100th hundred!
Alas! I have just written something about the worshiped god of cricket. Yes, that is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
After the demise (?) and departure of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and a series of sub-standard performances (?) fingers are being raised, though half raised would be the apt word but nonetheless they are being raised on Sachin’s place and role in the team.
I have two question marks in my previous sentence/paragraph. The first signifies that the demise of VVS was a relative term and can never be used with Tendulkar, howsoever pathetic he might get on a bad blue day. 

Stupendous..but God!!
The second is to re-consolidate the fact that class is permanent and form is temporary. Hasn’t Sachin been in tremendous nick off late? Those not agreeing mustn’t have seen his stupendous cover drive during one of his last few innings. It hardly matters if he got out for 5 afterwards. Huh! The pun was intended of course.

I might look biased against Tendulkar to an extent (and I agree I am no big fan of him) but I would try to be as neutral as possible. We Indians in general are double standard at whatever we do, myself included – most of the times. But come on man! Have some senses, some value of words. And specially people who are looked upon when they utter a word. My Granny talking in the awe of Meena Kumari is one thing and a renowned author/sportsman talking non-sense sentiments is another. 

What irritates me most is the way they discriminate among people. The way they loathsomely praise Tendulkar with the heroics he never did and make him a god (may be just to project the world that we still have the best) as if cricket is a mythology and not a game is utmost disappointing. 

I have for my full life believed that there will always be two kinds of people/views – right or wrong. Unfortunately I find it missing here.
Take few recent examples from cricketing realms –
1)      Sourav Ganguly – There were few people wanting he should be dropped (myself included) and there were few blind ones who did wanted him in. Thankfully, he was dropped – may be a touch too late.
2)    Sourav Ganguly revisited – I know, I know! The ghost of Bengal disapproves to vanish. You can punch him hard but he comes back roaring. Doesn’t he? Anyway, this time he was in a good form and scoring loads. I was against dropping him but he was dropped. Anyway, not everything I think is right nor is the world bound to run the way I wish.
3)      Ricky Ponting – There may be questions if the time was up for him or not. But then again there are just two camps – he should have been dropped or he should have been not.
4)    Andrew Strauss – This is more notable and honorable appearance for a player who has been average at best. Yes, I regard him an average batsman and has never been on my watch list, ever. There were no camps eventually. No fighting, no pondering over the issue if he should be dropped or not.

Here comes our god. The little master, the blah-blah-blah man and every trend goes abroad! Don’t ask me where they go, I won’t be able to recall.

The big question today asked is weather Sachin should retire or not?
Till when should he play?
When should he be discussed for his future plans?
What kind of selective games should he now be playing?
To which players should he be grooming with his experience?
Should he move down to soak in the pressure from the junior guys?

I see lot many questions being asked, only problem being, unfortunately none of them are questions – they are pleading, lame ones.

A man who has given so much to the game, a man who has taken so much from the game, a man who lives cricket all through his life, a man who breathes cricket should never be asked about his retirement plans. No! Never!
Why should he retire? Who are we to ask about his retirement?
Are we asked when are we going to die? Or till when we want to walk?
He may and should play until when he wants to play. No one has earned the right to call for his retirement or even suggest him an inch on that.
For the other group who wants him to still play – I call them insane. I have never denied his accomplishments not have said that he is a poor player, but god! Yuck! Gods will be crying if they hear this.

His only big accomplishment is his longevity and that too is due to two major facts –
1)      He entered at a very young age, not many of us get that lucky.
2)      He has been given support in a way or the other to stay up and in. Luck or faith or blindness – whatever!

Play any boy as many games as he did in that conditions, at least 80 tons are guaranteed. 20 more don’t make you an immortal!

A man who has been pathetic leader (it is proven) is not going to aid the youngsters in any way with his experience. Believe it or not, he just plays for his love of the game. Team spirits and all are just shit! Ever heard of him juggling his batting order? Good players are always capable of moldings as per the team’s need. Coming down the order is again a needless question now.

He already plays fewer numbers of games and was taking full advantage of runners in the game. Thankfully ICC got some life and poor Raina’s were saved from running for him. Do you still see Sachin fielding for full five days? Hopefully I am not a blind yet!

Why still play when your fitness is so poor? Why select him at all? And why play a random game here and there? It is not a job for homesick fathers. Will my company allow me to skip a month every now and then just because I do excellent work otherwise (or I am assumed to do so)?

That's just OK... just not the title!
Regarding his accomplishments, read a piece from any of the authors with eyes open and you will know how biased they are (or afraid or some abc fans?) when they write about him. Mr. Guha writes his world cup inning as sublime and compares Strauss big ton as equal to his. Why? Strauss was a visiting batsman, facing spinners, he is an average player and still scored about 40 more runs that Sachin at a greater pace and still he is somehow equal! And our man whose strike rate was second lowest and the score second best is sublime! What a pity!

For past more than 2 years he has score only 2 centuries – both in losing cause – one against mighty Bangladesh!

He did not toured West Indies, did pathetic in England, rubbish in Australia (everyone else was even poorer does not mean that he will pass) and was ugly in India against the poor New Zealand whom even Ashiwin tonked wherever he liked. But no, our sportsmen from past say – He is in fine touch. He should be preserved for South Africa tour in 2013.

Touch! Preserved! My foot!!

At this point of time I remember Greg Chappell, a person I am not very fond of, say “I would invest 10 games of someone who is young even if he scores 25 runs per innings rather than giving an oldie 10 games to score 30 runs per inning to complete a record he just can.” 

The investment on a mediocre at best Tendulker is not going to yield anything to the sports or India. He is a mortal and should be treated like one. He was very good and exceptional at times; He has been average off late and is sharply turning in to a poor shadow of his glorious past.

We don’t get too many gentlemen like Strauss, Dravid and Laxman but that does not mean that we always live on the glories from the past.

I don’t have a problem by his getting out or the way he gets. I have an issue with those who consider him special and above the sports. At the end of the day, he is just another good player for me.

For all the pleasure he gave to me, for all the joy he has added to the game, for all the hope I found because of him, for all the glory he brought to us, yes I am deeply, profoundly grateful to Sachin. 

But hey, life must move on. I still have one question, the right one, “Why not drop him?”

Medals will not win you more medals; history will not write another history – Construction everyday is going to make future – only if we are interested enough!


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