The summer of 1996 changed my life forever. It was during this time I came across the name of Sachin Tendulkar for the first time in my life. He was a vice-captain of the Indian cricket team.
He impressed by his curly hair and the hype that surrounded around him. How can anyone bear such a mammoth expectation? But, Sachin Tendulkar never disheartened his fans.
Within a few years, he became a legend. He was so inspirational and motivational. This beautiful journey had continued for twenty-four long years before the master blaster called it a day in November 2013. More than 1.3+ billion people were crying on that day.
The Lone Warrior In The Late 90s Era
Master’s valiantly fought against the likes of Glen McGrath, Damien Fleming, Shaun Pollock, Wasim Akram, and others. He was the lone warrior for India in those days.
Soon, we started saying,
“If Sachin gets out,
then India will lose the match.”
Be it his fighting knock of 136 against Pakistan in Chennai or 177 against Australia in Bengaluru (in 1998), we lost those matches.
Through these innings, Sachin taught us to take on newer challenges with whatever limited resources we have.
Sachin Tendulkar – The Storm of Inspiration
Master blaster’s presence on the field was phenomenal. His two consecutive big knocks against Australia at Sharjah were truly breath-taking.
He scored a blistering 143-run knock to take India into the final. He tore apart the Australian bowling and hit many boundaries and towering sixes. Suddenly, the storm interrupted the play.
But, once the match was resumed Sachin played one of the most memorable knocks of his life. Tendulkar’s magnificent 134 helped India win the trophy at the final of COCA COLA CUP – 1998.
An Innings that Brought Tears
Sachin Tendulkar lost his father during the ICC Cricket World Cup – 1999. He immediately returned to India but his family pursued him to continue playing for the nation.
Sachin scored an unbeaten blitzkrieg knock of 140* in the very next match against Kenya. India won this match.
It reminds us of our great soldiers, who continue to serve the motherland throughout the year irrespective of personal problems back home.
Amidst Match-Fixing Controversy
The world of cricket was severely embarrassed at the beginning of this millennium. Many cricketers got involved in the obnoxious match-fixing scandal. We knew that Sachin could do no wrong. This was enough to reaffirm our faith in the gentlemen’s game.
However, the poor show of Indian cricketers in fields was disappointing. Fed up with team India’s performance, master blaster relinquished his captaincy from both ODI and Test squad. Then, he suggested BCCI about Saurav Ganguly’s name for captaincy… and the rest is history.
India’s successful campaign at the World Cup finally came to an end when Australia crushed us in the ICC CWC 2003 grand finale.
Sachin Tendulkar was awarded the player of the tournament trophy for scoring maximum runs (673) in this edition of the tournament.
Sachin, Sachin, Sachin
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. Mark Twain
After the 2003 cricket world cup, many thought he would retire, but Sachin’s dream of winning a world cup was still elusive. Four years later, Team India went to West Indies to play the ICC World cup 2007. Unfortunately, India didn’t march ahead in the tournament.
The media started questioning about the presence of veteran members in the team. But, Sachin stayed silent, and wanted to shut his critics by his performances.
Surprisingly, the next three-four years proved to be glorious for the master. He smashed an ODI double century at the age of 37! It was a world record at that time.
Tendulkar soon became a hope for new India albeit now in the role of a sheet anchor. Finally, India won the world cup in 2011 after a long hiatus of 28 years.
Many remembered the tournament for Dhoni’s finishing sixer and Yuvraj Singh’s wonderful all-round performance, but Sachin Tendulkar once again stood as the second-highest run-getter in the tournament after T. Dilshan (Sri Lanka).
He fell short of eighteen runs only. Otherwise, he would have been the top scorer of this tournament too alongside ICC Cricket World Cup 1996 and 2003.
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