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A Recollection Of A Master

February 26, 2010

I hope Sachin’s upward progress since 2007 did not reach it’s climax at Gwalior on Wednesday. I pray that his wish of winning the World Cup in front of his home crowd is fulfilled; for someone who’s given so much joy to so many, that is a noble wish. It was one of those days when he lifted the spirit of an entire nation, a day when he made the rest of the world stop and watch the cricket, remember their dreams and rejoice over something truly special.

He’s come a long way since he made his debut but retains all the common sense and good habits he began with. He’s had to face a lot on his journey and he’s taken everything in his stride; his responses have always been emphatic without him having to resort to even a loud voice. He remains a role model for everyone aspiring to be something more.

The dip which co-incided with the Greg Chappell era and the subsequent rise from the ashes which kicked off post Chappell’s resignation was also a time when it seemed that we were undoing all the groundwork laid out by John Wright. I remember how I fumed and cursed and vented my frustration at a time when we played as a broken team. I was a detractor, blaming Sachin and Saurav and Irfan and the many youngsters who walked in and out of the squad in that period.

This sustained burst of artistic expression ever since a big soul crushing, back biting constraint was lifted off him is frightening. I think of how close we came to losing faith in Sachin in the aftermath of the 2007 World Cup wreckage when there were severe doubts cast on his commitment, interests and abilities.

But that’s where I was wrong. The longevity everyone marvels at doesn’t come without all those qualities. It doesn’t come without the mental strength, the discipline and the self belief. He did his part.

Let’s do ours. Here’s to keeping the faith.

*Aaila world record!

There can be only one

PS: He wasn’t in my team because I found him too expensive. Stupid me. He scored 242 points that day.

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