Monday, September 3, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar- 'India's Elephant in the Room'

Avoiding the need to deal with issues or taking it a step further and descending into joyous denial is one of the key characteristics of Life in the 21st Century with evidence of it in every walk of Society.

A key one revolves around the game of Cricket involving India and Sachin Tendulkar's future.

Which has simmered in the last 18 months with his dramatic dip in form that was characterised by the absence of a Test hundred. Highlighted by his many failings to get his coveted 100th hundred with it finally achieved against the 'might' of Bangladesh. Then very much brought into focus in the wake of the retirements of Indian immortals Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. Which compelled you to firstly laud their sincere greatness and bemoan a cricketing landscape without their genius, but then shifted your attention to the one left behind in the Team in Sachin Tendulkar.

This focus was magnified during the current Test series against New Zealand that India won 2nil with the success being facilitated on the back of some fine performances from youth. With 25 year old tweeker Ravi Ashwin commandeering the 1st Test victory and the feisty 23 year old batting phenom Virat Kohli setting up and then seeing the Team through to victory in the 2nd Test. Ably supported in both wins by fellow youngsters Cheteshwar Pujara, Pragyan Ohja and Umesh Yadav

The antithesis of this was the image of Sachin Tendulkar with his stumps scattered in his every time at the crease and looking very fallible indeed. 

 “The bat refusing to come down straight – always curving towards the leg, which is why he is beaten so often now by balls that move in – -and then bowled – cleaned-up – by a ball that moved in. I am not angry – I am in pain.”
Contrasting statements from his glorious past like this from Australia's Matthew Hayden "I have seen GOD , he bats at no.4 for india in Test." show just how far his game has eroded

His legion of fans will just wipe it off as a temporary form loss and that with him being a undoubted master that he will be back to his regal best sooner rather than later. But the figures and his modes of dismissal dismiss this as words uttered through the lips of ones who are blinded by love for Sachin.

In the previous 2 years he has averaged a 40.04 with the bat which is well down on his career mark of 55.08. Then the figures damn more when you take into account that his average slips to 27.22 in 2012 and the amount of times he has been bowled. Three times in his last three innings shows how dulled his reflexes have become and how tentative his play has descended into.

As a sincere entertainer for 23 years that is beloved and respected by all with even his irrational haters showing this through their irrationality there is only one path for him to take now. With it pointing to retirement and with that a full endorsement of the youth policy that India is under taking and have had recent success with. People will question this view with the role that Schin could play in guiding the young, but the Team has many experienced types who can play that role and the key point now is the position in the Team for the youngsters taken by Sachin

We have seen that in Chetshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli that India have two precocious talents to build a Team around for the next ten years. Then at number 4 there are many very fine options in Subramaniam Badrinath, Robin Bisht, Ajinkya Rahane, and even a left of field selections in Unmukt Chand, Manish Pandey and the graceful Chennai batsman in Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas.

The irony of my view is it is seen through Western eyes and thus does not take into account the immense meaning this figure has to every Indian and every facet of Indian life

A figure that is as engrained in the Indian fabric as much as the Silk Industry and treated with the same passion

So trying to take him away from India just will not happen no matter how his form lapses

In a surreal, almost perverse sense you can understand this too. 

For he is undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in the games history and has achieved records that more than likely will never be matched or got within a Bulls roar of. Made even more compelling by the fact that he carries the weight of expectation of all Indians and when you realise that means over a billion eyes transfixed on his every move it gives everything he has achieved even more substance and respect by the immense pressure he is always under.That feeling he gives is priceless too for he can represent the only brightness in the suffering of some in India's days a bit like Don Bradman represented hope to the hopeless during the Great Depression. Away from the passion of the masses that he has always quenched and served three course banquets too. He is held in the same God like esteem in the 'hearts' of Corporate India. A virtual money making machine for them in all regards that has fattened all their Swiss bank accounts and is always a dead set certainty in the seedy pursuit of profit.

When you combine the adulation and hysteria these two immense lobby groups have for The Little Master you fully appreciate how many see it as untenable Life without Sachin

A suggestion of retirement would be like flicking the first domino on a cataclysmic course of events with the brunt being felt by the big wigs in the BCCI and Team India. Then after shocks felt all over India

No one will want to 'kill Bambi', so heads will get buried in sand over a nigh on impossible decision and its ultimate destination is sorted in this statement

'He has earnt the right to choose when he leaves the game............'

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