Sachin Tendulkar on TV – the only way to watch him play

Yet another record and yet another milestone and many more to come… Twenty years of performing at the top.

Everyone would envy the people who were at the ground witnessing the event. Yes they were the lucky few. But I am glad that I have watched and would continue to watch cricket on TV.

People  would have watched all the shots on the ground and everything would have been a blur. Three hours and fourty five mins of watching ‘blink and you miss show’!

But only the people who watch on TV would have seen the steely resolve in his eyes. The absolute calm on his face which probably belied the swirl of emotions inside. Channel 9 in Australia now has the technology which tracks the rate of heart beat of the players on the field. How I wish that we had that technology operating over here. Or the day of the India-Pakistan match in 2003 World Cup when he looked pumped and came out with an intention to decide the match in first 10 overs.

There are moments that can only remain in our memory because we watched on TV. The dejection  after scoring 175 against Australia last year and losing. Or that day in Chennai when he took us so close to beating Pakistan.

It is the ultimate sight… a huge stadium and all the fielders spread around like predators and the bowler charging in (or in case of someone like Shane Warne trying to play mindgames)… the camera starts zooming into this figure taking guard and ready to make those instant decisions in his mind in a fraction of a second as to which shot would be required for the ball coming at him… How many on the ground would ever be able to see what I watch on TV.

You would never be able to miss out the way wrists move the bat when the ball goes whizzing past point or the movement of the body to change the line of the ball for the paddle sweep or the head so still and the bat coming down in a straight arc for that effortless straight drive… And the thrill of enjoying the shots again and again in the replays that happen… On the ground, the shot is over and gone… and in spite of all the large screens put up on the ground, you can never savor the feeling of the shot… similar to that beer going down your throat. Which actually brings me to another point… The beer just doesn’t taste the same on ground as it does when sprawled in front of the TV…

I have, like many others have been watching Sachin for 20 years now… had the opportunity for a very brief hand shake when I met him at a shoot. I still have the tee shirt that a friend of mine got signed by Sachin for me during a Pepsi shoot (its still wrapped in transparent bag and safe in my cupboard).

20 years of watching him and living the highs and the lows through his eyes… walking into the ground for taking guard… or walking back after getting  out… That walk back when I (because I become Sachin) am out for a low score… the silence of the crowd is actually deafening) or the walk back after having done enough to ensure an Indian victory… the agony in the past when in spite of having done enough and India loses… biting of the nails and despondence on the face at the closing presentation…

We see around us many Sports stars who have been icons and have either disappeared or have let the fame get to their head (including many wannabes too)… but yet to come across a man who for 20 years have believed in only one thing – the game itself… Sure this game has given him enough… but for this man I think… every match when he goes to take guard.. the excitement and anticipation is the same as it was on his debut…

Hats off Sachin… and I think it is rather unfortunate that it took a 200 in an ODI for me to write a post… But this is a post which may not be read by anybody and yet it will remain in this virtual world forever…

2 thoughts on “Sachin Tendulkar on TV – the only way to watch him play

  1. wow… i have been reading about sachin for years.. so much so that the accolades for the man even got boring.. but this is some tribute to him. i so hope he gets to read this one!! probably one of the most sincere ones ever written about him

  2. You are right… so much has been written about him and yet so much more can still be written. I am yet to come across a sportsman who can move people the way he does. Our expectations from him are so huge that if he does not perform to our expectations, we are quick to berate him and yet if this nation needs a rallying point or an icon for self belief.. I think it is this man.

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