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"Such in"difference!
by Srinivas Kanchibhotla
May 01, 2005
For Sachin, successes in recent times have been as few and far between as Michael Jackson sleeping with grown-ups…OK, hardcore Sachin faithfuls, I hear your screaming refrains ‘Why pick on Sachin?’ Why does the IT industry focus on Bill Gates? Why do baseball fans scrutinize Alex Rodriguez? Why does Bollywood follow Shah Rukh Khan’s latest blockbuster? Because nobody gives a damn about a certain Sadagopan Ramesh or a Sabeer Bhatia or a Miguel Cairo or a Aftab Shivdasani…I can go on, but you get the drift…so let’s get back to Sachin. What we want from him are big innings, not just ‘beginnings’; high scores, not eye sores! No, I’m not going to delve into stats; because neither aesthetics of class nor the power of majesty can be quantified… moreover, mere numbers are like the independent candidates in a hung Indian Parliament; the majority might ‘buy’ them and claim their ‘support’ but they are as valuable as used toilet paper.

Whether you agree or not,of late, Sachin’s performances have been like sex for long time married couples…the ‘electrifying touch’ and the ‘lusty drive’ is gone…it is more routine, mundane and laborious.

Time was, when Sachin walked in, opposing captains and bowlers looked more worried than Alan Greenspan during recession. Today, they just wait for him to get his occasional innocuous scores in the midst of a string of failures imposed by self-doubts and over-estimation of his role in the team. The sheer rustic and uncouth delight in Inzamam’s face was for everybody to see in the recent Indo-Pak series when Sehwag walked back to the pavilion rather than Sachin; why? The savagery of Sehwag’s brutal assault even in a quick short innings can break the opposition’s back; not the patient, circumspect century from Sachin; they call him the little master. Alas! He is now left with very little mastery. With his abundant and resplendent talent, he should leave the Rahul Dravids and the Muhammad Kaifs for the play-through-the-50-overs-in-singles-twos-and-the-occasional-fours role. It is the manner of his failure that’s more disturbing than the frequency. It was shocking to see his inability to survive the initial overs in flat batting tracks of the subcontinent run-fest one-dayers. But lest we forget, as he showed in the World Cup 2003, and against Pakistan in the Ahmedabad one-dayer in the 2005 series and of course against Australia in the 2004 Mumbai test; when he is pushed to his very limits; when he goes in with an aggressive bent of nothing-to-lose mind and stays positive at the crease, the sheer ‘shock and awe’ is a spectacle to behold; Sachin may never score 400 in a test innings but the brilliance and audacity of his defiant bat is what we want to see…

He says his role in the team has changed; but we certainly hope not the fervor and desire to win; to dominate; to contribute in a regally majestic manner that enthralls and exhilarates the sorry mass of Indians having a legacy of non-achievements in sports; to inspires the street side Sehwags and Mahender Singh Dhonis; to bring the nation of a billion to a standstill with an array of bewildering strokes that leaves everybody including the opposition gasping for air.

We want that Sachin-difference, not such indifference.
More Views by Srinivas Kanchibhotla
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