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Anything but selfish

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He is known as the God to some and to some he is just a magician with a bat instead of a wand. Standing on the brink of yet another milestone, which probably is going to remain unachievable till eternity, we feel like asking this question to everyone. Is the God of cricket playing only for records or is the old passion for the game still alive?

Yes, even before I start writing anything you will know who I am speaking of. This man has been synonymous with Cricket. His is the first name that comes to mind when you utter the word Cricket. Bang on, we are speaking about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, better known as the Master Blaster. Before we go any further let’s just take a look at some of his records. Do not be surprised for most of the batting records have been surmounted by ‘the God’.

Combined (ODI & Test) records

First batsman in history to score over 70 centuries in international cricket. He now has 99 Centuries
  (51in Tests and 48 in ODIs), which is the record for the highest number of centuries in international
  cricket.
First batsman in history to complete the 33000 runs in (ODIs + Tests). He now has 33086 (ODI (18111)
  +Test (15005)).
Record of getting out the maximum number of times in the 90s in international matches. He has been
  dismissed 26 times (18 in ODIs and 8 in Tests) on scores of 90-99. The 18 nineties in ODIs are an ODI
  record too.

World Cup Records

Most Runs. (2273 Runs)
Most Fifties. (15 Fifties)
Most Hundreds. (6 Hundreds)
Most runs in a series. (673 runs in 2003 World Cup)
Highest Partnership runs for 3rd wicket. (237 Runs with Rahul Dravid).

Centuries and Fifties Records
 
Most centuries: 49
Only cricketer to ever score a double hundred in the ODI format - against South Africa at
   Gwalior, India.
Most centuries against an opponent - 9 vs. Australia.
Most centuries vs. Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
Most centuries in Final Matches 6 & India won all these matches
Most centuries against One Team - Australia 20 (11 test+9 ODI)
Most Fifties: 95.
Highest number of 50+ scores in ODIs - 143 (48 Centuries and 95 Fifties).
One of the two players to have over 100 innings of 50+ runs along with Ricky Ponting
Most Fifties in World Cup Matches (21)
 
Recently he has been criticized for playing only for records by a leading newspaper of our country and also the controversial superhero of our neighbouring country but he has always been unfazed by the criticism and always lets his bat do the talking for him. Also as per the mythology India always loses the match when Sachin scores a ton. But, let me ask you all this question. Who doesn’t play for records? Every player worth his salt plays with the records at the back of his mind. Some players achieve it and some don’t. When they fail they come up with a statement like ‘I’ve never played for records’. However, the only person who can truly justify that he has never played for records is Sachin Tendulkar. 

If you say that Tendulkar is selfish and plays merely for his records and to get better brand endorsements, it’s time for some reality check.  How many times do you think has Tendulkar contributed in India’s wins? He has scored 5033 in 116 matches chasing totals for India.   There was a time when Sachin Tendulkar was the Indian Cricket Team.  He is the same man who scored 673 runs while carrying an Injury in a World Cup South Africa. That time no one said that he does not play for country or for the love of the game. They always have an argument about him not winning the World Cup but, what about his contributions that took India to the finals. He was not the only batsman in the team, or wait was he? It’s very easy to make allegations on someone but too difficult to prove it. Well I’m not finished here. The most interesting fact might be an eye opener for everyone. He has scored 33 hundreds which were match winning performances out of which, 14 came when batting second.  

Sachin has always been the most prolific batsman for almost two decades. His batting average has always shown an upward trend. Not many people realize this but he has been playing as well as he was 22 years back if not better.  

It’s true that the charm and charisma of his yesteryears has dimmed, if only by a fraction as the busy cricketing calendar has taken its toll. However, Tendulkar still remains by far the most wonderful batsman and cricketer in the world. Time and time again he has proved his mettle and shown us why he is considered a god and living legend.  In yesteryears he was more aggressive and not just a run accumulator like he is right now. People who are the first one to point out to him about his weakness and the change in his playing style also need to consider the changes in the dynamics of the game. We should also not overlook his injury issues and change in his job role after the emergence of new and young cricketers. 

I remember someone saying this about Sachin:

Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting, they will go unnoticed, because even the Lord is watching!

Saying that this man plays for records would be a heinous crime and not just an insult. 
 
I do agree that everyone has an opinion and others do too. So, if you feel differently than me do let your views known I would love to read them out. 
 


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