“Tendulkar fever” is clearly visible today in Kolkata as the legendary cricketer will play an IPL6 match on his birthday at Eden Gardens stadium. Yes, the Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar turns 40 on April 24.
Not surprisingly, the Eden Gardens authority announced that all tickets for the Indian Premier League game between the Mumbai Indians – for which Tendulkar plays – and the Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday is completely sold out. This is how people across the world love this cricket genius.
Tendulkar, who is afforded almost a religious status in India, burst into the world cricket scene as a 16-year-old in 1989 and has played a record 198 Tests and 463 one-dayers, scoring an unprecedented 100 international hundreds.
There were greats such as Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, Allan Donald and Fanie de villers, Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, and a host of others who faced Sachin in his prime and were duly subjugated. Then there were some very ordinary bowlers who surprised themselves by seeing his walk back to the pavilion. No doubt, Sachin’s was, and still is, the most prized wicket for one and all.
However, questions over his future mounted when he struggled for a year to score the ton he needed to take him to 100 centuries. He finally achieved the landmark against Bangladesh in Dhaka in March 2012.
Tendulkar, who decided not to play Twenty20 internationals after just one match in 2006, announced his retirement from one-day cricket in last December in a bid to prolong his Test career.
But his form in the five-day format has also dipped by his own stellar standards. He has scored just 1,145 runs in 21 Tests at an average of 31.80 since being part of India`s World Cup-winning team two years ago.
Admittedly, the reflexes of Sachin have slowed down with age, but the cricket lovers still want Sachin to annihilate bowlers in the same fashion what he did Shane Warne in Sharjah many years ago.
SACHIN TENDULKAR’S RECORDS:
- Most Test runs (15,837) and centuries (51)
- Most one-day runs (18,426) and centuries (49)
- Only batsman to score 100 international centuries
- Most runs (2,278) in World Cup
- Most appearances in Tests (198) and one-day internationals (463)