Be it adulation or admonition, Sachin has an impeccable focus

Sunday, November 15, 2009

His picture-perfect straight drive, his "unique punch style of hitting the ball over square", his "technique, compactness and shot production" are always a treat to watch. I still remember those days when i used to watch cricket at my friend's house during exams, just to escape those stairy looks from my father! The semester exams did not stop me from watching cricket in hostel TV room, some times with class notes in hand! In fact when I was in school, one of my 'great uncle' used to say, "ಇವನ ಆಟ ನೋಡ್ತಾ ಕೂತ್ರೆ ಈ ಜನ್ಮದಲ್ಲಿ ನೀನ್ ಪಾಸ್ ಆಗೊಲ್ಲ! (If you keep on watching this guy's game, you will never pass in the exam!)." Thats the kind of attraction Sachin Tendulkar's game has.

Despite many changes in the last twenty years, one thing has not changed - presence of Tendulkar in Indian line up. It's not just his style of batting, but his work ethics and conduct, on and off the field, that have inspired millions. "A lot of other young men today see Tendulkar’s runs, eye his wealth, but their brattishness comes in the way of noticing his work ethic. For Tendulkar’s life is not the story of extraordinary ability but of an extraordinary work ethic [Harsha Bhogle]." Most of us hardly bother to know how many hours he might have spent in nets to get that one shot absolutely right. His tenacity in the nets has often brought a disciplined display of immense maturity in his batting. "He still approaches every game like a child would, when it gets a bar of chocolate; feeling happy and fortunate."

A lot has been said and written about Sachin Tendulkar, after all he has been the most analysed cricketer in the history of the game. But, what really inspire me is his impeccable focus. "He has consciously avoided controversy, remaining an intensely private individual while displaying his talent to millions. He may not have gone to college, but life has perhaps taught him more than he could have ever learnt in the classroom. He is fully aware of his commercial value but his badge of identity is that he is the Maharashtrian middle class boy who has remained true to his roots [Rajdeep Sardesai]."

Adulation of billion people has never diverted his focus in the game. In fact he prefer to look at a positive side of adulation and takes the responsibility "to server the country" through cricket. This is extremely important in the times when politics and religion are dividing the people. Cricket can be a means to unite people from every corner of India. It is in this sense that Tendulkar thinks playing for India is "serving the country". His scintillating knock against England after 26/11 was a testimony to this fact. On the other hand, at times, critics have questioned his form and consistency, but it was his single pointed focus and subsequent performance that proved the critics wrong.

It is no secret to learn that, despite two decades of cricket, Tendulkar has plenty of energy and enthusiasm to win the matches for India. Unequivocally, "he is the greatest Indian sportsman of my generation and the way he still has his feet on the ground with absolutely none of the prima donna attitude that you read about with the younger players is something special and a rare quality that any person, in any field can learn from him."

It's not just the sportsperson who derive inspiration from Sachin's game and work ethics, but any one who has a pure and intense desire to achieve "something" in life can find "that" inspiration from Sachin. Who can explain this better than the little master himself? ".....mistakes happen, but it really doesn't matter as long as you know from the bottom of your heart that you tried your best and this is the best you could have done..."..."..when you really want to do something, don't think of sacrifices, they will have to be made."

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This work by Manjunath Singe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. The views and opinions expressed in this work are strictly those of the author and do not represent his employer's views in anyway.