Rediff Logo
Channels: Astrology | Broadband | Contests | E-cards | Money | Movies | Romance | Search | Women
Partner Channels: Auctions | Bill Pay | Health | Home & Decor | IT Education | Jobs | Travel
Home > Cricket > Columns > Binnu Babu
October 10, 2001

 -  News
 -  Diary
 -  Betting Scandal
 -  Schedule
 -  Interview
 -  Columns
 -  Gallery
 -  Statistics
 -  Match Reports
 -  Specials
 -  Archives
 -  Search Rediff

 Search the Internet
 South Africa

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Time for Sachin to stand up... and be counted

Binnu Babu

The Indian team is in South Africa. What lies ahead is one of the most crucial periods in the careers of the present generation of Indian cricketers. There comes a period during which every generation's achievements and place in history is based on the moment in time upon which judgement is passed. It is time to stand up and be counted.

There are several spokes that make the wheel India is. John Wright, bringing his modern, unbiased influence on the team (at last seemingly united in purpose); a pace attack you can finally speak of in a confident tone; a world-class spinning duo; an opening pair finding their footing in international cricket, and, last but not the least, a wicket-keeper, untouched by scandal, blessed with the lightness and enthusiasm of youth.

V V S Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid -- talented stroke makers in the classical Indian mould, each a match winner on his day. And then there is Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin TendulkarAh! Sachin... sure he made Bradman's all-time eleven, and, for sure, the most talented batsman of the modern era. But, is that enough? You see, none of the plaudits really matter. Even if he scores 20,000 runs and breaks all the existing records, in my book, at least, it won't matter.

Where are the victories? More precisely, will he be able to inspire India to Test rubber victories abroad? Will he cross from being debated upon whether he is or is not better than Steve Waugh and Brian Lara to the realm of greatness? To the stratosphere occupied by, but very few men like Don Bradman, Gary Sobers and Viv Richards. Men about whom no debate is required, no statistic is needed to make your point, whatsoever. Men whose sublime talents combined with a sheer aura surrounding them, that when they were on, the rest of the world dimmed in comparison!!

Sachin has that ability - he is a magnet; the world stops to watch him. People who don't understand cricket can't take their eyes off the television -- they are watching a "genius at work". A kind of energy ebbs from his presence. The crowd sense it-- they begin to buzz; the oppositon and the world does too. Every heart beats just a bit faster, everyone's on the edge, and the world's focus is on that lone figure out in the middle. A few other sportsmen had or have it: Michael Jordan, Ayrton Senna, Tiger Woods, Mohammad Ali, Diego Maradonna.

Therefore, I would consider it a gross failure on his part if he were not to convert it into the kind of statistics we today remember the Don, or the swashbuckling calypso of Sobers, or the sheer arrogant dismissal of a cricket ball, like Richards. Sachin is an amalgamation of their talents, but with the frailties of mind that is all too Indian.

Therefore, it is time for Sachin to end all arguments, to rise above the rest, and take his rightful place among the pantheon of greats - it is time for India to win abroad. He is to India what Clark Kent was to Metropolis. He is our only superman!

Editor's note: Rediff believes that like its own editorial staffers, readers too have points of view on the many issues relating to cricket as it is played.

Therefore, Rediff provides in its editorial section space for readers to write in, with their views. The views expressed by the readers are carried as written, in order to preserve the original voice.

However, it needs mentioning that guest columns are opinion pieces, and reflect only the feelings of the individual concerned -- the fact that they are published on Rediff's cricket site does not amount to an endorsement by the editorial staff of the opinions expressed in these columns.

Mail Binnu Babu