Wednesday, March 22, 2006 it the end...

As the 22nd march unfolds, it could well be the day we thought non existent. If Freddi and co. manage to celebrate 9 times and more importantly they manage to send back Mr. No.4 at a score lesser then expected, it could well be Tendulkar ‘s last innings in 132 test match career.

Master blaster, little champion, demolition man and what not? But no matter how many adjectives have been garlanded on him, but current scenario goes to show that if there is a God, he must exist in heaven. All of us on this closest star to the sun are mortals.

Life is an ironical bitch for all of as at some point of time. And Tendulkar must be feeling its pinch right now.

When a 16 year old kid saved us a test match in the land of swing and reverse swing at lightening speed, we knew we have a special talent. But it’s when he sent Abdul Qadir on a leather hunt in an exhibition match; we might well have a legend in the making. Unfortunately, for next 10 years or so, Indian batting line up meant only Tendulkar. He had to bat in a team which had talented batsmen with doubtful loyalties or loyal batsmen with doubtful talent.

There is on thing if you start your career at the age of 16. You remain a 16 year old kid until wear & tear start forcing you out again and again. And people fail to understand that it’s the age in the game which decides your control and not your actual age. So if a Sachin Tendulkar ages 33, and generally batsmen last till 36-37, we argument that he still has atleast a couple of years left in him. Also we expect him to play like he has in his prime. But those batsmen start at the age of 21-22 not 16.

Over the last few years, dependence on Tendulkar has decreased to a great extent, thanks to Dravid and young guns. Probably for the first time in his life, Tendulkar was facing least pressure to score every time he went out to bat. He must have wished it like hell in 90s. But his fitness and form seem to have betrayed him. In this age when even Bimaru states have no shortage of talent, you cannot score less than 20 and be assured of a place in the side.

So when Tendulkar walks out to bat today, it could well be the last time he would be in a test match. He is supposedly going to have a shoulder surgery which will anyway keep him out for a while. “Supposedly”, because his injury should to be looked at with some skepticism. If he had a shoulder injury so serious that it requires a surgeon’s attention, he should not have been playing at all. And such a serious injury cannot occur in a day just before the announcement of the team for the ODIs. Kaif knocking at the door, Laxman already present in the dressing room and all the Rainas waiting in the wings, he might well find bidding adieu a safer option. After all, his graceful career doesn’t deserve to end up disgracefully.

All said and done, I sincerely wish he scores a punishing ton to win us the match and proves that he was not continuing just to score 35 hundreds and play 132 tests.