Sachin Tendulkar's 50th Ton: An Essay in Patience
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Sachin Tendulkar scores yet another century.
What’s the big deal?
Oh, it’s his 50th one. Is this the best of the lot?
Not by a long shot.
Was it made in adverse circumstances?
You could say that. With India’s back to the wall, trying to surmount a mountain of almost 500 runs in the second innings of a Test Match after crumbling for just 136 in their first essay, the Little Master chose to assert his dominance over the best quicks in the business.
Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were never made to feel master over the Little Genius.
Tendulkar may have slowed down over the years, but one aspect of his batting remains constant: He will not let the opposition spearheads keep him quiet.
From McGrath to Curtley Ambrose, from Brett Lee to Shoaib Akhtar, from Mitchell Johnson to Dale Steyn, he has asserted his superiority on his day.
Can India save this Test Match? The rain gods will speak.
But for Indian cricket fans, nirvana was achieved last evening when Sachin completed his 50th ton, a knock dedicated to his late father.
The analogies with Bradman will continue. Is Sachin better than the Don? The figure 99.94 suggests otherwise.
Is Tendulkar better than the Don?
But for most followers of the game, comparisons are odious.
Tendulkar, in his 22nd year, struck a purple patch that singes the Don’s evergreen statistic. In these 360 odd days, he has surpassed mere mortals and drawn a "Lakshman Rekha" that may not be crossed.
Can Tendulkar’s slough of feats ever be duplicated? Records exist to be broken. But it will take yet another prodigy to transcend Tendulkar.
Let’s hope we are so blessed. Meanwhile, Sachin’s Odyssey resumes.
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