A nice article on Sachin Tendulkar by Harsha Bhogle in the India Today magazine…Here are few beginning lines:
Of the many constituents of greatness, longevity is the first to be cast aside. The connoisseurs will talk of grace and beauty and finesse; the fans will talk of numbers, Test runs, majors, grand slams, Olympic medals; the storytellers will regale you with legendary battles won and the romantics might slip in a word for brave efforts that just fell short.But longevity? That’s for machines, isn’t it? Surely you can’t say Sachin Tendulkar is great because he played for 20 years, can you? How boring!
And yet that is my thesis. That longevity assumes all the qualities that everyone else finds dear. If you are good enough to play at the highest level for 20 years you must possess virtually every quality in a sportsman.
So you can look back at all of Tendulkar’s great innings, you can recall all the snapshots you have stored in your mind, you can trawl through his statistics but the fact that he has put body and mind together and existed as one of the brightest in our pantheon for 20 years is, quite simply, staggering.
It means he has competed against the best in the world across different eras; against grizzly pros when he was a kid and brash, irreverent young men now; he has played on feverishly seaming pitches and on raging turners, on cold, cloudy days and blazingly hot ones; at home surrounded by family and fans and away amidst loneliness; when the body is obeying all commands and when pain and fatigue bring you to your knees.
And he hasn’t just survived, he’s left his imprint on every situation. It is a colossal achievement. On his first tour of England he batted against Eddie Hemmings who had made his first class debut seven years before Tendulkar was born. He now shares a dressing room with kids who were having their umbilical cord cut when he was scoring his first century.
You can read entire article here.
Also check Sachin’s interview: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story?sId=63444&secid=30