NEW DELHI: The fourth Test against Australia at the Ferozeshah Kotla could well be fans’ last opportunity to see Sachin Tendulkar play an international match in India.
India is scheduled to next play a Test series at home against the West Indies in October 2014, Tendulkar would be 41.5 years old by then.
India’s next Test series will be in South Africa in November this year.
One of the game’s all-time greats, Tendulkar announced his retirement from one-day cricket in December last year, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the one-day format during which he rewrote numerous batting records.
The absence of controversies in his resume make Tendulkar the coolest of all Indian icons.
His greatness as a batsman lies not in having made more runs than anyone else, but the process he adopted. Tendulkar’s success underlines the fact that talent alone is not enough. It is what you do with it that matters in the final analysis.
Not for a second has Tendulkar let his focus slip. He has always preferred the hard grind to shortcuts. In spite of his cult status and the trimmings (fame, power, wealth) that go with it, Tendulkar has never let anything interfere with his game.
Never has an Indian celebrity spoken so little and yet inspired so much awe as Tendulkar.
Not one word out of place, not one step out of turn in his 23-year career in the course of which Tendulkar has scaled peaks of success that lesser mortals can only dream of.
Yet, Tendulkar continues to be humble and honest – values that his parents had instilled in him at an early age. If at 39, his brand value remains intact, it is because he continues to inspire millions to dream.
To say that Tendulkar has enriched the game with his exceptional talent is like thanking the sun for sunshine.
Cricket will not be the same when Sachin Tendulkar walks into the sunset.