New Delhi: Every time he goes out to bat and dominates the opposition like Hercules, a thought crosses my mind - when will he stop? And then, can't he play forever? I know I share this with each and every Sachin Tendulkar fan.
He attained the stature of God even before he could qualify to fight elections in the Indian democracy, and now, 21 years since this prodigy broke into the scene, we have run out of adjectives for him.
What else could we call him? How else do we praise him? Brilliant? Extraordinary? Out of this World? All these terms and their synonyms have been used beyond their expiry dates, but this Man, relentlessly and consistently, continues to amaze us, entertain us and instills the belief that till he's there in the team we are very much in the race.
He sits alone on top of his zillion records so it's meaningless to even compare anyone with him. But his every milestone gives his fans a high, opposition bowlers gray hair and his contemporaries some complex.
His hundred against England in the World Cup Group B match is one such instance. His silken cover drives, lofty straight drives, paddle sweep, on-drive, each shot looked better than the other. Sachin's presence is so overwhelming that one fails to see others' excellence when he is on song in the most melodious way.
Gautam Gambhir, who played a knock of 51 runs, and then Yuvraj Singh, who made 58, in other circumstances would have been sung by the Indian fans but that was not to be on Sunday. Yuvraj, who goes berserk every time he faces England, butchered the England bowlers, but who would remember this game for him or for Gambhir who played some breath taking shots during his knock?!
With all due respect, Sachin's strokeplay makes all other players, at least of our generation, look less than perfect. His poise & aggression and his attack & defence, everything is in complete synchronicity. Sachin has proved that one can be aggressive without being loud and defensive without being timid.
We all know that this edition will be Sachin's last bid to win the 'Big Trophy', the only gem that has eluded his glittery career, and he would leave no stone unturned this time. Isn't it what we have been waiting for since 1983? Go Sachin!!