If only we could freeze time!


Gaurav Joshi reports from India

Sitting inside an enclosed media centre and listening to music on maximum volume through the headphones the chant of “Sa-chin Sa-chin” could still be heard even before Tendulkar entered the playing arena.  Mumbai Cricket Association had opened the gates nice and early to ensure each fan was inside the stadium to watch Tendulkar walk out for his 329th his final test innings.

Nearly each person that entered the Wankhede Stadium kept on standing and cheered their hero to the crease. For the next 15 minutes they screamed “Sa-chin Sa-chin” continuously and refused to sit down.  Even a defensive shot was greeted with a roar.  It was once in a lifetime experience and highly unlikely India would ever experience such an atmosphere or such an audience for a Test match ever again.

For all those that turned up, the shots Tendulkar played during his outing will remain in their minds forever, none more so ever than the shot that bought up his 68th Test fifty.  It was the trademark Tendulkar straight drive played with a full face of the bat and it just raced to the boundary.

For that split second, you felt like freezing time.  It would have been the fitting gift for man that has managed to freeze a nation of over a billion people for nearly a quarter of a decade. But to halt time would be a fantasy and perhaps those who believe there will be another Tendulkar are living in a life of fantasy.

Back in the real world Tendulkar stroked his way to 74 before playing a deft late cut into 1st slip’s hand.  Tendulkar was out.  The brief walk back once again told a story of man that just simply loved playing cricket.

Once he realised he was out, the disappointment on his face was evident.  But the primary reason for the dismay was because he had executed the same shot only couple of over’s ago against the same bowler.  So annoyed was Tendulkar he started to scurry of the ground, his natural instincts took over, he was mad at himself for not been able to execute the shot, the cricketing brain was still in action and it seemed like Tendulkar had almost forgotten this was his last innings.  After About three fourth of his journey back to the boundary, the cricketing brain finally halted and he acknowledged the fans for one last time. It was not the prolonged goodbye many would have expected as the master rushed up the steps. But once again the walk back to the pavilion showcased Tendulkar was so engrossed and dedicated in his batting that all other factors was extraneous. Short and quick exit was brief as compared to the remarkable Test career but it was the last sign of a true batting genius.

Without the great Sachin Tendulkar Indian cricket and Test cricket in general will never be the same. What a master and how lucky one is to witness his last performance!

Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=2774