Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tendulkar's batting - a form of genius

Sachin Tendulkar completed the most extraordinary feat yesterday in scoring a double-hundred in the second game of the ongoing one-day international series against South Africa. More than a decade has gone by since Saeed Anwar scored a magnificent 194 against India at Madras, a knock which I had the great privilege of watching, yet although Charles Coventry playing for Zimbabwe matched that achievement against Bangladesh last year, no cricketer has surpassed the mark laid down by the elegant Pakistani. Although teams have scored and chased more than 400, as an individual milestone, the 200 run-mark, although conceivable seemed insurmountable, until Tendulkar attained it yesterday in a display of imperious batsmanship.

Tendulkar’s knock contained everything that one can hope to see in a one-day international innings – a rollicking start, drives hit on the up with supreme technical excellence, front foot flicks of rare precision, an array of improvised modern-day strokes, masterful consolidation in the middle overs, a sudden surge of runs approaching the ‘death overs’ and even a nervy stint in the 190s, for a change. The nature of the wicket and the size of the ground at Gwalior, certainly played its part in making the mark attainable, but the extent of Tendulkar’s gargantuan effort cannot be underestimated.

Any tribute to Tendulkar, often stresses on the sheer weight of his records, which although incomparable at the moment, may not be entirely incapable of being bettered. Even if some day surpassed, his records will certainly stand testimony to his greatness, but statistics will always remain only a part of the story. Tendulkar’s batting has to be seen to be believed. Endowed with impeccable balance, a technique of pristine excellence, a sense of exquisite timing and more than anything else an insatiable appetite for success, his batting is a true joy to behold. There have been batsmen of prettier elegance, of superior grit, of greater power, but Tendulkar outshines all, for reasons that cannot be explained, if not viewed. Oscar Wilde once famously said that “beauty is a form of genius - is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation.” Maybe, Sachin Tendulkar's batting, much like ‘beauty’ is a form of genius.


Rahul Saha said...

This man was born to play cricket. Gutted for having missed it.

Anonymous said...