Sachin Tendulkar fulfilled World Cup dream in 2011: Sachin Tendulkar turned 38 in the year 2011 and his international career of over 22 years, he continues to amaze with the enthusiasm of a new kid on the block. Tendulkar realised his most cherished and long awaited dream on April 2 – to be part of a World Cup winning team. It all ended on a high under the lights at the Wankhede Stadium when Tendulkar posed with the World Cup and was carried on their shoulders by the players on a victory lap.
The Indian icon waited for this glorious moment for years and he knew it’s well worth the wait and when it came it was sweet. Nothing could have been more memorable for the cricket-obsessed nation that has seen Tendulkar literally grow into a cricket icon. He in turn gave his countless admirers immense happiness. He became synonymous with Indian cricket for over two decades.
Any cricketer of his age would have faded away, but Tendulkar is made of a different stuff. His passion for the game not only keeps him going, but also gives him the opportunity to reinvent himself. Each time he goes out on to the field he seems to be raising the bar for himself. Tendulkar’s birthday was devoid of any major celebrations because of the death of Shri Sathya Sai Baba, of whom the batting genius was a devotee.
With 15,183 runs in 184 Tests and 18,111 runs in 453 ODIs under his belt, Tendulkar holds the record for the maximum number of appearances and being the highest run-getter in both forms. He also has to his credit the most number of hundreds – 51 in Tests and 48 in ODIs. Having carried the aspirations of millions of fans for over two decades, defying a number of injuries — including a career threatening tennis elbow — Tendulkar has emerged possibly one of the greatest icons the country has produced in all spheres of life.
But fans just don’t seem to be content as the whole nation is waiting with bated breath for the 100th ton from the Indian icon. The 100th century from Tendulkar’s blade has generated lot of debates and discussions. Since scoring his 99th international century in a World Cup match against South Africa in March, Tendulkar has come close to the coveted milestone not once but twice. He hit 91 in the fourth Test at The Oval during India’s disastrous English tour in summer.
Tendulkar looked set for his milestone century on the fifth day but was given out by Australian umpire Rod Tucker LBW off Tim Bresnan, a decision which the batsman could have got the benefit of doubt.
Television replays showed the ball was just about clipping leg stump after the Bresnan delivery drifted in from outside off stump. Tendulkar played across the line, was struck bang in front but the drift was taking it onto the leg. Tucker raised the dreaded finger to the stunned silence of The Oval crowd and breaking the hearts of millions of fans.
Tendulkar might have thought he had survived but not the one to stand ground a single second more than necessary once the umpire had ruled him out, he trudged out of the ground to a standing ovation of the spectators in what would surely be his last Test match on English soil.
In the third Test against the West Indies on a placid pitch at his home Wankhede stadium, Tendulkar again stood on the brink of batting immortality only to retreat, plunging a milestone-obsessed country into depression.
Six runs shy of a record 100th international century, Tendulkar’s usually impeccable shot selection deserted him as Windies pacer Ravi Rampaul banged in a short and wide delivery, hardly the deadliest ball Tendulkar has faced in his two-decade-plus career. Trying to punch it, Tendulkar opened the face of the blade and edged it into the welcoming hands of skipper Darren Sammy at second slip.
A short groan echoed around the stadium before being replaced by an eerie silence as Tendulkar hung his head, sighed and trudged back to the pavilion.
And now Tendulkar is set to play a gruelling series in Australia a country where he has hit 6 centuries in Tests and one in ODIs. And if he gets his 100th ton in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, then 2011 may well be one of the most memorable years in Tendulkar’s glittering career.