Newspapers splashing the recent achievement of Sachin Tendulkar across the world are a testimony to the fact that he is equally celebrated worldwide as he is worshipped in India. Sachin enjoys the distinction of enthralling cricket lovers not only with his immaculate strokeplay, but also with his dignified charm and humility off the field.

What I believe is that the connoisseurs of the game must take the responsibility of placing him in a position where the little master deserves to be, ignoring the emotional cravings that we Indians show for him. Not long ago (2002), very few remember that Kapil Dev was honored as the Wisden Indian cricketer of the century. The feat, well deserved by Kapil, is unique and stands out to be the best all round achievement of a cricketer. The former Indian captain aggregated over 5000 runs and over 400 wickets in tests.

An overdose of applause does come with its baggage of emotional outbursts that we Indians do express time and again. And that is well understood and taken in the right spirit always. But the debate regarding whether Sachin is the greatest cricketing mind will be carried on and on…without the possibility of reaching a consensus. Sir Gary Sobers, Brian Lara, Sunil Gavaskar, Allan Border (leaving Sir Don apart) and current player Ricky Ponting belong to the same level or very close to it.

Little research will show that there is a lacuna in Sachin’s CV. A triple hundred, scoring centuries in each test innings, 750 test runs in a five-match series, 500 test runs in a three-match series are some of the elements that are missing from his aggregates. These achievements are considered common in the list of greats.

Being a cricket enthusiast myself, I believe that India can again produce someone close to a Gavaskar or a Tendulkar, but producing a great all-rounder like Kapil is next to impossible. There was no hullabaloo of hailing Gavaskar as the greatest when he crossed the hitherto unimaginable milestone of 10,000 test runs and similarly for Kapil when he reached the pinnacle of bowling glory by taking Mark Taylor’s wicket in the 1991–92 home series.

The achievement of Sachin is spectacular, after all not everyday does a batsman cross 12,000 test runs. However, I believe that the instead of going overboard, the media and the so-called experts should treat Sachin in a much more balanced manner, carefully examining his unique achievements.

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