“Saaaachin. . . Saachin.” This mantra seems to resonate from all corners of the blue planet. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has redefined the way in which we view the game of cricket. Our Little Master who was honoured with Bharat Ratna recently has given us scores of moments to cherish. “There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar. Two, all the others.” Andy Flower, former Zimbabwe cricketer commented once. For us, he is not a mere batsman who helps India win a cricket match. He is a person who will continue to inspire us to follow our passion with all our heart and give up everything to achieve what we yearn for. Let us look at 10 interesting life facts about Sachin Tendulkar.
10. Left or Right, You are the best!
Right-handed batsman. Right-handed spin bowler. No, I’m afraid it is a bit too early to draw any conclusions! Sachin Tendulkar writes with his left hand. The interesting aspect is that he plays table tennis both with his left and right hands. He is ambidextrous. (The Cricket-God indeed!) Kapil Dev on asked about the young Sachin’s talents after his first tour to England remarked, ” That is the future of the cricket. If you can have an evenly balanced power, you can control the ball and balance of your body.” He has often been called the “left handed wonder”. The left-right game does not stop here. He prefers to wear his left pad before the right one before he goes out to bat! This has often led people to call him superstitious.
9. The Bat-Man!
As he churns out sixes and boundaries waving his bat with ease, the world has often wondered if his bat works on some secret magic spell that makes it impenetrable! “Abracadabra” doesn’t have any role to play here, of course; but his bat has always been a topic of discussion! He uses a bat that weighs about 1.4 kg and has thick edges. His bat weighs one pound heavier than Bradman’s! While most of the batsmen prefer lighter bats, Sachin is comfortable playing with heavy ones, which might prove difficult during long innings, especially due to the short stature that he has. This could also be one of the reasons why Sachin has not managed to beat the record of most double hundreds in his career, says some cricket observers.
8. Love for his mother
Sachin dedicated his Bharat Ratna award to his mother. She has played a significant role in moulding his career. She has been the constant source of support and love for the master blaster when he went through the worst of his times. It was his mother who asked him to go back to England to play the match after performing the last rites for his father. Such was the strength that Rajni Tendulkar imparted in her son. The interesting fact is that it was only when Sachin played his last test match in Wankhede stadium in 2013 that she attended a match and saw his son, the Cricket-god for the rest of the world, playing a ball! She hadn’t attended the 663 matches that Sachin had played till then. No wonder Sachin requested the authorities to hold his final test in Mumbai so that his mother would be present to see him put an end to an era of cricketing and conquering hearts.
Every coin has a story to tell. Don’t agree? Sachin Tendulkar would vouch for it. He still cherishes the coins that Ramakant Achrekar, his first coach who helped Sachin rewrite his own destiny, gave him during the early practise sessions. Achrekar used to put one coin on Sachin’s stumps. If any bowler managed to get Sachin out, he could take the coin. If not, Sachin won the coin for himself. Needless to say, Sachin won most of them and he still has kept thirteen coins intact. When gold coins bearing Sachin’s name and signature are doing rounds in the country valued by millions of his fans, Sachin has all his love and respect reserved for those thirteen coins which bear the fragrance of memories.
6. The story behind names
These days, parents name their children after Sachin Tendulkar, the hero who has conquered millions of hearts. But after whom was Sachin himself named? The question, though it sounds strange, has an answer. Ramesh Tendulkar, Sachin’s father who was a famous Marathi novelist, was very fond of Sachin Dev Burman’s music. Thus he named his son after his favourite music director’s name. Another interesting bit is about Sachin’s daughter, Sarah. She is named after the first tournament that Sachin won as a captain- the Sahara Cup . The name game is on!
5. From Zeroes to Hundreds
Records have always been a part of Sachin’s career. So has the number Zero! Sachin has scored ducks in 20 ODI matches. One might find it ironical enough that Sachin scored a duck in his first one-day international match! Sachin was dismissed by Pakistani fast bowler Waqar Younis in his debut against Pakistan in 1989. Both his first two One day International appearances ended in ducks. Memories of 1994 would be still haunting him; he ended up with a disappointing record of three consecutive ducks from 17 September to 23 October. But in 2008, he made an impressive comeback with scoring another record- 135 consecutive innings without duck. The wonder that was about to bloom decided to emerge slowly, without making a clamour, it seems!
He always wears jerseys with numbers 99 or 10. He wears the left pad before the right one. The story of the ‘lucky’ pad given to him by Sunil Gavaskar is famous indeed. Similar stories were circulated when Sachin straightened his hair before 2012 IPL season! Also Anjali, his wife has also made it public more than once that she doesn’t move, eat or drink anything when Sachin is batting! Interestingly, he also does not count his centuries and leaves it for others to count and record! Sachin himself called him “a little superstitious” after he crossed the mark of 50,000 runs in cricket.
3. The prankster in Sachin
Yes. The heading must have left you baffled. One finds it difficult to imagine Sachin, for the calm guy he is, playing pranks on colleagues and friends! He was quite a bully in his school (Yes!) and even loved to pick up fights. The story of how Sachin put a hose pipe into Sourav Ganguly’s room and left it open is quite famous. Try a google search of Sachin the prankster, you would be startled by the sheer number of results that would figure in. His colleagues, both juniors and seniors have waxed eloquent about Sachin’s cool manner of playing pranks with a straight face and how he used to lighten the atmosphere of tense dressing rooms.
2. As a child
Sachin as a child idolised McEnroe and even grew his hair so long that people often mistook him for a girl! He wanted to become a fast bowler in the beginning, but it was Dennis Lily, the great master who asked him to concentrate on batting. The story that during summer vacations, he fell from a tree and infuriated, his brother enrolled him in the cricket coaching academy is too sweet to forget! He was and continues to be a foodie, not to mention the vada-pav love that most of us share with him. What makes him unique is the fact that he has not lost his child like exuberance and innocent admiration and passion for the game as well as his own life till today; a feat not many of us won’t achieve in today’s world.
1. Dedication = Sachin Tendulkar
The name Sachin has grown synonymous to the term ‘dedication’. Right from his childhood days he was so dedicated to the game that he loved and took up that he used to ask his friend to throw wet balls to him to know whether he has managed to middle the ball! He never had to pay the fine team members are supposed to pay when they come late for team meetings. Again, the way in which he played the World Cup match in England even in the wake of his father’s death is unforgettable. This dedication has paid off, so to say. The respect and love that he has gained from all over the world explain it all.