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Sachin Tendulkar Celebrating 51st Birthday Today, Let’s Explore Some Important Anecdotes From His Life

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Happy Birthday Master Blaster: It’s not easy to be a cricket god and still remain human.

Sachin Tendulkar once said this in 2008: “When the first wicket fell for Team India, the Indian crowd would go crazy. Not in sorrow, but in joy. Perhaps India was the only country where the crowd prayed for their own team’s first wicket to fall, because they wanted to witness the god of cricket stepping onto the field. The god who would arrive on the pitch within one and a half minutes of the first wicket falling.”

“First wicket down, in comes Sachin Tendulkar,” Tony Greig would say in commentary. They used to call him Sachin with immense affection and respect. He had to shout. It was a compulsion. Because the crowd in the stadium would be roaring. Because the entire country would be shouting. Because Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was stepping onto the field. The same Sachin who is celebrating his 51st birthday today.

Sachin Tendulkar. Mumbai Indians versus Kolkata Knight Riders. 2010. Ishant Sharma’s second ball. Sachin showed the face of the bat. Harsha Bhogle paused for a second and said, “Welcome to the textbook. Turn to page 32.” He had the same bat with which he scored 200 runs in Gwalior. He played a cover drive on the last ball of the same over. Straight out of the textbook. That was the book Sachin wrote himself. For 24 years. For the generations to come. Those who dreamed of playing cricket after watching him on TV. Sachin talked about keeping his basics strong. He had them. The habit of batting with a one-rupee coin placed on the wicket in Ramakant Achrekar’s coaching made Sachin what the world aspired to become. Will they be able to become that? It’s difficult. I heard in my childhood that winners don’t do different things. They just do things differently. Sachin did it. According to me, today Sachin is earning the income of the one-rupee coins placed on those wickets.

He loved food Sachin loved food. He still does. He used to eat a lot. It was justified. He used to play a lot too. He went somewhere on a tour. Maybe England. It’s about the early days of his cricket career. He would get salads there. The condition was that once you take, take it all. No second chances. Sachin wasn’t satisfied nor was his plate. He adopted a trick. He would put salad leaves in a small bowl first. He arranged them in a way that they formed a boundary. A few inches above the rim of the bowl. The space in the bowl increased. Now he would fill the bowl with salad. This was the power of making strategies. From eating to playing.

He didn’t play the cover drive A similar strategy was devised in Australia. In 2004. Tests were getting out repeatedly by playing the cover drive. The fourth test of the series was in Sydney. It was decided not to play the cover drive. Two days of batting. 436 balls played. 241 runs made. But not a single cover drive played. The cover was left open. They were being invited to play in the covers. But it wasn’t played. The balls that were pitched in the middle and off line, were defended. Those same balls that usually resulted in orgasmic cover drives were being stopped that day. Discipline. Affection. Amitabh Bachchan might have been jumping seeing this discipline. After the match, Australia’s legendary wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said that it was the toughest series played by them in Australia.

Brilliant shots against Pakistan The boy who used to sleepwalk, forgets to sleep 12 days before the match in Centurion on March 1, 2003. There’s a match against Pakistan. World Cup 2003. Super sixes. He scores 98 runs off 75 balls in the match. Sachin says that he had already played that match in his mind a year ago. The World Cup schedule had already come out and the match against Pakistan was scheduled on March 1. Sachin was told about that match wherever he went. Everything was accepted by the world but not the 99th and 100th run in that match. Sachin had to get those runs. India had to get them. And they did. In that match, Sachin won the game with just three shots. Just three shots and a knock-out.

The first shot that kept swimming in front of the eyes. Short and wide, outside off stump. Six runs.

The second – a flick played from the wrist. A good ball pitched in the middle and offline. Anyone else might have stopped or just touched the ball to take a single. But Sachin entered a trance, moved his body slightly forward, kept his eyes on the ball, brought the face of the bat down, and flicked it. Four runs.

The third shot was the most amazing. Sachin leaned slightly on a fast-approaching ball pitched on the off stump, and just turned his bat towards the ball’s path. That’s it. Not played, but turned. Truly. No backlift, no follow-through. It felt as if everything had stopped. Only the bat stood in front of the ball’s path.

Details from Akash Chopra All three shots were against Shoaib Akhtar. At that time, he was the fastest bowler in the world. Akash Chopra. They were new to the team. For the first time. October 2003. The atmosphere in the hotel in Ahmedabad was becoming tense. Akash was shaking. The team meeting had a lot of attendance. Akash was fully focused on the meeting because he had played practice matches against New Zealand. Akash was asked about the condition of the pitches. The focus was on Akash. Because he had played against New Zealand. Akash wanted to be prepared. Against New Zealand. To know every detail. Everything. But the fun part was that he wanted to know all these details from a completely new guy. Sachin Tendulkar was gradually rising above cricket as the 90s ended. Now Sachin was becoming synonymous with greatness. Every run was becoming a new record. Sachin’s wicket started becoming a dream come true for bowlers. The roar of the crowd when Sachin came to bat was becoming

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