With Sachin among runs again, one can almost hear a collective sigh of relief across India. At Chennai, the master was on top of his game - composed in defence, decisive in attack.
It wasn't just prayers and goodwill that caused the turnaround. Greats such as Sachin are who they
are, and reach where they have reached, because of astonishing skills, unrelenting focus and a fierce rage for excellence.
Like Sachin, others too have scripted their destiny and imposed their stamp on the game. Recently, Dravid packed his bags and departed whereas Ponting had to be told to depart.
In similar mould
Warne is another who defies rules that apply to less-gifted players. He mystified batters in Tests, and then returned to competitive cricket in the IPL. And just when everyone thought he was done, Warne came back to rip his leg breaks in the Big Bash and even fuelled rumours of a possible Test recall.
What is common for these greats, and others, is a firm refusal to accept failure, an intense desire to assert themselves, and the endless thirst for success. They are not playing to make up numbers or to participate - they want to stand out and make a difference.
Sachin is the best example of this demanding quest. His batting too is subject to form, he too has off days but ultimately his genius resurfaces and after 23 seasons of international cricket it matters little what he does going forward.
The writer is a Delhi Daredevils official