What this year’s IPL has shown is that Sachin Tendulkar is human.
All these years of watching Tendulkar tackle and destroy the best bowlers, made it appear that he was indestructible. The manner in which he would toy with the bowlers and then hammer them was mind-boggling and worth going around the world to see.
The Chennai heat and humidity can sap the energies of the strongest of players but two of the master’s’ outstanding innings have come at the Chidamabaram Stadium and that too in pressure-cooker situations of country versus country Test matches.
Yet, his focus was such that nothing could get past his determination to bat well and score runs for his country when most needed.
That’s why his recent outing at this stadium where he retired with exhaustion was a jaw-dropping event.
What it did was to show that he is human too and feels the heat like lesser mortals. His retirement that day put the skids on the Mumbai Indians’ chase and they were unable to overhaul the Chennai Super Kings’ score and lost one of the few games they have this year.
On Sunday, Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a skipper’s knock to ensure that his team entered the semifinals. He is not one to show emotion, especially if he is upset with anything, and that gives enormous confidence to the bowlers and fielders in particular.
At Dharamsala, it was a must-win game for the Super Kings and the asking rate was almost 10-runs-an-over. Fifteen were needed off the last over and he finished it with two huge sixes and that’s when we got to see the rare sight of Dhoni showing emotion as he screamed a big ‘yes’ as he was being enveloped by ecstatic teammates.
The two icons will now be looking to win the IPL for the first time. They will have to contend with other icons, as Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Adam Gilchrist will be razor sharp for their teams. The four best teams are in the semifinals and those who missed the cut will have to look at their personnel and see if they gave it as much as these icons have for their teams.