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Sachin, the player

There’s a logic to Tendulkar reaching the 200 mark in ODIs. It’s yet another manifestation of him having fun.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2010 23:42 IST

It would have been unnatural if someone other than him reached such a landmark. But then, it was Sachin Tendulkar who became the first cricketer in history to score a double century in the One-Day format of the game. The persons who came closest to reaching the 200 mark were Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar in 1997 and Zimbabwe’s Charles Coventry in 2009, both a stroke away from the magic figure and stopping at 194. So for the man who has scored the highest runs in Test and One-Day cricket, there’s the added beauty of logical consistency that was taken care of in Gwalior on Wednesday.

Tendulkar remains the flagbearer of the increasingly dwindling phenomenon of quantity matching quality. In a world where the highest grossing movie is the one with blue people and not much of a story to tell, where books that sell the most take the curious pride in being the least ‘literary’, Tendulkar’s records are a mere reflection of what he is as a sportsman and a master of his arts. On a day marked by the dreariness of a boring Railway Budget speech and little else, it was his masterful knock that made not only his admirers sit up and watch, but non-cricket enthusiasts realise that a special display by a special human was underway.

Which brings to the mind of many people what is left for Tendulkar to achieve on a personal level. This question is as pointless as wondering what Michelangelo did after creating his Pieta or what Einstein did after coming up with the theory of relativity. For people like Tendulkar, it’s gloriously evident that their joys are to be found in the fun of what
they do: playing. The rest, including the pile of records,are just the by-products.