Sachin Tendulkar might have been a little disappointed with his dismissal on Thursday but he is under no pressure at all. His long time masseur, Raghunath Basak, summoned every time Tendulkar plays here, has also learnt to gauge the master’s mood well.
“Whenever he is in town, I know I will get a call from him,” said Basak, popularly known as Pintu in the maidan.
Thursday was no different. “It was the same old Sachin Tendulkar. He was waiting for me in his hotel room. As soon as I entered, he asked me to get on with it. We spoke about a few things but he didn’t say anything about his dismissal,” Basak told HT.
Basak has known Tendulkar since 1991. “There have been worse days for him on the field. On those days he used to talk about it and I would try to tell him ‘ho jaata hai’, things like that. But he was absolutely calm and relaxed today. He didn’t look worried at all,” said Basak late on Thursday night.
Tendulkar is old school when it comes to getting a massage. “He always lies on the floor and not on the bed as there could be a risk of injury. There is no fixed time for him and he usually asks me to focus on specific muscles. That’s his way of getting ready for the next day’s game.”
Basak has quite a few clients in the cricket circuit but he feels few are as strong as Tendulkar, 40. “He is very strong for his age, he has a physique of a 32 or 33-year-old man. His fitness is one of the biggest reasons he has played for 24 years.”
Basak too is overwhelmed by the fact that this was Tendulkar’s last Test in Kolkata. “He is an amazing human being and treats me like a brother. When I first met him this time I didn’t know how to control my emotions, but he has been amazingly cool about it.”