Why Sachin is not a Great Cricketer?
I was seeing the World Cup Cricket final between Australia and Sri Lanka with my friends. One of my friends who is a diehard fan of Sachin was praying that Australian opener Mathew Hayden got out fast so that he wont beat Tendulkar’s record of maximum runs in a tournament. When Hayden got out without overtaking Tendulkar’s record he was so relieved. For him Sachin is the greatest cricketer ever to set feet on the cricket field.
My friend is not alone. If you talk to 10 Indians who follow cricket at least six of them will be telling you that Sachin is the greatest and no one comes near him. Many of those people get really annoyed if you present the facts and argue with them that he has long way to go to be a great cricketer.
Is Sachin Tendulkar a great player? I don’t think so. He is a good player but did he do anything extraordinary to become great?
If you are asked to name 2 great soccer players I am sure majority will be answering Maradona or Ronaldo or Pele. Why are they great? Take Maradona for example. Those who watched 1988 World Cup will know how he helped his team to lift the World Cup. If my memory is correct he scored only 5 goals but he created so many scoring opportunities to his teammates that helped Argentina win the World Cup, same with Pele and Ronaldo. Their contributions were immense in their team winning major tournaments around the world.
Coming back to cricket, let us see what Sachin has achieved in his carrier. Apart from few innings (136 vs Pakistan in Chennai, 135 vs Australia at Sharjah) did he ever guide India to victory in an important match? In World Cup 2003 finals when the whole nation expected a big score from him to beat Australia, he got out in the very first over for four. Again in this World Cup match against Sri Lanka he went out for a duck to a bowler who was massacred by Adam Gilchrist in the World Cup finals.
India has won few test series in the Indian sub continent. Other than that did the so-called great Sachin motivate Indian team to win a Test series against a strong opponent in their soil? Can we think of a World Cup or Champions Trophy or a great Test victory, which was achieved because of Sachin? If he were a great player he would have excelled in the toughest conditions and in big stages.
I will consider VVS Laxman to be a greater player than Sachin. What a gem of an innings Laxman played in Calcutta against mighty Australians under pressure to beat them. I can’t remember of an innings of similar class played by Sachin for a long time. Can you?
Compare Sachin’s record to that of Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting. Waugh was part of two World Cup winning squads – one as a captain and other as a player. Just recall the innings he played against South Africa during the 1999 World Cup. That is what is called great innings – showing class when the odds are cast highly unfavorable to you. Also take Ricky Ponting – 3 World Cup victories – 2 as captain and 1 as a player. The innings he played against India during the World Cup final is just sufficient to make him great. The grand stage – World Cup final – and he delivered with unbeaten 140. Waugh and Ponting are great cricketers but not Sachin by any yardsticks.
Some people like my friend will argue that cricket is a team game and Sachin alone can’t lift the Indian cricket team to victory. The other 10 players have equal responsibility. Agreed. Teams play to win and if one player is considered as a great player then he should have the capacity to lift the team at time of crisis and during important matches. Sachin fails to rise during most of the important matches and in my list of great cricketers Sachin’s name won’t be there for sure.
TO DIE HARD INDIAN CRICKET FANS – SACHIN HAS NOT DONE ANYTHING TO BE CONSIDERED A GREAT CRICKET PLAYER.