Cricket is a game of greats. We have seen many batsmen as well as bowlers who made an immense imprint of their prowess. This game is only as great as its players.
Sir Don Bradman initiated the class and elegance of the game.
After him, every batsmen’s performance had a kind of reference to his. He set the bar high. Then came Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sir Richard Hadlee, and many more. They have irrigated the land of Cricket for so many years. There have been greats in every era.
But there always shows up one man in every sport who arrives like everyone else but departs like a deity. A God is one who covers all of the eras in terms of performances, character, and grit. A God is one who transcends generations…
Who is the God of Cricket?
We don’t know about other parts of the world but India devotes cricket as no less than a religion. And there is a big reason behind that. Sunil Gavaskar was the foremost star that helped cricket shine in India.
But it was not before the 1983 World Cup win that made it popular in the nation. Thanks to the World Cup heroics of Kapil Dev, children started adoring this sport. A kind of polarization towards the game could be glimpsed right after the glory.
Sachin Tendulkar was one such product of the influence that Kapil Dev instigated. There might be many contenders to be referred to as God but no one has ever come close to Sachin. If cricket is a religion then Sachin is its God.
Why Sachin is called God of Cricket?
It all started with a flame when Sachin left his grade 10th exam just to pursue cricket. Back then, it was completely out of the norms for someone in a middle-class family to leave studies and pursue sports full-time. He got himself a gem of a coach in Ramakant Achrekar at a very young age.
Tendulkar made his first-class debut when he was 14 years old. He scored a lot of runs and made an impression that he operates at a level beyond his age. He piled on runs in Ranji and Duleep’s trophy that landed him the cap of the national team at such a tender age.
It was evident that he was not like any normal kid. It seemed as if cricket itself chose him at a very early age to get the most of Sachin’s life. There’s no denying that it was God’s blueprint.
Sachin made his debut in 1989 against Pakistan in a Test match at the age of 16. With a teenage kid-like body structure, he faced the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Imran Khan.
One could sense the fierceness and steely nerves that the boy had while battling againts such class bowlers. He didn’t take long to impress and played a fine knock soon in only the 2nd innings of his career. He made 59 gritty runs in 172 balls followed by 41 runs in the 3rd Test.
But he got out on a duck in his first ODI right after his debut Test series. In Feb 1990, he made 88 runs from 266 balls at Napier Test against New Zealand facing Richard Hadlee and Danny Morrison. This knock was a testament to his spirited disposition. He had centuries in England, Australia, and South Africa by the age of 19.
Tendulkar showed glimpses of his class at the Manchester Test against England 10 months after his debut. He made a classy maiden hundred
He made 68 runs in the first innings too. This knock not only fixated his position in the team but also implied that he is here to stay.
With Kapil Dev approaching his retirement age, the Indian team became completely dependent on Sachin’s batting from the beginning of the decade. He single-handedly shouldered India’s batting throughout the 1990s.
He was at his peak during this period. Sachin was the top scorer of the decade in ODIs in the World with 8571 runs in 221 innings at an average of 43.07 at the strike rate of 86.80 that included 24 centuries and 44 fifties.
Even in Tests, he was the highest run-scorer from India with 5626 runs at an outstanding average of 58.00 with 22 centuries. By the late 1990s, he was joined by some excellent batters like Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, who made India’s batting lethal on any surface.
Even in the 2000s decade, he made 42 centuries across formats and remained second-best in ODIs with 8823 runs after Ricky Ponting. During this period, the world witnessed god-like moments from Sachin’s bat.
In the 2004 Sydney Test, he made 241 not out against Australia without playing a single cover drive in that innings. In the same year, he hit 248 not out in a Test against Bangladesh. In 2010, he hit a flabbergasting first ever double hundred in an ODI by any batsman, against South Africa at Gwalior. He made 200 not out at the age of 37.
That knock was so blindsiding that a great bowler like Dale Steyn leaked 89 runs in 10 overs without any wicket. The most awaited moment of Sachin’s career came in 2011 when MS Dhoni-led India clinched its second World Cup after 28 years.
After one year in 2012, Sachin made his 100th and last hundred of his career. Ricky Ponting had 71 tons which are second to Sachin.
When all these collective and consistent performances are taken into account and the influence that Sachin had during his career made him no less than a God of this game.
To last 24 years in the game with supremacy over everything he did, for a player, is not at all a humane thing. He nurtured immense calmness and humility in his behavior. All these elements made Sachin Tendulkar worthy to be hailed as the God of cricket.
Sachin, a World Cup Veteran
Sachin was a freak in World Cups too. He is the only second player to play 6 World Cups after Javed Miandad. He presented India between 1992-2011. Sachin made a total of 2278 runs at an average of 56.95 including 6 centuries,15 fifties, and only 2 ducks in 44 World Cup innings.
His record of 673 runs in a single World Cup edition is still unbroken. The 2007 World Cup was an aberration in his career. No other batsman has more runs than Sachin in WCs too. Only Rohit Sharma has equaled Sachin in terms of 6 centuries in WCs.
|World Cup Year||Runs||Average||Strike Rate||100s||50s|
Sachin’s Records and Stats across all Formats
Here’s Sachin Tendulkar’s stats in ODIs, Tests, and T20. Note that Sachin only played 1 T20 international.
Sachin Tendulkar’s records across all formats of cricket:
- Most number of Tests(200) and ODIs(463).
- Most runs in Tests(18426) and ODIs(15921).
- Most number of centuries in Tests(51) and ODIs(49).
- Most number of half tons in Tests(68) and ODIs(96).
- Most number of Man of the Matches award(76) across formats.
- Most Man of the Series award(15).
- Most number of the 90s in International cricket(28). 18 in ODIs and 10 in Tests.
- Most number WC matches(44) played and most runs(2278) in WCs
- Most runs(673) in a single World Cup edition(2003).
- Most number of centuries(9) in an ODI calendar year(1998)
- First batsman to hit a double ton in an ODI.
- Most centuries(5) before the age of 20.
- Most fours in Tests(2058) and ODIs(2016).
Sachin Tendulakr’s Awards and Recognition
For his outstanding performances throughout his career, he got several awards from time to time.
Here is the timeline of awards fetched by Sachin:
1994: Arjuna Award: Sachin became one of the youngest(age of 21) players to receive this award.
1997: Wisden cricketer of the year award: Sachin was one of the 5 players who tugged this award.
1998: Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: Sachin became the first cricketer to get this award.
1999: Padma Shri: First Padma award for Sachin.
2001: Maharashtra Bhushan Award: Sachin got Maharashtra’s highest civilian award.
2008: Padma Vibhushan: Second Padma award for Sachin.
2010: ICC Cricketer of the year award: Sachin got this award at the age of 37.
2014: Bharat Ratna: Sachin was given the highest civilian award for his 24 years of brilliant sports service to the nation.
Who is God of Cricket now after Sachin?
Virat Kohli has made it easier for us to answer this question. He has the same aura that Sachin used to have. He has taken the team to victory in numerous matches from tough situations. He has played 254 ODIs, 95 Tests, and 89 T20s and has over 23,000 International runs.
He is the only batsman currently to have 50 plus averages in all three formats. This implies a God-like consistency and fitness that he has. He is now the 3rd highest-ton maker of all time with 70 centuries across formats. He has hit 7 double tons in Test matches, more than Sachin. He is the leading batsman of the “fab four” of this generation.
It can be inferred that if Kohli plays the same number of matches as Sachin in the coming years with the intensity that he carries presently, he would likely be able to chase many of Sachin’s records.
It is quite unfair to compare the two batsmen of different eras. This is a kind of game that develops quickly over some period. But if you ask about the God of cricket after Tendulkar, Virat Kohli’s name instantly pops up in our minds.
Famous Quotes by Cricketers on Sachin Tendulkar
Quotes by Harsha Bhogle
- “Sachin was a master of the game, but behaved like a servant.”
- “If Sachin bats well, India sleeps well.”
- “Eruption of joy at the fall of an Indian wicket can only mean one thing.”
- “You were a great habit, Sachin.”
Daniel Vettori once defined Sachin’s aura:
- “He has been in form longer than some of our guys have been alive.”
John Woodcock once said:
- “Gentlemen, he is the best batsman I have seen in my life. And unlike most of you, I have seen Bradman bat.”
Sir Don Bradman himself said:
- “I see myself when I see Sachin bat.”
Mathew Hayden knew before all of us. He said:
- “I have seen God. He bats for India at number 4 in Tests.”
Hashim Amla once depicted the status of Sachin in India. He told:
- “Nothing bad can happen to us if we’re on a plane in India with Sachin on it.”
Andrew Flintoff once said:
- “When you bowl at him, you are not just trying to get him out, you are trying to impress him. I want him to walk off thinking ‘that Flintoff, he’s all right, isn’t he?” I feel privileged to have played against him.”
BBC’s artistic way is the greatest write up on Sachin:
- “Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don’t know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their television sets and switch off their lives.”
After winning the 2011 World Cup, Virat Kohli lifted him on his shoulders. When asked, he said:
- “Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It is time we carry him on our shoulders.”
“Sachiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin Sachin”. What else?
Sachin’s 23 years of career was more than just a cricketer’s timeline. It was something that carried a whole game in and out for a nation. In India, Sachin is not just a name, it is a penomenon. He is a worship figure in this country. Sachin is the God of cricket.
Do you agree with our pick? Who do you think would be the next god of cricket? Comment below and let us know!