I will tell you what such stupid people need. A time machine. So that all these people can go to 1994 or anytime to watch Tendulkar play another of his gems in vain! I know it is their view point, but the moment such things get printed, online or otherwise, I have every right to say how stupid this sounds.
My first problem - A comparison with Richards and the mention that "Richards kept the image till the time he left the scene" which I think is erronous. IMHO, if I have to put it the same way that Sachin is being described here, Richards lost it in his last couple of years. His average for his last three years was a good 12 points below his overall average of just over 50. But then if that's what is being refered to as "keeping the image", then there is no reason for us to pull Tendulkar down, right? And if the numbers were to be studied more closely, Sachin's average over the last three years is a good 4 points over his overall average of 57.
Oh ya, the lack of strokes. It talks so much about how Tendulkar used to play like God, but forgets essentially that in a team game, individual performances dont matter after a point. What matters is whether the team wins. And its is unfortunate that a huge lot of us looks at this period of semi-dominance (India still has a long way to go before they can dominate) and equates Tendulkar's (apparent) below par performance during the period to the erronous view that he has lost it.
One word - Bull shit. I will not say any more, because then I am just gonna be as caustic as I can ever be. All I can say is that India plays a lot more cricket nowadays (both ODIs and Tests) as compared to the Windies of the Richards era. India play so much more cricket that a comparison between Tendulkar's stint with the team (in terms of number of matches) with that of the whole English team seems to be a farce. England (as a team) have played just over 400 ODIs (their 400th ODI was last week) while Tendulkar himself has played around 340, which should be an ample pointer to the amount of cricket that he has played.
And to expect that he do the equivalent of the destroying of McGrath from a 0 from 3 overs to a 28 from 6 overs analysis every single time he walks out to bat is nothing sort of stupidity and it just points to a lack of understanding of the game - a lack that seems glaring going by the amount of screen space that such people recieve.
A couple of years ago, during another of Sachin's (again apparent) lean periods, C. Rammanohar Reddy (usually a straight forward columnist for The Hindu's Sunday edition), wrote a similar sounding piece - or atleast a piece that made me feel the same way as this one. And this is what I emailed him (with a slightly changed tail piece that wished that someone inundate his email addy with a zillion email bombs). He just replied with a single sentence that conveyed his incredulousness over the last line of my email.
Really, if I ever want to watch nudges to third man or watch brilliant concentration outside off stump, I will switch on the TV when Dravid is playing. What a waste of time and talent if Tendulkar has to do that. What a terrible waste!
Wow... If there was ever anachronistic view of Indian cricket, this one is one! I am not going to say anything more! Sachin is still someone who needs to be placed in a different pedestal. Maybe he won't be alone in that pedestal - In fact I will be guilty if I said he is the only superhuman playing in cricket. There have been many more and there are many more and there will be many more, but he still commands a place, regardless of whether he plays that heavenly push down the ground or not. I will still watch him play, even if he grinds himself to the ground against the likes of Price and Giles. But he is not God. I will not say that now and never in the future. He is just Superman and I am not one myself!