The question has not changed for the last 25 years.
"Is Sachin Tendulkar playing?"
For the last 2 decades and more, a single man has harbored the hopes of a cricket crazy nation.
Be is taking on the mighty Aussies, or countering the pace battery of Pakistan, India has always looked up to one man - Sachin. Year after year, match after match, the country looked up to their demigod to deliver the goods in the cricketing field, and Sachin has done it in style.
Today, as Sachin Tendulkar started with his last test match in professional cricket, India has become nostalgic, remembering fond memories of the man who set flight to a hundred dreams.
Sachin is playing his last test match, his 200th, at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. He is the first cricketer to play 200 Test Matches, a achievement of glorious standards. Maintaining the same consistency, discipline and humility all these years has been Sachin's hallmark.
At the end of the first day's play, Sachin is not out on 38 runs. As the entire nation wakes up tomorrow morning, they will have only one dream - Sachin Tendulkar scoring a century in his final match.
By God's grace, if he does score a century, it will be a perfect farewell for the Master Blaster who has many a feathers under his cap. It would be a perfect send off for his illustrious career. And for India, the cricket crazy nation, it will be a dream come true.
As all of us look forward to day 2 of his 200th test match on 15 Nov 2013, let us take a look at some of the pictures which will be cherished for years to come.
You can see the determination in his eyes as he trains a day before the match.
|Sachin Tendulkar Determination|
A humble Sachin Tendulkar takes a snap with the groundsmen.
|Sachin Tendulkar Humility|
Sachin's Mother, kids and wife, all of them were present at the Wankhede to watch the Master Blaster play his last match.
|Sachin Tendulkar's Mother Rajni Tendulkar|
|Sachin Tendulkar's Kids Sara Arjun|
|Sachin Tendulkar's Wife Anjali|
Sachin walked into play today morning to the delight of the crowd.
|Sachin Tendulkar - Keep Walking|
He geared up in style, making it a moment to be cherished and remembered for years to come.
|Sachin Tendulkar Gears Up|
As he walked into bat in the afternoon, it was a heart stopping moment for one and all. The God of Cricket, as he is popularly known, was talking guard, probably for the one last time.
|Sachin Tendulkar Walks In To Bat|
Sachin displayed his class and style, his grace and form, fluttering a billion hearts with a dream they want him to fulfill - a century.
|Sachin Tendulkar Batting In His 200th Test|
And as Sachin walked back to the pavilion at the end of the first day's play, with the score board saying 38 not out, he was given a standing ovation by the entire stadium.
|Sachin Tendulkar - Stands Tall|
As all of India sleeps today, they will have on dream in their mind, one prayer on their lips. Let Sachin Tendulkar score a century tomorrow.
The hopes of a nation rest on Sachin's shoulders tomorrow. And like he has done for the last 25 years, Sachin will try his best to fulfill a billion dreams. Let's hope he does it, in style.
As he plays his last test match, Sachin Tendulkar has a plethora of records under his belt. He has the respect of a billion people. His passion for the game is unflinching. His humility is consistent. And his determination is rock solid.
Sachin Tendulkar has stood the test of time. Words may not be sufficient to glorify his achievements. It can be best summarised as below.
"When Sachin Tendulkar traveled to Pakistan to face one of the finest bowling attacks ever assembled in cricket, Michael Schumacher was yet to race a F1 car, Lance Armstrong had never been to the Tour De France, Diego Maradona was still the captain of a world champion Argentina team, Pete Sampras had never won a Grand Slam.When Tendulkar embarked on a glorious Career taming Imran and company, Roger Frederer was a name unheard of, Lionel Messi was in his nappies, Usain Bolt was an unknown kid in the Jamaican backwaters. The Berlin Wall was still intact, USSR was one big, big country, Dr Manmohan Singh was yet to "open" the Nehruvian economy.It seems while Time was having his toll on every individual on the face of this planet, he excused one man. Time stands frozen in front of Sachin Tendulkar. We have had champions, we have had legends, but we have never had another Sachin Tendulkar and we never will."
~~ Author Unknown
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