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|Wysłany: Pią 11:31, 15 Lis 2013 Temat postu: Sachin Tendulkar： India's 'Little Master' thrills
Every sport has its gods.
In boxing it's Muhammad Ali, in soccer it's Brazil's Pele and in basketball it's Michael Jordan, but this week India, already a country with no shortage of deities, will place batting great Sachin Tendulkar in the pantheon of cricketing legends.
On Thursday the 40-year-old began his world-record 200th and final Test match for India -- the longest form of the game,[url=http://www.oksko.com/nike-free-38]Nike Free[/url], which can last up to five days -- in his hometown of Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium, in a series that could have been sold out more than 10 times over.
He walked onto the pitch to a standing ovation from the capacity crowd, with the opposing West Indies team forming a guard of honor as he came out to bat. Throughout his innings the crowd chanted to his every move.
"The Little Master" gave fans plenty to cheer about as he reached 38 not out at the end of the first day's play,[url=http://www.oksko.com/nike-shox-34]Billige Nike Shox[/url], hitting six boundaries from 73 balls faced. Many were wondering and hopeful overnight -- would Tendulkar bow out with another milestone to his name?
The answer, perhaps, was delivered on Friday. After getting to 50 -- a noteworthy enough achievement on its own -- Tendulkar edged one to slip, out for 74, off the bowling of Narsingh Deonarine. The catcher, Darren Sammy, barely acknowledged the wicket. And the crowd was silenced -- for a moment. Fans had wanted their hero to notch up 100 runs. Applause soon followed, the Wankhede crowd standing as one as India's sporting talisman made his way off the field.
That may have been Tendulkar's last time at the batting crease, as the tourists -- who lost the first Test of the two-match series by an innings and 51 runs -- capitulated again earlier Thursday, making just 182 with Indian spin bowler Pragyan Ojha taking five wickets.
A similar performance in the second innings could deny Tendulkar another turn with the bat.
He is not just a sports star, but also an icon in a country of more than 1.2 billion people.
His fans often wave placards at matches that read, "Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God." Himself a devout Hindu, the diminutive 5-feet 5-inch all-rounder was well-known throughout his career as a modest superstar who never lost his cool either at the batting crease or in front of the cameras and fans.
READ: Indian cricket legend endulkar announces retirement
Former India captain Rahul Dravid told CNN that Tendulkar would be remembered as "the benchmark" against which all the nation's cricketers measured themselves.
In a game where 100 runs -- or a century -- is regarded as the high-water mark of batting achievement in any match at any level,[url=http://www.oksko.com/nike-free-38]Nike Free Run[/url], Tendulkar last year reached 100 hundreds at international level and now holds almost all coveted batting records except for cricket legend Don Bradman's career average of 99.94 runs.
Even "The Don" as he is known in Australia -- the cricketing prodigy of the 1930s and '40s who was still alive when Tendulkar made his Test debut in 1989 -- once remarked on the Little Master's prodigious talent.
"I saw him playing on the television and I was very, very struck by his technique. I asked my wife to come and have a look at him. Because, I said,[url=http://www.oksko.com/air-max-33]Billige Nike Air Max[/url], I never saw myself play, but I feel that this feller is playing much the same as I used to play ... It was just his compactness, his stroke production, his technique, it all seemed to gel as far as I was concerned," Bradman told reporters.
Throughout a stellar career, Tendulkar has scored 15,847 runs in 199 Test matches at an average of 53.71 each innings, and 18,[url=http://www.oksko.com/]Nike Norge[/url],426 runs in 463 one-day international matches at 44.83 each time at bat.
Shane Warne -- the famous Australian leg spin bowler and another of Bradman's favorite contemporary cricketers -- rated him the greatest player of the modern game.
"Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time,[url=http://www.oksko.com/]Nike Sko[/url], the best player without a doubt -- daylight second,[url=http://www.oksko.com/air-max-33]Nike Air Max[/url], Brian Lara third," said Warne, who said of the Indian that it was "a pleasure bowling to him."
Australian cricket commentator Gideon Haigh said Tendulkar was well-known for his grace under pressure in a sport better known in modern times for its towering egos.
"Certainly, he has left a strong imprint on his cricket contemporaries," Haigh wrote in The Australian newspaper. "They knew him, for example, for never throwing his bat after a dismissal; he would sit down in the dressing room, reflect, but never brood."
In India, his popularity has reached beyond cricket's stadiums and -- with a career unsullied by controversy or scandal -- he has become a marketer's dream.
With a net worth of about $160 million from endorsements, property and cricket earnings, according to Singapore-based Wealth X, Tendulkar is cricket's richest player and the country's biggest icon.
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