03 August, 2021

The Genius Characteristic

Sachin reminded us English that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough

Illustration by Sorit
The Genius Characteristic

It’s not that the English don’t appreciate the genius that is Sachin Tendulkar. I assure you, we do (anyone capable of humiliating Shane Warne will always be adored in England). It’s just that we simply can’t comprehend, can’t fully grasp the sheer immensity of his status within India. Yes, we have a cult of sporting heroism with roots going back before W.G. Grace, but Tendulkar is clearly something more than a mere sporting hero. Quite what that is, I’m not sure, probably because I’m English. To this I must return.

As many readers will know—though it seems a distant memory now—Sachin Tendulkar first toured England in the summer of 1990 as a 17-year-old member of Moha­mmed Azharuddin’s talented Indian side. A fresh-faced prodigy with a fast-growing reputation as a plunderer of runs, he simply looked too youthful to be a Test match cricketer. What was he doing here? But soon, at Manchester, where he denied England victory with his maiden Test hundred, an innings of quite astounding maturity, he taught us a...

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