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214 Responses to “Most Popular Indian — Sachin 29%, Bachchan 28%, SRK 11%, Dhoni 7% (Comprehensive NDTV political poll)”
Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani.
Sachin,AB and Sunny in the same pic! What more can one ask for? Well, may be for Amar not be in the middle but am not complaining. It is Amar Singh bet Sunny and AB or am I mistaken?
IN the sydney test, in Australia, in 1982, the aussies fielded 7 man in the offside but still Vishy was able to pierce the offside field with some ferrocious square cut,late cut and square drives…By the time he gave a catch to the off side fielder he had alreday made 90 plus runs…
If i am not wront tghis the test match where Kapil dev bowled India to victory with severe toothache..
Vishy,one of the most stylish batsman india have ever produced..
My sense is that Sachin’s popularity is even higher in smaller towns than it is in major metros — this survey was pretty comprehensive 34,000 people across the country), although it was odd to have it as part of UPA 2’s one-year mark…
LOL, that, it does, I guess! (Just to clarify though, apart from sounding “odd” for obvious reasons, I thought it sounded “sinister” in the sense of being a forced and unnatural phenomenon. Ha, I’ve now invited a deeper gaze into my psyche!)
Aside: on the “main ” survey, i.e. on the UPA, it was interesting to note that the national government did quite well in the survey (couldn’t have expected better); at the state level, 3 of the 5 “most popular” CMs (I assume only in their own states; can’t find the link for that but I saw the TV segment) were BJP CMs (Modi was the most popular; but MP’s Chauhan and Chattisgarh’s Raman Singh also were on the list). I don’t know if that means the Indian public is drawing a sharp distinction between federal and state issues, OR if it reflects the gap in popularity between the “national” BJP and the leaders in the states.
Completely agree with you offside. Also IMHO the afterglow of sporting achievements are much more ephemeral compared to artistic achievements….in other words 100 years from now Sachin’s greatness will be more or less just a factoid, whereas the artistry of ARR, Amitabh or Lata will continue to enchant future generations.
That’s a separate question, and one I do agree with. Even if artiste X never matches sportsman Y in popularity at any particular point in time, the former’s achievement is more likely to endure. [But I am surprised at Offside’s surprise: Sachin has been finishing at or near the top in various nationwide popularity polls for years and years, even when he was somewhat out of form. So I take issue with the idea that he is riding high “at the moment” — it’s been a rather long moment.]
Let me, contrary to being myself, briefly indulge, Qalandar, please:
The most important thing in polls is the ‘context’ – The sponsor (NDTV) should state what the context is. Is there a probability sample taken; how the respondents were chosen, etc., – we do not know.
– Bachchan is well past his prime. Whatever goodwill (read popularity, here) is actually garnered from yesteryears. The Gen X and Y of today really do not care, understand this phenonmenon.
It’s a misleading attempt. Even if it were only cricket, Sachin would find it hard to beat Dravid in popularity! (Timing is key here as with all polls, which you disagree with above)
Bachchan is a Pan-India ‘meteor’ – he transcends castes, creeds, cultures, communities, colours and complexities of India… I do not think Sachin has that ‘immunity’ with various regions. So, the sampling should be representative of size, variability of India. This 34K is more like US – it’s not 1% of population who’re ‘likely’ to or have an equal chance of voting.
I defy such polls, with due respect. They never state whether they’re ‘opt-in’, ‘Interactive Voice Response’, ‘Random Digital Dial’ or what combination. And, where’s the sampling error?
I know, I should have kept it simple…
PS As said before, Sachin’s a great citizen. Just do not compare him to the Bachchan. There’re but a few, whom I truly admire – it’s the Don!
Re: “It’s a misleading attempt. Even if it were only cricket, Sachin would find it hard to beat Dravid in popularity!”
That might be true in a few of the major metros, but I do not think that is true on an all-India basis. In my experience, when one moves away from Bangalore or Delhi, towards (e.g.) a Bhopal or a Hyderabad, there is no comparison between the two in popularity.
I am not advocating that the poll reached a “right” result — there is no such thing in a popularity poll (to the extent you are saying that Amitabh’s poll rating is even more creditable because he is a star from earlier times, I completely agree with you — but that is irrelevant to the point I am making). I wouldn’t be offended if one of my heros failed to make the cut, I am simply talking about what can or cannot be foreseen given where one thinks Indian society is. Thus, I am merely saying that I was not at all surprised by the result (I wouldn’t have been if sachin had been slightly behind Bachchan either, they are basically in the same range). Just as I am not at all surprised that SRK makes the list — am so not a fan, but I would have been surprised had someone told me he didn’t make the top 5 or 10. And if the poll result had been that Dravid was more popular than sachin, I would have been even more surprised (and, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Dravid > Sachin in a poll conducted among Indian yuppies).
Re: “Bachchan is a Pan-India ‘meteor’ – he transcends castes, creeds, cultures, communities, colours and complexities of India… I do not think Sachin has that ‘immunity’ with various regions.”
Agree on Bachchan, but I think you underestimate the Sachin phenomenon: his extreme popularity in Chennai and Gwalior, Jaipur or Hyderabad, with Sania Mirza as well as Rajpal Yadav’s Lucknow-bound character in Main Meri Patni aur Woh, is an indication of his reach (aside: much as I adore Bachchan, the linguistic limitation means that I seriously doubt that Bachchan can be > Sachin in non-Hindi speaking cities like Chennai). [Of course, as with all popularity, it isn’t just about the man; sachin is implicated in a complex web of contemporary Indian expectations and aspirations — he thus incarnates hopes of achievements on a global stage (and also, disproportionately faces blame whenever those hopes are disappointed); paradoxically, then, he serves as continual reminder that one is good enough to be the best, as well as never good enough…. But I digress…]
[PS– if it’s a question of my personal take on who IMO are “India’s contemporary icons”, I would have a different list, and dhoni wouldn’t be on it, although Dravid certainly would. I wouldn’t rank them either, because each of the folks on my list would represent something slightly/significantly different…]
“And if the poll result had been that Dravid was more popular than sachin, I would have been even more surprised”
Oh, I’d be shocked! Ultimately, it takes a Sachin to beat someone as phenomenal as Bachchan in this regard. I’d be surprised if any of the contemporary cricketers gets half the number of votes as Sachin even in a popular cricketers poll. (I think there are one or two players who might come somewhat close but I’d be surprised if someone got halfway.)
Completely agree. One will know the impact of Sachin when he retires. The game will go on, but will have a huge aching gap between 1st and 2nd slip so to speak. I won’t belittle the likes of Dhoni and Dravid, there credentials are great and the latter is a fantastic role model, but Sachin’s bond cuts thru much deeper.
And I would be amazed to see ANY cricket poll not one by Sachin. Someone pointed me to the cricinfo search engine on the site and underneath it, it displays the 3 most searched things during the day, and Sachin is there every damn day. Log in now and he is there.
Cinema has a great barrier of medium called language where as cricket doesn’t have. i’m bit surprised to see AB close to Sachin. AB can’t even dream of reaching anywhere near to Sachin’s popularity in non hindi speaking rehions in d world
Ha! Why didn’t you ‘forward’? The most interesting number in the overall poll was the one where people were asked whether Manmohan Singh was more powerful or Sonia and while most said the latter something like 23% said Singh. who are these freaks?!
I had it on in the background and was working!
LOL on freaks.
watched three movies- Aandhi, Khuddar and LCMD
Khuddar once again reaffirmed the hold of AB in Drama and comedy. Aandhi is relevant even today. I had the DVD of LCMD for a long time but had no desire to watch it as I thought it will be a Cryfest. I finally put it on for my mom and found myself sitting thru the entire movie. was not bad at all.
not much of a Khuddaar fan but who could argue on the bachchan point? On that point I revisited Sharabi the other day and though this film has the flimsiest of narratives the Bachchan performance in an improvised sense is one of his two most remarkable 80s moments (the other being Namak Halal). Of course I’d probably take Lawaaris otherwise. But Sharabi really has him in extraordinary form, not one misstep. Watching the film now it also seems to mark a kind of coda to the peak phase of bachchan’s career.
I have never been an Aandhi fan though I do find it watchable.
Sharabi is my all time AB’s fav performance, the switch from being Sharabi to being serious in the Midas touch scene wih pran alone is worth the price of the DVD.
must say though that he was helped a great deal by the one liners he was given by prakash mehra thru out the movie !!
iss lambu ka tambu teen bamboo pe khda hai- Shayree, shraab aur Aaap !!
The thing with Aandhi is that nothing in the film is even close to equaling the extraordinary soundtrack here. Amazing stuff. But I don’t much care for Gulzar’s representations of women, especially political women — he seems to me to have an Indira Gandhi complex (see Hu Tu Tu as well)…
Re: “The most interesting number in the overall poll was the one where people were asked whether Manmohan Singh was more powerful or Sonia and while most said the latter something like 23% said Singh. who are these freaks?!”
Ha, moonh ki baat cheenlee! Was amazed there was any one in the country who had a doubt on this issue! They should have asked manmohan singh himself…
But in UPA-2 regime ,manmohan is definitely more powerful than what he was in UPA-1 in the sense that he has more space to take his won decisions and implement them….may be both Sonia and Rahul realise that this is the best way forward..
SRK is definitely more popular than Aamir–who’s appeal is limited, niche. and neither Aamir nor his die-hard supporters are too bothered about this fact. I would rather that Aamir be worthwhile and meaningfully entertaining–rather than popular.
People often confuse popularity with box office power. They are two different types of stardom. SRK is probably much more popular then Aamir as a celebrity, as a household name, as a superstar [in the sense of googling his name, searched names, # of posters bought etc. etc.]. BUT as a box office star, at the moment Aamir is way ahead. Opening week collections prove this. His success rate at the box office proves this. The box office is traditionally viewed as who is the biggest star. I think now its combination of appeal and an audience who kind of expect certain level of entertainment or quality from certain stars. On appeal, there are a few ahead of Aamir.
My vote would be Sachin anyway. He transends all of India. In the IPL whereever he played it was crazy for him. Globally, all the nations who play cricket love him. He plays anywhere in the world, there will be loads of Sachin fans and chants. There is simply no one like him. I know many who just watch cricket to see him bat. If he is out the tv is switched off. If he his injured, no point even watching the match. There is tremendous iconicity and moments involved in watching him play.
Recently had a friend travel to India and he never ever watches cricket or knew anything about it. An irish guy, who was there when Sachin hit 200 NO. He text saying, did you see it, Sachin hit 200 NO. Even the non followers or the occasionally viewers end up being soaked into the atmosphere surrounding Sachin. It’s like watching Tiger play golf.
I agree with this. Sachin’s phenomenon is truly unmatched as far as I’m concerned. It also helps that cricket is more of a religion and has no language that a film industry will undoubtedly suffer from..
the other thing I’ll say here is about the question of ‘overlap’. As someone pointed out to me SRK fans are most likely to vote for their star in any poll irrespective of who they think the most popular star might be (and even irrespective of what question is being asked based on some of the online polls I’ve seen where even the most mediocre SRK films poll high in ‘awaited’ films and then these are not matched by the initials.. because there’s a type of fan who wants his/her favorite star to also win every poll!). In other words the question indicates a measure of objectivity. It’s not about who’s most popular with the respondent! So for example Hrithik doesn’t show up on the poll at all. But today pound for pound he is more likely to get a bigger initial than SRK (i.e. if each did his strength genre.. of course SRK is much older today.. the comparison isn’t fair.. but the poll is also ‘today’). Similarly someone like Aamir doesn’t show up. Part of it is the reason you’ve just stated but also (again as someone rightly pointed out to me) if an Aamir fan is also a Bachchan fan he or she will obviously vote for the latter. But if the same sort of overlap occurs with SRK/Bachchan this doesn’t happen.
you’ve proved my point actually.. my point was that even when SRK fans like Bachchan they wouldn’t vote for him! And this is telling because this isn’t about who one likes more but about who one thinks is more popular.
you are underestimating sachin phenomenon.Iam from kerala & craze for sachin is as big as any where in india. amitabh is popular with only hindi movigoers only which only a section of people mainly youngsters.
I f there is a true PAN-INDIA icon that is sachin ramesh tendulkar!!(look at the wave he created in the twitter world..which is unparalell)
Among moviestars nobody is bigger than mr:bachaan!!
PAN India Amitabh cant be compared to Sachin…Its only in North India and Maharashtra Sachin and Amitabh might be equal..But it rest of the country Amithabh wont be even close second to sachin…Like in Andhra it will be Sachin Vs Chiranjeevi,In TN its Sachin vs Rajni Kanth,In West Bengal Its Sachin vs Sourav Ganguly…
that’s actually not true. Were that true Bachchan couldn’t possibly have tied Sachin in the poll! Bachchan’s influence on Southern industries is seminal. It is impossible to even fathom Southern masala without accounting for Bachchan.
I’ve seen polls before along these lines as well. You go to the most obscure parts of India and if people have heard of a movie star it’s likely to be Bachchan. India Today once did a poll where in many of these same regions people didn’t even know who SRK was. These people had in many instances hardly seen bachchan films but they knew who he was in any case. But a national industry always cuts across linguistic boundaries which is to say that there is enough awareness of bachchan in major towns in the South. Also there was in the past a much greater investment of for example Tamil cinema in Bombay by way of film productions and so forth than there is today.
satyam, definitely there is awareness of bachaan in every major town in south. no denying that.
but compared to sachin he is clearly lagging behind…
rajeev got a fair point here. for eg: in kerala most popular movie star is mohanlal/mammooty its not amitabh. in tamilnadu its rajnikanth, in andra its chiranjeevi . but in allthese states most popular cricketstar is sachin tendulkar.
i dont think we need a brief debate on this….its crystal clear……ndtv made a poll in major cities ,tats y amitabh is close to sachin……
Aside: I don’t think the poll was limited to major metros was it? I heard someone say on NDTV that it was representative of the population distribution in the census…I could be mistaken but that was my impression.
yes I believe so, which makes the statistical tie even more remarkable..
having said that we haven’t seen the internals.. it’s entirely possible that Sachin is ahead in the South but bachchan is then ahead in the North with a tie in some other places. would love to look at the Bombay number. Sachin is of course Bombay’s favorite son and yet Bachchan too has been so synonymous with the contemporary history of the city.
That’s obvious. I never said he was ahead of those superstars.. but the poll is crystal clear I would think.. if Sachin is way ahead of Bachchan in the South and only matches him elsewhere in India he should have been significantly ahead in the poll and not in a statistical tie.. unless one assumes that Bachchan is really ahead of him elsewhere which is hard to believe. So unless this scenario is playing out (that Bachchan is ahead of him in certain geographical regions) the South must have voted for Bachchan in very fair numbers also. Also remember that the poll is asking people who the most popular Indian is, a question which in its very framing has national overtones. So even if you’re a Mohanlal fan you’re not likely to (assuming some reasonableness) vote for him over Bachchan or Sachin.
I am not denying the fact that Amitabh is known every where…Well fardeen khan is known evertwhere too in this age of communication..Its not about being known..Its about being popular…Although i dont want to question the opinion poll here but i can say safely that no film star will come close to Sachin in Pan indian appeal and popularity ,amitabh included…I am dead sure about it..
I dont think in any part of india ,in any single inch of it amitabh is more popular than sachin..period…In my state Sachin is the most popular face …But then in the second place one of my regional hero rules…even my CM is more po[pular than amitabh or any Hindi film actor…Go to West bengal and you wont find anybody more popular than Saurav Ganguly (saxchin of course will top here as well
Go to Andhra i dont think Amitabh will come in top 5 as far as actors’ popularity is concerend ..same with TN,kerala..But sachin will top in all those states……
Actually although i expected Amitabh to be in the most poular Indian lisr(In the top 3) actually i am surprised he is neck to neck with Sachin…
“There is no comparison — Bachchan is Sachin+Dravid+Sehwag combined!Sachin’s peers can boast of being his equals. When it comes to Bachchan, he remains, and I suspect, will remain peerless!”-Agree saket about bachchan.
but -“Sachin’s peers can boast of being his equals.”–not sure of that–sachins peers dont even boast o being his equals. his recor says it all-he is miles ahead…
” I’m more interested in Mori ‘Chori’ “-same here…no pun intended
the three people in India people tend to treat as God are Sachin, amitabh and A R Rehman.. as if – if anyone criticises them, usko paap chadega!
They have been great no doubt.. but we tend to go overboard in showering praise.. amitabh for example was awesome during those peak days, but had received a lot of media attention because of which he is now considered a living legend..
and similarly, sachin had been a great batsman, lost it in the past few years, and became overrated after he hit 200… i think the 200 he made has a lot to do with these rankings..
talking of rehman, i find vishal bhardwaj better these days.. though I love Raavan
Sachin ,i believe,is the biggest PAN INDIA ICON after Mahamta Gandhi…Case Closed…No comparisons whatsover..No parrallels whatsoever…The man is worshipped,revered….
Sachin’s appeal cuts across age,sex and socioeconomic parameters….Sachin is big in Urban areas and have no competition in interiors as well….
In the 90’s Sachin used to be the biggest Feel Good factor …Our nation celebrated with his century and mourned with his failure…Never seen such connection of a celebrity with the general public the way Sachin connected.
Just to give an example…recently in Twitter Sachin had 3,00,000 followers within a week…I dont think any celebrity will come close to this record..This gives a fair indication(May not the only indicator) of who is the BOSS…
not really, I pointed this out earlier. Bachchan when he launched his blog was beating some top American blogs. His twitter debut doesn’t quite have the same uniqueness. For example I’ve gone there just once. I go to his blog religiously. Bachchan’s twitter is more or less like a supplement to his blog.
This is a joke. There is no way Bachchan within 1% behind Sachin. SRT should be comfortably top. Maybe the poll is 20 years old. Since 90’s, it’s Sachin who has exponentially grown to become a household and international name. Bachchan is going exponentially down.
its not a joke it does what it says on the tin….Hmm open your eyes.
Amitabh has a block-buster KBC 1 and 2.
srk failed on kbc 3
srk also failed paanchvi paas which should have been paanchvi failed
srk films are hyped and medias darling while amitabh carried everthing onto his shoulder…the poll is 20 days old….hmm
nobody knows how they have conducted the survey…so we cant prove any point here…but if take this twitter following as a parameter sachin is way ahead of other stars…..twitter following is more authentic than any survey i guess…….love to see where mr bachaan ends up…ny way iam following both of them……..
Another point is its doesnt make any sense in comparing these two. Its obvious ther are the ultimate superstars in their respective fields..
between ….little surprised why rahman is not there on top….
comparing two legends from two different fields is an absurd exercise. it doesn’t make any sense and to top it all, here there is also a huge age difference as well. to compare Sachin with Aamir or Shahrukh makes sense, but with Bachchan senior it is illogical as it puts Bachchan puts in a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis Sachin. To be almost at the top is itself a gigantic achievement, when one reckons at which point of time he is operating(Bachchan), one can’t stop gushing at this very accomplishment. If it were possible to conduct a survey how Amitabh would perform during his heydays of 1975-90 to Sachin of today in terms of popularity, it would make an in interesting reading, but this is not possible, so entire exercise proves futile. Look Shahrukh’s standing in comparison to Mr. Bachchan, a massive gap, doesn’t it say it all that a current superstar is lagging miles behind a man, who isn’t in competition exactly from current box office as well as not a leading man (to be fair to him).
The poll is about popularity in the current context. At the point of time when Sachin has had his best 12 months since 1998!
My point is more about actual worth. I’ve gone down this route before; don’t wish to beat a dead horse — Sachin is no Bradman. In Cricket, there is the Don and then there’s everyone else.
In Hindi cinema, particularly, the star-actor scenario, there is Bachchan and then there’s everyone else.
More to the point, people still look at a young cricketer and can exclaim similarities with Sachin. Not even the most serious optimist will look at a young turk and proclaim him to be the next Bachchan! It’s as if everyone’s already accepted that there can’t be another Bachchan.
Finally, Sachin hasn’t spent the number of days on this planet that Bachchan’s spent in the Hindi film industry, with most of them accounting to be his GLORY years. Like the current poll suggests.
But Sachin is paradigm altering the way the don is. The latter is the greatest talent of the purely ‘test’ age while Sachin is the greatest exponent of the modern ‘test+one day’ format. Sobers was an extraordinary talent ‘within’ the older paradigm. Which
most of cricket fans also beleieve that there cannot be bigger icon than sachin……..
can you tell me which other cricketer has played more than 20 years and still in top form( at this form sachin is clearly no1..no doubts)!!!
Sachin until he retires will be the biggest name of cricket..and tats remarkable achivement…….
as for longevity & maintaining the starpower(popularity) are concerned there is a superstar called rajnikanth who was ther in the industry for last 35 years & closing on his 60’s & still the biggest superstar of south india…..
in this regard rajni scores over even bachaan!!!
If its a question of “popularity” then Sachin is peerless in his field. There is NO ONE even close. I can understand bringing in Sehwag or Dravid in terms of talent, but popularity is altogether different beast. Sachin connects everywhere. The newspapers go gaga when he is travelling. Fans come in there numbers to see him. Stadiums go silent when he is given out.
I agree with whomever is saying Bachchan and Sachin cannot be compared. Different fields, different types of popularity. I’d bat for Sachin as a popular sports icon, all-India popularity over everyone else is a tough question because the time and space and extent of popularity occupied by such figures is dependant upon the timing of the survey in there respective careers and so is the result.
Rajani is perhaps the biggest superstar of all, but is he an actor? Don’t wish to needlessly start an extraneous debate here, but why did Rajani have to remake Bachchan hits in Tamil?
As far as Sachin’s form is concerned, I’ve had numerous debates about it in the past. If we talk about ODIs, yes, he’s nonpareil. If it’s test matches, his form has been up and down, and by no yardsticks can it be described as befitting his stature, which I don’t deny at all.
“It is precisely this format which cemented his reputation long before he added one day records.”
I don’t doubt that for a second. I have always maintained that Sachin was the greatest batsman of the 90s. The records are there for all to see. Not just that, he was also a dominating batsman and was perhaps the most consistent as well. For years, Ian Chappel kept talking about how Sachin always managed to score at least one ton in a 3 test series. Lara was a ‘streaky’ genius but Sachin was always the more consistent of the two. For the statistically inclined, throughout the 90s, Sachin averaged 58 with the bat and scored 23 test centuries. Both figures were well clear of the second best.
Things however took a U-turn in the last decade. Now there are enough reasons to possibly explain the downfall, but the fact is, he was no longer the same batsman in the test arena. To further compound things, he simply changed his batting style. Sachin the ‘destroyer’ became Sachin the ‘grafter’. The latter could still be explained had it yielded better results, but that was also not the case.
It’s as if Dennis Lillee, after a whole decade of injecting fear in batsmen, suddenly decided to turn into a slow off spinner!
And it’s not just me, I’ll reproduce this striking piece of evidence from the brilliant Andy Zaltzman’s blog:
“Over half a decade − from the start of India’s disastrous two-Test humiliation in New Zealand in December 2002, to the beginning of the 2007-08 series in Australia – if you exclude two boot-filling short series against Bangladesh, Tendulkar averaged just 38.49 in 35 Tests. The cricketing immortal was rubbing statistical shoulders with the likes of Asanka Gurusinha and Craig MacMillan.
If we discount all Tests against the average-camouflagingly weak Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Tendulkar had the 45th best Test batting average during this period (including only batsmen who played in 10 or more Tests).
He scored only three centuries against the older Test nations – two of which came in successive Tests early in 2004, when he scored 241 not out and 60 not out in Sydney, then 194 not out in Multan. Either side of that short but floridly purple patch, the little master’s Bangladesh-excluding average over five whole years was an almost Ramprakashistic, sub-Azhar-Mahmoodian 29.”
To be fair, he also compares the trough that Lara went through during the same decade:
“Brian Lara had a similar career trough. After his stellar early years, culminating in a massive series in England in 1995, Lara averaged just 40 over six years between the ages of 26 and 32, before exploding back into greatness in Sri Lanka in 2001-02.”
We love you but I dont think anyboday has the energy or the stomach for selective analysis of Sachin’s statistics. There is hardly an easier sell than Sachin as the best batsman ever bar the Don and the most popular Indain crircketer/sportsperson ever.
The earth is not flat and there can be no challenge to Sachin. Still, doesnt prevent some fron arguing the contrary.
Saket: but why do you ignore Sachin after 2007-08? especially given during that period he’s featured in test series against pretty strong teams (SA, Australia, England — and featured at least one century in each of those test series, barring the 2007 tour of England when he had multiple near-misses)? Surely one cannot NOT mention Sachin’s long cycle of injuries and operations that basically ended a couple of years ago? It’s a bit like talking about Waqar Younis’ decline — without mentioning the crucial fact of his multiple back injuries! You yourself note Sachin’s test match excellence in the 1990s — I think we can all agree that the bowling attacks of the 1990s tended to be better than those of the 2000s (and, the Indian batting line-up was stronger in the 2000s than in the 1990s, making his achievements in that decade all the more creditable — and yes, for that very reason Border deserves more discussion than he gets these days; heck, imagine how astounding George Headley’s stats might have been had he played on a team as strong as the one Hutton and Hammond found themselves on)… My point isn’t to downplay Sachin’s under-performance in tests this decade — but juxtaposed with the renaissance of the last 2-3 years, its meaning isn’t very clear…
Re: “The poll is about popularity in the current context. At the point of time when Sachin has had his best 12 months since 1998!”
and actually, it’s a weirdly-phrased poll question: i.e. it doesn’t ask who one likes the most, but who one thinks is the most popular Indian — thereby asking one to kinda guess what everyone else thinks!
anyways, my initial point was only about the poll, getting into an essentialistic debate on the people who figured in the top 2 or 5 is beside the point — hence I was surprised that offside was SURPRISED at the results (a separate question from whether x or y “ought” to win).
Sachin vs. Bradman: I’ve said this before, but one thing that bothers me about these debates is the implicit view that if we are talking about cricketers from times past, the ONLY one we need to think about is Bradman. If we are talking about Sachin, to compare him to Bradman only is ridiculous. First one needs to make the case that Sachin is > Trumper, Hammond, Hobbs, Hutton, Headley, Sutcliffe, etc. etc. etc. Note: I am NOT saying the case cannot be made (I think, on balance, I would make the case for all of those, albeit in some cases comparisons are difficult because of the nature of the changes the game has undergone), but ignoring all of these other batting greats makes it seem like there was only Bradman that we need to be concerned about.
[Aside: the fact that Bradman’s legend has survived 6+ decades since retirement — pretty rare for a sportsperson, given the “present-oriented” nature of sports — to the point where we seem to remember no one who WASN’T Bradman, speaks volumes. Aside 2: the fact that there are excellent arguments for why Sachin is the greatest batsmen since Bradman, or even that he is the best batsman not called Bradman, speaks volumes about Tendulkar’s greatness (because in either case, think of the other luminaries along the way that one is preferring Sachin to…]
It’s not too difficult to see why Bradman’s legend has survived for so long. He made a mockery of statistics. When he ‘failed’, as in the infamous ‘bodyline’ series, he still averaged 56! At the age of 40, he averaged over 100 in tests. Averaged 94+ in his entire first class career.
I’m not into comparing players using spreadsheets, but there are stats and there are the Don’s numbers!
As for Sachin being the greatest since Bradman, that’s very much debatable. Lara needs to be in the mix. Sobers, on
Sobers’ test average was 58, on wickets that were usually sticky and unpredictable. And there was no protective gear to give comfort during his time. No wonder, when quizzed recently, Sobers cited Gavaskar as the greatest Indian batsman and not Tendulkar!
Well, citing the opinion of this or that person doesn’t get one anywhere definitive: Steve Waugh once said Sachin was the best since Bradman (before he “switched” his opinion to Ponting :-)), John Woodcock ranked Richards higher than any of the post-Bradman batsmen (Sobers excepted). [I will say that Aussie ex-players tend to be more parochial than many others in always picking countrymen. The English I think are far less insular that way.]
Second, wickets that were “usually sticky and unpredictable” is not dispositive, because that is simply an argument for valuing more highly the averages of ALL batsmen of that era (which I am, in fact, quite sympathetic to) — but on those grounds one should also factor in the bowlers, and on those grounds the batsmen of the 70s seem to have had it especially rough (by contrast, the likes of a Ponting came into their own in a post-Wasim/Waqar, post-Donald, post-Ambrose/Walsh world; a Viv Richards never had to face his own bowling attack — and this leads to some subtle problems; for instance, a team playing India in 1997 might be tempted to make far more pace friendly wickets than when the same team faced Pakistan or South Africa, because India didn’t have the pace attack to make the home team pay; another issue is that the tendency of many Indian pitches to crumble on the last day does drag down the 4th innings averages of desi batsmen, even as the general flatness elevates batting averages in general). Anyways, not intended to be a detailed anything, just some scattershot ideas…
PS– definitely agree Lara needs to be in the mix, but he isn’t the only one either. Sunny, Viv Richards (despite the fact that his records are disproportionately against one team, England)*, Dravid, Miandad, Greg Chappell, would also have to be considered (not to mention the tantalizing “what if” stories: Lawrence Rowe? Barry Richards?)…
*[The point could be made of bowlers too: a very large proportion of Shane Warne’s greatness rests on his domination of England: but not only was England a relatively weak team for most of Warne’s career, but the Ashes schedule means that Australia plays 10-11 test matches against that team over a 3-year period, which, during periods when one team is much weaker than the other, contributes to inflating people’s career records. Warne is no doubt a great cricketer, but I found it a bit ridiculous that, in Woodcock’s list of the “100 finest cricketers” ever, Warne made his way to #7. Gimme a break.]
Re: “I’m not into comparing players using spreadsheets, but there are stats and there are the Don’s numbers!”
I completely agree. These are freakish, whichever way one cuts it. And those who try and “account” for these vis-a-vis Tendulkar, need to explain and account for all the other greats of Bradman’s era (whose stats were comparable to later greats, but not to those of the Don), which they never do.
On Sachin’s test record in itself, however, I do disagree with you: his test match record alone bears comparison with the finest of the last 50-60 years, especially when one undertakes a nuanced analysis of the strength of the line-up one was on, the attacks one was facing, etc. [e.g. to take an extreme example, an Andy Flower or a Polly Umrigar or a Hanif Muhammad is “better than” his average, whereas a Hayden is “less than” his average, because it is more difficult to score runs on a weak team.]
@Saket to be fair to Sachin, how many cricketers have spent 20 years of International cricket? And to top it, he is going great guns at this point of time as well, so your point smacks of partisanship towards Mr. Bachchan, which needs to be balanced. besides, Sachin is holding so many records at this juncture, which seems almost unbreakable. and to add one most crucial point to his plethora of achievements, he is non-controversial, which makes him more revered and cult figure, as more often than not success begets vanity and narcissism, which Sachin is miles away from.
Popularity wise as of today Sachin is most likely to top any list is an undeniable truth( one can remain confined to one’s own whims and fancies and make it seem the truth, but truth can’t be put behind the curtain).
To be perfectly honest, I am a fan of both Bachchan and Tendulkar. Bachchan more, but don’t think I can be called a crazy fan of either. I don’t visit Bachchan’s blogs, don’t follow anyone on twitter, and firmly try to remind myself that ‘idol worship’ doesn’t exactly put food on my table.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Bachchan’s achievements, his cultural significance belongs to a different stratosphere altogether. Hence the (possibly) strong comments from my end. I also consider myself to be an avid follower of both cinema and cricket. To the extent that I am not entirely unaware of the ‘history’ in different contexts.
But in the end, this is my perspective. And I have reason to believe it does have a solid footing. I’ll repeat, my point was more about ‘actual’ worth than ‘popularity’, and so I was speaking a bit out of context, given the poll was there to only determine the most “popular” Indian.
everyone debating here also follows movies & cricket.
nobody is denying bachaans standing in bollywood.But movies having a great barrier of languages….and there are lot of places in india where hindi movies are second to regional languages…cricket stars having an advantage here..
Iam repeating that as far PAN-INDIA popularity is concerned cricket stars > movie stars.
Why iam precisely saying this because iam living in southern end of the country…nd over here most popular celebrities are sachin tendulkar & mohanlal…
Remember the the poll is about most popular indian….
And the only reason i think bachaan is so close to sachin in this particular poll is as satyam said..overlapping of regional movie fans towards bachaan!!!
yes when it comes to talent we might have a debate on these three..But when it comes to popularity there is no parallel…For God sake Rahul dravid wont even come in top 5 if we take popularity in to context as far as cricketers are concerned…
My view is it would be hard to pick between the two and thats precisely how the poll played out. One would expect Sachin to have an edge given greater universality with in India ofcricket as opposed to BollYwood. But AB manages to cut across.
Anyway, Sachin or Amitabh – no problem here. Its all in the family.
If Bachchan is popular only in Hindi belt, then why he was chosen as ‘STAR of MILLENIUM’ in BBC 1999 pole? You say it is due to large population of India(Hindi belt) , then why Sachin is not chosen as top Sports personality in that pole ?
“PS– definitely agree Lara needs to be in the mix, but he isn’t the only one either. Sunny, Viv Richards (despite the fact that his records are disproportionately against one team, England)*, Dravid, Miandad, Greg Chappell, would also have to be considered (not to mention the tantalizing “what if” stories: Lawrence Rowe? Barry Richards?)…”
Trust Qalandar to bring a heap of balance to the debate. I was going through the stats for the “unofficial” World Series organized by Kerry Packer (I know, it’s not funny when someone hunts down even “unofficial” records in cricket!) and it was definitely a mix of the most talented bunch of cricketers the world had ever seen. The only greats missing were the Indian ones – Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. Everyone else was part of the mix. Guess who ended up with the best batting record against the likes of Holding, Garner, Marshall, Croft and Roberts?
A certain Greg Chappell! He had by far the best batting record in both editions of the world series, against the best bowling attack that the world of cricket had ever seen. Richards fared very well too, and Graeme Pollock, well past his prime by that time, had the best average – a ridiculously high 70 something.
I’ll even throw in Steve Waugh’s name into the mix of Test batsmen, most likely to be discussed after the Don. He started off as a bits and pieces all rounder, was never elegant to watch, specially compared to his twin Mark, but in terms of grit he was John Wayne’s incarnation on the cricket pitch. The way he handled a rampaging Ambrose in Jamaica, part of the series that started Australia’s world domination, on route to his 200*, is the stuff that spawns multiple legends.
Then there was George Headley; Border as well, although few people would be willing to sign up for his cause. The “what if” cases must include Graeme Pollock, and Clive Rice, as quite possibly the best all rounder that the world of cricket never came to see.
P.S. I was following one of India’s T-20 WC games on cricinfo and the text commentary, to my surprise, displayed a comment by Qalandar! Immediate reaction: I wanted to scream, “I know this guy!” Oh well, time spent on blogs doesn’t put food on my table, but it does give me food for thought :)
Rajen: “There is hardly an easier sell than Sachin as the best batsman ever bar the Don and the most popular Indain crircketer/sportsperson ever.”
Doesn’t it depend on who’s doing the selling? And also who’s buying? I suspect the answer to both is a vast majority of Indians. That, however, isn’t my beef.
If I may, I wish to bring a more egalitarian perspective to the debate about our sporting legends, and possibly highlight the way things tend to get skewed in one direction or another.
I always wanted to say this, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to say it here: One of the most enduring memories in cricket, for me personally, is watching Anil Kumble bowl with a fractured jaw in Antigua, circa 2002.
How many people talk about it now? How many people discuss Kumble, period? And yet, he remains India’s greatest match winner. So forgive me for not crowing about Tendulkar’s greatness all the time, when I feel there’s a whole bunch of cricketers and their contributions, to project in a more favorable light.
I think Kumble gets/got a lot of credit — the problem you are alluding to is IMO traceable to the “presentness” madness that is sweeping through Indian popular culture (and that is perhaps a necessary consequence of a society’s embrace of capitalism: the consumerist paradigm requires the ever new; witness Jerry West saying Kobe is the greatest Laker ever), rather than anything specific to Sachin. Tendulkar is in a sense “used” by this mindset — one should recognize that, but equally, he cannot be penalized for it. Some people just are that good, even if they are hyped to death.
Aside: the point I made above is why I keep bringing in cricketers from decades past into such discussions: NOT because of some misplaced nostalgia (for an era I was born after) that if it’s old, it has to be gold — but because in the face of the sort of manufactured forgetting that we see all around us, I almost feel an obligation to remember. Kumble and his fractured jaw (still one of the lucky ones: Polly Umrigar, anyone? Vinoo Mankad being on the field almost every minute of every day of a test match in England (it wasn’t every minute, but I think his presence is a record for a test match)?) is a good metaphor for this sort of thing…
PS: It is true that Kumble is India’s greatest match-winner, but there are two caveats:
1. India’s great spin attack of the 1970s was so good that there was no ONE figure towering over the others, hence no ONE bowler could be singled out (for the same reason, one hardly sees any of the great West Indian bowlers in the lists of leading wicket-takers (Walsh, lesser by far than many fellow WIans, makes the list by virtue of hanging around long enough; no mean feat, but cannot make him the equal of the WI greats); hence other figures like average, strike rate etc. must be studied). [Of course, this could cut the other way as well: one might say gthat even the #4 on a top attack gets wickets, whereas a Kapil or a Hadlee has to slave away.]
2. More importantly, ANY list of great match winners will always favor bowlers. That’s just a fact: test cricket is a bowler’s game (ODIs are a different matter), and all things being equal, if I were a test match captain I would rather have a top quality bowling attack with a mediocre batting attack; than the other way around.
“”ANY list of great match winners will always favor bowlers. That’s just a fact: test cricket is a bowler’s game (ODIs are a different matter), and all things being equal, if I were a test match captain I would rather have a top quality bowling attack with a mediocre batting attack; than the other way around.””
Anil Kumble is no doubt one of India’s greatest match winners…I hate to say this ,But thinhgs has to be seen in prospective as well…What is his record in the minefield of slow and spinning trackes and what is his record in flat tracks and also in the overseas conditions…
speaking of injuries,Sachin played with a batterd back in that Chennai test match against waseem,waqar,saqlin and musthaq…Playing a match in the WC just hours after attending the funeral of his father..was these acts any lesser to that of Anil Kumble..??
P.S.I dont want to disrespect kumble by comparing these things for i admire Kumble too much to even bring about this type of a comparisons…Just to put things in perspective…
Saket, on Sachin it is precisely the non-Indian experts who’ve done as much selling and buying as the Indians themselves! And on a related note even the Australians have admitted that Sachin has operated with more pressure playing every single day than probably any sportsman in history. All of this has to be factored in too. And I don’t quite buy the 90s/post 90s divide. Players slow down after a certain age, injuries affected Sachin, he’s been astonishing once again in recent years. Is he peak Sachin? Of course not! Who could be?! Michael Jordan was athletically never as incredible as he was in the late 80s. But he was still remarkable when he won his titles. If you drew a neat line in the center of Gavaskar’s test career you’d find that he maintained almost the same average on either side (as Sachin does) but athletically he was a shadow of his 70s self in the 80s. People associate him with slowness and steadfastness but this was a guy who took apart the Windies on his debut series in WI! He was a lot more flamboyant in the 70s.
Ultimately it’s a question of longevity. At some point the numbers gets overwhelming. I will say this — I doubt any player in cricket history has played the game this well after 20 years on the field. There’s just no one. all of this counts for something. Very few even last that long.
Yes there can be a debate with greats like Sobers and Richards and so on. But this shouldn’t become grounds to somehow ‘deny’ sachin’s accomplishments. For example when one is talking about Dravid one can debate his merits/accomplishments but one shouldn’t use Sachin as a way to diminish him. The question then becomes: why do other greats come up regularly only when Sachin is debated? Why not when Sehwag is?
“I doubt any player in cricket history has played the game this well after 20 years on the field. There’s just no one. all of this counts for something. Very few even last that long”
Ok, a quick search tells me, the Don played test cricket over a span of 21 years. Ditto Sobers. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the norm in years before ODIs came into existence.
And among players of the ODI era, Akram lasted exactly 20 years in the international arena before being forced to quit. Ironically, after being the most successful bowler in the 2003 WC with 18 wickets. His achievement is all the more impressive, considering the fact that there’s a bigger toll on a fast bowler’s body, compared to a batsman’s.
But I mention these names not to deny Sachin’s longevity. He’s definitely capable of turning the clock back, as we’ve only recently witnessed. The point I almost invariably make is that he’s not the only name that should crop up once we discuss cricketing greats. And if it should, one has to explain his frailty (in Tests) as well.
Sunny himself was close: 1969 to 1987. [Don was a shade under 20: his test debut was in 1929] Given the crazy proliferation of ODIs, of course, Akram is the best comparison. [Although, great as he was, there was nothing ironic in him being forced out — it was because of the match-fixing cloud over him.]
Saket.. is there any criterion you could think of where Sachin would top?! Don’t think very many played that long even in an earlier period. You have just listed three greats of the game! Akram though wasn’t playing the way Sachin is even in his 15th year! Also remember in an older period the body took far less wear and tear. They played very little. Even the 20 years of Sobers cannot really be equated with Sachin’s. Too forms of the game with him being the lynchpin in both formats. It’s brutal! But I am waiting for another analogy here!
Even if I were to consider Akram’s record in his 15th year as worse, isn’t it also important to consider the fact that he was a fast bowler, much more prone to injury compared to a batsman? Isn’t it even more amazing to consider he lasted 20 years in international cricket, before signing off (or being forced to) on a high?
One more name to play with now: Steve Waugh. Lasted 19+ years in international cricket, before being forced to quit. And I need to add, it wouldn’t have happened in India!
Off-topic but: What do you mean Waugh was forced to quit? He announced at the beginning of the 2003 Ind/Australia series that he was retiring — at the time everyone expected Australia to crush India and he’d go out on a high.
[Aside: the Aussie ruthlessness also means that the statistics of their players are presumably better maintained. Since they wouldn’t let batsmen keep on failing as desi teams do.]
[Aside 2: you might be overstating Aussie ruthlessness to begin with: one can do these things when one has a deep bench. They certainly didn’t do it with Matthew Hayden, because they didn’t think they had the openers to replace him. They took a hell of a long time to look past Brett Lee despite disappointing returns, and I’m not sure they would have even now had he not had injury troubles: express pace bowlers are a luxury few teams will casually discard.]
Qalandar: The selectors had a private word with Waugh, and that was that. He was given the luxury to choose his final series, based on his stature I believe. Ian Healy was denied even that. Healy wanted to play his final test on home ground, but the selectors didn’t let it happen.
Michael Bevan wasn’t going through a prolonged poor run when he was dumped for good. Had the current team been full of greater talent, I’m sure Michael Hussey would have been looking for a job in the commentary booth as well.
Akram was man of the series in one of his last test series, in the West Indies — He took 11 wickets in the series decider (2000) when WI won by 1 wicket. [Of course, by the standards some apply, that made him a failure, as he couldn’t take the one that really counted, the 12th :-)] I do not agree with Satyam that even in his 15th year (1999) he was a shadow of his former self — he demolished the tail in THAT Chennai test (1998) on a pitch not very pace-friendly, when India were on the brink of victory.
That being said, Wasim and Sachin are two players very unlike each other: Wasim was always known to conserve himself very carefully, and when he was captain he had many opportunities to do so, not all of them very sporting (e.g. he might remove waqar or someone else after they had gotten rid of the top order and start bowling at the tail). Not to mention very credible match fixing allegations against him. A tremendous talent, probably the greatest left-arm seamer ever, but a rather different work ethic from Sachin’s…
Also, there were cries for Hayden’s head after the 2005 Ashes loss. But Hayden ended up scoring a ton in the last match of the series, which probably stopped the axe from falling on his head. Damien Martyn had no such luck.
Even more perplexing is the ban on Andrew Symonds. He got thrown out for violating curfew? Drinking beer in public? Now that’s a serious offence!
Yes, but the aussies had/have a number of batsmen — when they don’t have replacements (Brett Lee) they had to persist until others were found. In the case of India, as the younger lot’s sorry state shows, they don’t have replacements for VVS (if ever a chap is under-appreciated by the public, it’s him; one failure and people start wondering about his place), let alone Sachin! [Conversely, if ever a chap has benefited from our habit of persisting with failing players, it is surely not sachin but the likes of a yuvraj singh! Who could possibly be more over-hyped than him? When one remembers the aplomb with which he scored on a seaming track in lahore (2004), or in a ODI at perth when the top order crumbled (2003), I feel depressed to look at the flat track bully I see. I live in hope that the Yuvraj of the Chennai (2008) test against England might yet surface, but he has been given way too many chances…]
i.e., the real question isn’t, why wasn’t sachin dropped, but why WAS Dravid dropped from the ODI squad? Do the imbeciles running the BCCI believe that plonking down your front foot and hitting through the line as one does at Vizak is the way to score in England, SA, or Australia?
I am sorry but the other batsmen brought up in the discussion just dont belong here.
When you bring in Lawrence Rowe, it is like when you are having a debate about who is better actor between Amitabh and Dilip Kumar ( not that there could be much of a debate), you say Vinod Mehra also has to be in the mix.
A few could be mentioned like Lara, Viv Richards, Greg Chappell and Barry Richards ( on a good day)but the rest, frankly no.
There is also an intangible here which is playing for India which brings upon pressures of its own.
As one of the ads for a certain brand of Tea seen on the TV says, it is not cricket. It is our religion. Since so much depended on Sachin and since expectations were so much higher, he had to curb his attacking style at some point in his career.Sportswise, there is nothing like an early Sachin dismissal to put a dampener on the entire nations mood. Wish there was a way to objectively measure the impact of Sachin’s success or failure on nations sense of well being and contendedness.
If there was, it would show what an impact Sachin has on our psyche.
Of course, cricket is a team sport and there are eleven players in the team and at various times there have been sterling contributions and performances from quite a few players and it is also true that they may get a short stick from time to time.
Sachin’s numbers speak for him but there is a lot more to Sachin and his place in the Indian psyche than just the numbers and we would be doing him and the people who read this debate a great disservice, if we harp on some selective data dredging to deny Sachin his unparallaled eminence in
the Indain mind.or try to fudge the debate by introducing a litany extraneous characters and issues into the debate.
In the end the poll makes its point. There all kinds of polls with all sorts of methodological pitfalls. This is one of the better ones.Not perfect as no poll can be perfect.
well said.. frankly I don’t see any grounds for debate on sachin at all in terms of his ‘super’-eminence. and while one can justly say that Bradman’s records are untouchable the fact is once one gets beyond the Don it’s hardly a level playing field.
I think the one metric that matters more than just about any other is that Sachin makes a greatest top 11 on more lists (if not all) than any other player of the last 30 years or more. Including making it to the Don’s list! And while there will always be many ‘opinions’ on many players the one that seems to count here more than other is the Don’s own remark that Sachin played most like him of all players he’d seen (which was pretty much everyone!) and that Sachin would have averaged 80 (test) on the Australian side.
I’ll repeat my analogy from the other day. Sachin might well be Einstein to Bradman’s Newton. It’s a different paradigm though in some sense Bradman’s records are as surely untouchable as Newton’s essential framework for physics is (he pretty much gives you the textbook).
Since you’ve mentioned that Sachin, in Bradman’s view, would have averaged 80 in the Australian squad, perhaps it’s time for me to add (cheekily, yes) that he would also have been dropped for a prolonged poor run! They did the same to Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh. There’s no reason to suggest they’d have done something different with Tendulkar.
Don’t think the analogy is that off the mark. Steve Waugh was the WC winning captain, a great leader by all accounts, yet he was replaced by Ricky Ponting after one poor series. Wouldn’t have happened in India.
There was a time when Waugh was considered Sachin’s equal, at least in tests, when both were in the race to beat Gavaskar’s record. So my point was, if they could do it to Steven Waugh, why would they treat Sachin differently?
The same goes for Mark Taylor. He was the captain who made them #1 in the test arena. But he too was considered disposable after an ODI series loss in India.
Rajen: yaar your point is taken but Rowe is no Vinod Mehra; I mean had the accident/eyesight problems not occurred, he would have been much better than a Vinod Mehra! Hence I put him in the “what if?” category, not the “let’s compare to sachin” category. In the latter category, if you ask my personal opinion, I would compare (whoever one ultimately crowns is a different issue) Hobbs, Hammond, Hutton, Headley, Richards, Sobers, Gavaskar, Miandad, Chappell, Lara, Ponting, Kallis, Dravid — and I fully recognize that players from my own era are probably over-represented…[difficult for me to consider pre-Hobbs batsmen like Ranjitsinhji, Trumper, Grace, will exclude. Perhaps even Hobbs should be, from those pre-lbw days, but the others are all more or less playing the same game…]
If the nation’s sense of well being depended on Sachin, it was the nation’s fault. It’s an intangible, all right, but it’s a ridiculous intangible. Why did the nation rise or fall based on one batsman’s form, when it was the end result that ought to have a greater effect on the psyche?
Moving on to the next point, if Sachin had to curb his attacking style, doesn’t that automatically make Lara a better batsman, because he never did the same. All the while, playing for a team that depended on his genius even more.
As far as I’m concerned, Sachin’s Test match career can easily be divided into two halves, and I see a big enough difference in the two to cast doubts on his pre-eminence or stature, given the enormous prestige associated with his name.
Re: “Moving on to the next point, if Sachin had to curb his attacking style, doesn’t that automatically make Lara a better batsman, because he never did the same. ”
Either the better — or the more irresponsible. I think adaptability to what one’s team needs might be a +, not a minus. Maybe it’s unfair of me, but Lara always struck me as the more selfish player. Even if not selfish, is Richards greater for never having “compromised”, thereby ensuring a shorter career at the top than he might have had? He was far from his lofty standards in his last few years, but always played the same way — but that doesn’t mean WI cricket was better off as a result…
The question isn’t “national fault”, the question is a player’s ability to take the burden of expectations — and no-one is tested the way sachin has been for basically two decades on that front. A Sehwag, Lara, or Inzie or Ponting never has been. That says something about Indian fans, and is no other player’s fault; and also says something about the social meaning of Sachin, which, as I’ve said before, is a complicated subject deserving of its own book/essay — but certainly makes sachin’s achievements all the more creditable. I believe it was Waugh or Warne who said that Sachin’s greatest achievement was staying sane. I actually agree with this, and not in a flippant way.
Even if one were to consider the burden of expectations put on Sachin’s shoulders, the last decade ought to have been better for him, because the Indian batting line up happened to be much stronger. That ought to have released some pressure.
The explanation about his debilitating injury makes little sense when one considers his form in the ODIs, during the same period.
Overall, I agree that Sachin has been a great role model, by all accounts a terrific human being, and a wonderful ambassador for the game. That he has remained not only sane, but more like a Buddhist monk in a perpetual state of zen definitely adds to his allure. Yet, I find the hype associated with brand Tendulkar unjustified. At least to some degree.
Re: “I find the hype associated with brand Tendulkar unjustified. At least to some degree.”
Strictly speaking they are not necessarily inconsistent, are they? i.e. it is possible for someone to be BOTH over-hyped and the greatest batsman in 50-60 years. The former speaks to a certain media moment (perhaps combined with certain cultural tendencies) — we are after all talking about a media that referred to Omar Abdullah as Kashmir’s Obama! perhaps “LMAO” should be his middle name — and just as one can take the hype for the substance, the danger in “correcting” for hype is that one might discount the substance by too large a factor. Not suggesting you are or are not doing it, but it is a danger that I try and be attentive to. [Conversely, those who are not over-hyped end up getting a free pass. Thus no-one talks much about how Ponting’s anemic record in India, or his struggles against top-quality spin on slower tracks, tarnish his reputation; or about how the one time Dravid played a test series in Australia on really fast bowler-friendly pitches (1999-00), he flopped; even apart from that, we remember 2003 in australia, forgetting aussie domination of Dravid in ’04 in India; etc. etc.) For me both Ponting and Dravid are among the contemporary greats, but the point still stands.]
The point about less hyped players getting a free pass is a fair one. Dravid’s failures, though, seem insignificant compared to the manner in which he has been treated by the Indian board. You don’t drop, quite possibly the most ‘unselfish’ player in the team’s line up without calling him up to offer a proper explanation.
Saket: the Indian board is the most short-sighted money grubbing board I can think of. they don’t care about anything, not even world cup 20/20 embarrassments, let alone test match issues, they will never do anything to disturb the IPL cash cow (no warm up matches? No problem!). And will cram the calendar full of meaningless tournaments (KitPly cup? I mean, seriously?!) no one gives a shit about. The fact is, a player like Dravid needs to be in the ODI team, especially when the team plays on trickier surfaces abroad. But most distasteful of all is the way the Board uses and discards Indian pacemen — there is a good piece on Cricinfo right now that touches on these issues, and gets it basically right IMO (imagine, denying Ishant Sharma permission to play county cricket, while letting him play IPL, which can hardly help his evolution as a bowler.)
We will have agree to disagree.
One can potentially have a debate on whether Sachin is the most valuable Indian sportsman or not or if he is the best batsman ever barring Bradman.
When it comes to popularity which this poll is about, I think it should be obvious that there is really no debate.
Re: If the nation’s sense of well being depended on Sachin, it was the nation’s fault.
Its not a question of fault. It is a statement of fact.
And I don’t think the mark of genius should be stamped once and then put aside, not to be revisited later, even if the circumstances change drastically.
I don’t deny that Sachin Tendulkar is a genius. If at all, his genius should provide answers to all the questions put forward at any stage of his career. In the end, logic should prevail. If at all there is talk of “objective” analysis doing the rounds.
Re: “I don’t think the mark of genius should be stamped once and then put aside, not to be revisited later, even if the circumstances change drastically…”
True, but I would add that “genius” also means different things when it comes to different sportspen: for some, it can mean how good they were at their peak; for others it is the ability to maintain a very high level of performance for a very long time. These aren’t clean categories, of course (e.g. how short can the “peak” period be? Too short — one innings — and ajit agarkar would be included; a couple of series would include Frank Tyson, Vinod Kambli, and Ajantha Mendis; too long a period might exclude those whose careers were blighted by injury — Ian Bishop, but also a waqar younis. ) For instance, it is clear that on their very best days, one would take lara over kallis — but over the course of a career it is a closer question.
And in one sense the whole discussion is a red herring — why are we even talking about substance when the question is of popularity? After all, forget sachin being #1 or not, if we are going by achievements then why isn’t anyone saying Dhoni doesn’t deserve to be the only other cricketer in the top 4?! Same thing on sachin vs. amitabh ; even if a certain actor in x or y state is more popular, as satyam said presumably the fans of Miohanlal wouldn’t say that Lal is the most popular INDIAN. Stated differently, it’s those who are saying that sachin is or ought to be WAY ahead of bachchan who have some explaining to do, not the rest of us: because this poll says they are basically within the margin for error!
Rooney saahib, aap ne to had kardee…By this logic, is Viv Richards a dud because he failed in the 1983 world cup finals? It is quite incredible to judge anyone on the basis of one innings: should we judge Ponting for failing to get Australia the Ashes in 2005 and 2009? In fact, didn’t Ronaldo himself fail in the WC final against France?
But, the above comment illustrates rajen’s point about the pressures Sachin plays under…
i know i indirectly agreed to rajen point.. :-) he was a hero for me..
on ronaldo 98, viv 83.. they all won on other time round to touch the pinnacle..
similiarly maradona failed in 1990 final.. but he did weave magic 1986..
my point Q bhai is sachin has failed to weave his magic in every world cup which for a player of his qualoty is unacceptable to me..
ps- i know m harsh but i guess u will understand the story of a kid whi skipped his studies to watch 2003 final.. for a shocker by sachin..
ps2- but a i grew up.. i have changed i respect him for what he has done.. but i will say if u watch barcelona.. (i m a huge fan of barca..) all the good football they play is nothing if they fail to win..
so i conclude all sachins good innings are nothing if he cant deliver the holy grail.. and thats why KAPIL DEV IS MY HERO HE DELIVERED WITHOUT ANY FACILITIES AS A LEADER.. U MAY ARGUE THAT IT WAS UPSET BUT IMPORTANLY KAPIL AND HIS TEAM BELIEVED WHILE SACHIN I GUESS DOESNT BELIEVE,.. OR LACKS SOMETHING..
(BTW I HOPE Q BHAI AAP APNI NAYI OFFICE MAY SETTLE HO CHUKE hAIN.. REGRDS..)
The WC in 2003 was actually lost at the toss. The decision to field on a batting track in a FINAL was a stupid one. If that was not the reason, then it was the bowlers. Remember, back then for India to win that final they had to create history – they had to a chase a total against the best side in the world, the highest chase ever! It is ridiculous to expect India to win. India just lost it while bowling. The first 5 overs they gave away like 50-60 runs. No balls and wides galore.
If Sachin’s non performance in a final makes him less, then does a big final score for Aravinda D’Silva elevate him into greatness?
Sachin has showed he is a player for all situations. Negative or not attacking?!?!?!?!? He scored freaking 200 from 147 balls in an ODI! He was the top scorer in the IPL with a healthy average!
Sachin not performing in WC’s? He is the ALL-TIME top run scorer. He top scored in 1996 and 2003! Without him, where would India have been in both tournaments? He won player of the tournament in 2003. I find it very unfair to single him out for a final defeat when the stupid decision to bowl and then the bowlers did not deliver and then to expect India to chase world record total in a world final! It’s fantasy!
Aside: I feel the same way about Australia’s decision to bat second in the 20/20 WC semifinal a few weeks ago — they were lucky, very lucky, to get out of that one alive. I always remember something Imran Khan once said, that when chasing in a big game, you can always add 20-30 runs to the total (i.e. 250 feels a lot more)…
It’s practically the un-written of finals cricket. Bat first. Australia were lucky, but they are damn good too. And they have an uncanny knack of winning from losing propositions. Something India cannot do. BTW Lara has done jack shit in WC’s and he is rubbish too.
Jay: note that on this theory, one actually penalizes the player who does well enough to get his team to the later stages of a tournament, than the one who fails so badly his team goes nowhere! :-)
This is also the problem with the fourth-innings stats that people often look at in test matches. Certainly a valuable stat, but I remember articles favorably comparing Inzie to Sachin by saying the former had so many 100s in victories. Hello?! That theoretically includes: situations where everyone has a 100, e.g. team scores 600; and begs the question: why were you failing in so many other matches/why aren’t there more centuries?!
And it should be repeated again — no player no matter how great can win everything on his own in a team sport. Yes there are sometimes moments great players capitalize on when everything else is in place. But Argentina to take up the Rooney point again weren’t winning only because of Maradona (of course here even God was on their side as every Englishman knows!).
Rooney, that’s a bit of a romantic view about the past.. why didn’t Maradona win the 1990 WC? Similarly pele did not win in every conceivable situation. No one playing for a team can be expected to. This isn’t tennis. On Australia Bradman’s point was precisely the opposite. He felt there was too much of a load on Sachin. On the Australian you are always ‘well cushioned’. But look at it another way — just in recent times how many tests can be credited to Sachin where’s he’s either been a key part of the victory if not singularly so or avoided defeat at the very least? Why should one privilege the WC over this?
Rooney, that basically means there are no great Indian players except for 1983 team. Or George Best was not a great because he never graced the world stage. Or Lionel Messi is not great. Or Cristiano Ronaldo is not great. The list is endless.
Many great players don’t deliver in finals. I would be concerned as a Sachin fan if I saw a clear correlation between poor performance and finals. But it has never been the case. Save for ONE WC final, he has delivered numerous times in important finals. Ask the Aussies. Ask Warne.
Sachin got India to that final – or rather, he was the instrumental element in the team to get them there. His 98 against Pakistan was pivotal. I’d love India to win. But lets be practical. India were not better than Australia and have not been in ODIs for years save for few odd periods. And I would rather have Sachin scoring runs helping the team into finals then getting 0’s throughout and scoring one in the final. Why? Because you don’t get to play finals if you score nothing in the rounds before! Your out!
There is definitely an argument to be made about great players delivering on big stages. But its not like the Pele’s or Maradona’s were performing miracles. It’s not like Argentina were 3-0 down and Maradona score 4. That’s what is being asked of Tendulkar. To score 200 in a final? To prove he is a great?
Somhow I’ve to agree with Rooney. Until you perform on the ultimate stage there’ll always be some question marks on your GREATNESS…Sachin had 5 chances till now and the scorecard reads 5-0 against him…Also don’t think Sachin had to carry the entire team on his shoulders (hence the ultimate pressure theory) except for 1996 WC….In 92′ there’s the older generation in charge and by the 99′ WC Ganguly and Dravid had come to their own and Indian batting lineup was considered very strong thereafter.
One of the primary reason a Pele or a Maradona are widely considered the greatest players is because of their WC win. Messi or C.Ronaldo may win everything with their clubs, but to be named with Pele or Maradona WC win is a must.
But but but WC cricket isn’t to cricket what WC football is to football. In other words WC has a much higher value in football than in cricket. There are a few reasons for it. One is in international football everything is geared towards WC. In cricket however WC is one of the many many tournaments, albeit the most prestigious one. Another reason is ODI isn’t the ultimate form of the game. Michael Bevan had an almost Bradmanesque average in ODI and won many almost hopeless matches for Australia, but I’d be very surprised if he features in a list of 100 greatest batsman of all time. Also ODI being relatively new, it can’t be valid parameter for judging batsmen across generation. So maybe it’s foolhardy to adopt the criteria for football greatness in cricket.
man that’s a difficult question. I guess different people have different opinion on it. Anyway I wouldn’t consider ODI WC to be the pinnacle in light of the many articles and comments regarding the futility of ODI with the arrival of T20.So who knows maybe IPL or T20 is the new holy grail of cricket…LOL
satyam– agree i get in romantic mood abt the past.. coz i took it personal the loss. :-(
jayshah- agreed 200 would have been miracle like effort.. but could he scored atleast 50-80 runs.. it would have given us good platform.. BTW THIS IS HYPOTHETICAL ON MY PART..
Jayshah- i dont say messi is a world great unless he performs WC.. same for ronaldo.. they havent played gr8 football in international arena..
1.- maradona atleast took made mediocre argies in to winners..
2.- a point that i guess u ppl are missing in my heory is if u win one WC U R FORGIVEN FOR LOSING IN OTHERS.. like zidane if had failed in 98, 06 he isnt gr8 for me.. similialrly ronaldo, maradona, pele..
BUT THEY ALL ATLEAST ONCE ACHIEVED PINNALCE FOR THEIR COUNTRY.
3. @SAKET – IS THERE ANY STATS WHICH SHOWED DON PERFORMED BETTER IN ADVERSITY AND IN NEED AND BIG STAGES.
4.- @JAYSHAH- IN EPL WE HAVE SOMTHING CALLED BIG 4 MATCHES.. AND PLAYER OF THE SEASONS PERFORMANCE IN THEM IS ANALYSED.. AND THEY MAKE HUGE DIFFERENCE..
SACHIN TENDULKAR FAILED WC SEMIS -1996
FAILED IN WC 1999
FAILED IN WC 2003 FINAL
FAILED IN WC 2007 MEDIOCRE ..
SO FAILURE ON FOUR OCCASIONS OR MORE CANT BE A GREAT PLAYER..
4- WHAT DO I DO ABOUT SHARJAH CUPS, ASIA CUPS OR WAT EVER THE CUP.. ITS LIKE WINNING EPL AND PROCLAIMING DROGBA AS BEST PLAYR.. NOPE.. OR ROONEY.. ITS WORLD CUP WINNING WHICH MATTERS..
5- SACHIN HASNT PERFORMED IN CRUNCH SITUATIONS AGAIN WC 2003 FOR EG.
6- YUP KAPIL AND HIS TEAM WERE GREATER THAN ANY SACHIN TENDULKAR.. COZ THEY FOUGHT FOR A CAUSED, THEY SWEATED BLOOD IN WORDS OF MOURINHO…
SACHIN, GANGULY ETC ARE ALL ABOUTS PEPSI, VISA ETC.. I DONT MIND ADS TILL U WIN.. BUT OUR TEAM NEVER WINS COZ THEY ARE BUSY SHOOTING ADS.
7. MOURINHO RIGHTLY (I DONT APPRECIATE HIS FOOTBALL) ITS NOT COACH, PLAYER WHO IS IMPORTANT IT TEAM.. AND ABOUT RISING AND WINNING ON BIGGESST OCCASIONS .. WHICH SACHIN FAILED – 4 WCS…
I REST MY ARGUMENTS.. some of them may feel to u as biased, but i stick to em.. i stick to sachin failure in 4 wcs.. i stick to feeling that ricky ponting and gilchrist , warne (99) etc delivered when mattered.. and SACHIN unfortunately failed..
nice to see some great discussion here.. every one of you guys has a great point of view.
Im very much biased for sachin. have grown up seeing his batting performances, I started loving cricket because of him, and I used to go into depression for an entire day when he failed.. used to just switch off the television without bothering about the rest of the lineup.
I believe thats the impact he had on many like me in the nation.. Yes, it may be the country’s fault to be so dependent on him; but it was Sachin himself who made that happen. Why would the nation pin hopes on one particular guy in an Indian team unless he deserves.. it was the 90s where he ruled, and practically the overall Indian batting lineup used to be considered good ONLY because of him those days.
That Sharjah cup against Australia’99.. still a very fresh memory in my mind – now that was what you called performing under pressure. single handedly taking India to win the series..
Sachin or Bachchan: Who’s the god?
27 May, 2010 12:36 pm ISTl
The biggest of Bollywood is addicted to Twitter these days. From Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra… all are busy Twitting! Although giving a tough competition to these filmy celebs is India’s demi god Sachin Tendulkar!
Sachin too is on the social networking site and too is garnering maximum number of followers of late. Amitabh Bachchan is just a week old on Twitter and already has over a lakh followers already. Thus, when a scribe asked Abhishek as to who is the god of Twitter – Sachin or Amitabh, Abhishek smartly replied, “We Hindus have many gods and pa (Amitabh Bachchan) and sachin are two of them.”
Both Amitabh and Sahin are legends in their own right and that was well said Abhishek…
“Sachin too is on the social networking site and too is garnering maximum number of followers of late. Amitabh Bachchan is just a week old on Twitter and already has over a lakh followers already”
SRK is still leading with no. f follower crosing 5lacs 25 thousand…aamir’s rate had shockingly gone own to just 4.000 followers per day whereas sachin and SRK are still neck and neck and are adding around 3000 followers per day….
Bachchan would have beaten everyone had this been his first online intervention. But after his blogging activity this didn’t have the same newness with him. The blog of course was getting at one point more hits than even top blogs like the Huffington post. Even at this point it must be one of the world’s very significant ones.
‘Tendulkar Opus’ to have iconic player’s blood in it
The publishers of Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography ‘Tendulkar Opus’ has decided to come out with a special edition of the book which will have the iconic batsman’s blood on the signature page.
The “blood edition” of Tendulkar’s autobiography, which will have pictures of his family not published earlier and thoughts about his career, will be released in February next year to coincide with the Cricket World Cup in the sub-continent.
The book, which will have 852 pages edged in gold leaf, will be sold at a whopping USD 75,000. Only 10 copies of the book, which will weigh 37kg and measure half a metre square, will come out.
All the 10 copies have, however, been pre-ordered. “The signature page will be mixed with Sachin’s blood –mixed into the paper pulp so it’s a red resin. It is what it is — you will have Sachin’s blood on the page,” publisher Kraken Media’s chief executive Karl Fowler was quoted as saying in ‘The Guardian’.
“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s not to everyone’s taste and some may think it’s a bit weird. But the key thing here is that Sachin Tendulkar to millions of people is a religious icon. And we thought how, in a publishing form, can you get as close to your god as possible?” said Fowler.
“We’re publishing next February, in time for the cricket World Cup, which is being held in India. It’s perfect timing.
He’s never done an autobiography before and has a great story to tell.”
Apart from his blood, Tendulkar has also been asked for a sample of his saliva which would be used to create his DNA profile and would be printed on a two-metre gatefold in the book.
“What you’ll be looking at is his genetic makeup,” Fowler said.
All proceeds from the sale of the 10 copies will go to Tendulkar’s charitable foundation to help build a school in Mumbai.
Kraken will also publish around 1,000 copies of a cheaper edition of the autobiography at USD 2,000-3,000.
Signed by Tendulkar, this edition will also be a half-metre square in size and will contain around 75 per cent previously unpublished material about the cricketing star, as well as his DNA profile -? but not his blood. Kraken Media is also releasing a USD 200-300 smaller edition of
Saluting the longevity of Sachin Tendulkar, West Indies great Brian Lara has described the Indian batting legend as the ‘Don Bradman’ of modern era but refused to the compare the icons of different eras.
Lara, himself a legendary left-handed batsman from the Caribbean, said what astonishes him the most about Tendulkar is his longevity.
“I don’t think there is any race. Both are great players. Tendulkar has shown the world what he is capable of and his longevity in the game is something to be really appreciated,” Lara said.
Haven’t seen a better batsman than Sachin, says Richards
Port of Spain, June 3: Legendary batsman Viv Richards has said that India’s batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar is the best batsman he has ever seen in his life.
“I didn’t see Don (Bradman) but to me, in all my years associated with the game, I haven’t seen a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar. If there is a better batsman than Sachin, then he hasn’t arrived yet,” said the legendary batsman on the sidelines of a promotional event at the Queen’s Park Oval here Thursday.
Richards was an idol for Tendulkar.
Richards said Tendulkar has achieved every possible thing in his kitty, and rated the Mumbaikar maestro as a “complete cricketer”.
“To me the most remarkable thing about Tendulkar is how he has completed the full cycle of his cricketing career, overcoming pain, agony, failures, fatigue, injuries yet continuing relentlessly till the point the circle was complete. He is the most complete package, the cricketer I respect more than anyone else,” he said.
Richards said Tendulkar took the right decision by skipping the complete West Indies tour.
“He is 37 and not getting any younger. You have got to respect him for his decision. He has done enough to decide what is best for him. He knows his commitments and the approach he must take for the rest of his career,” he said.
Richards, however, feels that Tendulkar’s presence could have done a world of good to the young cricketers of the Caribbean.
“It would have been fantastic for the young boys to just watch him in action; how he prepares his innings; the way he goes about building his knock, overcoming conditions and opponents. It could have been an invaluable experience for our young batsmen,” he said.
the list of those who talk about Sachin in these contexts just grows.. someone should tell Richards a few of Sachin’s country-men are still not convinced.. for them it’s about how often he’s failed when at the crease when a Salman film is in the theater in its third week and a SRK film is in its first. When that combo occurs Sachin fails. Much as he fails when Rahul Gandhi and Anil Ambani are both out of the country at the same time. Similarly overseas he fails for example when Messi doesn’t have a certain number of goals within a 7 day period. All these stats are critical. Don’t be fooled by the number of his centuries and his longevity and so on. How about the fact that he never plays as well as some others after having Gatorade. In the 90s there were other drink breaks (not involving Gatorade) and he did well. But after consuming Gatorade it’s a different ballgame. These are the intricacies one has to examine. Not the usual stuff.