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Living out of suitcases has not put a damper on cricketing world's brightest jewel


Sachin Tendulkar can't stop amazing and wowing cricket fans. Every time he goes out to bat you think that the law of averages will catch up with him, but it doesnt. He always has something special lined up for his opponents, particularly if the tournament is big and prestigious. he seems unstoppable as runs flow in torrents. Be it top pace, bounce or spin, he has an answer for everything hurled at him. Even jet-lag after a tiring journey or mild afflications like cold and fever cant prevent him from his favourite pastime - despatching balls to the boundary.

The question is how does he manage to sustain interest and motivation after virtually living out of suitcases? Being away from family, zipping from one continent to another and living in various hotels where the cuisine is not to one's liking can be highly taxing. Last month, within a span of 10 days he was rushed across the globe in a terrifying hurry. He first flew to Kuala Lumpur, came back to Bombay, then he was hustled to Toronto where he resuscitated the depleted Indian team with a typical half century and 48 hours later was back in Bombay on way to the African continent. And don't forget the trip Down Under and back!

What is he ? A cricketer, CEO of a multinational or a superman? May be, he is a combination of all, for he is always ready to do battle, ready to go the extra mile while lesser mortals chicken out citing reasons ranging from sore throat to dehydration. Former Bombay coach Balwinder Sandhu who knows the blaster's mind closely, having plotted many first-class demolition jobs in the dressing room with him, says : "He lives cricket. his mind is like a computer, storing voluminous data, from rivals to the behaviourial pattern of pitches all over te world. He's a blue chip".

Sachin surely knows everything and thats why he is the number one batsman in the world. He has left far behind the other alleged claimants to the top spot. West Indian top gun Brian Lara was considered for the throne awhile. However, critics agreed one triple century and a career punctuated by controversies and inconsistences was insufficient for the claim. The Aussie claimants, the Waugh twins Steve and Mark, are extra-ordinary, but still not quite there at the top. Sri LAnka's hot metal Aravinda De Silva also belongs to the top but his inability to churn out big scores away from home pitches might have dented his candidature.

The afore mentioned batters are a cut above the rest - batsmen like Azhar, Jayasuriya, Saeed Anwar and England's highly under-rated Alec Stewart are all front-liners of the world, but Sachin stands a few rungs higher. His phenomenal record and the ease with which he decimates top bowlers of the world clearly puts him ahead. His leading victim, Shane Warne, has often said : "Lara and others at least give you a chance because you detect some vulnerability in their stroke play, but Sachin doesn't spare anybody. he gets after you."

Theres no doubt the "Bombay Blaster" is the champion of all batsmen. At 25, he holds the record of scoring the highest number if ODI centuries.At this young age he has already played 200 One dayers. You can very well imagine his fact file 5 years from now.What can only be said now is "God, spare the bowlers" !!!