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'There Is No Hundredth Hundred'

Mukul Kesavan, in the Telegraph, argues that Tendulkar is needlessly weighed down by the pressure of his  ‘hundredth hundred’ and how the whole, in this case, is less than the sum of its parts:

The real cricketing illiterates are the people who believe that adding ODI centuries to Test centuries and arriving at a hundred gives you a heroic landmark. It doesn’t. This isn’t just a meaningless statistic, it’s a pernicious one because it equalizes two different orders of achievement...

It is to speak and think like a child with ninety-nine coins in his piggy-bank, fifty-one made of silver and forty-eight of lead, who is dying to acquire one more coin of either kind because he will then have a hundred metal coins. The child can be indulged because he’s too young to know better but what of the grown men and women who follow cricket and report and comment on it, who carry on as if something monumental is about to happen each time Tendulkar crosses 50 and then mime tragedy when it doesn’t? Even children know that winning a game of checkers isn’t the same as winning a game of chess even though they’re played over the same 64 squares.

So why are we going on like idiots about this non-event, this half-wit’s holy grail?...

Read the full piece at the Telegraph

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