Saturday, Dec 10, 2022
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Globo Shock

Globo Shock

He makes the cherry vanish across boundaries. He also makes boundaries vanish.

AT 25, Sachin Tendu-lkar is like the Taj Mahal. There is nothing new to be said about either. Still, there are two strains worth pursuing. His impact abroad, and what it means to be Bradmanesque. In nearly a decade of international cricket, Tendulkar has done what no other Indian has—ensured that in his fans' minds, there is a split between his performance and that of his country. Even when Sunil Gavas-kar was making centuries in lost causes, he didn't evoke that kind of response.

It is almost as if fans are saying: "The result doesn't matter, so long as Tendul-kar makes his runs." In one-day cricket, there's a link between the two—when Tendulkar scores, India wins—hence the prayers of Indian expatriates wherever he plays. But the exclusivity is disappearing. Tendulkar is moving out of the confines imposed by nationality, and is seen as that rare sporting idol, the universal hero. In this he's closer to basketball's Michael Jordan than any cricketer.

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