A blue jersey No. 10 and an Aussie Cap No. 123, no wonder now I realize how pathetic was my color sense that I matched the two while playing amateurish cricket, but the combo till date remains my favorite with the owners of the uniforms, leaving the global cricket with a bump to ponder .
Driving, hooking, cutting, pushing, wiping and a couple more terms from the book was best illustrated by the two craftsmen of International Cricket, Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and Ricky Thomas Ponting. Born and brought up in opposite playing conditions, the champs dominated the 1990s & 2000s of the sport exhibiting the best on offer for fans and buyers of sport across the map. Carrying record charts that fit no size, the aggressive personalities had a champion habit of answering queries with the wood blade in hand and personify the class of stroke play.
Indian Legend’s performances in 1998 Sharjah tour with back-to-back centuries against Australia are the ones I cherish even today. The straightness of the blade while caressing a straight drive or his stance and follow through while hitting a cover drive are a treat to the eye and photographer’s delight that will be missed post 2012. Humble man’s brave acts of shouldering the nation’s expectations for over 2 decades are unimaginable, rightly called as the God of Cricket. A reason for millions to fall in love with the otherwise not the most played game on the earth bid adieu from the colorful form of cricket and shunned the camera pixels for another era of cricket which will always yearn for a glimpse of the all-time great like the little master romancing with the game!
Aussie No. 3 in the batting order and on field chewing ambassador, successful skipper and a magnetic fielder Ponting has always been soothing to the eye for his aggression and commitment on the field with both bat and the spot in covers to barricade the leather. Ponting’s achievement of riding the kangaroos to hat-trick of World Cup wins, gaining the Ashes and going beyond 10,000 runs would always stand out in a long time to come.
The classy Right handers and great ambassadors of the game are loved and missed today even across the borders where cricket isn’t popular solely because of the work ethic and diligence that the masters exhibited at times when mattered. It will take super natural sportsmen to fill the void left over by the giants of the Gentlemen’s game. And for me, “My Grandfather called him a genius, Dad tags him classy and I know him as my reason to succeed, Sachin Tendulkar will stand an example for my generations to come”.