Delight in the game makes Tendulkar ‘the elite’ among elites: Roebuck

Sydney: Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has said that Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s delight in the game of cricket has kept him among the elite.

In a syndicated column for an Australian newspaper, Roebuck wrote: “Throughout 20 years of intense pressure and unrelenting exposure, he has retained his delight. Through it all he has managed to focus on the next ball and the next innings. There have been no demons.”

“Cricket is his game and his way of life. He does not need anything else. Always it has been the same. The most underestimated thing about him has been his longevity, his constancy.”

“He enjoys cricket, and batting in particular. He’d play from dawn till dusk if they’d let him, and again the next day,” he added.

Roebuck said that the same could not be said of other great players like West Indian legends Vivian Richards and Brian Lara.

“In the latter part of his career Viv Richards became a caricature of himself. Brian Lara became ever more fitful. Both are remembered for their glorious periods; both left something on the table, an unexpressed part of their genius,” Roebuck said.

He further said that the ICC Player of the Year 2010 award for Tendulkar counts among the finest achievements of a brilliant career.

“Tendulkar played 10 Tests in the period and scored 1064 polished runs at an average of 81. Along the way he rose from 25th to third in the rankings. Not bad for a 37-year-old deemed to be on his last legs. Not bad for a player whose nerves were supposedly shot,” Roebuck said.

“He has always looked trim, but that gets harder as the years pass. A few extra kilograms can cost a sportsman the fatal fraction. Focusing on fitness is easier when the collective standard is high,” he added.