Dec 16, 2008

Sport - Cricket;Tendulkar's legend would only grow after Chennai heroics: Media

LONDON: Sachin Tendulkar's heroic status will now be implemented even more firmly into a nation's consciousness and he has grown in stature by
dedicating his century in the Chennai Test to the victims of the Mumbai mayhem.

This and other comments eulogising Tendulkar highlighted the British media's coverage of the exciting Test match in Chennai that India snatched away from England with a memorable six-wicket victory.

Writing in The Guardian , David Hopps said ,"England ultimately bowed to Tendulkar's unyielding determination to soothe a nation's pain. He wrested victory as his right, his 41st Test hundred transforming an unlikely win into a formality, a six-wicket triumph secured with an hour of light remaining.

"His heroic status will now be implemented even more firmly into a nation's consciousness," he said.

In The Times , former England captain Mike Atherton echoed the same view and felt by dedicating his century to the victims of the Mumbai blast, Tendulkar had firmly implanted his stature on the Indian psyche.

"...Tendulkar revealed in a television address when he reaffirmed publicly why he played the game: 'I play for India, now more than ever.' Yesterday he was as good as his word," Atherton wrote.

The Guardian went on to claim that Tendulkar's outrage over the terrorist attacks in his home city has been the most enduring image of the Chennai Test.

"His defiant words have felt like an address to the nation," the daily said.

"He speaks of the need to pull together in bad times until the good times return and his vehement final sentence ingrains itself in the memory of all who hear it. 'I play for India,' he spits. 'Now more than ever.'"

In The Daily Telegraph, Derek Pringle said it was only befitting that the 'Little Lord' scored the winning runs and felt even only for reasons of compassion, India should have won the match.

"Fittingly, Sachin Tendulkar, India's most iconic player, scored the winning run, the delicate sweep for four also bringing up his hundred to the shrieking delight of the 30,000 crowd," he wrote.

He said Tendulkar's role was not confined to his sublime hundred alone.

"Scoffing mouthfuls of banana to keep up his energy level, Tendulkar's role did not end there. So often the quiet one, he cajoled, encouraged and generally advised all his subsequently partners, including the headstrong Yuvraj Singh, whose unbeaten 85 enabled the pair to add 163 for the fifth wicket," he said.

Hopps too felt though Virender Sehwag's blistering 68-ball 83 swung the match, India owe the win to Tendulkar.

"If Virender Sehwag was the catalyst for India's successful run chase Tendulkar, who batted through all but two overs of the final day for an unbeaten 103 in 196 balls, was the man who delivered it," he observed.

Hopps had a word of praise for England too and he felt the Chennai match proved Test cricket has a future in India.

"Once their disappointment has diminished, England should reflect with satisfaction on the part they played in one of the most politically significant Tests in history.

"The people of Chennai, after initial uncertainty, had come out in force despite heavy security, with about 30,000 spectators watching a game that proved Test cricket still has a future in India," he wrote.

The writer went on to say that India's stupendous show in the Chennai Test would make them optimistic of overtaking Australia as the number one team in the world.

"It was a phenomenal effort for an India side that will believe more than ever that their confirmation as the No. 1 Test team in the world is merely a matter of time," he added.

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