Sachin Tendulkar double hundred: India media shower praise on ‘God’
India’s cricketing ‘god’, Sachin Tendulkar, was feted with front-page tributes after his world-record 200 not out in a one-day international against South Africa on Wednesday.
Tendulkar, who turns 37 in April, struck the first double century in one-day internationals, pounding the South African bowlers with 25 boundaries and three sixes at the Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior.
His landmark dominated the front pages of leading newspapers, even overshadowing India-Pakistan diplomatic talks.
“Immortal at 200” screamed a banner headline in the Times of India, while the Indian Express ran a half-page photo of a celebrating Tendulkar with the word “God!”
A similar front-page photo in the Hindustan Times, headlined “200 not out”, was followed by an appreciation written by Tendulkar’s former team-mate, Anil Kumble.
“The way he celebrated when he reached his 200 epitomised the man’s persona,” the former India captain wrote. “There were no running laps around the field, no aggressive gestures, nothing over the top.
“He did what he always does. Raised both his arms, closed his eyes for a moment and quietly acknowledged it had been done.
“If the youngsters in the team can take even 10 per cent of what he does, they will be better cricketers for it.”
The Times of India highlighted the veteran’s scintillating form in the last 12 months, during which he has hit 10 international centuries, including six in Tests.
“Treasure this new, improved Tendulkar,” the paper said. “He is, by far, still India’s most valuable player, and will remain so till he decides to call it quits.”
Tendulkar, who made his debut in 1989, has scored 13,447 runs with 47 hundreds in 166 Tests, and 17,598 runs with 46 centuries in 442 one-day matches.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar rated Tendulkar over legendary Australian Don Bradman, saying the Mumbai man was the “greatest batsman the game has ever seen”.
The Hindustan Times cricket correspondent wrote: “It’s never a good idea to try and speak for a whole nation. But on Wednesday it was a risk worth taking.
“To Sachin Tendulkar, on whom more words have been written than any other cricketer, including Sir Donald Bradman, two words will suffice: Thank you.”