Okay, tell me, what do you think is the greatest achievement of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar? Is it the mountains of runs that he piled up during the course of his 24-year-long career? Or is it the 100 hundreds or numerous recognitions like Padma Shri, Bharat Ratna that he was conferred with? Or is it the 2011 World Cup win?
You may point out to hundreds of different things but in my view, Tendulkar’s biggest legacy will always be the fact that he actually lived up to the lofty expectations laid on his shoulders during his teenage years.
Remember, Sachin Tendulkar was a teenage prodigy. I mean, you might turn around and say that with him being a prodigy or in layman’s terms ‘God-gifted’, everything came for him easy. But, Sachin isn’t the only child prodigy in cricket. There have been a plethora of cricketers in the history of this beautiful game who were as talented as Sachin during their teenage days and were destined to be the next great cricketer from their respective country. But, tell me how many of those teenage sensations lived up to those lofty expectations?
Tendulkar was always destined for greatness. He was hailed as the next batting great even before his maiden Test match against Pakistan in 1989. But, he never let his talent or the talks around him get to his head. His mantra was simple: ‘Let people talk about your last innings, and you focus on producing the better version of it in the next’.
When Sunil Gavaskar made a ‘bold’ prediction on Sachin Tendulkar
Such was Sachin’s talent that his hero and the original Master Blaster Sunil Gavaskar had made a bold announcement during a 1995 interview with the ‘God of Cricket’, that if he doesn’t get a minimum of 15000 Test runs and 40 Test hundreds by the end of his career, then Gavaskar would personally go and strangle his successor.
The video of the same was shared by Subu Sastry- a self-confessed cricket tragic- on his Twitter account [@suubsy].
‘If by the end of his career, he does not score a minimum of 15000 runs and 40 Test centuries, I shall personally go and strangle him. 20 years down the line, my hands would not have the same strength and he might still survive but I think I will get somebody to that for me. He has got that much talent” Gavaskar said in the video.
Remember that was 1995 where 15000 Test runs and 40 hundreds were unheard of.
“I will try my best” replied Sachin Tendulkar.
!! Another Friday release ?
Gavaskar predicts and wishes..
# runs & centuries …
Dreams do come true ?@sachin_rt @bhogleharsha @sanjaymanjrekar @RaviShastriOfc @rohangava9 @sambitbal @gauravkalra75 @cricketaakash @VVSLaxman281 #Subu_Vintagecricket pic.twitter.com/Aoq8BTmY1h
— subu sastry (@suubsy) June 19, 2020
And, by god, didn’t he do that with disdain or what? Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar eventually finished with 15,921 runs and 11 more hundreds  that his hero Sunil Gavaskar had predicted. He also racked up 18,426 ODI runs along with 49 hundreds as an added bonus.
Replying to the video, Sachin said-
“This happened very early in my career. Special words from the great man. I am just glad that I could live up to his expectations. Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment Subu!”
This happened very early in my career.?
Special words from the great man. I am just glad that I could live upto his expectations.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment Subu!
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 20, 2020
Living up to the expectations laid on your shoulders, is one of the toughest things to do in life. Sachin Tendulkar did that throughout his career, which is perhaps why he is the ‘God of cricket’.