He was a child prodigy who made his debut against Pakistan at the young age of 16 years. He also was the youngest player to play English county cricket at the age of 19 years. He scored his first test century at the age of 17 years against England. After that there was no looking back and he became the first batsman to score 100 centuries. He was also the first to score 200 runs in one day internationals. He has scored most test runs to date and also played maximum tests to date.
He entertained the cricket world for 25 years and became a role model for the younger generation.What stands out is the zeal with which this gentleman played ; never losing his focus and his greatest asset was his ability to adapt to various formats of the game with ease. There was not even a single shot that this batsman could not play. Each and every moment on the cricketing field was enjoyable for him and anyone who enjoys his work will always make himself count. That was the crucial quality that made him a world class sportsperson and he needed no extra motivation for his first love-cricket. His only shortcomings were his two stints as a captain of the Indian team –first at the age of 23 in 1996 and then again in 1999. In both terms as a captain his batting suffered and he stepped down.
But his achievements are unparalleled in the history of Indian cricket and it will be close to impossible to emulate his successes. Above all he has been a warm person and has handled his ups and downs in his long career with maturity and today stands on the pedestrian as God of cricket. Indians are indeed privileged to have such a gem amongt them.
By PURNIMA MOHINDRA