The quote below, amongst all I have read in past 5 years that praise or criticise him, best sums up the single biggest quality that defines the Sachin Tendulkar of today. Slyly, slowly and singlemindedly he has gone for the 10th mode of dismissal. Sachin has 'timed' everyone out through his continued love affair with Test cricket.
21 years after debut, it is quite extraordinary that he is likely to score as many centuries (6 achieved, 7 possible) in the current year as he got in 2 seasons even at the peak of his powers in 1998-99. To put in another yardstick, Sachin got as many tons in the first 4-5 years of his career and we all know how unimpressive he was in those days....
I won't be surprised if 40 years hence people start questioning the records when they chance upon this passage of his career. "This guy's incorrigible," the Mask would have remarked. Or in Boycs-ology terms, "it would take 10 horses to pull him off a cricket field."
Quite aptly, this quote has come up on Time magazine - or so I am told (apologies for not verifying). Enough of banter - 'time' to enjoy the quote:
"When Sachin Tendulkar travelled to Pakistan to face one of the finest bowling attacks ever assembled in cricket, Michael Schumacher was yet to race a F1 car, Lance Armstrong had never been to the Tour de France, Diego Maradona was still the captain of a world champion Argentina team, Pete Sampras had never won a Grand Slam.
When Tendulkar embarked on a glorious career taming Imran and company, Roger Federer was a name unheard of; Lionel Messi was in his nappies, Usain Bolt was an unknown kid in the Jamaican backwaters. The Berlin Wall was still intact, USSR was one big, big country, Dr Manmohan Singh was yet to "open" the Nehruvian economy. It seems while Time was having his toll on every individual on the face of this planet, he excused one man.
Time stands frozen in front of Sachin Tendulkar. We have had champions, we have had legends, but we have never had another Sachin Tendulkar and we never will."