Durban: The World Cup is yet to begin, but the adulation has already started pouring in — at least for the “global superstar” Sachin Tendulkar who, the South African media feels, “could probably run a successful presidential campaign if he felt so inclined”.
Going ga-ga over the “most talked about and revered cricketer of this generation,” The Star said in a special feature on Sachin, “be it in a packed stadium, on the field of play or even simply in the practice nets before a handful of people, watching Tendulkar bat is a joy to behold.
“He is tiny, standing just 1.64m tall, yet he has had some of the world’s most-feared bowlers crying into their beer mugs once he has taken control against them.
“One runs out of superlatives to describe Tendulkar’s batting and, indeed, there’s probably just one such player per generation, so watching him bat in a World Cup in South Africa is something not to be missed.”
In another feature, the paper said, “Tendulkar has dominated most of India’s best performances over the last decade and on his shoulders rest India’s Cup hopes.
“As if his value with the bat is not enough, the little man has developed into a crafty spinner capable of bowling off and leg spin. He is also an outstanding fielder in the inner ring as well as on the boundary.”
In fact, the paper sang paeans of the entire Indian batting order.
“Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the biggest celebrities at home. Such is India’s remarkable batting talent that they could break up one of the most lethal opening combinations in the history of limited-overs cricket,” it said, referring to India’s decision to split the Sachin-Sourav opening pair.
“Backing up the openers is a middle order that relies heavily on the experience of Tendulkar, the tremendous powers of concentration of Dravid and the explosive batting of youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif.
The paper said the exploits of batting trinity of Dravid, Sachin and Sourav had not only made them superstars but also provided tremendous clout to India in international cricket