Savour these moments …

“At a dinner in Leeds on Friday night, Sachin Tendulkar talked about playing under pressure. Nobody is better qualified to do so. He said the only way to cope with the extraordinary expectation that has followed his career was to see pressure as a subjective rather than objective force. He was happy if he satisfied himself and happier still if he retained the respect and support of his team.” Mark Nicholas in the Telegraph.

“Sachin sent back a message saying that it is a really good batting wicket and we should be looking to get a score near 300 or just over 300.” Rahul Dravid after the game.

The scenario was clear. We were down 1-3 with 3 to play. The repercussions of a loss were obvious and yet far reaching enough to cloud perspective. But 18 years since it all started at the age of 16, those shoulders have not hunched under the weight of that pressure. And although age has punctuated the brilliance, as it always does, yesterday in the cold grey of Headingley, it shone brightly. Once the eye was in, the target set, it was not about that 42nd hundred which had earlier been elbowed away by an umpiring error but about getting the team to where it needed to be. There were no half measures. Jon Lewis will probably never forget that over – try as he might. And Stuart Broad will realise quickly why the game is a huge leveler. Platform set, bowlers’ confidence dented, batsmen shown the way – the weather could only get better.

Shane Warne called him the best cricketer he had played against. Warne said that it was the ability to withstand pressure and his mental toughness that put him a notch higher. Anyone who questions the guys ability to perform under pressure probably misses the whole point.

Bob Dylan : “Basically you need to suppress your own ambitions to be who you really need to be“. These are moments when we should be getting ready for a standing ovation on a career built in the relentless pursuit of a craft to the point of selflessness. Shame on those that chose to boo.

p.s. India won. 2-3 with two to go.

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