<
>

Ahead of the Don, Lara and Ponting

Fans celebrate Sachin Tendulkar's historic achievement Associated Press

Nasser Hussain gives his verdict on Sachin Tendulkar in the Daily Mail. He places Tendulkar ahead of Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and even Don Bradman on the list of the greatest batsmen of all time.

That extraordinary drive and enthusiasm are what make Tendulkar so special. He has been playing international cricket for 20 years under the intense scrutiny being an Indian superstar brings, so it is remarkable he still loves holding a bat as much as ever.
Blogging for India Today, Sharda Ugra is relieved that the 200-run barrier was breached by Tendulkar, ahead of the likes of MS Dhoni and Shahid Afridi.

It s not that they cannot do it or won t. Several others can, but cricketing summit are like knighthoods, in the times of King Arthur rather than Queen Elizabeth (I or II). Not everyone is bestowed them. Afridi has been caught trying to eat the cricket ball. The Gods are blessing Dhoni and his Tarzan-philosophy but the geometry and physics of his batting would send Euclid and Einstein on strike.
Bobby Ghosh compares Tendulkar's feat with Roger Bannister's breach of the four-minute mile barrier to explain the enormity of the Master's accomplishment, in Time.

In a one-day game, each side gets to bat 50 six-ball overs that's 300 balls or, in American baseball terms, "pitches." It's rare that a single batsman gets more than 150 pitches, so the batsman would need a hit rate higher than 100% to get to 200 runs. Tendulkar got his 200 runs in 147 pitches, a hitting rate of 136.5.
In a time when sporting heroes around the world constantly reiterate their mortality, Simon Briggs salutes Tendulkar for proving "you can be a sporting icon without turning into a monster", in Telegraph.

But everything about Tendulkar s public persona backs up his squeaky-clean image. The man is modest in victory and gracious in defeat, while his post-match comments are invariably diplomatic. It is hard to remember him being drawn into a single controversy at least, not one that stood up to scrutiny. Compare that to Woods, who is notorious for chucking his clubs out of the bag whenever he hits a bum shot, or the foul-mouthed Premier League stars who occupy so much of our airtime. Even Roger Federer, easily the most impressive member of the Gillette trio , cannot resist the odd cheap shot.
A double century has only been a theoretical possibility in limited overs so far, so in many ways Tendulkar has achieved something unusual, writes Imran Khan in the Economic Times.

If I had had to pick up a guy as the one to score the first one-day double ton, it would have been Virender Sehwag. He is young, belligerent and in unbelievable touch. However, it was his illustrious senior who pipped him at the post.
While everyone was willing the game on for Tendulkar record, he waited out MS Dhoni's uncontrollable flair and let the record come to him. This editorial piece in the Indian Express believes that for very substantial reasons, this will be a special record for him.

Prem Panicker checked his Twitter account in the midst of Tendulkar's mayhem, and was overwhlemed by the public pulse. Read the latest post on his blog Smoke Signals.

From Anand Mahindra, head of the eponymous business house: On my way to ndtv Indian of the year awards.But wonder if any other indian matters tonight after sachin s double tonFrom Ashu Mittal, whose creative space is photography and who is a self-confessed cricket atheist: Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting, they will go unnoticed, because even the Lord is watching!
Patrick Kidd, writing in the Line & Length blog on the Times website, believes that Tendulkar still has a fair bit of cricket to go and 100 hundreds is a realistic goal for him to achieve before retiring.

Alan Tyers, writing on the Wisden Cricketer website, finds a unique and humorous way to pay tribute to the innings and the man, discovering '200* Amazing Facts About Sachin Tendulkar'.

POWER! Despite being only four feet tall, Sachin can bench press 460 pounds. If Sachin was an ant, this would be the equivalent of AntSachin lifting a Cornish PASTY...