Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Playing It My Way, My Autobiography - Sachin Tendulkar

photo courtesy: amazon.com
A book about a man who lives and loves the game.

It is no surprise that Sachin's autobiography made it to the Limca Book of Records. For someone who is considered "The God of Cricket" the autobiography is bound to generate interest and expectations.

But does it live up to it?

I am not a fan of cricket. I love Sachin though and was curious to find out more about the person behind the Superhero avataar. The contents chronicles interesting points of his life including his marriage to Anjali, his wife. Sounded good, settled in for a long haul.


Sachin takes us through his childhood, his first break and then his entry into international cricket. It chronicles his highs and lows and the struggles that went behind his mystical persona wielding the willow at the crease and churning out records. The book is packed with photographs and ends with his retirement speech.

What works:
  • The book feeds the reader's curiosity about how this cricketer meteoric rise from humble beginnings. It traces his rise from a rookie player to the doyen of international cricket he subsequently became. 
  •  The writing is good and the narrative is so smooth that it wades through each phase of his life with ease. Well written.
  • I have not followed his career closely but for those who have, will feel like walking down the key- Tendulkar-moments lane. 
  • It is funny how Tendulkar admits his superstitions - like not watching the last ball of their World Cup win or eating at the same table twice/thrice in a row to invite luck. Amazing that such a great player resorts to such antics instead of his skill. It goes on to show how desperate these guys are at the top. 
  • There is a bit of self congratulating when he talks about how he figured out Murali's Doosra before the players. But then, it shows how good he is at the game too. 
  • It is commendable how he talks about injuries during matches. We as spectators see only the performance and not the grit of these players who battle various injuries to play the game.

What doesn't:
  • If  you are looking for gossip and masala about controversies, Tendulkar and Majumdar steer clear of it. 
  • There are some titbits, though, like the instance of Bhajji-Symonds spat, that is the extent of it. Match fixing allegations or the Chappell episode are just glanced over. The book is not a hotbed of gossip where Tendulkar settles scores or voices resentments. 
  • The most he does it is lay out his disappointment with Dravid for not letting him complete his double century, but he talks of it like .
  • Couldn't understand the point of having the scoreboard of the matches mentioned. But then I am a cricket novice.
The farewell speech was touching, so was the reaction of his family. I remember waiting to hear about Tendulkar's retirement, thinking he was past his best. I was relieved when he finally did. However, reading about it made me realise how tough it must have been for him .

It is a well written book about someone who thought of cricket and nothing else.This book reflects just that.

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