The most obvious quality that set Sachin apart from the mortals was his natural talent for cricket. We cannot emulate that, since not all are born blessed with it. But, there were many cricketers who had the same talent as Sachin. But none could rise to that height and sustain that level for years, like him.
So I looked at Sachin's qualities which differentiated him, other than natural talent.
Its common knowledge that Sachin practised for at least 12 hours. He took every aspect of the game apart and gained expertise in each of them.
Passion backed up with Dedication! That sets apart the champion from others. They dedicate time for practice, time for introspection and time for learning; more than their peers.
Fame is heady. Especially in the glamour world of Indian cricket, it’s easy to lose focus and be swept away in the wave of public adulation. We have the Sreesanths of the world to vouchsafe that.
But Sachin kept a level head throughout his career. Fame and fortune sat light on his shoulders.
The champion's dedication can turn his life so distorted that many are socially awkward and aloof to anything else except their passion. That probably triggered this observation - "What's Greatness without a tinge of Madness!"
When he identified a problem, Sachin will not move on to other things till he fixed it.
Harsha Bhogle recounts an incident at net-practice when a rookie fast bowler's deliveries were too dangerous. While other top batsmen, fearing injury, politely shooed off the bowler, Sachin called that rookie and asked him to bowl. Initially Sachin was in trouble. After some deliveries, having studied the bowler, Sachin was hitting the ball all over the ground.
Complacency is the badge of the ‘Also-ran’. The world is full of them. The Also-rans who perform below their potential and die complaining the world has not given them their due.
Sachin has left his footprint in all the formats of the game - Test, ODI, T20. Many champions lack this adaptability and end up like the dinosaurs.
After having lead the team for 25 tests, Sachin was comfortable playing under different captains, many of whom idolized him! That’s tough on the ego, to say the least.
But, Sachin was more than a captain. He led by being a role model for other players.
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