He might be revered as the ‘God of Cricket’ but there was a phase in Sachin Tendulkar’s awe-inspiring career when the batting maestro felt so “scarred” and “devastated” by the Indian team’s ineptitude under his captaincy that he wanted to completely move away from the sport.
The 41-year-old former batsman, who claimed almost every record that is there to be taken in international cricket before calling it quits last year, has finally opened up about the dark days he survived in a career which spanned over two decades.
In his autobiography ‘Playing it My Way’, to be released worldwide on November 6, the much-admired but reticent batting legend has dwelled on the frustrations he faced during his reign as captain — a phase which is considered the biggest debacle of his otherwise enduring love affair with cricket.
“I hated losing and as captain of the team I felt responsible for the string of miserable performances. More worryingly, I did not know how I could turn it around, as I was already trying my absolute best,” recalls Tendulkar in the book, the first exclusive excerpts of which are with PTI.
“I confided in (wife) Anjali that I feared there was nothing more that I could do to stem the tide of defeats. Losing a string of very close matches had left me badly scarred. I had given it everything and was not sure that I could give even 0.1 per cent more.
“…It was hurting me badly and it took me a long time to come to terms with these failures. I even contemplated moving away from the sport completely, as it seemed nothing was going my way,” reveals the diminutive right-hander in the much-awaited book co-authored by noted sports journalist and historian Boria Majumdar.
This period of disillusionment dates back to 1997 when the Indian team was touring the West Indies. After drawing the opening two Tests, the Indians seemed to be heading for a victory in the third, chasing a mere 120. But in an inexplicable disaster, the tourists were bowled out for 81 with only VVS Laxman managing a double-digit score.