The Versatilist

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Book Review: Playing It My Way, Sachin Tendulkar

Author: Sachin Tendulkar with Boria Majumdar
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published: 2014
Pages: 486
Playing It My Way is the autobiography of one of the greatest cricketers to have played the game. Born in Mumbai, India, Sachin Tendulkar dominated world cricket for 24 years at the International level. Sachin made his debut on November 15, 1989 and retired on November 16, 2013, bringing a close to a glorious chapter in cricketing history.

The book is a perfect account of an illustrious career. It moves from Sachin’s childhood days to his last day on the cricket field in the form of a compelling story. Step by Step, in a lucid language, Sachin recounts his childhood days before cricket, and then describes the time when he laid the foundation of a glorious career under the keen watch of his coach, Ramakant Achrekar. The level of his commitment and hard work during that period is exemplary to say the least.

In each chapter, Sachin beautifully captures the reflections of his mind into words. The chapter titled ‘Anjali’ is particularly interesting. While he recounts the sweet tales of the beginning of his relationship, he also reveals how he made Anjali talk and convince both her parents and his parents to agree for their marriage.

The other chapters present a mesmerizing account of the feelings that he went throughout his career as an individual and a player, the feelings which are otherwise impossible for a fan or a spectator to understand. His anger after the surprising declaration in Multan, Pakistan, when he was 194*, the frustrating period as the captain of the Indian team, the way he cried after locking himself up in a washroom after a series defeat, his frank opinion about the Chappell brothers, Greg (as the coach of the Indian team) and Ian (as an erratic critic), and many other such accounts on and off the field help the reader better understand Sachin as a person.

The contribution of his brother Ajit and his close friends such as Samir Dighe, Jatin Paranjpe and his manager Mark Mascarenhas finds a frequent mention. Sachin also shares some lighter moments which involve him and some other Indian cricketers along with the instances of on field banter involving foreign players.

The two chapters titled ‘World Cup 2011’ and ‘The Final Test’ are the particularly moving. Any reader with even the slightest of an interest in cricket would be able to feel the intensity and enormity of these two occasions through his writing. For a die-hard fan though, ‘tears rolling down the cheek’ is only a matter of time.

Overall, this book is a complete experience in itself. However, someone who is not too familiar with cricket, might not be able to fully appreciate some portions and situations described in the book. But if you are looking for a real life story which is inspiring, absorbing and as thrilling as the game of cricket, then, this book is just the right one for you. Happy Reading.

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