With 200 Tests matches, 463 ODIs and one T20Is under his name, veteran Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is the most capped international cricket. Tendulkar is a man of many firsts – be it scoring first double hundred in men’s ODI or scoring 100 hundred in international cricket – he has achieved several impossible feats during his two and half decade long cricketing career. Tendulkar made his international debut at a time when 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev used to regularly feature in the Indian squad and was part of the country’s 2011 WC squad, where he played alongside the next generation players like Virat Kohli.
However, playing and being exceptionally outstanding at the top level comes with its fair share of baggage as we often hear about players speaking about the anxiety and restlessness they feel due to all the expectations and pressure. And Tendulkar was no different; sometimes even he felt burdened by a billion people’s expectations.
Tendulkar recently in an interview with the Bombay Times spoke about his bay days and how he was not able to sleep before the night of a contest for 10 to 12 years.
“For 10-12 years of my career, I couldn’t sleep on the eve of the match. I used to be wide awake tossing and turning in bed, constantly thinking about the match the next day. That anxiety and restlessness were palpable. After over a decade, I realised that this is perhaps how I prepare before a game and accepted that,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying.
Speaking about his coping mechanism, the recipient of India’s highest honour Bharat Ratna said that he accepted the situation after some time and did not try to fight it anymore. He further said that he used to read, watch television and play games to mentally prepare himself for the next day.