India's World Cup debacle may have robbed him of some of his sheen, but nothing can deny Sachin Tendulkar's genius. The records are there for all to see.
That India's cricket-crazy fan is also fickle as the weather in his loyalties is well known. As the game gets reduced to a spectator sport, thanks to the mushrooming and blanket television coverage, public memory is prey to the quick-fix, the one innings wonder. That's all it takes to either become a star or flop, the player's vast corpus of work on the field a victim to one poor stroke, one bad day at the office.
That's a truth the master blaster must be facing up to, after spending years destroying bowlers' reputations and the opposing teams and providing one billion Indians real entertainment. The true connoisseur of the game knows that talent like Tendulkar's comes along once in a lifetime.
So wish India's finest exponent of cricket on his 34th birthday.
The Cup: Complete Coverage