Monthly Archives: October 2013

Does Vettel have the mettle?

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Sebastian Vettel has come a long way since his first race in 2007 at Indianapolis. The 26 year old from Heppenheim is on the verge of becoming the youngest four time World Champion standing  in contention to equal Michael Schumacher’s 13 wins in a single season or also aiming to be the first driver to equal Alberto Ascari’s 60 year old record of 9 straight career wins in a season, a fete that Hamilton believes is a huge possibility.

As the 64th edition of the Formula1 season comes to its business end, the man of the moment, Sebastian Vettel in the RedBull has beaten their opposition into submission even before the end of the season and even though, mathematically speaking, Fernando Alonso still has a chance of snatching the title away from Vettel – every F1 Pundit and fan knows that, that would be a miracle  or the only (and most unlikely) factor to halt Vettel’s run is car unreliability.

The young German has won 9 races out of his 15 starts this season and did not finish in only one race (Silverstone). Testament to his consistency is the fact that that his lowest finish in the other five races was a fourth place. And the Austrian Red Bull, charging ahead with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have flexed their muscle and established  themselves as a dominant force in Formula1 racing.

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With many of his competitors conceding defeat with four races yet to go, the title race and constructor’s championship seem to be surely headed Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing’s way. The title is only Sebastian Vettel’s to lose or seal with a victory at our doorstep in Delhi.

Now available exclusively at collectabillia.com are shirts and photographs autographed by Sebastian Vettel.

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If Cricket is a religion, Sachin is God!

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Vijay Santhanam and Shyam Balasubramaniam’s book “If Cricket is a religion, Sachin is God” basically summarised in a title, the general feeling of towards the Master Blaster.

“When Sachin Tendulkar to Pakistan to face one of the finest bowling attacks ever assembled in cricket, Michael Schumacher was yet to race a F1 car, Lance Armstrong had never been to the Tour de France, Diego Maradona was still the captain of a world champion Argentina team, Pete Sampras had never won a Grand Slam. When Tendulkar embarked on a glorious career taming Imran and company, Roger Federer was a name unheard of; Lionel Messi was in his nappies, Usain Bolt was an unknown kid in the Jamaican backwaters. The Berlin Wall was still intact, USSR was one big, big country and Dr Manmohan Singh was yet to “open” the Nehruvian economy. It seems while Time was having his toll on every individual on the face of this planet, he excused one man. Time stands frozen in front of Sachin Tendulkar. We have had champions, we have had legends, but we will never have another Sachin Tendulkar.

– Time magazine on Sachin Tendulkar in 2011

Sachin Tandulkar was born on 24th April 1973 to reputed Marathi novelist Ramesh Tendulkar and his wife Rajni. As a child, Sachin was considered a bully and who had a habit of picking fights with new children in his school. To curb this behaviour, Ramesh Tendulkar introduced Sachin to the famous cricket coach and club cricketer, Ramakant Achrekar. This 1984 meeting turned out to be a pivotal moment in the life of the greatest batsman the world has ever seen. Since this meeting, the sky was the limit for Sachin Tendulkar. Putting himself through the rigours of training early on in his formative years, Sachin began his ascent towards being a world class cricketer. He was considered a child prodigy in his school days and went on to make his mark in club cricket as well, initially playing for John Bright Cricket Club and then later turning out for Cricket Club of India.

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At the age of 16 years 223 days Sachin made his Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989 and despite scoring 15 runs, was noted for the way he handled the shots to his body from the fiery Pakistani pace attack. At 17 years 107 days, he scored his first test century, against England at Old Trafford. At that time he was the second youngest to hit a century after Pakistan’s Mushtaq Mohammad.

Some of his most memorable knocks include his 114 against Australia in Perth (1992) at the age of 18 and his 165 against England in Chennai in 1993. Testament to his consistency, Sachin was the highest run scorer in the 1996 and 2003 World Cups, and made stellar contributions to the team at the 2011 World Cup.

His illustrious career has seen him break numerous records and set higher standards for future generations of cricketers to live up to. He is the 16th batsman to score more than 50,000 runs, notching up 50,024 runs in First Class, List A and Twenty20 matches put together. He most memorably became the first batsman to score more than 200 runs in an ODI match and has scored 100 centuries, 29 more than the next batsman on the list.

His announcement to retire from test cricket triggered a flood of tweets and an outpour of tributes on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook respectively. Some of the celebrities who tweeted

Javed Miandad: “I think Tendulkar has been the ideal role model in Indian cricket and that is why we are now seeing a new generation of quality batsmen from India.”

Ian Bishop: “The sight of the straight lines of the bat on its downswing; the power of the backfoot punch; thanks for the memories, Sachin. Glad you came.”

Kevin Pietersen:”Sachin #10dulkar – Undisputed Champion of Cricket!”

V.V.S Laxman: “A special gem not just for India, but world cricket too. He made every young player in the team comfortable”

In a career spanning across twenty four years, short of defecting to England or Australia in order to add The Ashes to his trophy cabinet, Sachin Tendulkar has achieved nearly everything that cricket had to offer him.

In his retirement, not only is one of the finest chapters of Indian cricket brought to a close, but an era or cricket comes to an end. A whole different class of class.

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A league of his own. Sachin Tendulkar is a member of a club that includes a very limited number of exceptionally talented athletes who have defied the physics of age and pushed boundaries beyond the reach of normal human capability. Leander Paes, Ryan Giggs. Even in the T20 format, or “the young man’s game” as it was called, it was Sachin Tendulkar setting the pace of the game for both country and club. Defying all odds, from battling fitness issues to silencing critics about his form, Sachin Tendulkar rose to prove his class and to show what separates him from the rest of the field.

He is and arguably will remain the greatest batsman that this or any other world has and will ever see.

Now available exclusively at collectabillia.com is Official Licensed Sachin Tendulkar merchandise ranging from posters to caps to shirts to bats, all personalised with autographs or digital signatures of the Master Blaster.


Salute The Legends!

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The West-bound New Delhi sun on the 6th of October not only brought to an end the fifth edition of a fledgling regular fixture in the ICC calendar, but also harkened the end of an era that will surely go down as golden literature in the annals of sporting history. The day saw two stalwarts of the game, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, call time on their long and glorious conquests in world cricket, the former in all forms and the latter in Twenty Twenty.

The pair not only established themselves as champions of cricket, but also as standard bearers for athletes and sportspersons worldwide.

It’s no lie that the term of “greatness” has been bestowed upon one too many less than deserving individuals rather than reserved for rare and exceptional talents. But it is without question that these two sporting mammoths more than deserve the title.

In the classic Rahul Dravid fashion that he carved out, he led his team from the front to the very end in his last ever competitive first class game. Whose exploits have earned him numerous monikers, most notably, “The Wall”. Rahul Dravid’s records stand testament to the place he holds in the pantheon of cricketing legends. Rahul Dravid has demonstrated on numerous instances by rising to the occasion when required by his country and club and living up to his other nickname, “Mr. Dependable”.

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It isn’t just Rahul Dravid that’s retired but a whole style and class of cricketer. His calm and often stoic demeanor was not to be mistaken for complacency.   Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar set standards for not only budding cricketers in India but also for the plethora of prospective talent around the world.

The Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes of Indian cricket.

While the audience at Feroze Shah Kotla saw Rahul Dravid bid adieu to the game, Sachin Tendulkar will continue his exploits and set new benchmarks for future cricketers to achieve.

The pair stand testament to the old adage “Form is temporary but class is permanent.”

Their physical absence from the pitch notwithstanding, the literature and memories of their memorable innings will always endear to fans in India and abroad.

The pair stand testament to the old adage “Form is temporary but class is permanent.”

If the game of cricket is likened to the unexplored world map, then Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid may be equated along with the likes of Ferdinand Magellan and Christopher Columbus. After all, the said individuals did, while defying all odds, break and cross some large boundaries.


Championing the cause!

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It has been a mixed tournament for the Indian teams at the Champions League T20. With most of the teams from Australia taking charge, the Indian teams have been on a topsy-turvy route. While the Sunrisers from Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians are on a brink of bidding goodbye to the tournament, the Rajasthan Royals and Dhoni’s Chennai Superking boys are putting up a strong show.

Rajasthan Royals have been very clinical towards their approach to this tournament. The Royals who have been undefeated at home, seem to have their equation right. With Captain Rahul Dravid at the helm of things, the team boasts of some quality performances by Kevon Cooper, Ajinkya Rahane and boy-wonder Sanju Samson.  We were also ‘royally’ surprised by the 42-year-old Pravin Tambe who gave nightmares to the Highveld Lions, taming them with his amazing 4 for 15 spell at the Champions League T20 this year. By the way things are going for this team in the tournament, a final, loud ‘Halla Bol’ doesn’t seem far behind!

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Moving on, the Superkings from Chennai are whistling their way forward. The first Indian team to qualify for the Semis of the CLT20 this year, Dhoni’s men are living up to the high standards they set for themselves in the shortest format of the game. An all-round unit, the boys in yellow mean business from the word ‘Go!’ Playing his cards right, Captain Cool seems to have everything working in his favour- Ashwin’s spin, Hussey’s strokes, Morkel’s magic-all coming through at the right time. And of course, let’s not forget ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja graces the team with his presence too!

As for the Sunrisers from Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians, they would have wished for a better show this season. Though Hyderabad started their campaign on a good note, registering convincing wins in the first two qualifier matches, they fell way too short against the Otago Volts in their final qualifying match. Unless there’s a miracle in store, it is going to be an early sunset for the boys from Hyderabad. The Mumbai Indians also, like the Sunrisers would be hoping for a miracle of sorts. With a lot depending on Skipper Rohit Sharma, who has been successfully shedding his ‘Maggi Man’ image in edition of CLT20, the Mumbai Indians will also be looking for something special from the Master Blaster.

Playing his last tournament for the Mumbai franchise, Tendulkar would need all your best wishes.  Wish him luck by bringing him home. Log on to Collectabillia to know more.