"I’m delighted that my autobiography #PlayingitMyWay will be published on November 6, this year.
I knew that agreeing to write my story would need me to be completely honest, as that’s the way I have always played the game. It would require talking about a number of aspects I have not shared in public before.
So here I am, at the end of my final innings, having taken that last walk back to the pavilion, ready to recount as many incidents as I can remember since first picking up a cricket bat as a child in Mumbai thirty-five years ago." - Sachin Tendulkar
This book is not for the passionate Sachin fan, because most would themselves be able to write about 90% of the book. I know I could.
All the Tendulkar moments are there: the Ranji centuries, the Waqar bouncer, the maiden century, the Australia tours, opening in ODIs, the world cups, the five-wicket hauls, the Sharjah twins, the Chennai 136, Sydney 241, Multan, the Gwalior 200, the umpiring howlers, the partnerships, the sixes and the triumphs. As are the stories and anecdotes: multiple matches under Achrekar Sir, staying at his uncle's, the Kambli partnership, wearing disguises to watch a movie, losing his father, love of food, the captaincy, the injuries, crying his heart out at every major loss.
And very little else.
A good (auto)biography or memoir is one that has either fantastic new content that breaks fresh ground or is presented in an eminently captivating manner. This, though, fails on both counts, especially so in the writing which is just lazy and simplistic from Boris Majumdar. Remember how Sachin so maddeningly used to get dismissed against the Cronjes and Razzaqs with that half prod outside off stump? Well, this is in the same vein: a half-hearted frustrating attempt. Agreed that Sachin's is a life that's been scrutinised and catalogued scores of times, making it difficult to actually come up with fresh anecdotes and stories. However, there was more than ample scope for getting into the mind of the greatest of champions, one who had risen from schoolboy prodigy to a demigod and stayed there for a quarter of a century. There's definitely a story there!
The subject couldn't have been more interesting, to put it mildly. Forget living legends, Sachin was a playing legend for two thirds of his career. His stories had already passed into myth and legend while he was still learning his craft. He was Don freakin' Bradman's Bonzer. The most celebrated, worshipped, adored, complete, competitive, lasting cricketer and phenomenon of our times is a story crying out loud to be printed. As a biographer, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
For a subject not exactly renowned for being articulate and forthcoming, the co-writer's role assumes all the more importance. To extract as much as possible, slowly and steadily, drip by golden drip adding up, probing, questioning, dissecting, persuading, cajoling, coaxing. Definitely not sitting across him and asking him to jot down whatever he remembers about the major series and tournaments, which is what this feels like. This was crying out for Walter Isaacson, not Boria Majumdar.
This could have been a contemporary analysis of modern cricket. Or a peep-hole into the minds of one of the deepest thinkers of the game, someone who loved and worshipped at the game's altar as much as he conquered all that he surveyed. Or a masterclass on run-making and batting techniques and adjustments. Or how he dealt with being public property for all these years. Or a recollection of the dressing room and Team India over three decades of triumphs, losses, fun and heartbreak. Not a series of match reports and stilted retelling of stale anecdotes.
There are tantalising glimpses, though, of what the book could have been: mastering the back-foot punch to counter the Australian pacers on the 1991-92 tour, his reading of Murali's doosra, changing his stance to duck Allan Donald's bouncers during the 1997 tour, playing with tissues in his underwear due to a bad stomach during his 97 against Sri Lanka in WC 2003, the extent and number of injuries he carried in the second half of his long career, a couple of pages on the flip side of fame and how it affects the family, a relatively more personal account of winding down and retirement.
One takeaway is, reading between the lines as a whole, a little better understanding about his character - obsessed about high performance and standards, somewhat self-centred in his view, trying too hard to justify himself. Or maybe I felt that because of the high number of "I"s in the book. It would be interesting to research on the self-centredness of the top achievers; beyond the Viv swagger and the Pietersen brashness, most seem to cater to W.G. Grace's "They came to see me bat, not you bowl". Everything and everyone, including their own teammates, is but a 'support' system, carrying on from when everyone had tried to nurture their prodigious talents when a child. An absolute belief in one's superiority, to be able to alter perceptive reality. Here, for instance, Sachin is always dismissed by a ball that didn't swing as much as expected (never that he misread the swing), or gets out to the only ball that swung or spun in the entire match. When, without any assumed hesitation, he states that he could contribute the best when opening because he felt most comfortable there, it's implied that his contributing was the most crucial to India winning.
The book overall is quite similar to Gavaskar's Sunny Days, which was again an underwhelming work on its own right. While especially for sportsmen, whose careers and lives are of interest only to the generation that has watched them (would you buy the autobiography of Viv Richards or Don Bradman today?), there's the urgency to get their memoirs onto the shop shelves, the definitive, incisive story of Sachin's journey is still waiting to be written.
So, this is not for Sachin fans, unless it's taken as a walk down memory lane.
Was one of the very 'first-few' readers of this book in the locality! The book takes you down in the memory lane and brings you back to the exit door from where the master batsman got out of the cricket ground... All those who are crying foul and even complaining about 'cash' that the book might bring, forgot that the 100% share of royalty would go to Apanalaya, an organisation which cares for the orphan children! It's too easy sitting home and complaining about a person who has given his life to a cause - and in Sachin's case, it was your dreams! I have enjoyed reading the book and every single detail that has been there. Yes, the book got something wrong - some data and some facts (very few). But what's big deal? Let's enjoy the book!
I have never found myself in tears after finishing a book. But Playing it My Way did bring back all the memories all the affection I had felt for this man ever since 1992 - that's when I started watching cricket. I have worshipped him from that time as a hero as a great player as a great human being and as a God. By the end of this book it only makes me feel proud of my idol my hero. A must read for every one. You will be touched with his humbleness humility and the honesty with which the book has been written.
A big disappointment,apart from few anecdotes almost everything is yawn-inducing.I was expecting more substance and fewer scorecards .Hardly anything is said about the crisis of match -fixing despite Sachin having ringside seat in Indian cricket .This book needed more time,thought and a much better ghost-writer.What could've been a contemporary analysis of modern cricket has been reduced to a dumbed down 'eulogy ' to milk the cash cow that Sachin's name is .Unfortunate .
A little heads-up It’s not just a book review but a lot of my emotions and ideas and dreams put along , so if you want to read only the book specific part skip to 4th part :)
15th November 1989 – A boy of 16 year entered a sporting arena for the first time 15th November 2013 – He left that arena after his final act
As they say, He came he conquered and he left. He didn’t only conquer the sporting arena but much beyond that. He is the protagonist of this book. 28 years of Sachinism
The Boy Who believes in this man: I have always been a fan of superheroes - from Chacha Chaudhary to Batman, from Shaktimaan to Spiderman, from Krish to Superman; but there’s one who stands apart. With whom the journey was more real. The one who inspires me more than all others combined. Yeah! Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is the epitome of heroism for me. He taught me so many things over the years that I can’t count all of those on fingers. Every game has some greats and only a few legends but there are hardly any people who become much more beyond a sporting legend. SRT belongs to that category. He has touched so many lives on so many levels which is difficult to guess.
I have shared almost all possible emotions with him - Perseverance (Kolkata 1996), Ecstasy (Sharjah 1998), Heartbreak (Chennai 1999), Responsibility (Bristol 1999), Broken dreams (Johannesburg 2003), Failure (Port of Spain 2007) and then the Victory (Mumbai 2011). I have literally lived my life with him, and so have millions of other Indians. There were occasions when we were not in the best of moods but a simple straight drive from his bat was capable of bringing the smile back on our faces and the fact that he did that for two-and-a-half decades, even with the occasional failure is something unbelievable. To really believe it you have to be lucky enough to be born in the era of the little master. Thankfully I was.
The Man Himself: India is a country mostly dominated by middle class people. We’re hard and talented workers, but there’s one thing we lack – Dreaming big and chasing them no matter what. The best thing we can learn from him is “If a man from a simple middle class Marathi family can earn the highest civilian award of a country with more than a billion people just by chasing his dream then anything is possible".
The Book: I read a lot of people complaining about the novelty of the stuff this book has. I wonder what they were expecting. This is an autobiography of a man whose life was in media spotlight since he was merely a boy of 14, and we know how our Indian media is. Still! I like the tidbits about his early childhood, and his cute love story with anjali, the internal conflicts he was having when he was going through tough times. Even the known parts were different coming from his own perspective. All in all it’s quite readable even if you are a sachin devotee and know most of the moments of his life.
There is one thing I specifically want to point out – This book doesn’t mention this but Sachin is the only child of his mother Rajani Tendulkar. Rest 3 Tendulkar are his half siblings. Yet you can guess why he didn't mention this in the book. He has always avoided this discussion. You can’t see such family bonding even in the most traditional of families. And Sachin-Ajit equation is exemplary.
"This is not just a book for me, it’s an emotion which I’ll go through again and again over the rest of my life."
Jumped on to this one in anticipation of knowing so many secrets of Indian cricket which the man has kept close for years.
However, the writing seems more honest and capturing when it's not about cricket; mostly when it is about Sachin's family. When it's about his wife and his children, one can almost feel like he is describing it all with a shy smile. He has been really lucky to have the support of his family members (even those in the extended family), friends and coach. If one ever had a doubt about whether he deserved to receive the accolades that he did, the description of his hard work as a kid is good enough to quell such a doubt.
The book does a great job at providing cricketing insights too. Esp. how he read the wicket, the position of thumb while reading Murali, and so on. The behind-the-scenes action is amusing and even funny at times (though very less of it has remained unheard thanks to the man's more and more interviews). The funniest bit was his talk with Ganguly about playing off Flintoff. It was surprising to read that even Sachin gave it back to the bowlers/fielders and not just with his bat.
Didn't quite like the format of the book. Are all sportsperson autobiographies penned out going from game-to-game? While it brought back memories of the time when I followed cricket more closely, I was *whispers* bored to read the performances of all the main contributors to a match. It was as if I was reading newspaper reports (what with dates and all).
He has done a nice (for him) but unexciting (for readers) job of steering clear from the controversies. Like he mentions the 2000 SA in India series match-fixing but doesn't talk about it beyond a paragraph. It would have been nice to read how he felt when Azhar was banned, if he had any inkling about corruption as confessed by Cronje and if he was ever approached.
Apart from all the nice things, I felt that the book brings forth a bit of Sachin's selfcentredness that was rather unknown to me. Instances in question being when he talked to Nasseer Hussain about his average and scores despite Giles's negative line, how much the 194 declaration affected him (didn't he say it was okay back then?), how much it mattered to him to score a hundred (didn't he say he just enjoys his cricket and milestones come and go?) and how Shoaib should've moved out & Wasim should've withdrawn the appeal in Eden Gardens (didn't he say then that it was part of the game?) May be I assumed the guy to be super-perfect.
The last bit was ever so emotional. It was heartening to feel how his body kept giving him more and more signals that it's time to say goodbye to the game. It's almost as if he didn't feel any pain physically but was only concerned about how quickly he returned to the field.
The best part about the book was definitely the first few lines in which he talks about his father's words about how he'd play cricket for less than half of his life and it'd please him more if people remember him as a good human being than a great cricketer. Great words indeed.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Skimmed through this book. Skimmed because reading it all is impossible. The obsession with numbers and personal milestones is palpable and makes for boring reading. The title is telling.
Devotes entire chapters to the hundredth hundred, even having a Deewar like monologue with God when he does it (yes he is literally mad at God for making him wait so long for a made up statistic). Takes no blame for having lost India the match and series on account of his selfish play. Instead blames people for thinking so. And blames the bowlers by pointing to another match saying we restricted a better team to fewer runs, promptly forgetting that we scored more against them too (Sachin made 6). Childish as hell.
Seems petulant about poor decisions yet I didnt see one admission of a wrong decision going his way. Says the "shoulder before wicket" would never have gone on to hit stumps: has he not seen the replay, or does he truly put himself above the truth?
Says nothing controversial about match fixing etc, instead wants us to know what food he likes.
Says nothing about BCCI arranging an easy series for his retirement, instead says he had to "rethink his plans" because BCCI did so.
Tends to blame other people for his mistakes (scorer added extras to his score; Imran's field position made him drop Kapil in a charity match) and plays up his sacrifices (ran himself out for Azhar, played with fever etc).
The worst thing in the book is him blaming Dravid for the 194 declaration by saying Dravid played for himself in a different match and cost India a match and series win. Firstly, no one ever has called Dravid selfish, he is one of the most selfless players to have ever played the game. Secondly, he did not complete his century in that match, and has never made this an issue: that's because he is Dravid, not Sachin. Thirdly, he wasnt the captain and it was not his decision to declare. Fourthly, he was scoring faster than Tendulkar. Fifthly, this didnt cost India the match because we had the Aussies 6 down at the end, a far cry from a win. This is such a complete misrepresentation of the facts by Sachin, that it is – no, not laughable – pitiable.
Yes, that's basically the takeaway from this book. For one who has gotten so much by playing a game well, Sachin should be happier.
A wholesome autobiography and the only sportsperson biography I have read in all these years which still brings me immense joy and inspiration.
Sachin Tendulkar's Playing It My Way: My Autobiography (2014) is so well written and compiled with the best amazing pictures with all the most important cricket matches that have been ever played in history!
We were all ready to give up everything just to watch a match Sachin was going to be in. The whole families, the whole community, the whole country stopped everything just to watch Sachin play.
I miss that era 🖤
Twenty-eight chapters in all which tell the tales of the legend's childhood, what made him choose cricket over the other sports, first important matches, meeting his wife Anjali (it's so adorable!!!), how his family and relatives gave their support, the bad times and the controversies, and yes, the victories!
I still remember his retirement speech which was streamed live and me sobbing non-stop watching it.
And yes, the last chapter named 'Last Word' describes the same and it made me cry again!
Such an amazing book. A must read. There are lots of life lessons still to learn from the legend 🖤
This is the Bible of cricket, written by none other than God himself. Must read for all the cricket lovers. Even for those who are not very familiar with the game of cricket, it is an inspiring story of how Sachin overcame all the failures and hardships before becoming an indispensable part of the Indian cricket team. It is an in depth technical analysis of all the matches SRT has ever played, what was going through his mind, how strategies were formed and how by acute observation the course of a few games were changed.
It throws some light on the notorious boy that Sachin was. More importantly he has revealed his emotional side, on what occasions and due to what reasons he cried, how he coped up with the expectations of all his fans.
Felt nostalgic reading this book because it covers Sachin's viewpoint of ALL the games that he has ever played. There is a lot to learn for the young aspirants of cricket, for instance * how he used to recognize Doosra of Muralitharan. * how he read minds of the bowlers in the ranks of Warne, Lee, Akhtar and anticipated their next move. * the way batsman at non strikers end could more clearly see the grip in bowlers hand and could signal the striker. ..... and many many more! Sachin's observation power is beyond words and he has written it down very well for the future generations to learn from the game and be a superior sportsman. Hands down, I repeat, this is THE Bible of cricket.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is not only a great cricketer, but also a great man. The book is nicely written, describing his cricket life and also his personal life. He described every matches, he played in his 24 years cricket career.He has told in this book about his childhood,how he started playing cricket,how he passed his hard times, how he handled a particular Bowler as a batsman and a particular batsman as a bowler, some memorable incidents in cricket. How he fought to come back in his every injury time. There are so many things an upcoming cricketer can learn from this book.
And the photos in it, made this book more enjoyable. There are many photos of his childhood, his cricket life, and his family. I just couldn't help myself checking them again and again. :D
If you are a cricket fan, you can start reading this book right now. I can assure you,you won't be disappointed. The book was just as I expected. I really enjoyed reading this book.
No doubt Sachin is one the greatest batsman the country has but the book disappointed in many ways..first of all match by match summary made it look like a report ..with no mention of anything interesting other than how many runs were made to who was playing which country and stuff like that ... secondly the narrative style is absolutely boring .. at one point of time it feels you have to just skip pages to reach something that would give an insight to cricket world... the use of I is more than the number of matches or pages in the book... again depicting the self centered approach ..I expected more and a magnanimous account of Sachin's life than what has been written in the book ..
The best thing about this book is the complete frankness with which the entire thing is written. For a Sachin fan who is used to politically correct statements from the great man throughout his entire career, it is a pleasant surprise, and it makes for a really entertaining read. At the beginning of the book Sachin says "I knew that if I agreed to write my story, I would have to be completely honest". And that is exactly what he's done in the book. He calls a spade a spade. Be it writing about all the anxiety around the 100th ton, or getting pissed off by Multan '04, or commenting on other cricket people(Kapil for instance), he has not shied away from stating his opinion. Kudos to the honesty and frankness. The match fixing scandals hardly find a mention though. He probably thought the issue was too sensitive to write about.
The book starts with Sachin's childhood, and traverses his career slowly. The parts covering Sachin's childhood and early cricketing days are interesting and amusing. Particularly the chapter about Anjali. It was really hilarious imagining a teenage Sachin blushing when a pretty Anjali was yelling "He is sooo cute" at an airport lounge! The master mentions time and again of Anjali's sacrifice of her own career for his benefit, and lavishes praise at her frequently.
Series by series,match by match, the book takes one into a journey back into time, and helps us relive the highs and lows of Indian cricket over the past 25 years.Some might be put off by the detailed series-by-series write-up, but personally I did not mind it at all. It was really nostalgic remembering all the matches of years gone by. It was particularly heartening to read about the master's insights on unforgettable matches like Sharjah, Natwest, Kolkata '01, and countless others.
Something that surprised me a lot, was the "friendly banters" Sachin has said he was involved in. I, like most of Sachin's fans I'm sure, was of the impression that Sachin never sledges, or responds to sledging. Turns out, Sachin does do a tiny bit of talking. He calls them friendly banters though, and some of the stuff he has mentioned in the book are really witty and made me chuckle. The best of them : "If you want to fight with me, you need to get into the Australian team first" - to Steve Waugh, who had taunted him in a practice match in the Australian tour of 1992 but was not included for the actual Test team.
A lot of dressing room happenings & on-field incidents find mention in the book.. Infamous ones like Multan '04 and the Chappel saga aside, lots of lots of anecdotes are found throughout the book. Stuff like Sachin and Sehwag praying instead of watching the world cup final,Sachin practising in the nets with his eyes closed just for fun, Sachin and Dravid outwitting Chris Cairns, Kohli, Yuvi and Bhajji embarrassing him by singing "Tujme rab dikhta hai yaara mai kya karu", Zaheer and Yuvi dunking him in a Jacuzzi - such anecdotes are really fun to read, and give lots of insights into the master.
And finally the retirement. Being a huge Sachin fan, I might be a bit biased, but the last two chapters were some of the most emotional stuff I have ever read in a book. Starting from the moment Sachin considers retirement, till the last day of his 200th test when he is informed that he would be receiving the Bharat Ratna, it is a roller-coaster of emotions from the great man - sadness, joy, pride, gratitude... When reading the book, one could almost feel the emotion the man would have felt on his last day of cricket. Really emotional stuff.
A must read for every Indian cricket fan. For Sachin fans, it is a literary treat!
I have to admit huge personal bias upfront: I grew up watching Sachin Tendulkar play cricket, and have tremendous respect for the way he's conducted himself as a player on the field and as a person off it. So I picked up this book expecting to love it.
And I wasn't disappointed!
Many autobiographies tend to be rather indulgent. Suddenly, there are pages upon pages describing personal details that are neither interesting nor relevant as such, some of which are better reserved for a therapy session. Refreshingly, Tendulkar's starts at a comfortable clip, where he managed to remain personal without being overly emotional, telling us snippets of his childhood pertinent to setting the context for his career ahead, but not wandering too far off track. As a result, while the language remained simple and to the point, the content was never dull, and the story kept moving. I particularly enjoyed the section on when he was an up-and-coming young cricketer. It was heartening to realise that even for someone of Tendulkar's skill, it was persistence, discipline and practice that sculpted him into who he is today.
The biggest treat of all, though, was to read about the many matches I have seen, that I still remember, being told from out there in the middle. As a reader, you learn about how he approached a particular innings, what went through his mind when he took guard against some of the greatest bowlers in the world, how satisfying particular knocks were - it's like a behind-the-scenes look at some of my favourite cricket, and was an absolute pleasure to read. I found myself savouring every page, and was sorely disappointed when it ended.
All in the all, the tenor and pitch of the book seems the same as the man: Humble, simple and extremely enjoyable. An absolute must-read if you're a fan of Indian cricket and the little master.
I am deeply disappointed with the book after its promising start. The book is just a statement of facts about Sachin's life, and gives no insight into the person, his thought process, his trials and tribulations. I must admit that I never went beyond Sachin's first term as captaincy since the book had by then been reduced to a set of match records.
The book begins on a very strong note with the following quote from Sachin's father:
"‘Son, life is like a book. It has numerous chapters. It also has many a lesson in it. It is made up of a wide variety of experiences and resembles a pendulum where success and failure, joy and sorrow are merely extremes of the central reality. The lessons to be learnt from success and failure are equally important. More often than not, failure and sorrow are bigger teachers than success and happiness. You are a cricketer and sportsman. You are fortunate to be representing your country, and that is a great honour. But never forget that this too is just another chapter in the book. Typically, let’s say a person lives for seventy or eighty years or so. How many years will you play sport? Twenty years; if you are very good, maybe even twenty-five years. Even by that yardstick, you will live the majority of your years outside the sphere of professional sport. This clearly means that there is more to life than cricket. I am asking you, son, to keep a pleasant disposition and maintain a balanced nature. Do not allow success to breed arrogance in you. If you remain humble, people will give you love and respect even after you have finished with the game. As a parent, I would be happier hearing people say, “Sachin is a good human being” than “Sachin is a great cricketer” any day.’ "
Guess Sachin is not as gifted as his father with literary skills :)
Growing up with this legend, seeing his play, anticipating every stroke of his and his eventual turn of importance to Indian cricket is immeasurable. A gifted legend to the sport in every possible way and inspiration to millions over.
However, the book slightly disappoints as it bisects the way his career flourished. Family importance and support is important but it is a bit too highlighted. The way he achieved it via his own language and cricket language as advice would have been more effective.
A good book for your bookshelf, specially the birth and end of a stunning career as a sportsman.
The four star rating is pretty much solely due to that it is a Sachin book by Sachin Himself. The book as such reads like a Journal - mostly a running commentary of matches (although important, key matches) and gets monotonous after a while. That is something, since all the matches mentioned are very key matches in Sachin's career and for any fan of Indian cricket, they hold considerable interest.
Sachin's relations within his family, especially with his kids, with teammates, and the food He had along the tours, besides personal anecdotes from some of the matches are broadly the highlights of the book. Also, finer points of his playing technique are mentioned here and there, which would be of interest to the keener watcher/ players of the game.
Where it lets down is in its non-controversial stand on most issues. Match fixing is mentioned only in passing, barely a few pages are dedicated to the Monkeygate scandal. BCCI is held up in high esteem almost everywhere. Most surprisingly, Yuvraj Singh's struggle with cancer and Sachin's stint with the Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member do not find a mention in this book.
The book is still worth buying and reading, because it is Sachin after all. The pictures generously sprinkled within the book are a collector's delight. What strikes one throughout the book is the straightforward, uncomplicated approach that Sachin seems to have towards life. That alongwith the devotion towards family, the patriotism and the attention to the minutest details of the sport are the key impressions one takes away and keeps with oneself as one completes this book.
Playing It My Way: My Autobiography by Sachin Tendulkar, and co-authored by renowned cricket historian and media personality Boria Majumdar is the much-awaited official autobiography of cricket’s batting icon Sachin Tendulkar. Fans of the master-blaster are treated to delightful strokes of not the bat but the pen as the batting legend discussed all aspects of his life that have not been shared previously.
Beginning with his childhood, the memoir is a journey through the life of Sachin through twenty-eight informative and insightful chapters, from the first time he lifted the bat to his last walk back to the pavilion, it is as much a memoir of Sachin as much as it is a history of cricket in India.
Sachin’s autobiography covers his family, wife Anjali, his first tour, his captaincy of the Indian cricket team, the period that severely tested his career, about music: his second love, the highs and lows of his prolific career and the glorious World Cup triumph. While Sachin’s life has been an open book, fans will get to know him better through this memoir as he shared many personal thoughts which will surprised many.
Sachin’s autobiography will also benefit charitable causes as the proceeds from the sale of Playing It My Way: My Autobiography by Sachin Tendulkar with Boria Majumdar will be used to support two charitable causes: the alleviation of malnutrition in children and the provision of clean water to the underprivileged. All the more reasons for fans to buy the book, if not for keepsake alone!
Sachin's career is phenomenally great - but the book - not so much.
There are too many statistics and match summaries. There were a few chapters I literally felt goosebumps while reading - but that was probably because I could picture the match and how it all went down rather than the prose. All in all very unimaginative prose and a factual book. Honestly, this is more like a textbook or a Wikipedia page.
The book does not mention or just barely skims through the "controversial" aspects that I would have definitely liked to know more about. At least I was looking forward to reading his version of the story for some of the events.
The match fixing saga is barely glossed over, the latter part of Vinod Kambli's cricketing career (or the lack of it) is not elaborated - only the first 'glorious' half, 'the Ferrari' saga is not even mentioned !
The good part is that there are so many awesome things that happened throughout the span of his 24 years of cricketing life that for an Indian cricket fan like me, the book still ends up being un-put-down-able.
The intense scrutiny that Sachin had to face, the over-the-top media obsession, the immense pressure that he had to cope up with are articulated very well and this increased my adulation for Sachin even more - something that I used to think is just not possible any more .....
So is it a great book? No Would I recommend reading it? Yes
If you are Sachin Tendulkar fan as indeed most of us are - would of course, suggest this as a book to be read. It has good matter on his early playing days and remarkable commitment to the game over a remarkable and long career. There are details on virtually all major tournaments and big knocks. There are many touching passages when Sachin talks about his family, his grief at his father's demise, well wishes of family and friends, wife Anjali's sacrifices to ensure he can concentrate on his career and his emotions on his retirement. He refers in very gracious terms to the all round support he received from all, as well as the elaborate and touching farewell for his last test in Mumbai which his entire family attended.
The book however could have been some much better though and here Sachin probably did not have enough support from his co-writer. There is too much of statistics which are in case available in the public domain. Sachin's learnings from previous cricketers finds almost no space except for references to Gavaskar. Many other topics which would have been good to read are absent such as - Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman's retirement, Dhoni's lack of comfort with senior, the real issues during the time Greg Chappel was the coach, other players contributions in key wins finds sketchy mention, matching fixing, issues in team selection etc.
As I mentioned at the start however, as a fan, do read the book!
Read with low expectations n you will love it! it is not for the ones who were expecting huge revelations by Sachin in his autobiography.. but isnt it wrong to expect out of sachin who has always maintained a safe distance from the controversies..? It is for true Sachin fans who anyways remember Sachin's achievements n disappointments but would cherish them again coming straight from the master himself.. By the time I finished..I was as choked as I was when I heard his farewell speech for the first time..
it could have been shorter and crisper and also could have covered more controversial players n issues but at end its Sachin's autobiography and his wish about the topics to be a part of his story..
I am a huge Sachin Tendulkar fan not because he is considered the God of cricket (I don't even follow cricket) but because he comes across as a very humble and down to earth person. I obviously don't know him personally but a lot of people do confirm it on the daily basis that Sachin is a very nice and humble person.
In this book, Sachin lists all his big moments in cricket and surrounding cricket. Because I have read a lot about Sachin so not much came to me as a surprise but I enjoyed reading this anyway. Fans of Sachin are sure to love this.
High on nostalgia. But has only around 50 pages of fascinating stuff that we don't know already. Way too many pedestrian match summaries (like Gavaskar's Sunny Days). Lousy descriptions of people. Writing style amateurish and leaves a lot to be desired - really wish someone like Bhogle had co-authored. Still a page turner, like a patchy Sachin innings where we hang on to his every move no matter what - coz we can't have enough of him. Ever. Over to YouTube now :)
“…Cricket is played best when your mind is at the opposite end…”
So writes Sachin in his autobiography ‘Playing It My Way’ I finished reading it a while ago. On similar lines, I am of the opinion that a book is read best when your mind is at the author’s end. When you read about someone who has made it big in life in his own words that too, there are always more than a hundred lessons to learn. Another thing I am glad about is that this book is one of the best gifts I have given myself on my birthday this year, pre ordering a copy was a good thing that I impulsively did. It reached home on the release date itself, November 6th. Thank you Sachin for making my birthday a little more special!
People told me while I was reading this book “He is a great cricketer, but he is a good businessman too!” contemplating the millions of copies that would be sold, thankfully those comments did not affect my judgement. When I opened the book and saw the dedication:
“To all my fellow Indians”
And where the author’s proceeds would go to, I was filled with immense pride. I am sure Sachin’s father up there too will be proud because he has lived up to his words- ‘a good human being first, a great cricket next’. No autobiography can document every detail of the authors life as Sachin himself puts. It is quite bit obvious for someone who has played cricket close to quarter of a century to write about the little tricks and tips that helped him in his game. The many cricket match details right from his first match to the last fortunately did not bore me, given my technical knowledge of the game is way too limited and cricket is not something which I am interested in. I read this book with a completely different intention, to know Sachin not as a cricketer but as a person.
What was touching about Sachin’s writing is the straightness with which he has put across his thoughts about the many incidents and controversies, although at places I felt there are fans who would definitely want to know more, especially what Sachin must have felt about them. This has wisely and rightly been avoided, for he has always let his game do all the talking he intended to.
The book begins with anecdotes from his childhood, Sachin being a naughty child was one surprising revelation. His bicycle, his love for Chinese food, his pranks in the neighborhood, his love for music, his naive adamancy, him watching John McEnroe play, him stealing mangoes, his relationship with his siblings, father and mother are wonderfully recalled. He had a complete Indian childhood, something we all can relate to. But what transformed his life and our lives as fellow Indians and fans was Achrekar Sir’s coaching camp. His one set of uniforms and wet pockets, crowded bus and train rides four times a day, rude comments from conductors that he took on his stride, his personal commitments as a son, husband or a father are things which we never saw on the field when we expected a century every time he came out to bat. If one had to make a list of inspirational Indians for unwavering focus and constant practice Sachin has to be somewhere top in the list, a true Bharat Ratna at that.
He also writes about his fears like the first match jinx, him not able to give his complete best in certain situations in different tours throughout his career. The captaincy stint and how unceremoniously he was brought down, the different World Cup games- the losses and the abuses; his umpteen injuries and hardship- back pain, toe fracture, finger fracture, hamstring trouble, groin surgeries, allergies, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, stomach upset and what not. It is the same man with a hundred centuries in cricket, Bradman’s Bonzer!
If there is anything that can’t be taken away from him it is his cricket is what Sachin says, die if you disagree! Another interesting aspect is the Greg and Ian Chappell saga, brave of him to write about it now in his autobiography, if it was brought up back then it would have only lifted his stature more. Also he mentions about his little friction with Dravid over a declaration when he was at the score of 194, this is not very surprising, when there are stalwarts with their own strengths and ideas at the top of a sport in which players are idolized, there are bound to be differences and it is quite righteous of him to write about that. His respect for Kumble is also worth mentioning, Anil according to him is one of the greatest players to have represented India, true that!
To say Sachin was not behind records it would be untrue, the frenzy the media and fans created for him was enough to boost his morale and raise his expectations for himself. As he rightly puts ‘hundreds do not come easily’, one can feel the pressure he has been through while reading what he has written about them. The hundredth hundred in particular! For Sachin, his personal milestones were never before playing for India. For the records he was also the first batsman to be given out by a third umpire, call it luck on his side, good or bad!
The lighter moments on and off field are an interesting read, some being very hilarious like Sachin wearing a Burkha to get scans done, Ajit not letting him eat duck, Harry’s Challenge of eating fish, his first bottle of champagne opened on his daughter’s birthday, his co players throwing him to a Jacuzzi, his strategy with Dravid to deal Chris Cairns on predicting which way his ball would swing. He also remembers the many Indian families who have made him and the Indian team feel at home in their part of world. He also writes about his fans like Sudhir Gautam and the many commoners who have helped him. Read his autobiography to know more, Sachin the person off the field!
Another important necessity to be successful is the support system that one has, a matter in which Sachin is blessed; right from his father, mother, brother, sister, coach, friends, wife and children. Also when your heroes call and talk to you for forty five long minutes when you are down like how Vivian Richards did, or when they send 34 champagne bottles as a small gift on reaching their record like how Sunil Gavaskar did it says more about the person who is loved so much. What touched me immensely was his son’s reaction on his decision to retire and his mother watching him live for the first time in his last match, very emotional. And to write an entire chapter on his wife ’Anjali’ calling it ‘the best partnership of life’ only a gentleman will do that.
He writes that celebrations do not come naturally to him but when winning a World Cup- that moment when life seems complete, one deserves to! That was the most joyous Sachin I had ever seen on television! If his first match was ‘Baptism by fire’, his last was ’Retirement with fireworks’. Nobody can deny that we miss watching him play today.
Now for the things I have learnt from Sachin, I am extremely grateful for all the positivity I have gained from his words. ‘Playing It My Way’ for me has served its purpose.
• Set smaller targets, try to set a mark • Sense of reason is the biggest virtue • Practice makes you perfect and hone your God given abilities • Do not repeat mistakes • Never take credit for what you have never done • The ability to withstand pain does not mean you should expose yourself to unnecessary conditions • Presence is a very important thing. It is one thing being there in the middle, another thing making people aware of your presence • Take a stand • Love your family • Be there for your country • Be a good human being • Be yourself
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
As a fairly crazy Tendulkar fan, I'd been meaning to read this book for a while but was slightly concerned about the size of the book as well as the lukewarm reviews I'd been seeing.
Turns out that the concerns were not misplaced. While I loved Sachin's fairly straightforward first-person intimate style of writing, it was interesting for about the first 50-100 pages where he spoke about his childhood and growing up and learning. What really started to bug me a little though, pretty soon, was his constant admissions of "embarrassment" when he admitted to the slightest weakness and personal details though it was mostly because of the repetitiveness of that statement - Sachin is that way in real life and you forgive him easily for debut author mistakes and diplomacy.
Its interesting to see his insights on joining the Indian national team as a 16 year old but he doesn't go too deep into introspection apart from a few incident recollections of emotions / things he wanted to touch on /clarify. This sets the tone for the rest of the book where he touches on the big matches and his role in them and much lesser than fans would actually like on what went on behind the scenes even in his own head. The book has a great record of all his statistics and scores, but during reading you tend to skip them if you want to read it as a story. The other part is that once you read match after match after match, you get a little tired unless you are watching the matches side by side, which may be a great future idea.
As a story itself I really wish it was organized a little more about his personal growth and life, but there's only so much of it. The parts that really felt intimate and a good look into the inner Sachin were his initial days with Anjali and later his feelings about captaincy. The latter especially adds a lot of color into his match stories but almost functions more as a clarification for some of the media furore over his performance. I almost felt like, except for some sections in the book, the rest of the book shouldn't be read at one go, but rather in sections so you don't feel the monotony. (Admittedly, I read the book in one day - a slightly obsessive streak about finishing books that I'm going through - a January resolution / post holiday thing I think - which may have contributed to this feeling)
I really liked the emotional portions of the almost end portions of the book where he talks about his 100th ton and feelings of retirement where he talks about his thoughts before each match. In some ways I think I, like a lot of other people, was looking for the behind scenes, not just cricket match, version of Tendulkar.
What really surprised me was the sheer number of injuries and treatment that went into the career of a cricketer and what Sachin needed to go through to play constantly for 24 years. More reflections on how this can be avoided, taken into consideration, what infrastructure / facilities are needed would again have taken this beyond a diary to the insights of one of the most prominent sportsmen.
The other thing I would have loved to see was the emergence of Tendulkars's, the business and the motivation behind it and the post retirement phase or at least hints of it would have been great.
I realize that this review has unfortunately been more about what else could have been there in the book rather than whats there, but that by itself tells me how I felt after reading close to a 1000 pages by Sachin.
I will start with the positives - which are few. The chapter on Anjali is a delight. We see more behind the shy Sachin and it’s a breezy read more so because we don’t know much about it. The chapter on his captaincy has some good insights. His move to bowl Srinath on a ‘crumbling wicket’ when he had the options of 3 spinners against a strong SA team chasing 120 is a wonderful passage. So is his backing of Robin Singh, the move to shift Dravid and Ganguly to 3 and 5 respectively, the angst against the selection committee and a slight disgust against the BCCI on his sacking. His irritation towards Dravid for the Multan declaration, and the Greg Chappell (an easy target) episode seem honest. But apart from this, it almost becomes a pain to read and even more so if you remember the matches.
One thing clearly understood is Sachin’s obsession with centuries. So much so that on one occasion he has convinced Dhoni and Gary to postpone a declaration to let Yuvraj and Gambhir, both in the 70s, to get their centuries. 60 runs would mean at least half a session! They both got out without 100s but India won. Nevertheless, it is a recurring theme in his narrative when it comes to his centuries. The man was obsessed with the number - for the good or bad. And his determination to play even when half fit also comes across as annoying. His injuries are well documented but so is his half baked, hurried up comebacks which may not have been in the best interests of the team.
Most of the recollections about important matches read like a match report anybody could write by just reading the scorecard. You’d think there’d be more than a paragraph about the 1996 Eden Gardens semifinal but no. There’s hardly anything about Vinod Kambli (apart from the school time days) at all. And the 1996 tour of England, when Ganguly and Dravid entered the scene, gets one page - a page where Nasser Hussain is mentioned as skipper! 2007 world cup is covered in a page and the aftermath in two more pages. 2003 world cup final gets a page. There is hardly anything regarding the technicalities of the game from his point of view, very few anecdotes, random conversations with other players/family/friends which are hardly interesting, boring stray incidents on a tour and absolutely nothing controversial. Typical Tendulkar!
It is a very disappointing 'autobiography' which lacks a personal touch. It reads more like his career summarised by Boria Majumdar. But..it becomes an essential read simply because it is Sachin Tendulkar!
I think unintentionally I was saving my first review on goodreads for this book. This is not just a book but a life of a great man. No book can sum up an entire journey of 24 years of a life in less than 500 pages. Nevertheless, this book made me nostalgic about how my childhood days were spent seeing this great man on TV. The career of Sachin speaks for itself and none of my words will do justice appreciating him. Hence I will talk anything but his career in this review. It is wonderful how Sachin has grown in a close knit family both, before and after the marriage. The hardwork, importance of coaching, the sibling love, the camaraderie that he shared with his brother made it an awesome read. His love towards his wife, care for kids, respect for his parents and his guidance to his team mates will always be respected. I am not shy to admit that I was a big fan of Saurav Ganguly, but I was never a less fan of Sachin. He has given us so many moments of pride being an Indian and arguably no one else can give the same amount of glory to India in cricketing world. All I have to say is, Sir, you might not believe it but cricket has become less interesting after you bidded adieu to the sport. The best thing that i found in this book is his candid admittance of the importance of his wife in his life, some of the moments where he freely resented the happenings on the cricket ground such as- when he was not allowed to score a double century even after having plenty of time in a test match making the readers believe that even God of cricket can be hurt emotionally and can be angered. It was justified to get angry and we might not feel the same way but the pain can be felt. But the book is written with a view to keep aside all the controversies. it has always been Sachin's nature to steer clear of controversies, but it made the book one dimensional. All the great things are talked about (which I am not against of) but writing less on match fixing and other controversies that always hovered over Indian cricket was expected in a way the kind of person he is, but also disappointed me a tad bit. The book is a page turner without any second thougts and will last long in a reader's mind. But as always I wanted more from this legend and in no time I finished thia book just to wonder,what next from this man ? While I still wait for the answer I would like to wish one thing, Long live Master Blaster. You have earned love and respect of billions.