Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tendulkar can do no wrong - 2

I had commented some time back on the ingenuity shown by the media in lavishing praise on Tendulkar, even on occasions when he had failed miserably.

The other day, he was out for 12 runs, with Jayasuriya firing on all cylinders at the other end. One of the papers reported that there was something about Sachin’s inspiring presence that brought out the best in Jayasuriya. “When you have someone of the stature of Sachin at the other end, you want to rise to the occasion too…..

In the next match, chasing a total of 66 runs, he got out for a duck. The champion batsman delighted the home crowd, by taking four catches, when Kolkata had batted, reported one of the papers.

Now, Sachin himself is quite level-headed and, in all his interviews, accepts his failures as an inevitable part of the cycle of ups and downs in one’s career. After all, you can’t score a century every time you go in to bat.

The spectators too come to terms with this reality and move on.

But, not some of these reporters. They have this compulsive need to shower accolades on him. Suffering from a variant of the Tolstoy syndrome, they simply cannot accept evidence that is contrary to some belief that they hold dear. Or, believe that their readers hold dear and want reinforced. It is almost as if the press wants to apply the maxim of ‘the king can do no wrong’ and, in the resulting cognitive bias, confer on Sachin, the immunity from any kind of criticism.

When Sachin himself seeks no such immunity or the demi-god status. And, I am sure, nor do most of the readers.

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