Exclusive: Sachin Tendulkar and the burden of expectation

Dr Chaitanya Shridhar, a sports psychologist, has worked with numerous national and international cricket teams. She obtained her PhD from Perth and has extensively researched emotional management in cricket. She spoke exclusively to World Cricket Badger’s Bipin Dani on the weight of expectation surrounding Sachin Tendulkar ahead of his 200th Test match.

Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary, an ardent fan of Tendu...

Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary, an ardent fan of Tendulkar who earned the privilege of tickets to all of India’s home games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is always immense expectation on Sachin from his fans, media and the cricketing world. Hence, it’s no surprise that there is bound to be pressure playing his 200th test anywhere in India. Of course the Mumbai crowd would turn out expecting another miracle at the Wankhede.

Yet, Sachin Tendulkar is an icon because he has learnt to live, play and create history with this kind of pressure.

Home crowd could have different impacts on players- some cricketers have told me that it was more pressure playing in his/her home ground not just due to the expectation but the whole atmosphere which makes it difficult to focus. Yet, the very energy works wonders for others.

Sachin has done reasonably well in Mumbai but what he chooses to focus on would determine the amount of pressure he faces as each player adds on a lot more pressure on himself/herself to the degree they allow
external sources of pressure envelop them. On the other hand, Tendulkar could ‘focus on the task at hand’ and not think too much about what is expected of him.

A Visit from Sachin Tendulkar - Dec 21, 2012

It’s all about ‘staying in the present’ and not getting carried away with the past or future and the expectations of others. Surely there would be some pressure on him but if he ‘focuses on the test’ and not as the ‘200th test’ – it would be a lot easier to handle the situation. I’m sure he must have some strategy to deal with the situation, given his experience and expertise in the field.

West Indies would be looking to play the game to their best potential and it would include to get Sachin out at the earliest but I don’t think their objective is to spoil his party. It’s two teams playing and each would want to play their best. Though West Indies would do their best to beat India and get Sachin,still every player from both teams would want him to play his best as Sachin is respected world over.

One can only wait and watch what the Master Player has in mind and wish him luck!”

Bipin Dani

A Civil Engineer by profession, Bipin is also a senior cricket journalist in India.
He has toured UAE, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Malaysia, to name a few, and contributes to a large number of newspapers in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
His twitter bio reads: Eat cricket stories, drink cricket stories, sleep cricket stories.

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