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‘Final Test: Exit Sachin Tendulkar’ is about a day that was more than a mere sporting spectacle, about a man whose legacy far transcended the boundaries of cricket. The aura of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in India for years had crossed the realms of cricket; he was a part of households, an aspiration for individuals, and an icon for a nation. To pen the accounts of his farewell Test, shattering the romance around it and rationalizing the excessive fanfare in itself is the biggest contribution the book makes. Also Read - IPL 2020: Here's Why Google Search Result For Shubman Gill's Wife Shows Sara Tendulkar
Dilip D’Souza talks of November 14-16 from the stands and not the press box. It makes sense, because the events and the outpouring of candid emotions took place there. On field, there was purely a display of forgetful cricket, holding little interest. If you were there for Sachin, the match held little importance and in case you were there for the match, the show was too shoddy to take anything out of it. The ‘I was there’ moment that is put in question by Dilip D’Souza forms the basis of the book. Also Read - IPL 2020, KXIP vs RR: Nicholas Pooran Leaves Cricket World Stunned With His Unreal Fielding Effort | WATCH VIDEO
The writer looks at different perspectives and stories that run parallel to the match. More importantly, he does it well; be it the messages that flash on the big screen or the Cricinfo commentary; of anecdotes from former cricketers to his brush with Sachin Tendulkar’s driver; or simply the crowd chants and restricted bag of apples. However, quotes at beginning of each chapter often fail to connect the cord with context to the story that unfolds.
The book is not the most engaging read. It does not flow as smoothly as some of the best. The writing is also not truly gripping. It loosens up a bit, slows down more often than you wish and reads like a drab lengthy match report at times. But it continues to raise pertinent questions time and again. More importantly, he leaves the argument open to the readers, rather than passing off a judgement. He looks at the match beyond all possible emotional connects, without destroying the true essence of the occasion.
Overall, the book may not be the best read in terms of writing, nor is it the best summary of all that happened during the course of the match. But, this will prove to be an important piece of literature/account as years pass by and all rationality is thrown out of the window, the three-day extravaganza will only be seen through rose-tinted glasses. It is here that ‘Final Test: Exit Sachin Tendulkar’ will come in handy, without killing the real romance of one of Indian cricket’s most emotional moments. Rating: 3/5