‘Playing it my Way’ is a dream book for any cricket fan, especially someone who has grown up in the 90’s watching Sachin Tendulkar play, whose life revolved around cricket, for whom cricket was more than just a game, for whom Sachin was no less than GOD. Right from the time when I heard Sachin was planning to release an auto-biography I was eagerly waiting for it. I bought it within a few days after its release.
‘Playing it my Way’ starts with Sachin narrating how it all started, his childhood and how cricket came into his life. It is undoubtedly the most interesting part of the book. I would say for any youngster who wishes to have a career in cricket should read this book, for it tells you that playing for the national team requires a lot of hard work and dedication. When people say that Sachin was naturally talented and he would have done well no matter what I would agree to an extent. But to stay in the game for almost 25 years requires something more than natural talent. This part of the book explains what it takes to be a Sachin Tendulkar. He also uses this book to thank the people who played a very important part in shaping his career, be it his coach Ramakant Achrekar or his Uncle and Aunt with whom he stayed so that he does not have to travel very far to play cricket.
For me the rest of the book was mostly a rewind of my childhood. There are some interesting anecdotes. In some cases he has also gone in depth to explain some of the thought processes that has gone behind in making decisions like not hitting through the covers during the course of that mammoth innings of 241 in Sydney. Another thing Sachin has highlighted throughout the book is the pain due to the injuries he has suffered throughout his career. Behind all the glitz and glamour in professional cricket involves a lot of agony and discomfort which does not necessarily come out in front.
What could have been improved? Well, maybe he could have shared a few more anecdotes in place of the statistics. A few more insights into the game would also have helped. After all he is Sachin and of course the expectations from his book is way more than anything else. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was nostalgia for me as I was reading this book. I could hear the familiar chant of “Sachiinnnnnnn, Sachin” reverberate in my ears for most part of the book.