It doesn't get lamer than this. Sachin Tendulkar has been voted the Test cricketer of the 21st century by a Cricket Australia online poll with some 80-odd years still left in the century by the end of which time cricket probably will not be played anywhere in this world or in the milky way, if we are to indulge in such fantasy.
What Indians should be more bothered about is why is Tendulkar not the 20th century's greatest? Am sure he will win any online poll given the number of Indians and the diaspora muscle. But the 20th century is the undisputed preserve of the Australian great Sir Don Bradman and the others including Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Gary Sobers. In these years, international cricket was the handmaiden of England and Australia and the rest played and drew matches. The big ticket was usually an Ashes tour. Those days are long gone. India and the subcontinent holds remarkable sway in the game though Pakistan is yet to climb out of the hole it got into after the Lahore terrorist attack.
Now, it seems strange that Tendulkar should get the honours for the whole century when he's hardly played 15 years in this century. The Tendulkar of the late-20th century was a different and more potent guy though he may not have won more matches. The end of his career came after a long wait after the elephant in the room got up and locked the door. Nobody else was willing to bell the cat, or the elephant in this case.
This Tendulkar poll victory comes at a rather unfortunate time for Indian cricket. Wiseman-coolman Dhoni is being taken to the cleaners by Test captain Virat Kohli who seems eager to wash away any signs of Dhoni on the short memory of the cricket-faithful. The man, who led India to the 2011 World Cup triumph, is being panned for his decisions in Bangladesh. Minnows don't stay minnows forever, like Sri Lanka and now Bangladesh, they just grow up and beat big brothers black and blue.
We should be glad that Tendulkar won the 21st century thing and not the Test cricketer of the 25th century. Because we know, he can still win the online poll. But by then even the Chinese would have learnt the game from us and be whipping us in Beijing, Lhasa and Dubai.