Each success story is unique in its own way. But they also have similar shades of failure and twist and turns. Like what Big B is to Bollywood, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is to Cricket. And yes, they also seem to have similar journeys.
Amitabh Bachchan needs no introduction in terms of his stardom. Francois Truffaut, the filmmaker often considered as the founder of French New Wave cinema, hailed him as ‘one-man industry’. The 76-year-old veteran actor refuses to slow down and continues to enthrall us with his splendid performance. He recently essayed the role of a lawyer in Taapsee Pannu starrer Pink that won him a lot of accolades. In India, cricket and cinema enjoy an unparalleled fan following.
On the other hand, the 44-year-old batting legend despite having hung up his boots, continues to enjoy a demi-god status among the masses.
We found five similarities between the two icons that you will definitely agree with us.
Showed tremendous promise as beginners: Amitabh Bachchan made his film debut not as an actor but as a narrator in Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome. He made his acting debut in Saat Hindustani that was helmed by Khwaja Ahmed Abbas. He won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for portraying the role of a doctor in Anand. He later featured in films like Parwana, Guddi and Bombay To Goa. His hard work did not go wasted and was noticed by filmmakers.
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar had forced the selectors to notice him due to his splendid performance with the willow in the domestic cricket. He was selected to join the Indian team led by Krishnamachari Srikkanth to tour Pakistan in 1989. In his very first innings, he was bowled by Waqar Younis, who too had made his debut for Pakistan. While most of them wondered whether the 16-year-old Mumbaikar would be able to cope with the pressure associated with international cricket, he surprised everyone by scoring a sublime 59 in the second Test at Faisalabad. A few months later, he scored a brilliant 119 not out against the hosts English at Old Trafford that helped India salvage a draw. You can watch Sachin’s memorable innings here.
Overnight success: Dharmendra, Dev Anand and Raaj Kumar had reportedly turned down Prakash Mehra’s new film about a no-nonsense cop due to various reasons. With no option left, the filmmaker chose Amitabh Bachchan who had tasted little success since his debut four years ago. But everything changed in 1973 when Zanjeer hit the theatres and turned into a blockbuster. The Allahabad-born actor was all of 30 when he played Vijay Khanna and assumed the title of ‘Angry Young Man’. Check out this confrontation scene between Bachchan and Pran from the film.
On the other hand, Sachin showed the spark of his greatness when he smacked a blistering 82 off 49 balls against a formidable New Zealand at Auckland in 1994. It was for the first time that he opened the innings after Navjot Singh Sidhu was ruled out due to injury. Prior to that, he had mostly batted in the lower order and garnered 13 ODI fifties. In September that year, he notched his maiden ODI hundred against Australia at the Premdasa Stadium in Colombo. His innings helped India score a 31-run win over the Aussies. Check out Sachin’s knock against the Kiwis here.
Stayed at the top for a long time: After Zanjeer, Bachchan never looked back. His success streak continued with hits like Deewar, Sholay, Don, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Sharaabi and others. After overcoming financial woes, he rose to greater heights with films like Mohabbatein, Black, Bunty Aur Babli, Piku, Sarkar and more to follow.
As far as accolades is concerned, Bachchan has won four National Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards and has been nominated 41 times in his career. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1984, Padma Bhushan in 2001 and Padma Vibhushan in 2015.
On the other hand, Sachin Tendulkar is the highest run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs. He has scored 100 international centuries, played 463 ODIs and 200 Tests and is the first cricketer to score a double hundred in ODIs. He along with Pakistani legend Javed Miandad have played six World Cups, a record unbeaten as of now. On the other hand, he has been a Man of The Series in 1996 and 2003 World Cup. Sachin was conferred with the Bharat Ratna in 2012.
Dark days: Highs and lows are a part and parcel of life. In case of celebrities, their bad days are scrutinised with equal precision as their successes. A reigning superstar in the 70’s , Amitabh Bachchan went through one of the toughest phases in his life. With his films performing abysmally at the Box Office, he was being written off by the critics. His political career ended on a sad note as he resigned after three years of being elected to the Lok Sabha. The Bofors scandal broke out in 1987 and Bachchan along with his family were accused. In the 1990s, his production company Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) helmed films that turned out to be a failure. It was the decision to sponsor Miss World Beauty Paegant in 1996 that spelt doom for his financial health. In an interview to India Today in 2013 , Bachchan recalled the days when creditors landed at the door of his house and threatened him. Check out this interview that he gave to Vir Sanghvi, speaking about his sabattical from films.
On the other hand, Sachin Tendulkar came under fire from critics after he was diagnosed with tennis elbow in 2004. “It took four-and-a half months to recover after the surgery on my tennis elbow. The doctor asked if I would be able to play competitive cricket at all,” Reuters quoted him as saying.”I could not even lift my son Arjun’s plastic bat. Kids aged 10-12 years had come to the ground for fielding the day I went to bat for the first time against a season (leather) ball.”
Troubled journey as Member of Parliament: At the height of his stardom, Amitabh Bachchan took a break from films and ventured into politics. Contesting on a Congress ticket, he defeated Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna from Allahabad in the 1984 elections. However, he resigned as an MP after three years and vowed never to return to politics.”I made a lot of promises to the city of Allahabad and to its people but I wasn’t able to fulfil them,” he said years later.
Sachin entered the Rajya Sabha in 2012 as a nominated MP. However, his stint as a parliamentarian is far from satisfactory. In April, he was adjudged as the worst MP with an attendance record of 23 out of 348 days.
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