Friday, November 6, 2009

Had Tendulkar scored another 3 runs...

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Sultan of swing Wasim Akram had once said if somebody could get Sachin Tendulkar out and India needed 15 runs to win, a determined team could defeat India. Yesterday's match versus the Aussies gave us a glimpse of the 'Vintage Tendulkar' and also 'Vintage India.' In the early 90's Indian batting line up was considered Tendulkar and ten others. The horrors of the past visited us once again as Tendulkar's best One Day knock went in vain as India fell short by just 3 runs after Australia has set them a mamoth target of 350 to chase.

Critics had always argued that Tendulkar lacked the ability to finish things off and perhaps even a marathon innings of 175 wasn't just enough to get his team home. Having played 47 overs and just played one rash stroke in which he perished the 36 year old master couldn't have done anything else. The two consecutive sixes of Nathan Hauritz dancing down the track reminded of the assault he had launched on Shane Warne in during their 1998 tour to India. He had changed his game due to his back pain but yesterday he seemed to have forgotten it all.

The balance with which he played the game had class written all over it. Even 350 looked chasable considering the way Sachin was timing the ball. The flicks, square drives, sweeps and the nudges all were going well for Tendulkar. But he was done by the lack of support from the other end as the despite contributing 50% of the runs alone, Sachin could not find a able partner other than Suresh Raina to take India to a win. India just snatched the defeat from the jaws victory.

Virender Sehwag proved once again that he might have 90% of Tedulkar's shot but doesn't have 10% of his temperament. Gautam Gambhir played a nothing shot to commit suicide. Had only Yuvraj Singh played a shot on that ball he wouldn't have got out. Dhoni might consider himself unlucky to be done by a brilliant catch. Suresh Raina supported Tendulkar well but played a irresponsible shot when it wasn't required at all. Ravinder Jadeja would have to learn to live rather than being suicidal on the crease. Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar could not help India's cause either. Nobody expected much of Munaf Patel and Ashish Nehra.

Australia once again proved that when it comes to holding their nerves they are second to none in the world. Perhaps the only question many Indian cricket fans will ask in the coming weeks is what else could have Sachin done? An honest answer would perhaps scored 3 more runs but the fact remains it script wasn't written in India's favour. India may win again and level out the series but such a loss riding on a brilliant innings leaves a regret forever.

Cricket once again prove that no individual was bigger than the game. One of the finest One Day innings that fan would ever see went for a loosing cause. At times the game also has an element of luck associated with it. Or else what explains the fact that a player like Joginder Sharma has a world cup win written over his back while 20 years of brilliance by the Master hasn't been enough. Hat's off to you ST it was a delight to watch you yesterday.


Subharaj Saha November 6, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

What a match it was man!! It was one of the rarest of occasions when 50 50 gave us what 20-20 nowadays had snatched long back. Sachin Tendulkar proved yesterday that age can never fade away genius. I agree that the Indian team can never finish off a match smoothly in a crunch situation but as you mentioned the ache which yesterday's defeat caused will forever continue to haunt cricket fans like us!!

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