ScoopLense wishes the Indian batting premier Sachin Tendulkar, a name that resonated back and forth for nearly quarter of a century in India, on his 44th birthday (born on 24 April in 1973)! Words and phrases run short, and if attempted, they might as well clear the fence of basic comprehension, typified as common sense.
Here is an article, written not too long ago, with a sharp adjustment of views to readjust certain unhelpful criticism on Maestro’s batting contribution to Indian cricket. The post was written with an aim to classify shortcomings and rearrange them in the most unpopular theory that Tendulkar’s centuries yielded only in losses for his team.
And there is another such, albeit less in intensity of defending Sachin against irrational arguments which didn’t seek his professional advancement but to marginalize euphoria and admiration of his growing fan base!
Excerpts from second post:
Before I explain you the comparison of an ODI knock prospect of World cup league game and a fourth innings fruitful knock between two batsmen rated ahead of peers, I would like you to draw your attention to the following.
- Australia and West Indies at Barbados, March 1999 – Result West Indies beat Australia by 1 wkt.
Brian Lara inspired with SR of 59.76 in 355 minutes
to post a win on the fastest windies wkt. against
MCGRATH, GILLESPEI, AND WARNE with WI facing 120.1 overs for 311/9 in day and a half.
- India and Pakistan at Chennai, January 1999 – Result India lost to Pakistan by 12 runs.
SR Tendulkar inspired with SR of 49.81 in 405 minutes
to take his side closer to win on a turner against
AKRAM, WAQAR, AND SAQLAIN with IND facing 95.2 overs for 258 all out in > a day.
“Sourav Ganguly won an important toss and decided to bat on a track that was quite similar to the one we had at The Wanderers where Aussies crushed Pakistan’s world class bowling line-up days ago. The conditions were as good as those on offer to every visitor in Brisbane, that if you just play average, it could be your game. Good rotation of strike, build up of partnerships, and good wicket-taking deliveries.”
“And when you play against Australia that was in the shape, thanks to the heritage of Steve Waugh’s attacking mindset, you need to catch a few notches just in case. You definitely need to be an aggressive unit because you wouldn’t know when they talk down and when they do it they go to any extent, but that’s only on the field. Off the field, they are as better as anyone, probably offer you little comfort with words.”
“Sachin at the non-striking end had to choose between the two ends; either attack Aussies and force them to commit mistakes and plunder some useful runs as it became evident he wasn’t going to get support, or, at the most see off overs and stay till the end of over quota. Things became clear to many of us back home that it was an off day for us. It was an upset for me, came out of TV room, visibly destroyed, and even the sight of my favourite batsman occupying the crease didn’t give any confidence. I felt cheated by other batsmen who didn’t do enough. They needed to play full fifty overs and set a modest target to see if their bowlers would make it happen. Though my mother didn’t seem to understand what I said mostly during the advertisements, in short, she asked if India was on course. “Yes”, I said. “They would be returning soon”.”
The win against Aussies at Centurion even by default was necessary because,
a. India then would have moved on to top Group A, assuming that we would prevail against Pakistan, England, and Zimbabwe, to meet South Africa and West Indies from Group B in the S6. India would have made it easy to the Semis even without a solid performance.
b. Australia was the only unit which could make things tough for an Indian batting line up, besides the mighty South Africans who didn’t make it to S6, thanks to poor arithmetic in the rain tormented game against Lanka after Graeme Smith’s counter attack in the night.
c. Had India given them tough contest at Centurion in the group stage, it would have been in a position to meet eye to eye, at Newlands(March 18) or Kingsmead(March 20) or Jo’burg(March 23).
d. Wanderers was supposed to cater to seam bowlers and with McGrath, Lee, and Andy Bichel, Australia was the complete pack to run through the opposition; it had the fielding standards, it had the belief that it can outsmart anyone. This was what Sourav and his men were short of. Why?
In the final encounter, India caved in meekly because its batsmen were short of confidence, as they had non-negotiated mental blocks of repeat of Centurion and its fallout .They had not wiped out poignant memories of humiliation at the hands of same opposition in the league stage on an eventful track with some assistance to bowlers. That was the real reason why Sourav decided to field on March 23, exactly 45 days after his batsmen were decimated. He didn’t have the confidence levels of a World Cup winning team captain. He was no Kapil, no Imran, no Steve Waugh, not even Arjuna Ranatunga, who used most of power play batting tactics, employed first by Sachin against Dion Nash, Morrison, Cairns, and Harris back in 1994.
India had best batters, but when their bowlers couldn’t restrict them to under 260, they knew facing lanky pace men was going to be real test, that too in a World Cup final.
Disclaimer: The original posts on Single Magnetic Pole (singlemagneticpole.wordpress.com) contained images drawn from ESPNCRICINFO which are copyright material. The repost here is meant to put forth solid argument, via content, and not in anyway a breach of copyright of images. The credit for all images related to cricket on Single Magnetic Pole blog is with ESPNCRICINFO.