Indian cricket probably had its most important day today with two finals going on in two different parts of the world and at the end of it all India came out tops - the seniors won the 1st match of the best of 3 finals of the CB series and the juniors won the U19 World Cup.
Today was the umpteenth time that Sachin shut his critics up with a glorious unbeaten century to lead India to a victorious run chase against Australia. Before today the Indian media was full of criticism of Sachin for his lack of runs in the CB Series and the key point being raised was his failures when India chases.
The criticism was so much that it led Cricinfo's S. Rajesh to dedicate his regular "Numbers Game" a few days ago to a comparison of Sachin's performances while batting first and batting second and highlighting the failures during the latter.
In the past Sachin has been criticized for not playing too many match winning innings, for scoring more of his 100s on subcontinental pitches, for getting out at the wrong time, for not playing the freely the way he used to, for failing in the matches that count and more recently for failing during run chases.
Arguably all may be valid but today Sachin decided that he would shut each one of those mouths up forever and produce an innings that proves each one of those criticisms wrong. His flawless innings of 117 came at just under run a ball, contained only 10 boundaries, and he was standing tall at the crease when India got to their target of 240. Moreover, it was a crunch game, it was a final.
All Hail Sir Sachin!
For me there is very little that can be deemed better viewing in cricket than Sachin in full flow - although he wasn't in full flow today, at least not in the flow he is known for (0nly 10 boundaries in his 117), but I was mighty pleased to see Sachin produce one of his best ODI innings in a run chase in a final.
Sachin, may you play for a long long time and score many many more centuries and give us the immense pleasure of watching a batsman that has no comparables.