Sunday, March 2, 2008

All Hail Sir Sachin!

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.
Amongst all this there was one man who has been synonymous with Indian cricket for the last 18 years and he stood tall today, over and above everyone else. None other than Sachin Tendulkar!

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.

Make your pitch on this post...



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23 Pitched:

  1. Soulberry said...
     

    Sachin's innings brought back sweet memories. One can see now that the spirit is still young even though the body cramps up more often. I was transported to a trance-like couple of days he set up in Sharjah so many years ago where he single-handedly took on the Australian might of Tugga's men and propunded India's cause in the process.

    Nice write up Q and thanks. I think this is one of the best cricket blogs on the web. I mean it.

  2. Q said...
     

    Thanks SB :-)

    Sachin's innings in Sharjah - the 140 odd scores in a group game and the final against the Aussies were very different innings to the one he played yesterday.

    I think it was 1998, and he smashed the Aussies to all corners of the park - he played amazing attacking cricket.

    Yesterday it was a subdued Sachin, a more mature Sachin, who watched the ball carefully, grinded it out in the middle, and built an innings that ensured a win for India and ensured that he would be their at the end.

    Wat a Player!

  3. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    Sachin deserves all the credit. But Rohit did play a crucial knock.

  4. Q said...
     

    I agree Ott. Ravi Shastri said that Rohit made Sachin's job easier. He did I agree but Sachin is Sachin - he played a gem! Was watching the highlights last night while riting this and it was a beatiful innings.

  5. Straight Point said...
     

    while everybody is prising sachin and rightly so...rahul innings played, i dare say, as well as sachin...

    infact it was his innings that relaxed sachin that allowed him to do what he did...

    but such is the stature of little master that we all fail to talk about lesser mortals...

  6. Straight Point said...
     

    am i dreaming or what...i meant rohit...

  7. Q said...
     

    Haha...I was wondering who Rahul was. I agree SP, Rohit did a wonderful job. He was brilliant.

    But the reason Sachin was great last night was because he defied all odds to score a 100 in a final, in a run chase, in a country, in a situation that he had never done before. That is what was inspiring about Sachin's innings. Moreso he remained unbeaten.

    There have been numerous occasions in the past in which Sachin has been in full flow with a Dravid or a Yuvraj or an Azharuddin giving him the kind of suppot Rohit did today - in those times Sachin did not play on till the end and see India to victory - he did so last night!

  8. David Barry said...
     

    I wish people would stop reminding me of that 1998 Sharjah tournament. Painful memories from a time when I actually cared about ODI's....

    Not that the Tests were any better.

  9. Straight Point said...
     

    you are absolutely right...Q
    but sachin did what is befitting to his stature...

    but the way young rohit showed the calmness of seasoned pro at the brink of mini collapse need special mention...

  10. Q said...
     

    Sorry David, didn't mean to strike up the nightmares again :-)

    SP - in that case I will wait for a special Rohit Sharma blog on StraightPoints ;-)

    I did't want to mention him in mine cos I wanted it to be dedicated to Sachin - who has been my all time favorite for a long time.

  11. Q said...
     

    "Nice write up Q and thanks. I think this is one of the best cricket blogs on the web. I mean it."

    SB - initially when I read that it didn't really hit me. Now that I read some comments again it sunk in. My friend that is quite a huge compliment. I'm sure there are other blogs that are far better (e.g. Cricinfo blogs) but I am pleased to know that you think that way. That comment has just made my day and I feel really proud.

    But you have also put me under immense pressure to live up to this tag.

    Thanks again :-)

  12. Straight Point said...
     

    i wold have Q...but i have more or less said what i wold have posted...the moment is gone...

  13. Noni said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.
  14. NAzhar said...
     

    As always great write up - the problem with both the Indian and Pakistani media is that both are so quick to criticize - they just live to criticize! :-)

  15. scorpicity said...
     

    umpteenth time all right and it won't be the last either... What a player

  16. Aashrey said...
     

    Great write up, Q.
    Sachin was brilliant.. proved his critics wrong.. again.
    And Rohit Sharma gave fabulous support. He looks better each time.

  17. Golandaaz said...
     

    I won't say he proved is critics wrong. His critics are right. His second innings performance, while chasing is still bad both in Tests and ODIs. One innings is not going to change that.

    Even when he retires the fact will remain that Sachin was great when it comes to giving this side an early advantage. Once his side was at a disadvantage he very rarely was able to counter attack in the 2nd innings.

    The Numbers don't lie. His critics are still right.

    This in no way diminished his greatness. Some are great finishers, some are good at counter attacks. Sachin was the greatest when it came to giving India a early advantage. Some of his most stirring knocks have come in the first innings of a game. In that aspect he is second to none.

    But when it comes to batting at the death give me a Waugh a Border or a Miandad any day. Even over Sachin Tendulkar

  18. Obaid said...
     

    Great post once again Q. I think this poor finisher or poor 2nd innings player tag will never go away... the debates will rage endlessly. There are some who live for the moment, the romantics who will give anything to watch Sachin caress the ball through the covers. They dont care what innings the shot was played in. Then there are those who look at the bigger picture. All the pressure and the variety of expectations add up. Its unfortunate that a player like Sachin has to live under this cloud, maybe because of the high standards that he himself set. It can be a single moment in ones careers, like Miandad's six that lets the sun shine... forever :)

  19. Q said...
     

    Golandaaz - I agree with you that even after Sachin retires the stigma of failing while batting 2nd will remain with him. I have seen the numbers and I know how badly sachin fares while chasing. I also agree on the fact that Waugh, Border, Miandad are better than Sachin as finishers. As were Bevan, Inzi, and many others.

    My only point was that with his match winning innings in Sydeny Sachin did what he is known not to do. He defied the odds and proved to the world and the critics that he CAN take India to victory while chasing.

    I know he hasn't done it in the past and he may never do it again but that 117* was so special cause he finally DID it.

    That is what pleased me so much about the innings.

    Obaid, your right - he's got a billion people supporting him and another billion watching him. Immense pressure. For me he may be very bad in the 2nd innings but the fact that he did it on Saturday - I loved it :-)

  20. Q said...
     

    Ashrey - I agree..Rohit Sharma has a great future ahead!

  21. Aashrey said...
     

    Well, Sachin played to his strengths today :D, and set up another Indian win, with which we won the CB series.

    I agree his record batting second doesn't compare with his first innings record but like Q said, the fact that he did it made the day for me.

    And Yuvraj looked in some mighty fine nick today.

  22. Golandaaz said...
     

    q, and all I am saying is that don't bash the critics. They have a point. So non he did not silence his critics.

    Sachin, is a true great. And I think his last few years will be spent correcting his chasing record

  23. Q said...
     

    Golandaaz - it was meant to be a Sachin praising post and not a critics bashing one :-)

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