Monday, August 11, 2008

Sachin: Failure in SL

OK, where do I start?
I hate to say it, but Sachin Tendulkar has failed in the 3 test series. He has failed not the fans or the country but he has failed himself.
It is not his poor average of 15.83 that makes a compelling case to support my statement. Neither it is the fact that he has not scored more than 31 in any of the 6 innings he played on the sub-continent pitches. Every batsman goes through a phase where runs dry up and things go wrong even when you try your best. And who knows it better than someone who has played the cricket at highest level for over 17 years!!!
But where I think he has failed himself is the way he played.
Here is why.
He had two Sri Lanka LBW appeals being turned down in just last over where he did not play a shot.
Both went to a review (I agree with Mahela for taking the chance, it was worth it) and yet, in the very next over, he attempts to not play a ball on turning pitch only to be given out this time and rightly so.
What in the god's name was he thinking????????
When the team is down in dumps, when you know that the floodgates will open if you depart, when the team's / country's future lies in your hands, when opposition thinks and understands all this, and yet when you have had 2 close LBW shouts going for you just 2 minutes ago, you take this risk of not playing the ball!!!
This is another instance of a legend who looks like he has mentally decided (and declared to the whole world) that "I am not 25 anymore and I am 35. So don't expect any superhuman stuff from me." Once any sportsman thinks this way and imbibes this thought in his mind, he begins to lose. And Sachin has lost it.
And I am sure that this is not the Sachin Tendulkar that he would have wanted to grow up into.

Update: A cricinfo comment: "Since 1999, India has won 36 test matches. Most surprisingly Sachin Tendulkar was not man of the match in a single match. It shows he is not a match winning player. On the other hand man of the match award in these winning matches have gone to: Kumble -7, Dravid - 5, Harbhajan - 5, Sehwag - 3, Ganguly - 2, Laxman - 2 and Zaheer Khan - 2."!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Smith: The man who was never a boy!

Graeme Smith has been an epitome of what a Team Captain should be like over the years that he has captained SA. For me, he has always been Captain No 1 in this era.
He has led from the front many a times and this time he almost outdid himself in leading from the front. Smith hit 154 not out when chasing 283 successfully (they were 93/4 and 171/5 at one time) and beating England in England to win the test series! What a moment to take the bull by its horns! What a super-achievement!!! All this at the age of 27 years!!! He is sure to leave his imprint in the Cricketing Greats of all times!
Take a bow, Graeme Smith!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

India - Galle Test Victory

I think Team India played some excellent cricket in the second innings to win the Galle test match.
I think that although you need high class bowlers to win a test match (remember the opposite side has to be bowled out twice to win the match?) Sehwag rightly got the MoM award becuase his both innings (and more importantly his approach) is what made the difference between two teams. Ishant bowled superbly aided well by Zaheer and theduo set the victory up for India. I would have felt miserable had India not won the match after such a great start, but Bhajji and Kumble did well to undo the pedesterian bowling in the first test. In fact, the pitch and conditions suited the spinners and they did their job. What I loved was the way Ishant kept hitting the deck ball after ball.
However, I felt sad with the way the Lankan warrior Mahela actually threw his wicket away at the crucial juncture with an aerial shot straight to Dravid. Not to take anything away from Indian bowlers and fielders who did a fantastic job thoroughout the match.
One exception was Kartik though, and India should not continue with him in the third match. Although he is an excellent batsman to have in the team at that position, he was poor in his wicket keeping skills. When everyone knows that one missed catch can cost you a match, think of what happens when you drop two or three in a match! I think strong signal needs to go to Indian fielders and this is the right time.
I am looking forward to the third match -I am sure that Lankans will be back strongly - they might get a fit Fernando in the match as well.
Super Sehwag continues to dazzle and one statistic after his first inning was that this was his consecutive 11th hundred that he had crossed 150!!! Hats off! I think this is one player who India should persist with at all times, irrespective of his inconsistency at times. Another player who needs to be in the team according to me is Irfan Pathan The guy needs a relook at his career and do what he has always done best - bowl, bowl fast and swing the balls. He is a great asset with bat too and that confidence must be given back to him somehow by the Captain and the coach.
With the current team though, it is essential that the think-tank sorts out Medis and Murali threats and have a game plan for their deliveries. Otherwise, just hope that Sehwag is at it again!
Well played, India! Keep it up!

Friday, August 1, 2008


Just when I was about to sing "Bhajji can't bowl saalaa", he comes up with this !!!