Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's a team game, Sachin

For the record, that's one more of Tendulkar's big ODI knocks in vain. How many of those have there been in recent times? One too many, I guess. Okay, the team lost a couple of early wickets - although 36 for 2 in an ODI is not really a crisis - but to go on till the 46th over at a strike rate of 69.23 will lose the game for the team most times. Such a 99 is pointless, from the team's point of view. It's possible the team could have got bowled out cheaply if Tendulkar had fallen earlier in trying to accelerate. But it would have given the team a better chance of victory if he had set his sights higher. After all, the point is to win the game, not reduce the margin of victory. Even the 'Wall' Dravid went at 79.56 and Kallis got his 91 not out at 78.44, and he saw the team home - something Tendulkar does rarely. It was strange to hear the cricket pundits in evening TV shows lamenting our lack of bowling resources, and the fact that Tendulkar did not bowl! In fact, the bowlers did remarkably well to take the match into the last over despite having only 242 to defend. And it was an extra bonus to have the spinners doing well in conditions more suited to seam bowling. The Piyush Chawla googly that did Gibbs in was very nice. No, it wasn't Tendulkar's bowling that was missed as much as his normal attacking self, which he seems to have abandoned in favour of hanging on at the crease these days.


Cricket Guru said...

I doubt if we will see the Tendulkar of 90s ever again. He seems to have taken over the role of Dravid - the sheet anchor.

Is it a part of larger gameplan? We will never know. But I hope, at least Sachin is in knowhow of it.

I agree with you, it is not the smartest thing, both from Sachin's and the team's point of view.

Sumit Chakraberty said...

I think we'll soon have a whole team of sheet anchors as ageing players become more and more insecure about their places. And there's no coach to tick them off either!

Chandan said...

Really cricket guru and Sumit???

Where are your comments today??

straight point said...

mr sumit and "cricket guru"...

i think more than sachin you ought to know that its a team game and there are 10 other players also in that team.

every body the so called self professed critics were writing sachin off after his 99. classic case of foot in mouth.

patience is the virtue which seem to be most uncommon these days!

Chandan said...

And I'm sure that 99% of these ctitics didn't watch the match live.

Had they watched it live they'd have known what those conditions were where apart from Sachin and Dravid no other batsman could score comfortably against such quality attack!!

And if any of them are commenting these rubbish after watching the match, its even more pitiful!!

Sumit Chakraberty said...

straight point, chandan, thanks for your comments. but i don't feel like i've put my foot in my mouth. nor was i ducking, chandan, except from mumbai's floods over the weekend. let's be clear nobody's saying sachin is not talented: that would be silly. he's one of the most talented guys to have ever played the game, and he will produce quality innings from time to time. but certainly there's a fixation with him that has long outlived its justification given his current performance which is not that one of the top guys in world cricket. and even his 93 in a winning cause was not as big a deal as it is being made out to be, considering the asking rate of 4.5 and the fact that we lost only 4 wickets in all. more on this in this post - Give the bowlers their due.

Cricket Guru said...

chandan, straightpoint,

Did I say anything wrong?

I will be only too happy if Sachin plays like he did in the 2nd (not the first) ODI.

I stand by what I said. I would prefer watching Sachin of 90s than the present one.

Sachin's batting in last 4 years has been baffling, to say the least. If you do not agree with this statement, then I am sorry you have been watching some different sport.

If one knock from Sachin is enough for you to go gaga, imagine how we - 'the so called critics' - have been feeling, watching the way he has batted for last four years!

The problem with us Indians is that, once we put someone on a high pedestal, it is almost blasphemous to criticize him/her, even rightfully.

Coming to Sachin, I believe Sachin has lost a wonderful opportunity to establish himself as THE best player in the history of the game (after Sir Don, of course) because of his senselessly defensive approach in last few years. We needed ex players/critics to tell him that he was playing 'shit'. But Sachin has become so big a phenomenon, that there are only ex players/critics, who have the stature to tell him that.

Of the lesser players, Sanjay Manjrekar tried doing that, but he was hounded by all and sundry.

I want Sachin to play his normal attacking game and forget playing like Rahul Dravid. Only that will enable him to reclaim the lost ground. For that I seriously believe, Sachin needs critics, more than the blind devotees, to tick him off if he is playing dull cricket.