Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Give the bowlers their due
It's the bowlers who won the series against South Africa by restricting them to 227 in 50 overs and 148 in 31 overs. Dravid helped their cause by winning the toss and putting the opposition in both times. It was harder to bat first up in these conditions. When it came to the chase, the main thing was not to lose too many wickets to the new ball. Sachin's 93 in the second ODI was therefore important, and it's after a long time that he has contributed significantly to a team victory. That he also crossed the 15,000 run mark during that innings meant all the media attention focussed on him. I suppose it is natural to celebrate an idol's milestones but I think longevity-based records are less important than current achievements. The bowlers, for instance, hardly got any credit for delivering the goods despite their inexperience. That India won the 2nd ODI with six wickets to spare suggests to me Tendulkar's knock was not the decisive factor. The man-of-the-match award should have instead gone to Yuvraj Singh who picked up three wickets as a part-time bowler and then calmly steered India home with 49 not out. He bettered that with a 61 not out in the next ODI which India won easily, despite the early dismissals of Dravid and Tendulkar.