This month has been very eventful for Indian cricket in particular. For one Rahul Dravid has retired after being “The WALL ” of Indian batting border for 16 years and Sachin Tendulker arguably one of the best cricketer of all times has achieved once highly elusive milestone to any batsman in world cricket. That is 100 centuries in International cricket. It has been 23 years since Sachin Tendulker first started playing cricket in 1989 but the guy’s desire to score run has not waned. There is an entire generation who has grown up watching him play and he has been in one way responsible for the shift in playing style in Indian cricket. From a Team who were more than happy to just draw matches in Test matches, it went onto become No 1 Test side and then that world cup win of 2011, who could forget that.
The events are innumerable when he has scored heavily in world cups too but India didn’t win them.
In 1996 world cup he scored 523 runs. (most in the 1996 world cup)
In 2003 world cup he scored 673 runs. (most in the 2003 world cup)
In 2011 World cup he scored 482 runs (which finally India won)
There was a time, when people use to switch off televisions when Sachin use to get out because they thought that game was a lost cause, but now that cannot be said.There is a fighting spirit in the team which was none the less infused by saurav ganguly ( I bet bengalis would be loving for me saying that) but one would say that cemented by those of the likes of sachin Tendulker and Rahul Dravid. However, in the recent special ton‘s case the stats say that sachin took 38 innings to reach his 100th 100 whereas his average innings per hundred is 8. ( who said that Pressure isn’t a biaatch..that along with the expectations of entire nation).
Then there are those of the likes of Virender Sehwag who copied him to the core and came to Indian cricket team scoring heavily themselves. With 2 triple tons (the 3rd threatening triple ton, he got out on 293) and 1 Double ton one day Internationals (which followed sachin’s 200 earlier in one days against south Africa). It would be apt to say that sachin Tendulker inspired and guided India’s most destructive player in current scenario.
It would be safe to say that if and when sachin chooses to retire (even though many including me would like him to play more,make a Test triple ton,complete 200 Test mark, 100 ODI 50s and 50 ODI centuries.), he has created a force in his legacy which will be reckoned with an absolute DESTRUCTION.
Rahul Dravid’s Retirement
Rahul Dravid is someone on whom I tried to model my cricketing skills on and I failed miserably in that feat, rarely being able to make into school team for that matter leave aside desiring to play for Indian cricket team. His playing style just exuberates CLASS. His pull and hook shorts are matched by only sachin Tendulker in prowess.
I noticed him first against south Africa blasting Allan Donald all over the place and giving Donald a mouthful, who was giving entire India team a mouthful not to mention making their lives miserable at the crease. Addition to that nobody can forget that catch that he took of Gary Kirsten when he was standing in the short leg position in which he collided with Gary and both were lying on the ground (but dravid with the catch to dismiss Gary Kirsten).In that entire tour it was Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulker who were scoring (actually sachin captained in that tour) . In one instance the entire team was out for 74 and Rahul Dravid was standing 27 not out.
Then his knock of 153 in OneDAY International against SriLanka in world cup 1999, where India scored something like 370 and Sourav Ganguly scored 183. India won that game convincingly and was qualified for the super eight competition. Same was the rescue method in coming from follow on ,he scored 180 along with Laxman who scored 281 took the test series against Australia, the series also witnessed a rise of another star Harbhajan Singh who took 32 wickets including a hat-trick in 3 test matches.
In 2003 world cup, He donned the gloves as there was no Mahendra Singh Dhoni to keep wickets and score smashingly. He did the job pretty well as India reached world cup finals, the whole tournament showed his self sacrificing nature. His knocks of 270 against Pakistan in the tour where sehwag scored his triple ton of 309.Lastly his knock of against Australia in Horbat (I think correct if I am wrong) where he scored 233 not out which led India to win a test match in Australia after a long time not to mention draw the series.
The list are endless, the grace with which he played and carried on his duties were remarkable. He is without doubt a perfect example of conducting and playing cricket with honour, imposing the old English gentleman image. The game will certainly miss a true gentleman and I will miss a teacher (on the cricket field ).
Lastly sachin’s stats in 2003 world cup which I believe India should have won.
|SR Tendulkar||India||11||11||0||673 Runs
||61.18 avg||6 50s||1 100s||152||89.25 strike Rate|