Greatness at Sydney

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The persistent blot on Sachin Tendulkar’s legacy has often been cited to be his inability to finish the game off in pressure situations, especially in tournament finals, knock-outs and the fourth innings of crucial Tests . While it may be argued that for nearly twenty years it has primarily been Sachin who has been responsible for bringing India to the finals and more generally to winning positions in the first place, this criticism has not been without foundation, even more so in recent years with perhaps the most egregious example of Sachin failing when he was needed the most being the final game against Sri Lanka in the preliminary stage of World Cup 07, where he folded up against a straight delivery from Dilhara Fernando.

The last time that Sachin played a command innings under choking pressure is, as far as I recall, during World Cup 2003 in the match against Pakistan. With qualification for the next stage on the line, he came out with all cannons firing and launched a blistering attack on Akram, Akthar and Waqar in the process taking all the fight out of Pakistan. Even then he could not “finish” the game and while it took a solid partnership from Dravid and Yuvraj to put the seal on an emphatic victory, it is undeniable that the ease with which they knocked off the runs was influenced by Sachin’s belligerence earlier on.

In order to find the last time that Sachin single-handedly dominated and finished a pressure one day game, we would have to go back to 1998 to that innings against Australia in the finals at Sharjah where he played arguably the best cricket of his career.

Well not any more. Now we just have to go back to March 2, 2008.

With his century against Australia in the first final of the CB tri-series, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar may not have exactly silenced questions about his legacy but has, most definitely, shown the world that he still has it in him to play epic innings against the best of oppositions, stay till the end, dominate and bring victory for his team in make-or-break situations.

Dominate. Yes. But dominate in a very different way from how he did it in 1998 when the world was younger, the hand-eye coordination was a lot better and the body more willing.

1998. Sharjah. Michael Kasprowicz gives Sachin an earful. Sachin lifts him onto the shamiana at Sharjah and does not even deign to make eye contact after the shot, reducing the bowler to insignificance. Moody and Damien Fleming are blasted all over the park—the back-foot punch, the drive down the ground and the swing to mid-wicket rifling to the fence, straight from the sweet spot. Shane Warne, arguably the greatest spin bowler of his generation, comes to bowl. Sachin moves to the leg and sends him many rows deep into the stands with a contemptuous swing of his bat leaving Warne with an expression of utter shock and confusion.

One of those eternal “Who’se ma bitch” moments that no Indian fan who saw that game can ever forget.

2008. Bracken angles one away giving Sachin length and room. He swings his bat and it flies off his edge, rather fortuitously, for his first four. For the first ten overs, there are no more hits to the boundary. Sachin blasts a few off the middle of his bat but none of them make it through the ring. As the commentator points out, in his golden days each of them would have found the ropes. Brad Hogg, a rather sorry excuse of a spinner especially compared to his predecessor, is sought to be dismissed imperiously but there is more than a bit of struggle there. Sachin does manage a few streaky boundaries but they sorely lack the bunker-buster intensity of old.

But Sachin persists. As that overgrown mutant potato would say, just like an obnoxious weed. He works the angles and unleashes the slap over the slips, a shot he has over the years favored as his response to the short ball on the off stump. It isn’t the exhilarating get-out-of-the-seat stuff from 1998, but it’s solid, effective and unlike many of Sachin’s grander more awe-inspiring innings, it brings the team victory.

And therein lies what makes this century so special. This was not an innings of a man at the top of his powers, a giant who nonchalantly sleepwalks his way through demolishing the opposition. On the contrary, it was the conscious thought ,the studied factoring-in of his own reduced abilities behind every shot-selection, that made it a different kind of delight to watch. Whereas an old Sachin of ’98 would launch into a cover drive and back himself to get a four, the new Sachin was deliberately holding back, reducing his odds of being bowled through the gate and playing instead a push for two. Of course this has been the mark of Sachin’s batting till 2003—-it’s just that today, for the first time in many years, it all came together in a one day international when it mattered the most and when the stakes were the highest.

There were a few close shaves—and how close the shaves were were not immediately apparent. There are two ways Sachin has gotten himself out more than once in recent times: 1) playing a half cock defensive shot and getting bowled if the ball stays slightly low or deviates late and 2) trying to cutting a ball too close to his body. At least once, Sachin found himself in each of these two situations, got beaten but managed to survive. And then tightened himself for the subsequent deliveries.

Yes this was domination too. But through solidity. Through determination. And through sustained concentration.

Thank you sir, once again, for your greatness.

[Have been very busy with my day job for the last week. Hence delay in posting]

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84 thoughts on “Greatness at Sydney

  1. Just couldn’t resist the temptation of being the first to comment on the real post, not the draft! ๐Ÿ™‚

    About the post, I am in full agreement. Although, something else you omitted is the fact that the Sachin of 1998 was a youngster with no pulled hamstrings and all. Yesterday he had one of those, but as the commentator quoted Harsha Bhogle’s query to Sachin about taking a runner, “Even if he has a pulled hamstring, he would still be faster than the runner”. And this brings back memories of the Chennai test where his back pain caused him to be a little fast that got him out with the rest of the tail bowled chasing a mere 18 runs. I think one of the other hallmarks of this innings was that he did not try to hurry and finish in spite of his discomfort: thats maturity.

  2. Back in 1998, Sachin actually played two back to back blustery innings against Austrlia. The first one was for a league game and India lost the match but got into the finals mainly due to that Sachin innings. For a good reason, those innings are refered to as “Desert Storms” (there was an actual sand-storm that disrupted one of the matches).

    Hope Sachin can repeat that two-fer in Brisbane tomorrow.

    Also, well played by Rohit Sharma and the Indian U-19 team.

  3. Dada, in the spirit of redux essays of the best innings of cricketers close to the end of their prime, you should do one on ganguly too. I wonder if he still has something left in him.

  4. Yes, but one thing didnt change at all, his strike rate. It might have got oerlooked that while Rohit Sharma, despite playing risky lofted shots, managed his runs in 88 balls. Tendualkar, as the Tendulkar of yesteryears, was still at nearly 100 % strike rate. And yes, despite the hamstring, he didn’t take a runner. Save for a rather harsh ‘sending back’ of rohit, his running between the wickets, was near perfect.

  5. It was contained innings from sachin, but by no means slow. He stuck 117 off 120 balls and a fine pace of 97.50 even when the required run rate for the innings was below 5.
    Kudos to the great man.

  6. Man…you’re dead right! Can’t ever forget that desert-storm inning in 1998! I personally believe that the first one was a classic (i.e. the ‘semi-final’ where India qualified but didn’t win) coz he did it single-handedly…VVS Laxman was a mere spectator.

    Yeah! and I can still hear the screaming voice of Tony Greg ringing in my ear “it’s on the roof…it’s on the roof”. It haunts me like that parrot screeching “pieces of eight…pieces of eight”

    What a player!!!!

  7. i want to see manjrekar’s face!! i think we should have him make such comments especially before finals ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. This is an awesome fearsome innings without any clear chances given…this aus bowling and fielding unit is better than the one at Sharjah (besides Warne)…the wicket is more difficult too with more juice and cut..

    that sachin was a brilliant flashy young man..this sachin is pink floyd..).technically the best of all ODI innings by Sachin

    the gutsiest one was that 99 against pakistan…closely followed by this one…and this from a sachin baiter…

  9. hope he scores no.43 tomorrow and retires from ODIs…because with the reappearing injuries with such a frequency…more ODIs mean a shortening career…we need him in tests for quite sometime…atleast till we have nice stable replacements for the other big 3 in tests…he shud b the last to go frm tests…like wht kumble is doing…..retired frm ODIs so tht he can play tests longer…and we can try the likes of chawla’s in ODIs

  10. Yup…Sachin systematically dismantled the Aussie juggernaut!

    and as for San”gay” Manjreker
    ….”There is a bitch in Ten Sports Commentary Team but no one wants to kick it out to the gutters”

    PS: Oh, I apologize…I didn’t count Ramiz Raja…Two Bitches then!

  11. no no lets hold two electrodes at the opposite balls and see if that is demented enough for us to win the very same matches in a potty chair .there will still be sidhu and mansira hitting it so high that the airhostess from somewhere below goes up in flames on a sunday afternoon in eden garden watching a match that has no way out except maybe through a urinary bladder or something.any more?

  12. I’ve been a big critic of Sachin, but yesterday’s performance was pure class.

    The problem with him is that such innings from him are so few and far in between. I mean, 1998, then 2003 and yesterday. Far too long for a player of his level.

  13. @Joyjit: Why should Manjrekar have any problem with what he said? it’s clear that Tendulkar has a problem chasing, it is evident in his average, which is extrapolated over a long enough time line for it to be a genuine concern.

    I’d say that the media voicing their criticism has egged Tendulkar on to play two trend-breaking innings back to back.

  14. GB Dada,
    This article brought back some cherished memories.. Yes, Sachin’s innings yesterday brought back memories of that 98 chase, but this innings was more measured, mature and shows how Sachin has evolved as a cricketer. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks!
    Ganga

  15. Sachin was once asked about the secret of his success and he credited it to visualisation technique( seeing his goal as already having manifested).

  16. “One of those eternal โ€œWhoโ€™se ma bitchโ€ moments that no Indian fan who saw that game can ever forget.”

    The expression on Ponting’s face wasn’t too different.

  17. Robin Uthappa is the sole reason for India’s win in the first final of CB series. He provided the formidable opening partnership on which the team built the score. The only reason for India’s problems is we are now not having sufficient South Indians in the Indian team. Only South Indians can win the matches for India against formidable pace attacks and pressure situations. Having more South Indians in the Indian team is the only solution. Remember, we used to have 5 players from Karnataka at one time and our team was a champion at that time.

  18. Why are we still surprised by Sachin? If you want to see a great man playing within the limitations of age and a complaining body, check out that double century on the last tour Down Under.

    For me, the highlights were (1) Bhajji getting both those beefcakes and (b) his mock-sparring with Yuvraj when he got Hayden. The latter shows that this team plans their responses. Always good.

    J.A.P.

  19. There are two ways Sachin has gotten himself out..
    Also trying to turn the ball square on the leg side – what is usually his bread-and-butter shot – and getting either bowled or leg-before. This is perhaps the shot which has betrayed him the most with age.

  20. Heh, this post is the only search result for “overgrown mutant potato”. [Google]

    Of course this has been the mark of Sachinโ€™s batting till 2003

    You mean since 2003?

  21. Sharjah, Chennai Test match, vs Pak in the world cup and now this – his greatness was never in question, only his consistency in chasing scores was!

    Now, the critics would rest in peace – sublime, subdued masterclass, clinical finish – and it doesn’t look good for the Australians now!

  22. GB Dada,
    I’ve been a great fan of your blog and am glad to say that this post also was worth the wait. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The Desert Storm innings were definitely ‘Sachin at his best’, but then so were a couple more… Take the World Cup 2003 match against Pakistan for example. Making Shoaib Akhtar shy away from completing his spell for the fear of being demolished is a feat not many batsmen can claim!
    Nevertheless, I agree that this is not the Master Blaster Sachin that we haave always known, but a wiser and more patient patriarch of the current Indian Team.
    Needless to say that I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the Second Final today… ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. @Kishor
    Man, that is a ridiculous argument. Totally. Where do South Indians come into India’s fantastic win yesterday.

    Did you know that this is how cricket was in the past, when there had to compulsarily be players from different regions in the Indian national team, which is preposterous to say the least.

    You shouldn’t mind 11 Sikkimese in the team if they can give India glory against teams like Australia.

    To GB, of course. Brilliant post. And yes, Tendulkar. Can’t say anything really. Completely astounded by yesterday.

  24. @Arnab:

    “overgrown mutant potato” — This is by far the most appropriate description of any living creature that I have come across in a long long time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    What amazes me most about Sachin is, in the twilights of his career, with a fatigued and injury-plagued body and despite a drastic decrease in percentage of runs scored in boundaries, his strike rate has never dropped down. He is the last person who one can accused off wasting balls, even when he is going through a lean patch.

  25. And India win…
    Sitting in office, listening to radio commentary, one just cannot believe and comprehend the scale of this achievement. In the past 29 years, Australia won this tournament 19 times. Of the rest, 6 were won by the West Indies in their salad days. India played in Oz twice in 1992, 1999/2000 and 2004. We got to the finals in ’92 because the third team was horrible. We did not reach the finals in ’99 because we were horrible. In 2004, inspite of having the batting line up from heaven and the confidence after drawing the Test series, we were blanked in the finals. Beating Australia in ODIs consistently in Australia is harder than winning a Test. This team achieved it in style. And without three of the big four. And without Zaheer Khan and RP Singh, the strike bowlers. It is just unbelievable.

  26. Very good article. You know what I would like to hear…. your interpretation of how we Indians ruined the farewell parties of two great Australian cricketers Steve Waugh and Gilly

  27. Bravo! India has won. Suck it Ponting; Suck it aussies!
    auusies better get used to be defeated from India. it’ll help them in future.

  28. Another such innings would have to be the 241* he scored against Australia at Sydney again.I remember he played no shots on the offside almost the entire time because of a few dismissals in the slips during the series.
    Somehow people always forget Sachin’s liking for the Aus attack which IMHO is as intense as Laxman’s.( I think it is Laxman’s 281 that makes it so.)

    An interesting aspect of the game was the way Dhoni knocked off the 30 odd runs…there was a sense of inevitability that even the Australians felt about it…..reminded me of the way Kapil used to finish games on the few occasions India did win games…..Also his captaincy ….people might mistake his attitude for arrogance but then he is winning so who cares…After a long time (since Ganguly)…India has seen a captain that makes the players feel like a team…at least that is what I felt from what I have seen…(Assume Dravid was a good captain but…..and all that….)

  29. sachin did it again… well almost..the 91 certainly helped a long way to seal the series with the other motley crew in this great fielding side fidgeting around…. leaving aside sachin, dhoni and occassion brilliances from rohit sharma and gambhir, the pathetic inexperience of the side shows …. it will be good to get some experience into the batting, not at the cost of developing vibrant young fielders but just to see off the team on a pedestal where the younger generation coming in will be anticipated and feared. To leave the team at the hand of the youngersters now (with all due respect) could one day backfire and then there may not be a gate to bring the experience in….

    one of the first comments mentioned a desert storm in sachin’s innings… as a young school kid running home to watch that match and the next, this one line suddenly bought a smile at those sweet memories of days long gone…. might i remember one more fitting match where dada batted almost in the dark in bangladesh and got us victory… great days those..kudos India..

  30. cdn’t resist coming back for a parting shot @himesh,the infernal : “whatever dravid was, he was a GOOD sorry excuse for a captain…”

    he he… bangalier last maar aarki… ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. No one has mentioned the breaking of the biggest barrier since the dismantling of apartheid. MA KI GAALI is today accepted in Bhadra samaaj and polite conversation, in newspapers, classrooms, and god knows where else. For too long only acceptable gaalis were the english ones. That was a dark and shameful chapter in the history of discrimination!

    All lovers of hindi/pujabi gaalis can thank bhajji for this.

  32. GB,

    India whitewashed Oz..sensational victory in 2nd final..
    And as Ponting rightly predicted, no need for a 3rd Final..Perfect time for starting new Oz dedication sites
    like
    OzLoudMouth.com.au
    FootInMyMouth.com.au
    ShutMyTrap.com.au
    OzKozByGosh.com.au

    and of course, now waiting for your review on the final ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. thats a bheem boy(jikku) like android from a puspak like movie ,thick as cowdung on the wall.difficult to scrape through .i dont how fat she is .i just emailed her and she forwarded it back to me absolute perfume.

  34. Time for all the love-struck Ganguly fans who put him above the country to realise HOW BIG our country is. HOW MANY talented players we have, and given right opportunities and a big stage – if kiddy countries like Sri Lanka can produce winners, India is bound to be 10 times better.

    I was always of the opinion that it was bound to happen. But plaguing the stage were dead beat players like Ganguly with 73 as career strike rate (might have been fair for most of his career) but blowing trumpets even today as if they belong to this era – now have all been put to shame. And hopefully they NOW realise that there is no point in jumping around, you dont have the energy, the youth, or quite simply – the ability to play shoulder to shoulder against the other great teams out there, forget about beating them.

    These players have hogged one spot too many for more than 15 years and have only produced a pretty mediocre cricketing nation.

    I am glad Dhoni had the “aukat” to come out and change it with his own vision and determination. It must have been pretty tough for him to stick to reality against dead heads – still holding corpses of mediocre performers close to their chest and had no knowledge of what it means to look ahead.

  35. Dear Dhruv
    Your comments are second to none (with honorable exception of Kishoreโ€™s comments) in sheer moronic , illogical tish-tosh!!
    First, neither Dada nor Jammie held on to a spot for 15 years.Till couple of years back they were the mainstay of an Indian Batting jaggernaut that out-batted many a strong opposition. Yes, now may be they are past their prime- and we should gracefully say goodbye to them instead of rubbishing all that they stood for all these years.
    Second , a strong cricketing nation doesnt emerge overnight.It takes place over a long phase of ups and downs and steady but small steps towards improvement.That was how it happened in Australia and is now happening in India. It was the era of Dada, Rahul, Sachin and Co. which started the turnaround , made us confident about our abilities – and lets not forget Dadaโ€™s contribution as a captain under whom the Yuvis, Bhajjis and even Dhonis were nurtured and made ready to take over the mantle.It was under Dada that we saw a glimpse of the new, aggressive, fearless India that has now blossomed into a force to reckon with. Its the same with Australia- it was Allan Border along with Dean Jones, Boon, Mcdermott, Geoff Marsh who laid the foundation on which Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ponting built their empires.
    Third, Dada and Dravid are still needed in tests.
    Fourth, do look at statistics(including match-winning performances) by Dada and Ganguly before branding them “mediocre performers”.
    Fourth,its people like you who do serious damage to our cricket with all your jingoism.You I am sure will be the first to question Dhoni’s captaincy and the “youth power” in the team the moment they meet with a crashing defeat.
    It is not only unkind but also stupid to overlook the glorious past while looking at a bright future. I agree that we should not go back to the past, but we must cherish it because that is where our future was born.

  36. Sid

    Before lamenting me with your opinions, give a thought to my undertone.

    I do not want to take a dig at you personally – branding you as another blind dada lover.

    But the whole point of my posting was for the present and the future. Ganguly, Dravid have been marvels of indian cricket and they have been rewarded more than what they would have otherwise got in any other nation. So dude its all paid back, move on now.

    This post was solely to those blind love struck dead beats who still held their corpses EVEN today – saying we have no better players!

    What kind of ill and dead notion is that? People are willign to stick to individuals like Ganguly and Dravid – past their prime and who have nothing more to achieve maybe, than giving youngsters chances to go out their and understand, absorb cricket at international level.

    This pathetic notion in itself ties India to mediocrity – even in something that almost every indian loves and cherishes.

    It is time kids like you realise India is much bigger than Ganguly and Dravids, we have many players like them (it just has to be the case given our size), nurture them and bring them to fore – dont stick to individuals (you earned the kid mention because of that, kid) – and play for a bigger cause. This is India, and Cricket we are talking about! Not just 2 individuals who also were in the crowd before they become your idols.

  37. And believe me, winning just did one thing for me – that it prompted me to come here and say something to people like you.

    It doesnt matter if we win or loose, we have to move on and realise there is tremendous talent. And it is not about performing from day one, everyone comes to this level to understand it, live in it, and then comes at a point to perform.

    Even the win was more because of almighty Sachin and a couple of luck factors like Praveen Kumar. There are many tough times ahead for this young team but being young they are out their to learn and adapt.

    Nt dead beats like your dada who have nothing more to achieve in the field than just probably hold the forte – talking about records go and check out how many match winning innings he has played in the last 5 years. Also check out his strike rate, how many times he has gnoe beyond 85 in last 5 years with a good 50 score or more.

    I’ve checked all the stats dude, and have also seen Ganguly’s pathetic innings against Aus in India – last series when asking rate was above 6.5 at the start and our man with his own meticulous strike rate played 18 overs himself wtih a run rate of 4 in such conditions, and everyone around him had to go for big shots and loose his wicket.

    We lost the match due to his inability, and it was there for all to see. Dhoni and Yuvraj even went and complained about his innings to officials and no wonder they didnt pick him when they were in charge.

    But Nevermind, Ganguly is now a limited player, similar to Dravid, can only help India hold the forte in low scoring matches. (again past is gone so dont come jumping to me with 183 at lords n sht)

    So dude move on, realise the grandness of India and limitations of 2 individuals who have been well paid back.

  38. To Mr. Dhruv

    Its rather hypocritical to say that the we do not need players like ganguly or dravid today and turn around tomorrow (if we get thrashed by South Africa) and say that we have rushed into this Chappellesque decision. To be honest, ganguly and dravid are still one of the best test players in India, more so the latter. Dravid is some one who hasnt got the praise he deserves, even tho he has a better record than ganguly or even Sachin (tests). Speaking to an Australian, he called dravid a ‘whore’,as he has done everything, captained, kept, opened, even batted at 8. Now thats a true team player, more so than a youngster who is just happy to sign his IPL contract and get injured. I agree that older players like ganguly and dravid have to be phased out, but in due term. Some of these players deserve the right to decide when to retire. They may not be Sachin, but they come pretty damn close.

  39. Dear Dhruv:

    Laxman and Dravid are the ones who showed the world how to beat Australia. Even 100 Rohit Sharmss 100 Dhonis can’t equal Laxman. Laxman is the greatest batsman in cricket’s history and Dravide the second and Bradman the third. Nobody has the right to criticise them.

  40. Right on. These days I don’t expect any runs from Sachin, especially against Australia, or in crunch matches. I treat whatever he scores as a bonus. It’s like the services our country provides to former PM’s – something I don’t agree with, but have taught myself to tolerate. However, his mature innings in the two finals was one of the deciding factors for sure. It was the Ozzies at full strength and it was crunchier than Nestle Crunch.

    Though the details are a mystery to the cricket fan, I would like to ascribe part of Sachin’s success to that man with the golden touch – Dhoni. Seems as if Dhoni has put Sachin’s fear of non-existent demons to rest by assuring him that there are the Yuvrajs and Dhonis to follow and thus he needn’t carry extra pressure. Just look at Sachin’s smile after the second lap while the team was taking a victory lap. It was replete with relief and relaxation.

    A glance at above comments tells me attention whores are taking this opportunity to diss Ganguly. I am sure Ganguly is watching the team’s success in his living room and lying back with a smile of satisfaction. He started the winds of change in the team and picked Dhoni, who has since then taken it to new levels. Dada is truly the Godfather of Indian Cricket of this century.

    PS: Lol at overgrown mutant potato!

  41. “Some of these players deserve the right to decide when to retire. They may not be Sachin, but they come pretty damn close.”

    Britishers have left, but have left behind a passive, retired psychology which just needs heroes to worship.

    Dhoni didnt deserve ppl with this mentality.

    Anyway, my debate is not on tests, that is a different ballgame brother. That is skill, experience and a little low on exuberance, youth and energy. They are good for more time there beyond doubt

  42. GB,

    You missed the beamer that Lee threw at Sachin. His reaction to that makes him an absolute great player.

    And one another thing that is not getting discussed is the free hit that came after the beamer. Sachin could have scored his century out of that. But he did not do that. He just ducked the ball. Might be, he was shaken by the beamer. If not, this is what makes him the great player he is – scoring century on a good ball, rather than a free ball. And i believe it’s the later.

  43. @ArSENik

    What a pity. Sachin’s ‘bonus runs’ are still way higher than the ‘regular runs’ of other players.

  44. I am just laughing out on the comments by kishor…so amateurish…what surprises me is how is he in the reader’s list for dada’s blogs…never knew dada’s blogs atract such people too…
    on a serious note to dada…can you take steps to remove such obnoxious weeds ( read comments ) from your blog…just remmeber your comment readership equals your blog’s and you wont want to hamper that readership because of the weeds

  45. @chandan :
    I believe you are not a regular visitor in RTDM. Even if you are you probably don’t visit the comments section too often. Kishor is one of the coolest dudes among the regular commenters here. All his comments follow a certain pattern. For about a year or so now, he has been providing the much needed refreshment amidst war of words in the comments section this blog. What you see as his ‘regionalism’ is actually his ‘saar-casm’. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now, who this ‘saar-casm’ is targetted us is not something I’m going to type in here…that’s something you yourself have to find out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m sure even GB will agree with me in this.

  46. Great post. i have been a regular reader but commenting for the first time.

    @Shah:
    the ball after the beamer was not a “Free Hit”. That is why Sachin would have ducked.
    A “Free hit” is given only for a “Front foot no-ball”. So the ball which Lee bowled after the beamer was a vaild ball

  47. Dhruv,
    Seems like you and I are not exactly of diametrically opposite opinions:) I too agree that Dravid and Dada should not be a part of this current side. I just differed with the way you actually belittled some of their achievements. Its true that with age , sportsters must evolve and gracefully move out of the way fo youthful exuberence. But as a nation with great cricketing traditions, we must acknowledge the departures with a tip of the hat- a lot we have today , is owed to these cricketers on their way out. Have a look at Steve Waugh- he was dropped from thye ODI side, but he still remained a person to look up to . We must not mete out such shabby treatment to ageing heroes even if they are past their prime. There will be a day when Dhonis and Yuvis will be pushed out in their mid-30s by greenhorns, and rightly so. But shall we then forget the contributions they made at a crucial transition phase of our cricket???????? And write that they had been “holding onto a spot” for a decade in Indian side?

  48. We can emulate the rude, abrasive Aussies, match them expletive for expletive, but why cant we learn these niceties about them- the way they bid farewell to their over-the-hill Heroes??????

  49. Sid dude, I feel you. But you’re a bit off reality here.

    Problem is with our gray haired or almost bald dada is that he doesnt know when to call it quits! They dont show respect for themselves by sticking like no-magic-glue ever probably would! Give Team a break and go for a ride, what more do you want to achieve now on the field?

    Are you banking on viagra or something to suddenly come with dominance on the field and beat other teams? You’re past your prime and probably have nothing more you can achieve now. You dont fit in the niternational elvel now.

    Think about it practically, these ppl think they belong to ODIs for another 2-3 years!! What do we do man? They are themselves asking for this disgrace, and we dont have options.

    I believe in a stronger Indian team than these individuals, Ganguly, Dravid, Dhoni and Yuvi alike. India is MUCH bigger man, these are a few you and I have seen, there are many more out there wasting there lives because Ganguly wants to play more and hog a spot.

    And dumb cnts like ArseNik (You should be Arse-Lick dude – you belong to the lickign category, believe me if none ever has already told you) think that Ganguly is a REAL GODFATHER of Indian Cricket and he deserves what is happening otu there!! WTF dude, come out and take a fresh breath of air – if that was REALLY the case that he loved India and cricket so much – why the fk would ganguly still say that he seems he is fit to play for India for another 2-3 years in ODIs!!

    It is time this hero worship mentality goes away, and a one that can produces a hero takes shape.

  50. Dibyo

    No not twins bro.

    And not sure about Kishore, what I’m breathing is called fresh air.

    I hope someday you would climb out of the gutter of mediocrity you are in to see what it really means dude.

    Till then, worship Dada.

  51. @Dhruv:

    Your words, language, and demeanor all suggest that you are a complete moron of limited vocabulary and cricketing intelligence, so obviously objectivity is not something that can be expected from you.

    This win in Australia just provided you the perfect opportunity to diss Sourav and Dravid. There can be no other reason to call them “dead beats” “almost bald” (since when did hair have anything to do with ability, unless you think Dhoni is Samson?).

    Luckily for you, most people on this blog are not as foulmouthed as you are, otherwise you would have got back a good dose of your own scatological invective.

    Go spout your bile somewhere else.

  52. @Dhruv: You are a visionary. So was Ganguly. He wanted to bring fresh talent into the team and you want to uplift the lives of all commentors on this blog by educating us on the right vocabulary to use while commenting and also about originality of nicknames. How on earth did you come up with ‘Dhruv’? I still can’t fathom it all. You also want to enlighten us about another category in our already diverse SC/ST/OBC classes – the licking category. And don’t feel left out, I would so totally love to lick your posterior as well along with Dada’s (which of course has been my sole aim in life since he started playing international cricket).

  53. @Shan

    I pity you dude.

    You’ve the knack of picking where I screwed up (cant help it, I’ve always had overflowing emotions for dada), and as it looks to me, other than you probably none has read what I wrote fully!

    What I dont understand in you, and others like you, is how you can not use the same sense to understand how Ganguly plagues Indian cricket when he suggests he should play for another few years in ODI.

    You’re not an arse-licker like others here, are you?

    An extremely mediocre performer for last few years now, still wants to hog a spot and you cant see that! What a shame.

    He did silence me with his come back – he was rock solid but please dont you kid yourself, he can never be a match winner anymore. He is well past that stage. Struggling for YEARS now!

    Other than low scoring matches where you have to play with a dead bat, he is of NO use to anyone (except for the oppositions to hand over the match! Which is why Ricky ponting has been missing him believe me).

    We need to move on, he is past, and even if he doesnt have the grace to realise, or self respect to give things up on his own, somebody needs to shake him up and tell that. And atleast people like you should f’g realise that first!

    Tell me what is really the logic that blind duds like you (if you do) use to affirm that Ganguly should play, and a youngster shouldnt get a chance!

  54. Arsenik,

    Dude, to gather attention, or to pick up a fight – requires more than what you had to offer in that post.

    Sorry, I gotta pass.

  55. How come no one is talking about Ponting and Hayden’s discomfort with the pitched up delivery? It was delightful to see Ponting in discomfort against Ishant in the Perth test. Made him look like an amateur. It takes grace that only Gavaskar can summon to be honest, “look here, no one likes short pitched stuff.” This is an Indian team that simply doesn’t care for reputations and coming from a country that dominates the cricket economy, the youngsters miss no opportunity to drive it in. About time the empty headed Aussies were brought down from their perch. This is a repeat of the T20 series when Ponting and his dumb bunch were outthought, outplayed, and out-aggro’ed by what Greg Chappal would call “a wonderfully talented team”. Not having McGrath and Warne does make a big difference right? I hope the Aussies come down to earth. Method cricket is good, but when it meets raw talent with youth, it doesn’t stand a chance. Curtains for Ponting? About time.

  56. kaangeya dude

    you are taking a little too far. i hate aus team and their ways – just like any non-aussie would.

    but you’d be kidding yourself if you forgot how difficult a team it still is.

    dont you forget how they screwed india on a meagre run chase of 160. it took such a big effort from us to win it.

    then the 180 odd they f’ed us bad.

    it just happened to be the case that almighty sachin came to party in the finals and some good backing from youth factor made us win the finals. (ppl like ganguly and dravid are lost mentally against aussies even before the match starts, so this is where the youth really played a part i believe. plus praveen kumars brilliant spell)

    if our current indian team plays 10 matches against aus, i bet we’l loose more than 6 to them.

  57. hey how about a few nice words about our young team??? how they looked completely different from all the old ones not in terms of cricketing skills but in overall approach and body language to compete.
    If you start going to back to look at which games (one day) we have won against australia without Sachin playin a big role, you would probably struggle. Dropping dravid ganguly and laxman therefore was a non-issue to begin with. So it would be nice to read something about the whole team. And why may i ask not a single word about Rohit Sharma??
    hmmm..lemme guess…may be because he played in place of one of the ‘Seniors’!!!

  58. Ok….one more thing….Every moron defending ganguly dravid and Laxman first has to name at least 3 games in which they played a matchwinning innings against australia…ONE DAYERS mind you….
    Chao

  59. ok guys just tone down the language…u may or may not like some cricketers but that gives u no right to call others ‘morons’ etc..stop acting like pakis on youtube

  60. hmmmm…lemme see….we win 1 match in 10 against australia in australia past two tours combined (2000 and 2003)with dada, dravid and laxman much younger….and yet so much was made of their axing from this team. Guess the word for anyone who still believes it could work this time around.

  61. Oh…i forgot to menttion how many matches we won against australia during last 10 years….7 times! 5 of them at home (BTW we got our asses whacked 11 times for those 5 wins!).
    2 away wins in 10 years right in the middle of the prime of laxman, dada and dravid….and people still yacking about how they deserved a place in the side????
    einsteins….

  62. “The last time that Sachin played a command innings under choking pressure is, as far as I recall, during World Cup 2003 in the match against Pakistan. With qualification for the next stage on the line……………”

    Yes, Sachin played exceptionally well in Australia this time round (possibly the best he has played in ODIs), but let’s not get carried away by that and start attributing every famous knock of his to have been played under pressure.

    The match against Pak was the last match for India in the group stage, prior to super six. India had already qualified by then (they had 16 pts. before the Pak match). Only Eng and Zim could have tied points with India if India lost to Pak (and Eng and Zim had won their remaining game), but since both had lost to India in their group matches, India would have qualified anyway. Same for the Pak-Eng-India tied at 16 points scenario, had that happened. In the end, neither Eng nor Zim could win their remaining match,but Zimbabwe’s match against Pak was washed out and hence Zim qualified.

    Thus, that innings was played when the job was already done and is hence, not “an innings under pressure”, just a good innings. The great man needed to fire in the finals, which he couldnt. In fact, he seldom has before this tri-series final.

    It always helps to get your facts right. Makes your post more credible.

  63. Naah, it’s not his job to finish the innings. It’s just that we always expect him to do so. As an opener, he fills fear and awe in the opposition. To finish games and reach the brink of victory every time is being unreal.

  64. A case in Making
    http://www.cricinfo.com/compaq/content/current/story/425075.html

    –Sachin Tendulkar’s 138 was his sixth hundred in 38 innings in finals, and it pushed his overall average in such matches up to an impressive 55.54. In his last three finals, he has notched up scores of 117 not out, 91 and 138, and India have won each of those matches.
    –In all, Tendulkar has scored 1833 runs in finals, which is easily the highest – Sanath Jayasuriya is next with 1613. Tendulkar also ranks very high in terms of all-time averages in finals: among those who’ve scored at least 500 runs in finals, only three have a higher average. One of them is India’s current coach, Gary Kirsten – in 20 innings, he scored 1019 runs at an excellent average of 69.73. Tendulkar’s stats are very similar to those of Viv Richards, who averaged 55.73 at a strike rate of 84.78 in 17 finals. Brian Lara, on the other hand, has struggled in finals, averaging only 28.16, more than 12 runs below his career average. His one century and two fifties all came in his first four innings; in his last 14 finals, his highest score was 35.
    — The Man-of-the-Match award was Tendulkar’s 59th in ODIs, and his eighth in finals. It was also his 14th Player-of-the-Series award. Tendulkar leads the all-time list in both categories – he is 11 clear of the second-placed Jayasuriya in the match awards and three ahead in the series awards.

    Had Sachin really been bad in finals even before these Sydney Finals? I always felt that, but again Stats here seem to suggest otherwise..

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