Tuesday, March 21, 2006

ENDULKAR booed and abused!

Hmmm. Is it getting close to the time that Mr. Tendulkar announces his retirement? Or is he still willing to produce that form that made us celebrate as a country that nothing else ever did? I dunno. What I do know though is that he probably isn't ready to stop making money from all his endorsements and what not.

Today is day 5 of the last test between India and England on England's Cricket tour of India. India have 295 to get in 90 overs, with 9 wickets in hand. Tendulkar has one more chance to redeem himself after his string of abysmal scores for the last several innings. Given that the test is in Mumbai - Tendulkar's hometown, it would be extra special for the erstwhile master batsman to show one more trick of mastery. But given his recent form though and his susceptibility to good pace bowling, the chances of a match-saving/match-winning performance from this man looks increasingly bleak.

I wish things were different. But reminiscing Tendulkar at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai is one thing. (I saw him score a century against South Africa in 1996 at Wankhede. Believe me - the welcome given, at least until recently, to Sachin Tendulkar at Wankhede is like few other things you'll ever see!). Recognizing that there is a slide that has begun that seems to be irreversible is another. Classic case of the heart and the head not agreeing. But I think the head has started to finally convince the heart, especially if India loses, this may just be "e n d u l k a r" for Indian cricket fans. Sadly, I don't even feel sad about it anymore.


At 7:45 PM , Blogger Meeta Yadav Vouk said...

I will be sad. I have always liked him, but I guess you are right. It is time for him to retire.

At 9:54 PM , Blogger Meeta Yadav Vouk said...

from BBC...lets wait and watch

0539: A forward defensive shot from Tendulkar draws another ovation from the home crowd. Could this be the day the Little Master answers the doubters in style?

At 10:49 PM , Blogger Sarat said...

Aah! It's lunch on Day 5. Tendlya on 38 with 5 fours in it. Heart's still saying - "Let this be the day!"

Head's saying, "Hold those celebrations yet!"

At 7:29 AM , Blogger Meeta Yadav Vouk said...

I hope you put a hold on your celebrations to save yourself the disappointment. A sad sad day.

At 8:15 AM , Blogger Sarat said...

This has been one of the worst efforts of recent times. Starting with increasingly bad test captaincy from Rahul Dravid:
- a toss blunder not befitting the captain of the host team who knows the conditions
- inability to inspire the top half of the team to bat judiciously and with a spine
- inability to stop the teams fielding slide and give them a stern talking-to

The batting performance was pathetic to say at best. Even after losing the toss, the game was there to be won and drawn at worst. And once again, sadly, uninspiring captaincy (as opposed to Flintoff who made the most of a more-than-half second-string team) is also a big factor here.

No personal attack on Dravid here. He's a good student of the game. And he's still learning. But learning is fine as long as the team is getting better. Not if the team is continuing the flounder and the results in the important games are getting increasingly disastrous.

I dunno if Ganguly would have been able to do too differently. But the one thing I would probably say in Ganguly's favour is that he would not have made the blunder to field first after winning the toss.

Regardless, a win was within grasp. This is not about throwing people out anymore. This is about serious issues with the captain's lack of ability to inspire, and the team's collective lack of spine. Somewhere down the road, test cricketing mindset has suffered. And after the post mortems, coach and captain better have a plan.

At 2:34 PM , Blogger Sib said...

I saw the entire match..they were coasting along well, until lunch, after which there was a real dramatic collapse...I can't believe that Dravid and Tendulkar were out in successiv overs after lunch ! Well, at least Sachin's was a tremendous catch at silly mid on. I still can't get used to the fact that Dravid lapsed in concetration...very very rare and doesn't bode well for the future...hope he pulls up his socks and improves (which he has shown to do often in the past).

But I must bring two players to the forefront for bad treatment...Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh...particularly Dhoni...

HE went after the spinner and skied one which was dropped by Panesar to everyone's collective relief...and then he is STUPID enough to do the EXACT same thing two balls later and get out - this time Panesar catching it.

Harbhajan too...hits a good four on the off side and then skies one on the on side...

What were there two thinking ? Yuvraj singh was stable at the other end and all they had to do was rotate strike and hang around !!! With 7 wickets down, one doesn't try to go the aerial route !!! (ok..ok...I have heard the natural game argument enough, but there is such a thing as adapting to the situation !)...All in all, a pathetic display form Dhoni...inexperience maybe...he has been the hero many a time...but this was absolutely inexcusable !

I agree that it was a captaincy mistake by Dravid (and perhaps Chappell) to field first...maybe that was the first blow and then Sehwags' back problems.

Sachin played admirably, considering that he is supposed to have shoulder surgery coming up soon, and unfortunately got out to a fantastic catch...

All in all, I think perhaps Kumble is the only one who can come out of this match with his head held high...what a bowling performance !!!


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