Sachin The Great

English: Sachin Tendulkar at Adelaide Oval

Many out there simply want to call out what Sachin has not done. I truly believe it is because they are for some reason jealous that he has done what he has done. Today on this day when Sachin scored 100th 100, people asking how many of those 100s have India lost in.

  • Tests: 51 Centuries – 20 Wins, 20 Draws, 11 Losses
  • ODIs: 49 Centuries – 34 Wins, 13 Losses, 1 Tie, 1 No Result

A more detailed comparison – http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/38170/the-myth-about-sachin-ton-and-india-losing

For someone who peaked just last year, thinking that he played for records is unthinkable. Sachin has done everything but disgrace the same. For those who think otherwise, I leave them with one thought

if you choose to respect another player in the game, please by all means, just acknowledge that Sachin has done things for game that no one else has. Don’t admit that he is greatest, but admit he is one of the greats

Rotate Sachin? Why? Even Stats are saying otherwise

Sachin Tendulkar, Indian cricketer. 4 Test ser...
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Yesterday (Feb 12), was when India beat Australia in a ODI in a decent manner, yet all I felt was disappointment. For the first time, I was not happy that my team had won, I was rather sad how they have decided to treat their master batsman.

India in the recent CB series came up with a rotation policy – they started off by resting Sehwag, followed by Gambhir and on Sunday they rested Sachin. From all the various games I have seen over the years – Cricket, Soccer, Basketball – rotation has been a useful thing when a team is struggling and they managers/coaches/captains need to find a set of players that tick. However, the way India management (including Dhoni) has handled rotation simply makes no sense to me and to experts as well – several articles have been published where people have questions this policy. A few are listed here:

Let’s simply look at how the top 3 have been performing in Australia in recent times (not considering the ODI on Sunday because decision to rotate out Sachin was done before that match) – and I dont have to put forward stats to tell that Sachin has been most consistent. Sachin has not amassed a big score yet has has provided us with consistent starts. Gambhir on the other hand was a complete flop in test matches, but in a few T20 and ODI that we have played he had already played a crucial inning in T20 to take India to a win. Now, lets ask what has Sehwag done – apart from that one inning in Adelade in Test match and that too where he got out to a full-toss.

Understood that we do not want to play all the 3 because that forces us to leave Raina or Rohit out – that makes sense. But, when you have 2 openers – Sachin and Gambhir doing well for you – why rotate them out? Makes no sense to me – does it make any sense to you? What it only does is add extra pressure to the top-3 for India. Where they lived in harmony, not they are playing for a spot (including Sachin and Sehwag). You can call it team work and that everyone understands, but  hear otherwise because Gambhir after scoring a crucial 92 quoted

This XI had that belief that we can beat Australia today. For me this was the best playing XI. It’s not about names, it’s about people who can go out there and have that belief from No. 1 to No. 11. If they have the belief that ‘yes, we can win this game’, that’s the best playing XI. You don’t want names, you want people who can deliver. We have shown it, I think

“We don’t want names, we want people who can deliver…” would I be wrong if I read this as “Sachin is a name” – do you want me to bring out the stats again? Gambhir is a captain – KKR and he could be looking at the vice captaincy in some time. He has to be wise before saying. I can see that he might be under stress with his position in the team not sure at this point especially when Kohli has been doing so well.

To the rotation policy, this is the last thing we want to happen in the team – when one player thinks that the person who has been rotated out is not needed any more. We need to send a clear message if someone is dropped. And then if India team has to drop out Sachin Tendulkar especially in his current form or should I say in Indian team’s current form, does not make fans like me happy. If Sachin is available for selection, I want to see him play. Sachin is someone who knows when the time has come to go and he will go. He if God of cricket and if you have God on your side and you dont play him, even when your other openers are not preforming…..

I have this bad feeling in my stomach since yesterday that tell me, that Sachin maybe has outgrown the game – maybe he should just let go. We all know he loves the game and we know he is still performing, can will continue till he knows he can perform. It is just too hurtful to see our beloved icon, sitting on a bench.

Indian Media has to learn to respect the Greats

Indian Media would be the first one in the world that continues to belittle our heroes by asking others. I dont know but for many years Indian Media has been asking the world who is better – Bradman or Sachin? We have never seen an Australian ask that question yet we are somehow obsessed with comparing our heroes with others.

Sachin scored the first double-century in the history of Cricket. On 24 Feb 2010, Sachin achieved the biggest milestone of all. It happened when no one was even thinking about it. But, who else could have been better to achieve the milestone. Sachin had already been coined the “God of Cricket” and this was icing on the cake and yet when our media should have been celebrating the success of this man and the fact that his is an Indian which should make us proud – they compared Sachin with “The Don”. They both are heroes and they both deserve recognition for what they did.

And today, when Indian Cricket needs to take time to sit back and think about what the next steps are our media does the same – this time asking Imran Khan if Sachin should have retired after 2011. And interestingly Imran Khan thinkg Sachin should have citing the reason that “he should have retired on his high”. A quick check since the World Cup final 2011 tells me that Sachin has not played any one-day cricket. He will be playing his first ODI since the World Cup Final in the Tri-series in Australia.  And, then you see his test record since World Cup 2011.

  • 3 Series and 11 matches – England, West India (home) and Australia
  • Average 37.04 against his career average 55.44
  • Strike Rate of 54.21 against his career SR of 54.09
  • 6 half-centuries
  • 778 runs (less than a calendar year)
  • 430 of those have come in boundaries

Agreed that Sachin has had better series, but the stats above dont tell me that he is on his career low. Lets not forget the patches in 2000s where he was not scoring and everyone had written him off.Sachin has always been subject to criticism when he is not scoring centuries. The period of 2004-2007 is considered as one of the bas phases in Sachins career, but if you look at stats, you will notice that he was still scoring at least 700+ runs in every calendar year – much better than any other average cricketer.

Who are we to tell Sachin who is the best cricketer when he has to retire and yet India Media is asking the question to people of the world who seem to have forgotten to look at the stats before stating what they open their mouth. I hope that Indian media can learn to cherish and be proud of our people.

 

 

Where does it end for Indian Team?

India cricket crest
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In December last year, as India was starting its tour of Australia, we all had high hopes – India had not done so well against England, but we knew Australia was also struggling and for some reason we all hoped that England was a bad dream.

Yet, the dream continued and Clark & Co. made sure that they do not let Indian team even a droplet of respite. They came time and again inning after inning and made sure that India was kept on back foot. Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and finally Adelade – Indian Team hardly had any chance. All of India went through the pain of seeing their team loose 8 test matches on the trot on foreign soil. And I do not see the end anywhere near.

Last 2 series we have been saying that it is the “Speed” of the pitches that we are not prepared for. Less that 6 months, and India will be playing in the sub-continent against their neighbors. This will really let us what is wrong with the Indian Team – the pitches or something more fundamental. Unlike West Indies who we played in 2011, Sri Lanka themselves are looking for wins and will not make it easy for Team India.

To top it all, there have been rumors of the Trinity resigning, where the players have not been saying anything about the topic. It is just so frustrating not to see what the Indian think tank is thinking. Or are they waiting for another train wreck to happen. Many have said, retiring the seniors as they are not moving their best is the way to fix the team; while some are saying we need an overhaul of the India Cricket. While all this happen, the players themselves have come out and spoken like they do not care (or at least that is how I feel). When I feel embarrassed, the way my team played, how can Ashwin not feel the same way. I guess that is what leads to these losses. It was Ashwin, only who did say (paraphrase and not quote) “We have lost the series and hence we have nothing to loose”.

If this is the attitude of the Indian Team, then this downfall will never end. We first need to a way to motivate ourselves into winning, they need to decide what the benchmark is. They set it too low, and we will never be the best team in World. And, same goes for the legends too. I love Sachin, Dravid, Sehwag – they have done things for this team that I can not say less. But, they need to either step up or step down.

Sehwag – has a test average of 50+ which is awesome, but since 2010 when he played New Zealand where his match score was 150 (96 & 54), he has had only one 100+ match score in 13 matches he has played. Until that test match Sehwag has been consistent in scoring centuries say one in every 5 matches (on average). So that average would work because then there were others who would score around him and provide India a solid start.

Dravid – has a test average of 52 which again is awesome. And he has been doing better scoring 7 centuries since 2010. Yet, he has failed to perform in the other inning of the match. None of the match scores are over 200 since playing Sri Lanka in Nov 2009.

Sachin – with a test average of 55+ no matter what I say about him is going to be less. He has always come back and proven people wrong. Whenever someone said – he is done; he would come and show why he is God of Cricket. Yet, he has also now scored a match score of 200+ since October 2010, where he scored a double century against Australia in Bangalore.

No one wants to let go of their legends, but a time comes when we have to let go. Not when they are in their prime, certainly not when they are at their worst – we need to find a time when they can add value to the team and get a player ready to replace them. This time I think we have missed our opportunity and it will come to haunt us very bad and we as fans will have to live with many more losses after we have seen the rise of India Cricket.

The worst is that I do not see an End in sight.

Goodbye to India’s batting greats | Opinion | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo

That dream now lies in the dust and with no Test series in sight for the next eight months, there seems to be nothing more to achieve for a generation of players who began their journey in the ’90s – the ’80s in Tendullkar’s case – and have formed the most luminous collection of batsmen in the last three decades. It’s cruel that their journey should end on such a low, but when they are gone, they will be remembered for their peaks.

Everything points to them turning up together in Adelaide. But the result and the performances won’t, and shouldn’t, matter. Indian cricket has sunk to the lowest of lows: in another time these very men, as did they so single-mindedly at the beginning of the last decade, would have been relied on to forge a revival. But their time has gone now. Indian cricket has no option but to embrace the future, however uncertain it may seem.

Not all of them will go at once. In fact, there is merit in graduating the next generation under the watch of a master or two. But a line must be drawn in Adelaide. Every player who retains his place for the next Test series must have a clear role to play in creating the future.

But for the moment, push the gloom aside and keep your eyes peeled. Viru, Rahul, Sachin and VVS you might never watch together again, and not in that order. They might or might not stroke a couple of hundreds between them, or put together one of those monster partnerships, but if you care enough to watch, there will still be moments of magic: a murderous scythe through the covers, a picture-perfect drive down the ground, a cover drive that paints the most ornate arc, or a gentle swish that charms the ball to the ropes. It’s the team, and the results, that ultimately count. But invariably it is individual players who leave the fondest memories.

via Goodbye to India’s batting greats | Opinion | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo.

Friendship

Friends
Image by matley0 via Flickr

How we feel is something that we cant control – or at least not at the very beginning. We may be able to over a period of time to control our emotions, but when something happens at that point how you feel tells you who you are what the other person means to you. Friendship is one such thing.

Over my life I have heard many people say “she is my best friend” or “he is my bestest friend” or “we have been good friends for an entire lifetime”. I have always just said “he/she is my friend”, i was never able to categorize. For me either you are a friend or a classmate/colleague.

Wikipedia defines Friendship with the characteristics like wanting the best for the other, sympathy and empathy, honesty, mutual understanding, trust and positive reciprocity.

I have known many people especially through school, college and various jobs but only a few people outside of my family who have moved into the second decade – Rajat, Shallja, Deepika, Samita, Pankaj and Prashanth. None of them are from my school or college. Couple of them are from NIIT and rest from my first jobs. And, then there are a few other who have come close to either getting moved over or are still in the first decade but are in the zone – Naina, Sitija, Anubhav, Babul, Bhawana, Raminder, Praveen, Nikhil, and Sachin.

Over a period of time, we have all moved on with our life and we have got busy and have spoken less over the time. However, even now when I see their name on the screen of phone I feel delighted, and I look forward to speaking to and call them when I can.

Sorry guys for the context, and no matter how much this seems irrelevant, it is important for me to get to my primary thoughts.

The friends who have moved to the 2nd decade are the ones, for who I feel happy or sad based on what I hear. I no longer expect them to call me as the first person when something big happens in their life. I am happy that they remember me and in no particular order. I believe that if they have been unable to tell me about something, they had a reason, and when we meet I just congratulate them or share my sympathies and not worry about why was I not told about it. I just do not worry about where I am in their priorities, because I know I am a part of their life and when if I am not needed today it is because my friend is struggling with a part of life where they need me to around for them to reach out. I no longer offer my support, I just offer my companionship.

 

We weren’t friends overnight, but it took time; it was built. It took commitment to make it work. The journey to this stage of our Friendship is what held the ingredients for a successful friendship. It started off with a mutual association and a mutual liking for each other’s company. It built on top of trust and honesty in all our dealings especially when at work. We made sure that we were fair to each other and kept our personal lives independent of the professional ones. It was built on understanding, that we were a part of their lives but ones priorities are always changing. It was built on faith that when we need them they will be around and if they can not be, they will tell us why.

 

So, now when I hear about a “friend”, and my first emotion is not to be happy for them, I know it is not friendship. I just know – I don’t understand why I was not remembered; how come I am not remembered every time. I know it is time to let go. I know we are not friends any more, we are just “ex-colleagues”.

 

World Champoins

Cricket World Cup media
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On April 2, 2011; after waiting 28 years India was crowned world champions in the game of Cricket. I was watching the match from a friend’s apartment in Plymouth – and seeing Dhoni hit a six to win the match; the most unlikely of the places I thought I would be seeing India win the world cup and not being in India. Something that I had hoped since 1996 and see India fail time and again in 1999, 2003 and 2007. But, this time it was Dhoniunde whose captaincy we won the world cup.

The greatest gift anyone could have given to Sachin. Virat Kohli summarized very well – “Sachin has carried the burden for 21 years, it is time we carried him on our shoulders” and the victory lap saw Virat, Raina and Tusuf carrying Sachin on their shoulders. What a moment it was.

It has already been 3 days since the victory, but it still is a dream. A dream I want to live time and again.