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Tendulkar Stuck on 99

January 27, 2012

Let us go back to the day of  ICC World Cup semifinals 2011 between India and Pakistan. Sachin Tendulkar playing well and batting on something like 28 or 29. Suddenly he was beaten by the turn of Syed Ajmal. Ball hits his pads and umpire Simon Taufel raises his finger to the loud shout of the Pakistanis. Sehwag had wasted a review taking one for his dismissal which didn’t pay of. Tendulkar thinks for a while and asks for the review. And dramatically what looked to be a plumb leg before in a naked eye turned out to be the one drifting down the leg side. Decision reversed as it should have been. Very next ball the little master comes down the track and once again beaten by spin. Akmal behind the stumps swift enough to do the rest at once. Pakistanis started to celebrate again. But the third umpire found something different, Sachin was just back into his crease. The stadium came alive once again. Since then he was leaving dangerously again and again. All know what happened after that. He was put down 4 times by the fielders before he was eventually held out by the Captain himself at cover on 82. From the prospective of the match it was a huge breakthrough but still probably that was the only time didn’t feel as sad as use to every time Tendulkar is dismissed. And guess what the reason was? It was because he was standing in front of what could have been his 100th international century. I personally felt that such a special century can’t happen in such a way. It has to be one of his greatest of centuries so that we can say again as we have said so many times, “Wow! What a time to get a very special hundred!” But No.. Till that day he is still standing in front of this particular landmark.

After winning the World Cup India went to the West Indies tour without Tendulkar as he was rested for that tour seeing his essence for the big tour of England. To everyone it was almost certain that he will have his moment somewhere during the series. The Lord’s test could have been the ideal platform where he got off to a start in the first innings, dismissed in the 30s and in the second innings he just went to his shell trying to save the test for India. It was not that he was in a poor form, had got starts but was out in similar fashions trying to play the balls outside the off stump. But somehow he didn’t look that good to make the big one except one innings. Final test, final innings at the Oval. Once again he was batting to save the test, this time to save the whitewash infact. But unlike the first test he played his natural game. Nearly did it for his team, played very well for his 91 before he was given LBW of Bresnan where the decision could have gone either way.

The England tour was altogether a misery for the whole Indian team and their millions of fans. Having tried to make up for that by defeating the English side 5-0 in their home soil in the ODIs India were ready to face the West Indies as they arrived India for a 3 match test series and 5 match ODI series. But the whole nation was looking towards the test series, and once again the reason being the same – the century of centuries for the maestro. With a relatively weaker bowling attack the windies got thrashed all round the park in the first two tests as India won them with ease. But… still the wait doesn’t even end there. In the first test Tendulkar was dismissed for 76 in the 2nd innings of the 1st test when he was looking good for a hundred. But all eyes were onto Tendulkar for the 3rd test held at Mumbai. Everyone would have loved to see the home boy getting his hundred in front of his home crowd. Couldn’t have asked for any better platform probably. Still remember the day when he went as the overnight batsman with an unbeaten 67. How many times have we seen him converting these overnight scores into real big knocks. At the next day he started really beautifully as the very first ball of the day went to the square leg boundary. It was followed by the straight drives and the cover drives which were clear indications of an upcoming century. And when upper cut over the slips goes the distance to take him onto 93, it looked to be as just the matter of time for the History books to be rewritten. But at the very next over of Ravi Rampaul brought pin-drop silence to the crowd as he found the outside edge of the great man’s bat, which went straight into the hands of Sammy which looked to be safe as a bank then having said that  his virtue allowed Sehwag  to get his maiden ODI double hundred weeks later. Tendulkar had to depart, all he could do was to look towards the sky and all the spectators in the gallery looking towards him with disbelief in their face.

But who would have thought that Tendulkar still would be due with a big score even in the Border-Gavaskar trophy! Well, nothing much to say about.. he looked in prime form in the first two test against Australia in Australia as he has been ever. Every time he went toAustralia, he backed India with his tons. Even when he came in to Australia last time around, in last 15 or 20 innings prior to that New Year’s test in Sydney (where he got a 150 ) he got close to centuries so many times and was the victim of nervous nineties – a couple of 99s, 98s and many more. During that period of time he could so easily have had 5 or 6 more tons in his bag. But it wasn’t and neither this time. Yes, there are the cases where the others contributed to dismissal of Tendulkar as he ran out of partners at the other end even himself being playing well. But also there are cases where he called his own downfall having tried to be over cautious. Mentioned so many times that he is not at his best when he goes into a defensive shell. It is fact that if a bowler can force a batsman to change his natural way of thinking, and in turn stop playing his natural game, he will be in the middle of winning the battle. And not only Sachin, it’s true for everyone. That’s exactly what happened in the Sydney test when his innings of beautifully constructed 80 runs was ended by Michael Clarke’s left arm orthodox spin.

Over more than the past couple of decades he has set such high standards for himself that no one could have ever imagined. Till the days when he announced his arrival into the arena he has been a superman with his superb achievements. So doesn’t matter whether he gets this one or not, it doesn’t even make him a better player. Don’t know what goes onto his mine while batting on 70 plus. He has kept telling that these hundreds are nothing but numbers for him, but still even being the God of Cricket he remains a human being. So this fact can play in his mind too. But again he is the owner of 99 international hundreds. So we are not the ones to tell him how to score the 100th one or how to bat being in front of a century. Even if he gets it the job won’t be over.India will still look forward to him for more of those. It’s all about adding yet another new feather to his colorful cap, not about adding any new flavor to his game. And to me it’s just the matter of time with the kind of form he has shown in this Aussie tour, who can say, he may still get have his moment in the upcoming ODI series. This is going to be the first time after the world cup finals that he will walk in to play ODIs. So like everyone I’ll also have my fingers crossed too. I would love to see and love to write on the great man getting his hundredth hundred.

  1. ANJAN permalink

    very nice said 🙂 well done.

  2. ANJAN permalink

    nice said:) well done Prantik.

  3. sunny permalink

    well said…we are also waiting 4 dat moment…

  4. Kunal permalink

    Good one buddy … 🙂

  5. Debasmita permalink

    Well said….

  6. Let’s see tomorrows match…

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