Just finished watching the Indian innings of the one dayer against the West Indies.
What has happened to India? Not so long ago, they were getting crushed by pretty much anyone and suddenly they have regained their mojo. The batting seems to be clinical in its execution and moving Sachin down the order certainly has opened up a lot of possibilities.
I may be speaking ‘fan language’ but whenever Sachin is at the crease, it feels like something is going to happen. And when he was 20-odd in 30-odd with Dravid being the faster scorer (who would have thought that would be the case!), I was feeling quite bored.
And then, out of nowhere, Sachin opened up. Three 4’s in one over from the lefty – pardon me for not knowing too many West Indian players – and it just seemed like the floodgates had opened.
Did they open! First Dravid, then Dhoni and of course Sachin started hitting 4’s and 6’s like it was nobody’s business. Truly, Dhoni’s straight sixes were just unbelievable.
It was fitting at the end that Sachin was able to take two off the second-last ball of the innings, which enabled him to get to 99 and take one off the last ball to get his hundred. It seems like it has been a while since he got to that milestone, and when news came out that he was going to be pushed to the middle order, I had given up hope of him getting close to three figures. But he proved that he is capable of scoring heavily no matter where, and it felt great to see him get to his century.
Congratulations, Sachin. Now let’s see how you can spin the ball!
Cross posted at Desicritics.org
4 thoughts on “Welcome to century-making, Sachin!”
And now as we head towards the team for the WC, what are the thoughts? They have brought back Sehwag for the SL series. Although he has done nothing in the interim. And they talk of him almost like a necessaity, for the WC. Methinks, that the 11 that were there for the last game of WI series make sense, viz. Ganguly, Uthapa, Dravid, Sachin, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Pathan, Agarkar, Zaheer, Bhajji and Kumble (although I would prefer Powar to Bhajji, but I think that is wishful thinking; the Bhajji camp is far more powerful than Powar’s). Now if this is a balanced 11, then the balance 3-4 persons that need to go, must give us cover in different directions. a. We need one more pacer. I would go with Sreesanth, on account of Munaf’s injury issues. b. Do we need a second wk? Perhaps not, considering that in emergency, Dravid can don the pads on the field. But Karthick has proven to be a good middle order bat, and if he comes in as a batsman and gives that additional flexibility behind the stumps, its not bad. I would go with him, on account of this dual utility.c. I think Raina deserves a chance. He is one great hope for the future. Fields extremely well (good substitute), and amongst the new young chaps, has the best head, I guess. d. I am not sure if we go with 14 or 15. I presume 15. In that case, now, they will push for Sehwag for this 15th position. If he comes anywhere close to some form, it may not be a bad idea. Gives us additional options in opening bats, middle order bats, plus since we are not covering additional spinner in the extras, he is that extra option (of course, with Sachin and Yuvraj as well). Its just that his presence in the 15 should not guarantee his presence in the 11! That pressure should not be put on the touring team then, and Uthapa should not be sacrificed just because of Sehwag’s reputation! If Sehwag does not return to any kind of form in SL (and if that happens, it will be really hard to justify his return), then Gambhir should get this slot. My humble submissions…
@spm: I am not surprised by Sehwag’s inclusion and to a certain extent, even Munaf’s inclusion. I think both of them rate highly in the captain and coach’s books. But without much Ranji participation for Sehwag and Munaf, I wonder what kind of workout they applied themselves to, to sort out their form. On current form, my XI would be the same as yours. And I agree that Powar is probably a better wicket-taking option than Bhajji is but he has no chance to make it above Bhajji. Sreesanth surprisingly has been very expensive and I am not sure what he needs to do (did not see his bowling much) to correct that. He is a smart bowler and should not take time to adjust. Our real test is going to be coming up, against the Lankans but since we will be in an experimental mode, it is not going to be easy to figure out if we are ready for the WC or not. Let’s see what team they choose for the remaining 2 ODI’s.
You know that Lanka has rested Vaas and Murali? They realise that the WC is coming up soon and the last thing they want is an injury, playing some games, which only have money as a motive.. ! Of course, that also means that the competition is not at full strength (I think 1-2 batters are also absent, don’t remember which ones).. So how much should we count, the performance in the games, is for us to decide!
@spm: LOL, no Vaas, no Murli. Well, then. Its the best chance for Sehwag to make some noise and cement his spot in the XV at least.