Sunday, December 19, 2010

50th Hundred in Centurion ...

It's about 8 hours to go for the fifth day's play in Centurion. India are on the verge of defeat. Cricket is, still, a game of glorious uncertainties and the uncertainty is often assisted by the (bad) weather. So, for some time at least, it remains to be seen if India can save the test.

The point, however, is Sachin's 50th test century which couldn't have come at a more opportune time for the game's greatest idol. Incidentally, a friend recently commented that getting a century has become so easy these days. I had said that a needed century has not become any easier. Well, this one is one of those centuries -- done when batting in the II innings with a huge deficit of 484 runs!

I am sure pundits would say more grandiose things about this hundred (but phleasse, don't let Ian Chappel do so). For every fan of his though, this is a treat, a treasure to relish forever. Like John Keats said
A thing of beauty is joy forever!
The next goal is to get to a 100 or hundreds, should we say?

Monday, November 01, 2010

2-0 and 1-0 is delicious ...

One can always check this up on cricinfo, but I don't remember such a humiliation of the Aussies in the recent past. They were not able to even draw a match, let alone winning it.

Of course, Laxman, Sachin and all the bowlers (and one batsman among them -- Ishant Sharma) have a lion's share in what India could do to the 5th ranked test-cricket-playing-nation!

I still feel that the roots of this rout are in the India's tour of Australia in 2007-2008. Of course, one can't rely on his or her past laurels in any field. Relentless pursuit is the only way to excel. Sachin was truly mesmerizing in this series. He got 98, 38, 214 and 53* in the four innings he played and was able to push his test-cricket average beyond 56. In fact it is almost 57 (56.96) at the moment. In recent past, I remember him stranded at or around 54. What he has done to his average while still scoring 14240 runs is remarkable by any means.

Hats off!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Revival of a rivalry ...

It's not the Ashes. It's the Border-Gavaskar trophy that has all the characteristics of a great sports rivalry that all cricket fans from all over the world relish.

It has drama, passion, ugliness, kindness, fighting spirit, limits and marvels of humankind -- it's a cauldron of all emotions and skill that humans have to offer.

Less than two years ago, the venue was Australia. Now it is India. Essentially a similar core of the Indian crew is still standing tall, led of course by Sachin. Australia, on the other hand, is a new side. The hunger to win is the same, on both the sides.

The first test is at a very interesting situation. India need to get 161 with 5 (Err. 6, but Laxman's back is bad) wickets in hand. Sachin is unbeaten on 10. We are going to have a high drama on the ground. Australians are going to use all their skills. The game plan must be clear to close-in fielders by now -- be alert and be talkative with those oohs and aahs.

It's going to be a sleepless night for me. Good luck, folks, it never gets any easier.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The 93rd is special ...

Oh boy! I certainly can not keep pace with the way Sachin is scoring centuries. With his latest feat, I am just dumb-folded. Wow! It was a feast. The 200 will be remembered for a long long time.

What I think is even more telling is how he encourages those who are capable, to break the records he makes. For example, this is what he said:
I don't think any record is unbreakable. Records are made to be broken. I hope that if this record is broken, it's done by an Indian.
This is clearly an encouragement for Virender Sehwag. We all know he is capable of getting to 200 in ODI's. But nothing beats this kind of encouragement from the master.

We should not make this stunning display a testament of "second-coming" of the master mainly because the career of the master has been so long, more than two decades. And to say that this recent display (four test centuries in as many innings, the first double hundred in ODI's etc.) has been a revival of the master blaster is a joke. Like I said elsewhere, for him to be "back", he has to underperform first!