Sachin is not to blame for loss to Australia

Written by: Sunil Vasudeva
Published: Wednesday, November 5, 2003, 15:33 [IST]
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India's 77 run defeat at the hands of Australia is not Tendulkar's fault. First and foremost, when the Aussies batted first and had their backs to the wall, Damien Martyn rescues them. His determination coupled with the Indian team loosening the noose on the Aussie necks contributed to their high total. Agarkar impressed with four wickets whereas the rest of the pacers were slumbering as usual. So, the whole onus falls on one bowler. That is mistake number one. But then, the Indians never learn from their mistakes anyway. They just repeat them adnauseum. Now, when the Indians batted, the usual famed batting line-up again goes into the depths of infamy by folding up like a deck of cards. Maybe its time they were not referred to as a famed line-up. We have scores of instances to prove that ten times over. They better get off that self-proclaimed status, please. Nathan Bracken and Michael Clarke with four wickets apiece clinically broke the Indian backbone. Sachin took 76 deliveries for his 68 and Dravid 70 for his 59. Were they at fault? No! Bevan took 57 deliveries for his 42, Symonds 59 for his 48, and Martyn 119 for his 100. The key is there were many good knocks in the Australian innings, which was given its usual rocketing start by Gilchirst (41 off 30 balls).

When the Indians replied, none of the other batsmen (sorry batsboys!) had the guts to stick it out and gave away their wickets. One day they perform like champs and like chumps the next. That folks is not what one should call a "Famed batting line up." Maybe an infamed deck of tumbling, stumbling cards is more apropos. Zaheer bowls five wides, does he need his vision corrected? Sehwag gives up 28 runs in his four overs. Harbhajan (Mr Beer Can) goes for 44 in his 10 with one wicket to show. Boy! Isn't he terrorizing the Aussies! When only one frontline bowler clicks the rest cluck like hens and lay eggs. Don't expect Sachin to come and pick up where the rest left off. Only the Aussies can do that not Sachin! Sachin is not an all-rounder! India gives up three times as many extras as the Aussies. That was definitely a disaster in the making.

Looks like we can look forward to a New Zealand-Australia final and India as usual finishing third. Oh! That's not so bad says the delusional doting Indian fan. Even if there were only three teams competing! Till next week!

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