हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Rahul gives Sachin one on his chin

Written by: Sunil Vasudeva
Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 19:25 [IST]
 
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After winning the fifth ODI against Pakistan in a convincing fashion and getting that monkey off their backs, it looks like the Indians can do nothing wrong now. Besides that, they also gave a resounding reply to critics like Sunil Gavaskar and Imran Khan who felt that the Indians had the bragging rights on being "chokers".

All I can say is those "chokers" make the great Khan and Gavaskar look like "jokers". Maybe now Sunny and Imran can back off a bit and remember that they were mortal too on the cricket field and did not shine every time they stepped out to play.

VVS Laxman made a timely century that certainly went a long way towards posting a challenging total. However, this time the Indian bowlers did not nullify the solid total by wayward bowling.

Irfan Pathan rose to the occasion and showed the Pakistanis a trick or two. Earlier, Pakistan coach Javed Miandad said that bowlers like Pathan played in the backstreets of Pakistan. Well, Javed, looks like that is where you should start hunting for talent now since your bowlers were given quite a clobbering. It is ironic that the Pakistanis who are renowned for swing bowling (reverse swing) could do nothing to counter Irfan's swinging deliveries.

As of the writing of this column, the carnage of the Pakistani bowlers continues with Sehwag scoring a triple hundred, a first for India! Congratulations! It was a long time coming. Many including myself felt that no Indian batsman could ever reach that mark because of their hallmark slow batting. Sehwag, however, scored incredibly fast for a Test match and got to the coveted 300 mark. May there be many more Virender! Or for that matter many more for India.

That brings me to the title of my column. "What on earth was going through Dravid's mind when he declared? " leaving Sachin only six short of yet another double-hundred! Was declaring at that juncture a benefit?

Sorry, Rahul, you are a good bloke but this one really put me off. I'm sure you are wishing the scorekeepers would reduce your score to 0 and give those six runs to Sachin. If Sachin is disappointed, he has every reason to be. There'll be those who'll say, "Sachin is too professional to be bothered about where his next double-hundred will come from ". My response, "Come on, he is human you know and has feelings."

I won't think any less of him if he did vocalize his disappointment. These are one of the few times I wished Ganguly was captaining that day. He could always have captained the side and since India were batting could rest in the pavilion and not batted at all. A substitute could always have fielded on his behalf. He would have let Sachin get to his 200 and probably would have batted out the day. But Dravid, what were you thinking if at all!

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