Sehwag's double ton & Gavaskar's 'infamous' 36*

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Published: Friday, December 9, 2011, 12:36 [IST]
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A contrast of two tales in ODIs

Bangalore, Dec 9: As the saying goes, its time to move on.., we are indeed facing a similar situation in Cricket too. A few decades ago, when ODIs were played for 60 overs, players took their time to settle down and the scores hardly went past 300! Now, the scenario has changed. Thanks to the recent developments in the game of cricket. Every other day, we get to see a team scoring 300 or at least go past 250 with ease.

With the shortest form of cricket gaining lot of prominence, even the impossible looks possible as people have witnessed a few miracles in the game of cricket (includes all versions). Especially with a rise in viewership for the shorter version of the game, people have lost interest watching the longer version of the game whether its the ODIs or the traditional game (Tests).

The reason for this could be related to the success of Twenty20 games, tournaments such as IPL where huge money is involved, and the game is commercialized, else could be due to an overdose of cricket. Whatever the need may be, times have changed, people love to watch something interesting, that moves at a faster pace with reference to time.

If we look at three innings, Virender Sehwag's 219, Sachin Tendulkar's 200* and the other extreme Sunil Gavaskar's infamous 36* are quite different. While the first two belongs to the same decade with not much changes in the game, definitely Gavaskar's 36* and Sehwag's 219 in a ODI shows how times have changed over a period of time.

[Scorecard: 4th ODI; India Vs West Indies, Indore]

In fact, the recent knock of Sehwag has put other records on back foot as the focus is only on the new record for the highest ODI score by an individual stands tall as its quite impossible for one to even think of breaking it. If at all someone has to break the record, it could be Sehwag again, as he is the only one capable of breaking this mammoth individual score of 219. While this is about a quick fire innings, where Sehwag scored 219 off just 149 balls, there is yet another contrast innings by another Indian batsman. It is Gavaskar's 'infamous' 36* in the inaugural World cup match against England at Lord's. If we have a look at these two individual scores, it marks a total contrast in reality!

During that era, Test cricket was very prominent as players took time to get adjusted to the new format. Since they had 60 overs-a-side, players gave importance to the style of batting, improvised every ball, scored at a normal pace. But Gavaskar's record though is not a normal one as he played 174 deliveries to remain unbeaten on 36 in the 1975 World Cup which England won by 202 runs after India ended up scoring 132/3 in their quota of 60 overs.

[Scorecard: Prudential Cup 1975; India Vs England, Lord's]

Well, the current decade has witnessed a couple of records in the shortest version of the game, making every a low scoring one-dayer a damp-squib. This era definitely belongs to people who score huge and at a reasonably fast pace and instill a win. A super hero innings is what interests the world these days.

That makes a huge lot of difference as we have hardly got used to that kind of a score in ODIs. While we have witnessed two unimaginative approaches that reflected and how the Indian cricketers have tackled the intricacies of the one-day game now and in the past.

Sachin Tendulkar scored a double century against South Africa at Gwalior to register the highest individual one day score in Feb 2010. After 40 years, cricket buffs could witness a double ton in ODIs and it look less than 2 years for Sehwag to post a revised score and set the world record.

With such massive records broken in recent times, with the shorter version getting prominence over Test cricket, a few years down the lane, people might say its time to move on when and we might have another dimension to Sehwag's maiden double ton as time passes. Till then, let us sink in this moment, singing the glory of this Indian cricketer who has made the nation proud yet again.


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