“Cometh the hour, Cometh the man”, “Master to the rescue”, “Another epic by the legend”, these where some of the headlines that flashed through my mind ever since i had come to know that India needed 156 runs to win going into the last day of the Mohali test. The recent adventures by Sachin were reasons enough for anyone to think along that line. But I must say that some other possibilities like “Sachin falls, India falls”, “Aussies too strong” were also getting their fair share, after all you have to consider the worst cases too,isn’t it? Anyway i was anticipating a very interesting day ahead.
So i switched on the tv at about 10 and the score was 102-5, so there was a 50% probability for Sachin’s being the one wicket to fall. But his form and Zaheer Khan’s(who was the night watchman) batting credentials might have made it a 30%, at least in my mind. After a few seconds i saw our master at the non-striker’s end asking Raina, who was the runner for Laxman to call properly, the percentage dropped to zero, not that it mattered anymore.
Things don’t always pan out in favor of our man, except when he is a bollywood hero(or a terminator).Yes, it happened, Tendulkar tried an upper-cut to a ball that didn’t bounce much and was caught out at gully. He made a decent 38, one that seemed like the possible top score for the Indian innings, after all he is allowed to fail having scored a 1000 runs in the calendar year.
Then came the ‘Midas touch’ MSD, but he couldn’t take his chance to silence his critics. It’s funny, isn’t it when a 70% win record is not enough to do that, but that’s what happens in a country of 1 billion people and 2 billion opinions. So India was 122-7 and then 124-8 minutes later. So It seemed like Ricky’s final frontier was almost conquered, though I’m sure he would consider winning an urn at the end of an English summer as the ultimate now.
So Ishant Sharma joined Laxman and India needed 87 to win. The rest is beyond me to describe and I’m not going into any of it. All I can I say is that Test cricket can be as great a sporting spectacle as any other.The tears in my eyes at the end confirmed it and that’s exactly what made me write this. No T20 cricket can be this intriguing. I’m curious to know the percentage of Indian public who would choose a Test match like this against a 400 runs t20 match where the result of every ball is obvious a 4 or a 6.
I must admit that I didn’t consider Laxman as a match winner anymore and I’m happy that I was proven wrong. We should hope that he enters an after 35 rejuvenation period just like Mr.Tendulkar did. The Indian win, I think, deserved a lot more media attention than what it actually got, but that’s understandable when there is a CWG going on in our country.
Indians are keeping an eye on the games, but that’s the biggest problem with these events, we keep only one eye on it. We just want to know how many medals have we have won, that’s it. What’s the point of being proud of winning a medal when we can’t enjoy the sport that fetched it. We don’t watch a Bindra shooting his way to gold or a Sushil Kumar wrestling fiercely or even a Saina Nehwal making strides on court. I’m not blaming anyone, but we should first have a taste of the sport before the stars, only then a CWG in India makes sense. Stars may come, even an Olympics may come, but it won’t change our sporting culture, what else to expect when Sports is considered as a hindrance to one becoming a graduate. However the games federation deserves their credit, they resemble a typical modern Indian Student who prepares for an exam just the day before and manages to pull off the impossible. ‘Slow and Steady’ for 7 years may win you the race, but who cares when ‘Fast and Furious’ for 7 days can do the trick!