God willing, India will win this Test Match!

on October 13, 2008

Score update

  • SR Tendulkar 27* and VVS Laxman 2*
  • Last Batsman out - G Gambhir on 29
  • India 77/3 in 26.4 overs
  • India need 299 from 83 overs to win
"Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God!"
A photograph bearing this banner by SRT's fans has become a part of cricket memorabilia. As far as I know, it was first flashed in Toronto, I may be wrong, but that hardly matters. My intention behind mentioning this is to relate it to the title of the post. India's victory is now in two pairs of hands, both of whom belong to God - one is up there in the heavens and the other is plugging away ones and twos and the occasional four at the Chinnaswami Stadium in Bangalore against a second-rate Australian bowlng attack when seen in light of the yesteryears.

I personally don't correspond to this concept of labelling human beings as God but I do think that SRT is one of the finest batsmen the world has witnessed. Also, he does have in him the ability and the experience to soldier on for the rest of the 5th day and lead India into victory's waiting arms. What remains to be seen is whether he has the gumption to do so.

If there has ever been the slightest blot on SRT's illuminating career, it has been that he hasn't won enough Test matches or ODI's for India when batting last. I still remember the heart-wrenching loss to Pakistan in Chennai in 1997 (SRT's favorite knock for me). News channels (however thoughtless they are!) are mercilessly flashing his average in the second innings which is way below his overall average. The daggers are certainly out for him, more so when Saurav Ganguly has announced his plans to retire after this series. All through his career and more so, lately, he has said that he doesn't have a point to prove to anyone. I do go by that. But his critics and detractors don't. But here the issue is proving a point to himself. Realistically speaking, this may well be his last Test series against the Numero Uno in India. Wouldn't he want to do it in grand style?
From what I have seen of him, he must be very determined to do so and Brian Lara's record would be the last thing on his mind, if at all, it is on his mind. The pitch is deteriorating, but his getting out to a ball that looks like it kept low, only because of his actions (the bat's toe touching the ground, his right hand coming off the bat in despair) would look highly ugly. He would still be in the team for the next Test even if India loses, but would that please him? I doubt. Also, he can play like he did in Sydney enroute to 241, carving out a draw, but would that please him? I doubt! (Req. RR - 3.6, Curr. RR - 2.6)

So fight on SRT. India and your mates in the dressing room back you to get the job done. This opportunity-in-disguise would never come back. We don't want to burden you with the weight of expectations. Do know that we are with you, in victory as well as defeat for you have served India like no one else. We are proud of you!

Score update
  • SR Tendulkar 31* (71) and VVS Laxman 5* (32)
  • Last Batsman out - G Gambhir on 29
  • India 87/3 in 34.1 overs
  • India need 299 from 83 overs to win
Edited : SRT out for 49. Huh! The match looks set to end in a draw as bad light looms large. Maybe ... If ... but ...