Sachin masterminds Mumbai Indians chase to perfection
Most of the times Sachin Tendulkar does not get the due his deserves, and it is only Sachin who is to be faulted for that. Whenever Sachin scores a century or a half century it is just treated as yet another innings by millions across the world. People have got accustomed to hearing about Sachin's milestones much in the same manner as their routine office work. Like anybody else Sachintoo fails, but his failure is not due to lack of talent like others, but a combination of factors beyondhim like a peach of a delivery or a stunning catch, a momentary lapse in concentration or a poor decision. Again it is like an employee having a off day in office. In short whatever Sachin does has become routine and there is nothing special associated with any achievement of the legend.
When Sachin got to a double hundred at Gwalior, nothing extraordinary was written about that innings because that innings came after a run of four successive hundreds in successive tests and that century was just another one among his 93 international hundreds. When Sachin blasted a 23 ball half century against Punjab in their second league match the innings paled in comparison to Sachin's own147 ball double hundred against South Africa and not much was talked about that innings. Again when Sachin smashed an unbeaten 71 against Kolkatta at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai on 22nd March 2010, it was treated as yet another routine innings by the master after the teelcast got over .
Sachin's unbeaten 71 of a mere 48 deliveries against Kolkatta again raked up comparisons with his own effort of 32 ball 63 against Punjab. Though Sachin's unbeaten 71 against Kolkatta was less brutal in comparison to his 63 against Punjab in terms of strike rate, it was more valuable simply because of the fact he masterminded the chase to the finish. In IPL2 as skipper Sachin was a mute spectator seeing batsmen like Duminy and others make a mess of targets as low as 120. Though the target of 155 against Kolkatta was not daunting, it was not easy either because Kolkatta had a good bowling attack at their disposal led by speedsters Shane Bond and Ishant Sharma. Sachin's 71 was a controlled innings, because he guided the chase after his initial onslaught whereas in the match against Punjab, Mumbai inspite of the comfort of a massive foundations were in some sort of crisis after Sachin's dismissal as Pollard and Bravo could not get going in the final overs and were dismissed while trying to force the pace without scoring much.
Though the standings in the point table are not an indicator as to who would win the tournament, as only a few matches have been completed what is heartening for Mumbai Indians is that they have made a good start to the tournament which means there will be lesser pressure on them in crunch matches. In a long tournament teams have to be mentally prepared for losing matches as well and 3 wins from 4 matches means Mumbai Indians, that losses would not put as much pressure on them as in the previous editions of the tournament. Mumbai suffered the most in inaugural edition as inspite of brilliant run in the middle stages of the tournament, they could not make the semi finals as they lost matches in the end and the fact that they did not win matches in the early stages actually hurt them the most. This time around Mumbai Indians have ensured that the pressure will not be as much on them in the end stages as was in the earlier editions of the tournament.
Sachin as skipper should be complimented for making a brave decision by dropping Jayasuriya. Sachin would not have comfortable while making the decision but it is high time the message be conveyed to even a legend like Jayasurya that under performance is not acceptable. One area where Sachin failed as captain even during his tenure as Indian captain was due to the fact that he was not assertive with under performing players. While it was slightly harsh on the legendary Jayasurya, Bravo must consider himselves lucky to retain his place in the team inspite of leaking runs in critical situations. Pollard too has under performed but can be excused because he has only played a couple of matches.
Team Kolkata have only themselves to blame because their players played for themselves and not for team. Chris Gayle 60 ball 75 was a poor effort if you consider the fact that he is a explosive player and that he batted throughout the innings. Sourav Gangulys 34 ball 31 runs was even poor because as skipper he should have tried to get runs for the team, but instead he chose to preserve his wicket and increase his batting average and secure his place in the team as a player in the event of Brendon Mcullum joining the team and taking over the reins of the team. The fact that Kolkatta lost only 2 wickets till the penulminate ball of the innings with two struggling batsmen at the crease speaks poorly of their team. When their batsmen were unable to force the pace, they should have got out and made way for big hitters in the team to get the runs.
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