Watching Sachin Tendulkar can bring extreme emotions to two people who stand exactly 22 yards opposite to him.  As a bowler you  are driven to despair while  as a non striker there is nothing more inspiring to your eye than Sachin Tendulkar at the other end in full flow, and that is what has exactly been happening for the non strikers at the crease in IPL 3.

In the earlier matches it was Sachin's onslaught which set the tone for Mumbai Indians.  In the match played at Brabourne Stadium on 25th March 2010 against Chennai Super Kings it was  Shikar Dhiwan who started the initial onslaught having watched Sachin's blistering strokes from the non strikers end during the previous matches.

An inspired Shikar Dhawan took on the role of aggressor against Chennai Super Kings and a mature  Sachin wisely dropped anchor seeing his partner in full flow.  Sachin almost made a tactical blunder by asking Chennai to bat first after having won the toss and his bowlers almost gifted the match to Chennai by conceeding 180 runs. Eventhough Mumbai won the match comfortably in the end, Sachin should have kept in mind of the fact that his batsmen failed in the previous edition of IPL even while chasing small targets and one would hope Sachin would keep this factor in mind in the future matches.

Having almost committed a tactical blunder, Sachin led from the front leading the run chase in the company of Shikar Dhawan.  Sachin cleverly played second fiddle to his partner when he was firing on all cylinders and when wickets started falling Sachin took over the role of aggressor.  Cricket is won in the mind and Sachin won the mind game by clouting Muralidharan for a six, when the legendary spinner was looking to rip through the innings.  Sachin paced his innings perfectly as he strolled to his first 30 of 28 balls when his partners were in full flow and when he run rate started creeping up he clouted 42 runs in the next 23 balls as at one point of time Mumbai Indians needed 75 runs of 48 deliveries.  Except for the fact that Sachin got out with victory clearly in sight, the innings was near perfect considering 180 runs was a huge target by any stretch of imagination.  Chennai Super Kings cannot be faulted for losing the match, because they put up a huge target but in the end Sachins tactical brilliance and blistering strokes supported by Shikar Dhawan settled the issue for Mumbai Indians.

This has to be Sachins best innings in the shortest format of the game because the target was huge and Sachin ensured that he remained almost till the end.  In the previous innings against Kolkatta Sachin was perfect as he remained unbeaten but then the target was 155 which was not as threatening.  Centuries are rare in T20 format of the game and Sachin has a broken century to his credit as he scored 71 runs in the innings preceeding this one which means Sachin scored 143 runs before being dismissed which is one way is some sort of a century.  Sachin has had a great tournament so far top scoring in the last four innings. As a captain too Sachin has made a great start, winning 4 matches out of 5, so that another 4 in the next 9 matches would almost certainly ensure a place in the semi finals.

 


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