Match Winning Batsman in Test Matches.
Test Match is real cricket for it is a real test of a players skills over five days of intriguing cricket. That is the reason over the years more importance has been given to performances in Test Matches than in one dayers.
Batsmen from Don Bradman to Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar have been the subject of many discussions. Who is the greatest has been the subject of debate over the years. One way of judging a batsman's greatness lies in the contribution as to how many matches has the batsman won for their countries. Needless to say Indians come in last in this category as the argument is Indians always play for records and put their interests above the team. Even a legend like Sachin Tendulkar has been criticized for not playing many match winning innings for India in Test Matches. In the previous era Sunil Gavaskar too was criticized for not winning matches for India in Test Matches.
Bowlers have to take 20 wickets in a Test Match:- One thing which many people do not realize is the fact that a batsman can never win a Test Match for his team on his own. Even if a batsman scores a triple century at a very fast pace, the game cannot be won if bowlers fail to bowl out the opposition twice in a Test Match. Bowlers have to take 20 wickets in a Test match. Again to take 20 wickets in a Test Match you need good quality of bowlers and Indian team never had bowlers who can bowl out opposition twice in a Test on consistent basis. In some countries even bad bowlers pick up wickets because of good fielding, but again in India fielders are no better than our bowlers and it is doubly difficult to bowl out opposition twice in the test as a result of match a batsman goods performance either results in a draw and in worst situations the team even loses the match.
Batsman can win a match only in 4th innings:- The batsman has only chance of winning a Test Match on their win, i.e. chasing target set by opposition in 4th innings to win a match. Here also one thing is important. Batsman need minimum support at the other end. In a Test Match played against Pakistan at Chennai during 28th to 31st January 2009, India were set a target of 270 to win in the fourth innings to win the Test Match. A top order collapse saw India struggling at 58 for 5. However Sachin Tendulkar playing one of the best ever Test innings, scored a magnificent 136 before being seventh out with the score at 254. India needed a mere 16 runs with all rounder Sunil Joshi at the crease with capable batsman like Anil Kumble and Srinath to follow. From 254 for 7 India collapsed to 258 all out losing 3 wickets for just 4 runs and losing the Test Match by 12 runs which they should have won easily. Blaming Sachin would be unfair, because the 3 batsman Sunil Joshi, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble who added just 4 runs between them are all capable batsman having scored enough runs at first class level. Even they have shown a fraction of commitment, determination, passion and will to win, Sachins performance would have got recorded in history books as a match winning effort.
In this regard it would be appropriate to point another example of a 4th innings which resulted in a favourable result for Sachin Tendulkar and India. The Test Match was played during 11th to 15th December 2008 against England. India were set a imposing fourth innings target of 387. Sachin Tendulkar master minded the chase with a magnificent unbeaten century. However the reason for Sachins century being a match winning effort was the fact that there were good half centuries by Sehwag and Gambir who preceeded Sachin and a brilliant supporting half century from Yuvraj Singh.
The point to be noted here is that batsman cannot play match winning innings on their own. Once the bowlers pick up 20 wickets in a Test Match the batsman's innings automatically becomes a match winning one.