He has belted every record with phenomenal ease and an effortless display of authentic batsmanship. Today, was no different. When Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar touched the 200 mark, we all witnessed history in Gwalior. The man possessed with almost every record in the cricketing fraternity (A triple century in tests and highest individual test score still eludes him), achieved this feat in an incredible fashion. Every shot of his was class and punctuated with all his favorite strokes in the book. The wagon wheel displayed the true picture, he was there everywhere. The Master eclipsed the long standing record (13 years) of Saeed Anwar (which was later equalled by Charles Coventry in 2009) and the great sigh of relief was evident. If someone could surpass it with style, it had to be him. And he delivered with a bang, which eventually sealed the series for India.
Sachin, as we all know, never displays his emotions explicitly. Even this monumental occasion could not invoke reactions out of the great man and the only gesture was his usual way of thanking god, raising both his hands and closing his eyes for few seconds, while the crowd went berserk.
I don’t think the ‘Guru’ of cricket will ever have disciples, simply because his exploits can never be emulated, superlatives are just not enough for the batting maestro.
It was a stupendous test match on a perfect platform, ‘The Garden of Eden’. India scripted a historic victory when they were almost on the verge of losing it out to the weather gods. But fortunately, rain stayed away on the final day’s play and it was left to the Indian bowlers to chop the remaining of the proteas line up. And did they do it in style..?? Oh yes. Despite losing Zaheer, we kept the momentum up and the fantastic bowling performances added to the glitter (Bhajji was back to his exploits in Eden and Amit Mishra played havoc with his leg breaks).
Earlier on, the South Africans lost their last 7 wickets for just above 30 runs and that for me (and MSD) was the biggest turning point of the game. And from their on, our in-depth batting line up came to the foray and we simply batted south africa out of the game. The last time we had 4 centurions in an innings was way back in 2007 in Bangladesh. That, in itself, is a testimony to our performance and control over the proceedings. Laxman continued his run feast at a venue which became his own in 2001. The visitor’s biggest asset and take away from this tour was the phenomenal run feast from Hamla’s willow. He was nearly invincible and would not forget his exploits of this tour in a hurry (except the outcome of the last test). But after the swashbuckling win in the first test, the visiting team didn’t do too many things right at the Eden.
A great advertisement for test cricket, this victory helped India retain the No. 1 spot in tests, but how long will they sustain it is a debatable subject to ponder on. For now, we are basking in Eden’s victory josh and let’s all live this moment to applaud the Indian team. Way to go!!