Saturday, 31 March 2007

India Continues To Dominate Headlines

As all good things must come to an end, so should Anil Kumble's ODI career. The strike rate may not truly reflect the yeomen service he did when in coloured clothing but he will be well and truly missed. Anil was just coming in to the Indian team when I was at the twilight of my career as a player and I had the opportunity to travel with him, if I remember right, only once, to Sharjah for the Australasia Cup.

The thing that stuck me from day one was his fierce commitment. His intent was unmistakable even during the early days, though not in full grasp of his craft then he would make up by his never say die attitude. To me he was the embodiment of a foot soldier, always putting his hands up when the team needed him most. His batting his Test cricket was or rather is fighting proof of his fine qualities.

His heroic show in the West Indies in 2002 will remain a part of Indian cricket folklore. With a jaw heavily strapped, he continued to bowl and that to me was the most defining moment of his long and distinguished career thus far. Anil the human was no different from Anil the bowler. The aggression was the only ingredient that went amiss. He struck to the basics as he does on the field has always been courteous and was always willing to help, be it his friends on the field or off it.

Now that he has wished to hang his boots from the maddening world of one-day cricket, he can spend more time with the goodwill causes he is involved with, his kids and more importantly his new found passion: photography. What this decision of Anil also means is an extended test career and Team India could not have hoped for it better in the longer version.

Then there were other things that dominated the headlines and Ian Chappell's call for Sachin Tendulkar's retirement was the biggest apart from the one that hinged around Kumble. Ian is one of the cricketer's I respect and admire. He has always comes across as a very honest bloke who speaks his mind but retirement to me is always a personal thing and it is the player concerned who will be in the best position to take a call. No one will know Sachin's body and reflex batter than him.

My cricketing acumen might be spoofed when I say Sachin has at least two more seasons of top flight cricket left in him but that is the truth. His boyish enthusiasm and his liking towards being in the thick of things has not diminished a wee bit, the only concern has been the way he has deserted his natural flamboyance. He has taken too much on his shoulders for long, it is time he gives him the freedom to play his natural and attacking game and believe me he has something more to offer Indian cricket.

Sachin with his experience would be the father figure to guide the team out of the mess they are in at the moment. His experience would come in handy. For a player who has achieved so much on the cricket field, it is imperative for him to leave on a high.

Then there was some cricket after all at the World Cup। England won a cricket match but lacked the intensity. If the eternal bridesmaid of World Cup cricket have to take a leap they have to be more assertive like the Aussies। They have a slim outside chance to make the knockouts but for that to happen they have to be more aggressive otherwise the script would not be any different much like the previous eight editions.

all images courtesy


Anonymous said...

Hey Kris, as an Aussie, in the past it was always great to watch Sachin bat while hopefully not wanting him to get too big a score so the Australians would still win. However this was not always the case and when watching him bat, you would sometimes forget the state of the match and just watch the master at work. As much as there was a contest between Lara, S.Waugh and Sachin for the title of worlds best batsman during the mid to late 90's & early 00's, Lara was arguably the most natural player of the 3, S.Waugh was the hardest to get out, but Sachin was the best if you combined both factors. His record and average commands that he is one of the best bats of all time. However it is worrying to see his form drop off considerably over the last few years but playing and/or training nearly every day for 20 yrs would do that do you. Cheers Bill, Newcastle, Australia

Anand said...

Hi Sir,
You summed it up right in this post.. the past few days have certainly been a torrid time for Indian Cricket.. we have seen it all.. our ignominious exit from the Cup.. angry fans back home.. people looking to find scapegoats for the defeats.. calls for retirements of the senior players.. et al. To be very honest, I myself was disgusted to read in the newspapers what Ian Chhappel said. His comments truly were uncalled for. I mean how can I great like him say that Sachin has started to play for records only. I dont think its fair to say these type of things for someone like Sachin or for that matter anyone else. As you put it, no one except the person himself knows best when to hang up his boots and we should stop giving suggestions about who should retire when.
Please do drop in your thoughts as to whether Sachin should retire now or not.

Talking about retirement, it was sad to see Anil Kumble retire from one day cricket. The man whom everyone likes to call "Jumbo" was indeed a great servant to Indian Cricket for the past many years. His heroics in the field would certainly encourage many a budding players in the days to come. Lets hope that his Test career goes on well and the Karnataka lad can do India proud in many more days to come.

Thanks once again Sir for that well knit out post.


The Fite Klub said...

The greatest blunder of this world cup was making sachin bat at no.4...a guy who has scored all his runs at the top of the order was not at all handled properly by the team management(which he was part of).I dont understand as to why he didnt speak against this in the team meetings,being the senior most player of the team
As far as his retirement is concerned...i beleive that no indian cricketer would leave the game on their own...they will have to be pushed out of the side.So i beleive we will have to carry on with these players...untill they are dropped.