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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Akhtar tries to stir controversy – but Sachin Tendulkar would stand tall ever !!

The primary trait of a writer is that he expects a larger group to read his articles and respond back.  Nothing gives him greater pleasure than a positive feedback of some who have read the articles in their entirety.  The commercial World is different.   Modern day cricketers have made much money but still – they would still try to sell their experiences and encash that opportunity.  There are some greedier still who would like to arouse some controversies only to ensure that they get wider publicity and make their books sell more and earn more money… after all money counts in whatever form and gotten in whatever ways !!
Many cricketers have written and published ‘autobiograpy’.  Controversially Yours of Akhtar priced at Rs.499/-  is trying to raise lot of dust in search of cheap publicity.  Akhtar used to run in fast and bowl fast but was never straight and many a times way away off the target, sometimes hitting his own people.  Some of his taunts include ‘“Everybody match-fixes, tell me one country that doesn’t,” he said. “Ball tampering is a common and rampant art, I learnt it from my heroes Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.” “Sachin Tendulkar was scared of me, I could smell his fear when I ran in to bowl.” Shoaib also took a pot shot at another legend, Rahul Dravid, clubbing him with Sachin when saying that they were not match winners.
Well – he may know more than what he reveals when it comes to match-fixing and ball tampering but the remarks against Sachin and Dravid are totally uncalled for.  The short man who possesses the richest array of records and is the World’s greatest Test and ODI run maker has answered every question asked of him in a legendary 21-year career – chose to leave this in his gracious manner.  The legend of cricketers hailed by Don Bradman does not need any endorsements after making 14965 Test runs (181 tests) and 18111 one day runs (453 matches)

He will surely remember as does the rest of the World, the much touted match of arch rivals India Pakistan at Centurion in WC 2003 encounter. After three fairly uneventful deliveries in the first over, Tendulkar made his move: Shoaib banged one in short and wide, so wide that he would have had to bowl it again had it been allowed to pass. Tendulkar, though, was in no mood to play it safe - a slight shuffle of the feet was followed by quick and decisive handwork as he lashed at the ball with an open-faced bat. Even as the ball soared over backward point, the greater impact of the stroke - and the momentum shift it caused - was palpable. As a statement of intent, that was as emphatic as it could get. Tendulkar followed up with two more delectable fours off the next two balls as the over leaked 18. – and Akhtar was promptly taken off the attack…. He eventutally got Sachin’s wicket with a controversial delivery (called a throw by none other than Ajit Wadekar – his action was under scrutiny though he got away many a times chucking !)
Suffering with cramps, Sachin blasted a great 98 off a mere 75 balls and when he left India needed only 97 in 22 overs, which they got in style.  India won that match with six wickets and 26 balls to spare, thus maintaining their 100% win record against Pakistan in World Cup matches.  In that context Shoaib finished with figures which he would not reveal in his book or anywhere – 1 for 72 in 10 overs.
You can understand his frustration; his relations with his team mates was never good and at a time when he thought money would come to him, there is no place for him in IPL.  After a lucrative contract in one of the club teams of India is what he has been longing for !  that is too apparent when his ire is directed at Lalit Modi accusing of him cheating.  After all, it was the same Lalit Modi and Shah Rukh khan who got him a contract for IPL.
Here are some more occasions when Akhtar ran to bowl at Sachin :
On 21st Jan 2000 in Carlton & United Series - 7th match (ODI 1543), Sachin opened and scored 93.
On 16th Mar 2004 at Rawalpindi (2nd ODI of the series) – Sachin lighted the stadium with audacious 141.
On 25th July 2004 at Premadasa Stadium in Asia Cup 10th match, Sachin made a delightful 78.
On 8th Nov 2007 at Mohali, Sachin cracked 99
A few days later on 15th Nov 2007 at Gwalior,  Sachin cracked 97.
Here is what statistics reveal : (there have not been too many instances and Sachin’s stats reveal his genius, viewed in whatever way !)
Sachin against Pakistan featuring Shoaib Akhtar in Tests

Span
Mat
Runs
HS
Bat Av
100
Overall
1989-2011
181
14965
248*
56.25
51
Pak - Akhtar
1999-2007
9
416
194*
41.6
1
Sachin against Pakistan featuring Shoaib Akhtar in One Dayers
Overall
1989-2011
453
18111
200*
45.16
48
Pak - Akhtar
1999-2007
19
864
141
45.47
1


Sachin did not have the home advantage and does well everywhere
Sachin against Pakistan featuring Shoaib Akhtar in Tests
home
1999-2007
3
148
82
37
0
away
2004-2006
6
268
194*
44.66
1
Sachin against Pakistan featuring Shoaib Akhtar in One Dayers
home
2004-2007
5
245
99
49
0
away
2004-2004
5
213
141
42.6
1
neutral
1999-2004
9
406
98
45.11
0


Remember these are the statistics involving Shoaib Akhtar against Sachin and not his overall against Pakistan.
Shoaib Akhtar might have forgotten but the World has not.  Immediately after the match at Centurion on 1st March 2003,  when Pak lost and he had a forgettable spell – this is what was published worldwide as uttered by him :-
“Sachin is the greatest batsman in the game, and if he comes out with something like that, it's no surprise. I was the one who got him out first ball when I was a nobody [in the Asian Test Championship, 1999]. And if he smashes me it doesn't mean Shoaib Akhtar is finished. Yes, we make strategies, and I make a strategy for the whole team rather than only for Sachin. Obviously, he is a key player and it's always an advantage to get him out fast. I had a strategy at Centurion too, but I was unfit. I had a problem with my knees and went into the game after having taken six injections. My entire right leg was numb and I was only about 40 per cent fit. It was just a bad day for us. It was bad being hit for sixes. It was just bad to lose in that way. They asked me to play, and they made me play, and I had to play for the sake of my country.”  -  lamentation, more than speech, Akhtar – and you continue to do the same now also !!!
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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