Friday, March 2, 2012

The equation today - and the call to drop Sachin and dropping of Sehwag


The equation is rather simple.  It has happened before – the entire Nation supporting and wanting a Team which they would otherwise hate to win – in a piquant situation, Indians would want Australia to win – for that only would provide India the chance to be in the Finals.  Sri lanka has their tail-up with 3 wins and a tie in their last 5 matches.  They would be rearing to go at Melbourne where they had once beaten Australia for entering the finals in 1996.

Teams
Mat
Won
Lost
Tied
Pts
Australia
7
4
3
0
19
Sri Lanka
7
3
3
1
15
India
8
3
4
1
15

This is the position as Sri Lanka play their last match against Australia.  A win would straight away take them to the appointed place in the finals – a loss would mean that India and Lanka would both have 15 points – The rules of the tournament is that in the event of teams finishing on equal points – the team with most no. of wins would quality; if equal (which would be the case) – the team with most no. of wins over the other team would qualify…….. and so goes the rule.. At this juncture, India would prevail upon Sri Lanka and qualify for the Finals. 

True the Team has fared very badly in England and then in Australia – but the reactions have been keen-jerk.  There were so many millions who were craving for Sachin to be honoured with  Bharat Ratna (I have always maintained that the highest Civilian Award should be conferred on those who have served the Nation and have brought honours for the Nation and that should not include sportspersons and certainly exclude cine-artistes) – is sort of raving that he should be deciding on his own in not playing further !
Again, for almost a year now, the media was planning blowout coverage of his 100th ton.  

I understand that  most magazines had already fixed sponsors for special coverage of Sachin making the 100th ton – again, I have been advocating that this is not even a statistical delight – one does not combine two different forms to contrive at an statistical landmark.  Irrespective of when Sachin scores that and when he scores more, he would ever remain as one of the greatest player of his time and certainly one of the very best India ever produced.  Perhaps, amongst Indian cricketers, only Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev would ever merit any comparison.

While the Nation wanted the Board to cut and chop the team, its fickleminded devotion in celebrating success soon and willingness to support mediocrity remains an impediment for the best performances.  To be fair to Sachin, here is what his statistics in ODI reveals and lot can be read out of that by all of you.

Mat
Inns
Runs
HS
Ave
100
50
188
311
15470
248*
55.44
51
65
460
449
18254
200*
44.74
48
95
1
1
10
10
10
0
0
Sachin over the years :
ODI Perf
Mat
Runs
HS
Bat Av
100
Career
460
18254
200*
44.74
48
Last year
14
477
111
34.07
1
Last 2 years
18
656
120
36.44
2
Last 3 years
38
1814
200*
53.35
6

After that peevish announcement of team for Asia Cup even before the Indian chances downunder were extinguished, the fate of Indian team has renewed life after that knock of Kohli and after the euphoric chasing of 321 in 36.2 overs.  As far as the only other double centurion in ODI, Virender Sehwag, he has dispelled speculation over him being "rested" for the Asia Cup, saying he had explained his medical condition to the chairman of the selectors Kris Srikkanth ahead of the selection meeting to pick the squad for the tournament.  But how would a batsman not fit for a future match play in the finals, if India were to qualify would remain a question.  If it were to be termed as ‘resting’ – then these are his last scores in ODI : 30,5,0,20,10 and in the two T20 innings prior to that – 23 & 4. 

Elsewhere, Mohammad Amir, the Pakistan fast bowler, has decided not to appeal, in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the five-year ban imposed on him by the ICC for spot-fixing during the 2010 Lord's Test against England.  The decision reportedly has been  taken after legal experts said they believed the possibility of a successful outcome was reduced by Amir pleading guilty before the ICC and a London court.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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