Sachin is back!! and how!!
I know, I know, this is probably too stale a news but there was a reason why I didn't write about it before (other than the fact that I am lazy, that is). I did not want to write in the condition I was in. As in, the 93 was exciting enough but the 67 he followed it up with was a true thing of beauty. I needed to calm down a little just to ensure that I write something that is at least semi-coherent.
I haven't been watching limited overs cricket for quite some time now. Sachin wasn't playing and when he was, it wasn't really worth all the time and money one has to invest for watching cricket here in US. I used to buy packages for the major test series but that was about it. 20 days back I'd have bet anything in the world that nothing in the world can make me buy these stupid 12 one dayers. I mean, come on! Its not as if I am sitting on a pile of gold. At the end of the day one has to remember that a poor grad student can not quite afford luxuries like spending 130 dollars on what is essentially a completely inconsequential series of see-it-hit-it-out-of-the-ground circus shows, right?
All that was based on my certainty that Sachin isn't going to budge from his stupid stand that he is now grand old man of indian cricket and needs to play that way. Sorry, it might give us a few victories here and there and maybe some major scores in test matches but it still falls short of a big enough motivation to shell out 130 dollars. However, something happened over last few days that took almost everyone by surprise. And even though most of us have come out of the shock and are readying ourselves for whats hopefully going to be a great ride over next few years, Atapattu and party are still shell-shocked. One needs to see him at the presentation ceremonies to believe the extent of the shock. He looks miserable. Blabbers and stammers his way through those couple of minutes and looks as if he has reached the end of his wits. Not that SL hasn't improved. The last two games were much better for SL fans than the first two. That sachin failed in both of these last two games might have something to do with it. Think about it. Sachin is playing as if there is no tomorrow. Reckless like a 15 year old. Heck, even more reckless than Sehwag! And they lose even the two matches where his recklessness ensured that he won't have much to contribute to indian total. What are they going to do when, inevitably, he DOES get a start again?
Its amazing! he isn't even playing like he used to in his heyday (1996, 1998, 2000 etc). He was an aesthetic treat then. Now, its plain butchery. You'd never have caught him flourishing his bat with overexaggerated follow-throughs. And even though that earlier method is most likely more efficient AND more pretty than this current avatar, it must be said that while that inspired awe among the opposition this Sachin probably inspires dread more than awe. This might sound a bit too premature considering that he has only played two good innings in this manner and failed in the next two. And he might just go back to being the grand-old-man Sachin from next innings onwards. But, really, even if he does go back, these two innings will be unforgettable for the manner in which it caught the whole world unawares. He was coming back from injury, hadn't been doing proper nets till just a couple of days before the match and hadn't shown much to be too excited about in the challenger matches just the previous week. And then he walks into an international match and cuts everyone to size. As cousin Avy says in Snatch - Not Subtle, But effective!
No wonder I needed only about 5 overs of the first match to get sucked into putting my credit card number and pressing enter! Poorer by 130 dollars, richer by some great innings!