Nov 5, 2002

And now for you, Mr. Tendulkar
This is something I've noticed quite often: many people tend to be great admirers of both Sachin Tendulkar and A.R.Rahman. Not something that I'd be able to put a percentage on, but I've observed this intersection to be a fairly large one. It probably is to do with their personalities (if you like one's, the other's is similar so it's an easy jump to make), their career spans, their past records, their obvious talent, and also of late, their perceived failings unearthed by microscopic scrutinies. For the last year, each's output has been dissected endlessly and consistency will no longer do for the average follower, it has to be extraordinary from now on. There are new claimants to the thrones, and the fans need the performances to defend.
Sidelight apart, Sachin dismissed a few theories with one ton: cannot score in the 2nd inngs, cannot play under pressure. But he couldn't rest one ghost: of leading his team to a win because of his batting. Surprisingly, the media has been kind to Sourav Ganguly, but I couldn't understand why India did not press on for a win by a clever declaration, say at lunch, or just after it giving the Windies 190-odd to get in 40 overs. It is in these matters that "aggression" should be displayed, not waving smelly and dirty shirts from a balcony. Also, captains have a larger duty to the game and crowd, and with the series sewn up and the Windies keen to go for a win, it was all nicely set up. These are the attitudes that separate pretenders from the good teams. If we don't have the bowlers that can win us matches in 2.5 sessions on the last day of a Test, then we ought to be more tempered in our optimism for this team's success.

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