Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sachin 800

People have been dropped from the Indian side for all kinds of reasons, but it will be a first to see someone dropped for denying Sachin a century. Thankfully, Dhoni has been suspended so Dinesh Karthik will escape. If he was another batsman, you never know.

In any case, it is weird that we still tout Sachin as our best batsman. There was a time when he was a unique combination of aggression, style and consistency. Is he still our best though? Shot for shot and inning for inning, we have far better players. When Sehwag is in the mood, Sachin starts to look like Dravid. When runs flow from Laxman's bat, Sachin's strokes look manufactured. And there is no doubt who the "wall" is. Well yes, he blends in these qualities better than others, and produces good knocks from time to time. But I have my reservations about him being the best.

For one, I am deeply disappointed at his inability to lead the team. Such absurd shirking of responsibility would be tolerated only in our government services where one joins as a clerk and can retire as one, albeit hardworking, if one chooses to. That is precisely the allegory that comes to my mind when I watch Sachin play. A focused, hard working, dedicated and determined worker ant. He cant play like a Sehwag or Yuvraj because he is supposedly mature and responsible. But apparently not mature or responsible enough to lead the team. So all we get out of Sachin are some consistent innings, and its a shame that we dont have the talent to replace him.

Not to discount his feats and accomplishments, but what's the point of keeping him around, if he is serving no higher purpose, simply being a batsman building records, blocking the place of a youngster who can be groomed for the future. And even then, threatening the place of others for denying him a damn record! He is like our good old Maruti 800. A reliable and elegant alternative to the Ambassadors and Padminis when he broke out on the scene. And he remains so. But would you be caught dead driving a 800 today?


  1. Oh thats monumentally unfair. Agreed that he's not a good leader, but how often is the best performer in the side the leader? Was Viv Richards a good captain? Was Sobers? Was Botham? Was Kapil, for that matter? In cricket I have seen 2 leaders who were also the best in their sides at what they did, but they were lucky to be very able supported by a nucleus of great - i mean truly exceptional - players : Imran and Ponting. Other successful captains have all been never the best batsmen or bowlers in the side, but been able to lead the rest of the team to best support the best batsmen in the side. Sachin never had the luxury of a Wasim/Waqar, or a Javed or an Inzy. He never had a team with Lee/McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist and Hayden. Dhoni has such a team, atleast at times, and at those times - like when Sehwag and SRT fire on all cylinders, or when Yuvraj begins pinging them off at will, or when Zahir and Ishant find the right conditions - Dhoni looks like the best captain India has ever had. Sachin never had players of this caliber. He started the team nucleus, and when those players matured under Ganguly, Dada looked like a great captain indeed.

  2. Sorry, just saw your comment today. Agreed that a captain's performance is often a reflection of the team caliber, but why did Sachin turn down test captaincy before it went to Dhoni?

    I did not expect Sachin to win us world cups. He could have at least shown some character and stuck it out. Azhar comes to mind. He led a mediocre bunch of players who got a pasting everywhere until Sachin erupted on the scene. And Sachin could have easily been the captain instead of Ganguly. But no, first the 1000 centuries he has to score...