As Praveen Kumar scampered for the 2nd run and fell short, India fell short by 3 'mammoth' runs. It was one more 'So near and yet so far' situation for a team which has seen several such situations in the past. We were almost there... every boundary of Sachin, especially after his century was an assurance that we would make the impossible possible.... every six of Raina ensured that the difference between the balls remaining and runs required contracted.... every confident stroke of Ravindra Jadeja instilled a confidence into the game... But alas!!! All this went in vain as India managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It was a mixed game... But more sorrow and less joy!
As usual, Facebook walls and G Talk status messages have become a platform to express anguish over the defeat. e-Debate forums witnessed a lot of 'Cricket experts' suggesting what Sachin should have done and what Raina shouldn't have. Thanks to Christ, India is not Saudi. Most fans in dismay have requested to behead Jadeja. Like always, everyone including the author did find a scapegoat for defeat. Public opinion (or outburst) indicates, it is Jadeja.
But spare a thought for a man, who for the past 20 years has been walking out to bat with a bat in hand and a whole nation's expectations. Sachin Tendulkar - Once again he proved a jinx to the Aussies. Aussies are a bunch of hard men and it needs a rock to face them. Who better than Sachin could it be! The first 4 matches of the series weren't so encouraging for Sachin and his fans. The opposition had scored, his team-mates had scored. But somehow he wasn't able to corss the 30-40 run mark, which by his standards is nothing short of 'mediocrity'. He had a point to prove, not that he was the Numero Uno, but that, the man who walked to bat with Sehwag in the first 4 ODIs was Sachin himself. He had a point to prove to Ponting, who termed him as 'a run accumulator' and 'not a threat anymore' after the 4th ODI. He proved yet another point - India's fortune is yet to come out of the shadows of Sachin's fortune. It is still Sachin that holds the Indian Team together. As challenges keep mounting, our expectations move from the Yuvrajs and the Dhonis to Sachin. Every time India has been in a 'Do-or-Die' situation, the focus has been on Sachin.
Congratulations to Sachin Tendulkar on scoring 17000 ODI runs, of which 11000 runs have come on foreign soil. And about his prolific 175 of 141 balls? It is for the Sachin critics to comment on it this time! ;-)
Su(chi)n never sets in the English empire..... and Australian, South African and Indian as well.