March 13, 2008

Indian Cricket

The Beginning of the End

Mukul Kesavan
Sachin Tendulkar looks toward the heavens after bringing up his half-century, Australia v India, CB Series, 2nd final, Brisbane, March 4, 2008
 © AFP


Listening to Tendulkar declare that the CB series win counted as the greatest moment of his cricketing career, I felt dismayed, then scornful, and then just old.

The dismay was defensible: here was the best Test batsman India had ever produced, back to sublime Test form (he had just struck two centuries and a fifty in the four Test series against Australia), the spearhead of the Indian charge to a gloriously implausible victory in the third Test in Perth, telling the world that India's triumph in a trivial three-nation tournament in its last season (the tri-series tv ratings are so poor that it's being put to sleep) ranked higher than any Test match triumph of which he had been a part.

So, I thought, building up a rhetorical head of steam, this was bigger than the 2001 Test in Kolkata where Laxman's double and Dravid's century and, yes, Tendulkar's three wickets, helped us clinch our greatest Test victory ever? Bigger than the win at Chennai in the final Test of that series, where Tendulkar's hundred won us a series victory against Waugh's Invincibles at full strength?

Bigger than the last Test series in Australia when we got the better of a 1-1 draw. Bigger than winning our first Test rubber in England in twenty years last summer? Edging a struggling Sri Lanka in the league stage and blanking an ageing Australian side in the finals of a small limited overs tournament was a bigger deal than all of the above?

Dismay drove me to derision. I told myself that till recently, till Tendulkar's resumption of the mantle of genius in the Test series in Australia, I had always classed him as the second-best batsman in the history of Indian cricket. I should have stuck with SMG. Gavaskar is unbearable in his present avatar as television pundit, but at least there is the reassurance of knowing he is too bright to embarrass himself (and us) with a comment as crass as Tendulkar's. Would Kumble ever say such a thing? Would Dravid? No and no. This is what comes of not going to college.

Derision didn't work. It's impossible to condescend to Tendulkar. Cricket-wise, he's so colossal that even the all-knowing Indian fan finds patronizing him a stretch. So I did the next best thing. I tried to explain his statement away. He probably meant the whole tour, I thought hopefully. The total Oz experience: Perth, Harbhajan, match referees, Andrew Symonds, Malcolm Conn, the one-day victories, all taken together. That didn't work either. This is how the Telegraph reported Tendulkar's statement:

'If captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was a picture of calm even after a terrific tri-series win, senior-most pro (and his idol) Sachin Tendulkar was overjoyed. "I'm feeling so proud… It's probably the biggest moment in my career," Sachin told The Telegraph at the team hotel, the Sofitel.' There was some wiggle-room in that 'probably' but the only honest reading of that statement was that Tendulkar thought that the CB series win was the high-point of his cricketing life. And with 39 centuries in Tests and 42 in ODIs, I had to accept that he had tasted triumph often enough to know which victory was sweetest.

This is when I defaulted to feeling not just old, but superannuated as a fan. More than any cricketer in the world, Tendulkar embodies the modern batsman because of his absolute mastery of the two main forms of the game. He has scored more runs in ODIs than any other batsman and it won't be long before he's on top of the Test match heap too. He's played international cricket since 1989 and he has felt the game seesaw between its long and short forms. So when he says that this small tournament victory was the highlight of those twenty years at the top, we should pay serious attention because it marks, I think, a tipping point in the precarious balance between the five-day and the limited overs game, a decisive turn in the history of cricket.

Tendulkar's comment sprang partly from the thrill of defeating a bunch of Ugly Australians in their backyard after a long summer of squabbles. But it sprang also, I think, from a sense of achievement in being the only veteran to have transitioned to the Twenty20 epoch not by the skin of his teeth, but triumphantly.

 © Getty Images

I don't think Tendulkar enjoyed forsaking a place in the Twenty20 team that won the World Cup. I have no way of reading the great man's mind, but given his record in the limited overs game and his competitiveness, I find it hard to believe that it didn't gall him to have to make room 'voluntarily' for the young brigade. The team that won the tri-series in Australia was in large part the same as the team that won the Twenty20 World Cup. Dhoni had asked for his merry men and got them; Tendulkar was the odd man (old man?) out. At the age of 34 he was eight years older than the captain, who, at 26 was the next oldest player in the team.

In this company, with the player auction for the BCCI's new Twenty20 league as context, to have steered this young team home with a fifty, a hundred and a near-hundred in the three matches that counted, was a triumph, a triumph of Tendulkar over Time and particularly sweet for that reason.

Tendulkar was a prodigy when he started out in 1989 and he's now the game's grey eminence. But he isn't just cricket's durable genius; he has also been for fifteen years, it's hottest commercial property. Both the brand and the batsman unconsciously grasped that cricket had mutated decisively, in one of evolution's leaps, away from the longeurs of Test cricket towards the compact formats of the limited overs game. Dhoni's charisma, the hysteria after the Twenty20 World Cup win, the meteoric valuation of young potential at the expense of proven achievement and experience in the IPL's auction, signalled the end of an era when Test cricket had sort of held its own. The surest sign of an epochal change was the fact that the largest sums of money in cricket were now being invested in the newest and most trivial form of the game.

Tendulkar, like Dravid and Ganguly, wasn't bid for in the IPL auction because they were designated champions of their state sides. Of the three, Tendulkar is the one who is there on merit; the other two seem to have been included out of a strategic deference to seniority. I wouldn't be surprised if Tendulkar finds a place in the Indian squad that plays the next Twenty20 World Cup; he may well use the arena of the IPL to try to force his way in. I'm certain, though, that he plans to be around for the next ODI World Cup, to see if he can't add the World Cup to his trophy cupboard.

If Tendulkar's valuation of the tri-series is the first sign of the slow death of five-day cricket, some of us, specially middle-aged nostalgists who live for Test matches, might find it hard to follow the game down this new road. Still, my initial outrage, my sense that Tendulkar in saying what he did, had betrayed the long game, was daft. Old men rail at History; great men master it.

A version of this post was published earlier in the Telegraph

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in New Delhi

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Vikram on (March 31, 2008, 20:05 GMT)

My Dear Mr. Kesavan. I surely hope you will read this. I think the biggest problem with sports writers/ analysts is that the analyse too much. Whether its the cricket or the statements. Please, Please, be aware that Sachin Tendulkar is a cricketer and not a diplomat. Hell, even a diplomant would e surprised if you could conclude so much from one statement. It could have just been a statement out of sheer excitement of the moment.. have you thought of that? Don't people just say things impromptu sometimes. You had hours to write this up. Stop being over-analytical. Please. It's frustrating.

Posted by R.Thangadurai on (March 24, 2008, 13:35 GMT)

Hello, Tendulker is like a superstar Rajini, whatever he does or speaks is a frontline news. Why u people critize words of a champ which he spakes out in the moment of Joy. Leave his alone and let him enjoy.............

Posted by Raj on (March 23, 2008, 17:00 GMT)

Hi Mukul, as an aspiring writer, I think I spotted the tool you used to introduce your topic ... unfortunately the introduction was so incendiary (you are talking of the TAV after all) .. that your topic was lost.

Posted by Cahanna on (March 23, 2008, 10:20 GMT)

I think dude you need to go back to school to lear some mannaers yourself though I wonder they will allow you in any decent school.

Posted by Manish Mittal on (March 23, 2008, 10:03 GMT)

Mr Mukul did you go to college? Surely you are one bloody south Indian does not have any manners.

Posted by Roy on (March 22, 2008, 18:13 GMT)

MK has obviously never studied Economics. There is this little matter of 'Opportunity Cost' - had Sachin gone to College instead of concentrating on Cricket he would have lost out on centuries on the cricket field and millions off it. Why did Tiger Woods not go to College? or, Michael Jordan? Anyway, snobs like MK can continue to wallow in the smug pride of their boarding school education and leave cricket analysis to the professionals.

Posted by karun on (March 22, 2008, 11:35 GMT)

thanx mukul for ur last post..just came to know of that..and if u care to know..i kind of liked ur blogs..but that was ages ago...and if u think going to college has anything to do with ur amazing wisdom..i fear my future..

Posted by vikram on (March 22, 2008, 4:26 GMT)

sachin has been successful in both forms because of the lack of "test cricket is the thing,ODIs is just fastfood cricket" philosophy.not that i disagree with that entirely,but he just loves batting,and competing.whether its a test, competing against bowlers,or ODI,competing against the run rate,or an IPL 20/20,competing against his 35 years,he is going to try equally hard and enjoy equally what he does best:bat.and millions have already mentioned what you chose to forget:it was said in the spur of the moment, and should not be over analyzed,and later, he did speak about the importance of the perth victory, but even if he did mean it, so what? aging aussie side for sure, but we made them look that bad.and how different was the much touted 2003-04 tour?no warne and mcgrath,and surely lee is as good as gillespie.and finally,gavaskar's puke-worthy commentary and your comment about sachin's college education are way crassier than sachin rating a series win higher than u want him to

Posted by V.S.S.SARMA on (March 21, 2008, 15:12 GMT)

The greatest cricket player of all time says that CB series win was the high point in his career. I am also aghast like Mukul, having seen the rise of such great players like Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. If the great man says, perhaps so, or is it ? Somewhere along, I feel that while Tendulkar proves a point with his hard performances on the field, I do not see a great lot of wisdom in his words, like say Ravi Shastri or an Ian Chappell or Geoffrey Boycott. While I admire his game, I have never really seen Sachin talking of strategies and relative merits of players and teams. I have not seen critical analysis of a series gone by from this prodigy. I agree with Mukul that this series win was an incosequential as it was against an 'out of the form' Aussies. What was consequential was that India was pushed out of World Cup in 2007 by minnows Bangladesh under the watch of some of the greatest players of the game of cricket.

Posted by ravi on (March 21, 2008, 8:53 GMT)

for once your analysis of Tendulkar is correct. Tendulkar has never really contributed much to the greatest triumphs of Indian cricket in the past decade and a half. For once, he managed to score a hundred when it was desperately needed in the finals. That has given him the thrill of a lifetime. No wonder he called it the greatest cricketing moment. He was and will always be an immature boy who doesnt want to grow up. For he knows not what he'll do once his career is over. His personal attack on Manjrekar on a couple of valid cricketing comments was pathetic.

Posted by stephen on (March 19, 2008, 5:39 GMT)

I find the comment about " not going to college... ." quite indicative of the problems withIndian cricket. Perhaps, as professional cricketers the emphasis was on perfecting the basics your team would be able to compete with Australia on a long term basis.Don't think one well earned and thoroughly deserved series victory makes a dynasty!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on (March 18, 2008, 17:04 GMT)

"This is what comes of not going to college". You are an elitist prick...I enjoyed your trivial ramblings until this...I resent the insinuation with that statement....Of all the parallels to draw I'm stunned you drew that god...I am surprised there wasn't a greater rebuke in response to this!

Posted by Arun Joseph on (March 18, 2008, 16:52 GMT)

The comment "This is what comes of not going to college"! was just not cricket. A good article that was totally spoiled by that one comment. I think you should issue an apology for that, or else someone might just write a big article about it (oh sorry, I forgot that you haven't acheived as much as Mr. Tendulkar).

Posted by Kingh on (March 18, 2008, 13:49 GMT)

'This is what comes of not going to college.'???? r u for real? a poor piece of writing!

Posted by s3ns3 on (March 18, 2008, 13:16 GMT)

You got it quite right, "from a sense of achievement in being the only veteran to have transitioned to the Twenty20 epoch not by the skin of his teeth, but triumphantly", but there is also another factor involved which is Dravid. This is his first meaningful victory without Dravid around and contributing. Remember in Perth, Dravid top scored in the first innings and Laxman guided in the second.

Posted by Aditya Mookerjee on (March 17, 2008, 13:36 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is endearing, because he is unassuming of his greatness. I must confess, the recently ended tri-series was one of the highlights of my cricket season, every year. If one has to play One Day Cricket, one must play it in Australia. The facilities for One Day Cricket, regarding all aspects, is outstanding there. It is not Tendulkar's erudite qualities which are outstanding, though one takes his views on the game lightly, to no advantage. I take his views on his own game, and his reading of match situations, very seriously.

Posted by rext on (March 17, 2008, 6:03 GMT)

I suppose education is the only thing you are better than Sachin at! Look mate, bullshit's bullshit, whether it's written by an Australian or an Indian! While some clown wrote he's better than Bradman, I think any non insane person would include him in any discussion about the top 10 batsman of all time. He's got his flaws and weaknesses as a cricketewr, but as a batsman he's pretty good. No match winner mind you, but good all the same so stop writing rubbish just to get responses, or does your pay depend on the number of responses you get. Anmd another thing, that prat Harbijhan is amazingly lucky he plays for India not Australia! Hogg 3 Tests 8 wickets @ 60 Career over! Singh 3 Tests 8 wickets @ 61 National Hero?!! What???!!!

Posted by Prashant on (March 17, 2008, 3:34 GMT)

"This is what comes of not going to college". LOL

Posted by raj on (March 16, 2008, 8:20 GMT)

oh!oh! Incencsed readers,try to understand what the writer is saying. That bit about not goin to school was an irrational rant at the spur of the momenet, which Mukul himself has clearly self-parodied here, if you can read beyond understanding sentence-by-sentence. But then...

Posted by Jagdeep on (March 15, 2008, 14:45 GMT)

Tendulkar said what he thought and felt. It's not his fault if his thoughts don't agree with your intellectual pretensions. Test cricket is not an intellectual sophisticated sport as you make it out to be.

Posted by J Sreekanth on (March 15, 2008, 14:39 GMT)

Forget about merely going to college, it is quite evident that even being educated enough to actually teach social history does not imbibe enough class and clarity of thinking in a person. To think that such guys teach youngsters at an impressionable age is scary. I thought only folks like Sanjay Manjrekar stooped low - but he clearly has lot of company! Good for them ... that's the ONLY way these guys can attract attention.

Posted by damodar on (March 15, 2008, 14:38 GMT)

"This is what not going to college does" - It is this same mentality that produced such mindless biased bashing of the Australians recently.

Posted by Macky on (March 15, 2008, 9:40 GMT)

Mukul, please try to recollect the interviews that Gautam Bhimani took with Kumble and Dravid after the Perth Test. Kumble called it the biggest victory ever, while Dravid played it down saying all the victories abroad over the last 3-4 years have been equally good. He obviously did not want to undernmine the wins under him in England and West Indies. Hope this clears your doubts about what Kumble and Dravid would have said.

Posted by S.R. Das on (March 15, 2008, 7:36 GMT)

If you have nothing else to do why don't you take a day off and have a good time with your family? Infinitely better use of time than writing an utterly useless article like this. Just shows that college education does not necessarily guarantee wisdom!

Posted by AC on (March 15, 2008, 2:11 GMT)


I am deeply saddened with your snipe at (Sir)Sachin. He has done India proud on many a ocassion over the last 17 years and this is definitely not what "The Master" deserves. ("Tendulkar remains, by a distance, the most worshipped cricketer in the world" --Cricinfo player profile). Even Tony Greig acknowledged Sachin is the best among the current crop of cricketers to whom one can emulate. Imagine the plight of Indian team and its winning record if Sachin were playing for Pak or Aus. Even at an young age he displayed more maturity than many of his 'college-educated' counterparts. With the kind of transformations the game is undergoing, "Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a man in blood and flesh has walked on a cricket ground"--take a bow.

I understand you are emotional here, however, your writings should never border on blasphemy.

Finally, I have a PhD from a respected school in the US and I have Sachin's picture on my desk ...for inspiration.

Posted by omer admani on (March 15, 2008, 1:52 GMT)

I must add that I respect this article as it takes Tendulkar to scrutiny-- if a little off-- for once. There are limits to glorifying (especially in this case!) and as a journalist it is good work-- to speak your mind. Whether people approve your opinion or not, it is a job well done to say it as you see it and analyze a batsman as all other batsman are analyzed, ather than writing a piece which comprises of needless and parrot-like glorification so that everyone commends you and agrees with you.

Posted by omer admani on (March 15, 2008, 1:35 GMT)

That is not quite right, Tendulkar has always been a better ODI batsman than a test batsman (Not a fourth innings century yet and you'd agree that Australia's bowling attack this time around wasn't so good as a year ago). Much of the adoration that he gets in India is also because of fine one-day performances rather than test ones. In India, one days have always been the more reverred aspect of the game. There is no irony in Tendulkar's statement. Moreover, India hasn't won much outside India in test matches on the back of Tendulkar's performances (whereas Dravid has probably won more test matches) which is why the remark holds true for Tendulkar. That doesn't mean test matches become any lesser, and certainly are still the ultimate form of this game. And it is probably not because of not going to college, it is just what he feels. Now Ghavaskar can also say a lot of things that one can't agree with (or, more likely, barely ever agree with) despite going to college.

Posted by Sandeep P on (March 14, 2008, 23:19 GMT)

This is what comes out of "NOT HOLDING A CRICKET BAT IN YOUR LIFE", Mr. Mukul.

How can you compare wins against other teams inside India with those, India got away from home?

Suddenly, Australian team looks aged to you? They didn't appear so in the league matches or test matches?

Suddenly, SL team looks weak to you - though they win a game against Aus in Aus?

Be rational and let the players decide what they want.

And for heaven's sake, don't ever comment on someone's education again. Tendulkar now holds a post doc on batting in each country, going by your standards of education.

Posted by vijay on (March 14, 2008, 22:37 GMT)

Mukul, for too long you've been deluded into thinking that cricket is a great sport. Are you clearer in your mind now

Posted by ajit on (March 14, 2008, 22:35 GMT)

your writing is almost as bad as your thoughts - "the dismay was defensible".

Posted by jagdish on (March 14, 2008, 22:33 GMT)

Mr Kesavan - are you now back to earth. You keep talking about Test Cricket as if it is chess (a sport for intellectuals) and now Tendulkar himself has brought you down to earth

Posted by Anoop on (March 14, 2008, 22:31 GMT)

when will kesavan learn that test cricket is not the brainy intellectual sport that he has been waxing lyrical about his entire life. Even the greatest cricketer in the world shows such disdain for test cricket

Posted by Rusty on (March 14, 2008, 22:30 GMT)

Many Indians go to college - so what! All it does is make them garrulous in print, doesn't mean there is anything meaningful in their ramblings. The comments on this blog are sure evidence of this.

Posted by ajith on (March 14, 2008, 21:15 GMT)

But, good gracious, you've got to educate him first. You can't expect a boy to be vicious till he's been to a good school...Saki (H. H. Munro) (1870-1916) Scottish author....looks like you have been to a good school, Mukul.

Posted by doremi on (March 14, 2008, 17:32 GMT)

You're being too pessimistic Mukul, the T20 WC was big because it was a World Cup, this one was big because India beat Oz in Oz. I still think the interest levels for the test matches, even though those had awkward timings, absolutely eclipsed the ODIs. Sachin's comments can probably be put down to not being in the context he meant, and being carried away by the moment.

Test cricket still is the premier form and is alive and kicking (when two decent well matched sides play atleast)

Posted by Jeet on (March 14, 2008, 15:35 GMT)

You knw, if not going to college is what is problem with Tendulkar.....i will give up all my education to achieve what he has. 18 years of prime performance and still able to have his feet on the ground and be school or college teaches you that. By the way, many top scientist didnt go to college, I am guessing as per you, they had no idea what they were talking about too.

We term people like you as educated illiterates. Seriously think, write and read what you write before you post are splitting hair in this article.

Posted by Jeet on (March 14, 2008, 15:32 GMT)

You knw, if not going to college is what is problem with Tendulkar.....i will give up all my education to achieve what he has. 18 years of prime performance and still able to have his feet on the ground and be school or college teaches you that. By the way, many top scientist didnt go to college, I am guessing as per you, they had no idea what they were talking about too.

We term people like you as educated illiterates. Seriously think, write and read what you write before you post are splitting hair in this article.

Posted by coolnesh on (March 14, 2008, 15:06 GMT)

There is NO reference to context about him not going to college and making a statement about his greatest victory... I presume you did go to college and then knowingly made such a crass remark which is totally unethical... what does that say about your college education?? You have no right to ding people on the career choices they make.

At least Sachin has the records to back what he does... what do you have? With any credibility you might have achieved in the past could be lost by this stupid article. If you can make such a silly statement on a spur of the moment comment by Sachin... then why not we as readers discount your credibility?

Posted by deepak2 on (March 14, 2008, 14:55 GMT)

mukul,you are hitting a purple patch as a pop prose writer which has made you trigger happy with reggard to your crcketing sensibility.check yourself, are my favorite cricket writer.please don't waste yourself on non could have used another peg to hang your theory on.

Posted by Srinivasan on (March 14, 2008, 14:22 GMT)

I guess, the comment was it was the biggest moment of his the win can't be read as eliminating a struggling lankan side and blanking an ageing Aussie side alone...this win has come on the back of all that has already been mentioned, the trouble at Sydney, Harbhajan and all that and moreover GUIDING this unbridled side as a mentor within the team and thus i guess calling it the biggest moment of his career is completely justified and your comment of result of not going to college seems completely out of place, Mr. Kesavan, I guess.... u have got something terribly wrong in this article, something like interpretation of Sachin's words in there....u always read behind the lines...the most essential thing that they teach u at lawschool, never take anything by face value and u here seem to have committed exactly the same error.

Posted by Karthik on (March 14, 2008, 14:15 GMT)

"This is what comes of not going to college"! Wow I lost all respect for you after that.What a cheap shot.What a snob you are wonder how much you are educated mister.And you teach social history, people are better off not going to colleges where people like you rave and rant.

Posted by Anonymous on (March 14, 2008, 14:06 GMT)

y d hell is being so mch made of wat was definitely a statement in d nostalgia of d moment...go nd ask him again nd m dead sure d answer wnt b d same....nd even if it is...hw does it matter..isnt he allowed 2 hv his personal is no doubt a gr8 achievement...

Posted by Cricket Fan on (March 14, 2008, 13:42 GMT)

I understand it is hard to think of usefull topics when your range is limited. But writing a whole article about a single comment is ridculous. This article is downright useless. It is neither informative nor entertaining. Mukul should have rambled something on his sleep and decided to send it scross just to meet a deadline or something. When you have actually not been there, when you only heard about it from somebody else, when you did not hear it first hand, what right do you have to opine about it. I agree that the word to describe this article is "CRASS".

Posted by Guhan on (March 14, 2008, 13:33 GMT)

He actually scored tow centuries and two fifties in the recent series Australai....Perhaps you might bother to check on facts yourself before you make a mountain out of a molehill!!

Posted by utkarsh pande on (March 14, 2008, 12:37 GMT)

yes, authoritative stuff like someone mentioned....may be it was just in the heat of the moment that sach said that and anyway its just a blog. so it cant be a case of overreaction..just someone's thoughts..its like coming to the consensus that - yes sachin was excited at that point and hence rated it the best..maybe, he dint consider/include test cricket at that point...this victory ought to be the best one day win ever for this team which sachin has been a part of for 2 decades now(although it is to be seen whether the new aussie unit is worth the salt)...and its best left at that....hats of to the team, sachin and the writeup...its a win win...

Posted by Aniket on (March 14, 2008, 12:27 GMT)

The comment "This is what comes of not going to college" is the most pathetic, ludicrous and derogatory comment I have ever read about the most famous and talented sportsperson India has every produced. MK, I have lost whatever respect I had for you.

I read that your top score is 14. Since the age of 14 this man is making news (for all the good reasons) and journalist like you are following his every move and words. I think that’s a very good testimony for a person whom has never seen college.

After being so called educated I guess you can still learn a few thing about humility and modesty from Sachin. If being educated means being arrogant and egoistic I would prefer everybody to be illiterate or atleast never seen the college doors.

MK, a real genuine feedback for you, take sabbatical, STOP WRITING.

Posted by madhu on (March 14, 2008, 12:00 GMT)

i think that the comment has been taken in wrong ways. when someone is talking about some series or like that, it is obvius that the comments are based on that form of the game. here all the comments are concentrated in odi arena. so it is unfair to compare this with test win. again, win in australia against australia in such dirty series...yes, the best series win (odi) after 83 world cup & 85 win in australia. this time it is so sweet because after a long time (after '85) India won a overseas tournament. Again, no one is comparing this win with test win. so please keep all the discussions beyond the test cricket.

Posted by chilldude on (March 14, 2008, 11:56 GMT)

Gavaskar india's greatest ever batsmen ? He was an insufferable bore to watch and a snob too. He certainly comes behind Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. Mukul, maybe you should take a sabbatical.

Posted by Suhas on (March 14, 2008, 11:33 GMT)

I cant imagine some one can read so much into a simple harmless comment..... why so much of scrutiny on such a comment....Tendulkar would be the first to admitt that TESTs are much more imp then the shorter from the games

Posted by Madan on (March 14, 2008, 11:31 GMT)

@Philip: I agree that there is more to Sachin's remarks than pure euphoria and as you rightly pointed out, he has gone on to say that this Australian team was defensive and were challenged by the young Indian team. But wherefrom Mukul surmised that Sachin's remarks mark the beginning of Test cricket's demise I cannot understand. I would also like to point out that it was by no means a small tournament as Mukul referred to it. With four rounds of league matches and a best-of-three final, it has been the most gruelling ODI tournament in the world, yes more punishing than even the World Cup because here the same three teams have to play each other over and over. Last time around, India carried their good Test form into the ODIs but were spent by the time the finals arrived, which shows how tough this tournament is. Think about it: it's taken nearly a month and a half to get over and it's this long duration that was perhaps the undoing of this tournament.

Posted by S.SRIRAM on (March 14, 2008, 11:18 GMT)

Ridiculous article. written with a sheer motto to hurt sachin.Common don't read too much from what he says, read from what he does in the playfield.Even if he has meant whatever you have posted there is nothing wrong because he is the sole cause of this victory with his century&near-century in both the finals

Posted by Sam on (March 14, 2008, 11:07 GMT)

How can 27, 30 be greater than 26. I think you need to go to college again.

Posted by Anonymous on (March 14, 2008, 11:06 GMT)

An off day for Mukul. Hope it is a one off

Posted by Vasanth on (March 14, 2008, 10:57 GMT)

If you look at the blog posts of Mukul, he has consistently elevated Laxman over and above the likes of Rahul & Saurav and simetimes over the little master. It is not a surprise for me to read this post where he has derogated Sachin with his College remark. I am only surprised with the concluding remarks and his previous post titled "Sachin's bid for Immortality". Grow up Mukul. Do not think that you are a genius in the way of going over board and criticizing SRT and SMG. I am happy with some of the feedback that fellow readers have posted in reference to condemning Mukul for his College Remark. Sachin Fans will continue to hope that SRT stays till WC 2011 and will play in the next T20 WC.

Posted by Prakash on (March 14, 2008, 10:55 GMT)

I fail to understand what you are trying to say. Are u saying Tendulkar shd say Perth Win was my Best Win?? Are u Saying Test Cricket is the Only Cricket?? Are u saying Without college education u cant score runs errrrrrrrr speak properly... What are you trying to say. Heights of Joblessness

Posted by UmpSD on (March 14, 2008, 10:41 GMT)

Mukul, mate, what are you on about? I usually enjoy reading your articles, but this one was a real shocker! Sachin's lack of a college education has nothing to do with the statements he makes - in fact, probably only further proves how dedicated he is to the craft of which he is the master! Anyway, he probably only said that in the joy of the moment - so really, I don't see any point in being so over-analytical about one statement --> a whole article on ONE sentence!! Give the guy a break, and maybe take one yourself as well.

Posted by Subramani on (March 14, 2008, 10:31 GMT)

The tour was a long and acrimonious one as we all saw. The battle between India and the Australians was not just on the field of play or even in the frequent verbal thrusts by their players, but their media. Cricket Australia the umpires, and the officials on the one side and India on the other. To have won 2-0 has got to seen in that context not in the comparitive clinicality of the earlier glorious games you have mentioned of which Tendulkar was a part.I believe the nation rose as one in condemning the biased umpiring on the first day of the Sydney Test. I have never known that to have happenned before.. That is because the wrongdoings were in public view. It seems strange therefore that you have misunderstood Tendulkar's post CB victory statement as a result of his being grateful for having been part of it or because he did not go to college. Both seem ridiculous assumptions when one sees you admitting that you are talking about the second greatest batsman of all time.

Posted by Mukundan on (March 14, 2008, 10:08 GMT)

Mukul - if ur idea of this article was to bring out that fact that Sachin has mastered all 3 formats of the game then am with u. As ur title suggests (Tendulkar over Time) I agree that he has withstood the test of time like no other batsman has. Hats off to the great man. He was, is and will be the greatest cricketer for India and the world.

On a separate note I think you spent way too much time on the derision and dismay part than necessary. Thats why most people are disappointed and upset. It did leave a sour taste after reading it. I hope u didnt mean that comment. Sachin is too great a cricketer to be written about in this manner.

Posted by NEELANSH on (March 14, 2008, 10:03 GMT)


Posted by sankar-chennai on (March 14, 2008, 9:58 GMT)

Mukul your are absolutely correct! Tendulkar's die-hard fans never know's and cares about real performances, one day cricket is a entertainer and sachin outperformed every player in that version but Test cricket is a real test and sachin scored very very few worth knocks in that format and his records will speak forthemself, and also he is a big cheap-run getter, atleast from now onwards he should stop playing against current westindies,bangladesh,kenya,zimbabwe test matches, because real big achievers in Test cricket from India are SMG,Kapil,dravid,laxman,shewag and there comes Mr.Sachin with tons of unwanted centuries. Mukul please continue your articles againsg these stupid sachin_followers and some useless media's. Nobody has to play and prove themself in the field to write an article, so continues your good work. We,The true cricket lovers are with you. Sankar.

Posted by Sheela on (March 14, 2008, 9:48 GMT)

To me Sachin sacrificed his education to play for India. That surely was not a point that Mukul should have picked on. And in any case Sachin is the best behaved cricketer I have seen in a long time. The way he addresses the press or even the way he talks about the opposition are cultured and in good taste. He has never publicly spoken ill of anyone and is highly responsible. He is a true role model. College education or not... it doesn't matter.

I think the essence of this whole article was lost in that one bad statement. Mukul - if u felt Test cricket was dying becos of that one statement Sachin said, then good journalism has dies in that one crass statement u have written (college education).

Posted by Raghu on (March 14, 2008, 9:35 GMT)

Prashanth Krishnan... Right on point.. you just said what is on my mind.. I always wanted to say this.. my language failed me to do so.. But I am on same length as you.. Leave Mukul to his own madness.. People like him not only fail to enjoy other man's genius but also crib at their greatness..

Posted by AKC on (March 14, 2008, 9:29 GMT)

Hello, This is one of the worst articles I have ever read. You are one of the many people who always think that "I am Superior" Change your attitude yar otherwise there is no point writing such atricles; it’s a waste of your time as well as the readers. And give a little bit of thought before you write.

Posted by Venkatesh on (March 14, 2008, 9:28 GMT)

Hi Mukul

Even if opined with the whole article, one comment in particular is "way below the belt", man! You know which one it is, and I sincerely hope it is an oversight. Un-deserving, I say.

Your by-line says that you like to write fiction ... Nuff said.

Posted by Rahul Gujar on (March 14, 2008, 9:23 GMT)

Mukul, I can definitely say you are another Sanjay Manjarekar in the making ...... Are you one of those people who always love to eat their own words?

Besides , what calmness u found out on Dhonis face is also out of not being to college ? As Dhoni is trying to get admission for a B.Com from Zarkhand.... Dont talk bullshit of Test Cricket Nostalgia, there are crores of fans around who love test cricket. P.S. : Sanjay Manjarekar at least played the game himself , but what about you ? When we can expect a sensibly written article from you?

Posted by northstar on (March 14, 2008, 9:21 GMT)

Mr. Keshavan, when was the last time India beat Australia in Australia? I am surprised to have indians like u rise to this level of journalism despite your sentiments to belittle an indian success, just because your kins were not part of it.. I am sorry for you, I hope cricinfo understands why you wrote this. stop sulking that Dhoni's boys had another great victory. i m sure somewhere you also belittled india's 20-20 world-cup victory, and not 50-50 victory, wait and let these boys play your unlimited version and i m sure they ll win that version too.

Posted by Venkatesh on (March 14, 2008, 9:21 GMT)

Hi Mukul

Even if opined with the whole article, one comment in particular is "way below the belt", man! You know which one it is, and I sincerely hope it is an oversight. Un-deserving, I say.

Your by-line says that you like to write fiction ... Nuff said.

Posted by northstar on (March 14, 2008, 9:20 GMT)

Mr. Keshavan, when was the last time India beat Australia in Australia? I am surprised to have indians like u rise to this level of journalism despite your sentiments to belittle an indian success, just because your kins were not part of it.. I am sorry for you, I hope cricinfo understands why you wrote this. stop sulking that Dhoni's boys had another great victory. i m sure somewhere you also belittled india's 20-20 world-cup victory, and not 50-50 victory, wait and let these boys play your unlimited version and i m sure they ll win that version too.

Posted by Prasad Rao on (March 14, 2008, 9:10 GMT)

Very well written - with the only flaw being the number of fifties scored by Sachin during the test series - it is reported as one fifty - there were actually 2!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on (March 14, 2008, 8:54 GMT)

Hello Its partly right but anyone even sachin will be exta pleased after beating a team like oz in their backyard. If he had said the same after he had some rest in india then it would be perhap 25% right for someon to extrapolate on it. He is the ghreatest player in the history and not second if u hv forgotten the "great" Sunil gavaskar hit 36 runs playing 60 overs inb a world cup Hv u forgotten that sachin is perhaps one of the real gems of india who has rarely talked and has never involved in comtroversies in indcrticket and still has fpought the battle

Posted by Rishabh Bhurat on (March 14, 2008, 8:52 GMT)

Need i say anymore? You have over a 100 posts to let u know that you could have done a better job --> lets just say this was not one of those "greatest moments of your cricinfo blogging career". Seriously, we all expcted better of you since you are "educated" and moreover, in the teaching line of educating people about social history. Better luck next time mate..!! Cheers

Posted by kora on (March 14, 2008, 8:51 GMT)

Sure, We all know Mukul writes fiction for living ......, This is fiction at its best.

Posted by Supratik on (March 14, 2008, 8:46 GMT)

You are drawing lot of flak, Mukul - but that was expected wasn't it? There is no way an Indian fan can take criticism of Sachin you see! Its either total blind idolatory or cheap derogatory remarks the likes of which you would see on the rediffs and TOIs of the world. But that is what happens when too much analysis goes on about the great man (you and I are guilty of this too!!). Without analysing your analysis, I find two interesting observations of yours - one, SMG for me is still the greatest Test batsman, India has produced - we will have to wait till Tendulkar finishes - though there are signs that he is finally becoming more rounded a player in old age a vital factor in judging batsmen. Secondly, I am sad to learn that you think that Test Cricket will cease to exist. I disagree.

Posted by Biju on (March 14, 2008, 7:10 GMT)


I am sick and tired of your trivial observations.Like every human being Tandukar also has the freedom of expression.May be the remark came out from him at the conclusion of a long fought tour in which was part through out.I think Schin might have felt the same at the end of every sucessful tour.I don't see the need to quote his words and make it a himalayan issue.You are too silly.

Posted by Anonymous on (March 14, 2008, 7:04 GMT)

"This is what comes of not going to college". I'm speechless!

Posted by Mihir Tungare on (March 14, 2008, 6:53 GMT)

This i think is an apt example of analyzing each and every word that the great man speaks, in too much detail.In the joy of the moment and against the backdrop of that aussie tour...its quite natural for him to say that it was his best cricketing moment.It does not in any way indicate that Test cricket is being sidelined.If anyone goes and asks Tendulkar after all this euphoria dies down, he would most probably pickup some Test match victory or Test series only because a Test is actually the test of a player's capability...its the only form of cricket which tests your capabilities and concentration levels for a sustained period of 5 days. And that comment about not going to college...well...many of us go to college but going to college doesn't make u the cricketer that Sachin is.There isnt any need to get personal about Sachin's education. Maybe u can write a blog on cricketers educational credentials somewhere else.Your statements were quite "crass" Mr.Kesavan,aint they?

Posted by Amarjeet Nayak on (March 14, 2008, 6:46 GMT)

Mukul, like many of your other readers, I feel you have read too much into a comment made probably in the heat of the moment. But it's part of your job and your 'close reading' is quite commendable. But just one sentence ("This is what comes of not going to college") has undermined the complete article. One can understand Tendulkar's statement as something that happened just in the heat of the moment. But what about your utterly undignified and crass statement? Don't you ever edit your article? Or may be as one reader (Mr. Vimalan) points out "your arrogance is probably what comes of going to college". I have always found your articles worth reading, even though I don't necessarily agree with what you say. This article of yours was definitely in poor taste and offended my sensibilities. It read like a cheap one from the stable of Sanjay Jha. I hope and sincerely believe that this one is just an abberation and you are soon back to your dignified self. All the best.

Posted by Rohit B on (March 14, 2008, 6:41 GMT)

How was this post considered? It doesn't make sense for a genuine cricket follower, what you are trying to say. Any cricket player values Test Cricket higher than ODI's or Twenty20's. This is a known fact and Sachin is no different to that. There is absolutely no necessity to even compare Tests with ODI's. As far as I am concerned, the recent VB series win is a great achievement in the cricket history of India. How many times have you seen Aussie team lose in the last 4-5 years. They have been extremely dominant in WC's also. I hope you do not compare Tests with ODI's. For a genuine cricket lover, Test Cricket is the best.

Posted by RaviBabu on (March 14, 2008, 6:35 GMT)

Mukul, you are taking a joyful statement after a much controversial toor to analyze deep as if he concluded his career and saying it in a press conference. Step in his shoes and see the difference. Stormed by media and public that he is no more a match winner when chasing, no century in finals from a long time, and no ODI century in a handfull of chances in Australia...critics running on his back after the departure of other seniors...he triumphed and had said it in a over joyfull moment. He certainly doesnt refer it as greater than those test cricket moments...and certainly its not the end of 5 day matches.

Posted by Satyam on (March 14, 2008, 6:25 GMT)

Mukul What I love most about your writing is that it doesn't matter whether one agrees with your point of view or not. The poetry in your writing, the wit and humor that shines through in your comments - all make for wonderful reading!

With regards to this particular article, I think most of the people who have commented here have misunderstood the point your making. I think you're spot on - Sachin understands that the game is at a major inflexion point, and is rating his successes accordingly. That said however, I would be very surprised if when he finally hangs up his boots, he doesn't look back at his achievements in Test cricket as the most fulfilling. More than any of us armchair connoisseurs he would understand that Test cricket is the ultimate barometer for gauging a cricketer's worth.

Posted by RMB on (March 14, 2008, 6:22 GMT)

"I had always classed him as the second-best batsman in the history of Indian cricket." No comments on this.(God comes even before any Don)

"Would Kumble ever say such a thing? Would Dravid?" They can never achieve this in ODIs.

"This is what comes of not going to college" Sorry to say, but what kind of a background you come from dude?I'm sure you were not even sent to nursery school. Even those kids know how to respect. If you have gone to college and this is what comes out of it, i would prefer everyone taking sachin's route.

"I had to accept that he had tasted triumph often enough to know which victory was sweetest." None of us have been in his situation, so just take his word. He knows the best about cricket atleast. I think you can start some writing for Page3.

Posted by keyan on (March 14, 2008, 6:04 GMT)

This is an article written just for the sake of it. Its pathetic and doesnt make any sense at all.

Posted by Anonymous on (March 14, 2008, 5:52 GMT)

I am being an absolute idiot in even commenting on your article. Having said that your reference to Tendulkar's lack of college education is completely unacceptable. However I can see where you come from. You appear to be one of the millions in India who are infested with the virus of formal education to the point that you can not even stand the achievements of those who unlike you didn't find themselves compelled to get "default" educated at one of the gazillion colleges in this country. And while your schooling seems to have interfered a little too much with your education I don't think it will hurt you economically. You can continue to write more gibberish and fools like me will comment out of sentiment. Net result : Cricinfo gets the clicks and you get your money. Pretty cheap but gets the job done, doesn't it?

Posted by Philip John Joseph on (March 14, 2008, 5:47 GMT)

Yes, it appears that many people have misunderstood Mukul. Perhaps Mukul can type a second article clarifying exactly what he meant, in baby terms, for those people who have not mastered the English language enough to understand what Mukul typed. Anyway, I would like to point out that the evidence suggests that Mukul's theory proposing that Sachin's statements meant something beyond the euphoria of winning, is a reasonable theory given that Sachin has gone on to make additional remarks about the series down under; saying that India challenged Australia more than Australia challenged India. From these additional remarks, it is clear that Sachin feels that the "tipping point" has arrived and from now on, Sachin will be playing for a team that "will" win against Australia. This remains to be seen, but clearly Mukul's analysis of Sachin's statements cannot be written off as "unnecessary interpretation of euphoria"; because Tendulkar made additional comments that confirm certain suspicions.

Posted by Avis on (March 14, 2008, 5:44 GMT)

It is becuase of idiots like you that we think too much behind these lines. And you are being so blind when you consider CB series victory as just another win in his career. I was wondering if you can disect the great man's one sentence and write this about him, we should probably hang you for the illogical blog you have written. Get a life, and be responsible as a writer.

Posted by Anjo on (March 14, 2008, 5:38 GMT)

You're right Mukul, you are getting old... but look at the bright side, at least you've embraced technology! I'm not as surprised about this article since it follows the same lines of your usual rubbish: controversy, a dig at the aussies, inaccurate facts and perhaps your hallmark, creating much ado about nothing and incorrectly linking this to the demise of test cricket. So we'll let you rant all you want without feeling embarrassed for you, since quite clearly you are not a representative of us, or maybe we're just a bit mature (or less senile, take your pick). If you must insist that Test cricket is dying a slow death, at least look at plausible reasons; Styris and Jayasurya retiring from Tests to concentrate on ODIs, test stars and young players choosing to join leagues that would disbar them from test cricket, irresponsible boards and privatization of the game. Honestly, how different are you from that unbearable Gavaskar, with that massive colonial chip on your shoulder?

Posted by Anoop on (March 14, 2008, 5:35 GMT)

While its every person's prerogative to choose his/her best moments, it could be that Sachin was caught up in the moment and said that about the Tr-series victory. Here's why I think the Indian performance in Australia wasn't the earth-shaking event it is being touted as...

Posted by Sankalp on (March 14, 2008, 5:32 GMT)

Oh man..thank god other ppl also think Gavaskar is unbearable as a TV pundit..he is completely insufferable..I adored him growing up but really as commentator..cant stand him..put harsha and him together and i have to mute the TV

Posted by payoj on (March 14, 2008, 5:31 GMT)

mr. kesavan, I dont think u have ever played cricket or followed SRT at all.....i dont understand wats the need to write one whole page of a critics article on some1's euphoric statement about 2 back to back victories on the best team the world has ever seen in an ODI .......n that too to a person whos greatest passion in life is cricket.......wat is ur greatest passion.........criticising the games best ?????

Posted by Akshay on (March 14, 2008, 5:29 GMT)

Hi Mukul

While the basic premise of your article is right, the content inside is bad. The college comment was definately below the belt. I think we as a nation overreacted to the ausie victory. Sachin said what he did in a spur of emotion. You have read too much into it and written a articulate but demeaning article that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I loved your "Men in White" by the way. Please pick on bigger and better issues to write on. You have a gifted talent for writing and would do great not to waste it on trivial issues.

Posted by Cric Lover on (March 14, 2008, 5:22 GMT)

Mukul - i guess the message u tried to gte out of thru this article is lost somewhere. I felt u were trying to praise Sachin saying he has mastered time itself and has emerged a winner. But was it a sarcastic one... am not sure. Becos the 1st part of ur article is very derogatory to him. esp. the comment about not going to college. Look that was downright disgusting on ur part. Sachin played for India instead of going to college and u pick that incident to bring him down. I think ur college education has not helped much either as that statement reeked of arrogance. Inspite of not going to colleg Sachin has been the best behaved both on and off the field. He is highly respected not just becos of cricket but becos of the way he carries himself. The so called highly educated guys in Indian cricket have not displayed great sophistication that u claim. nor does ur writing display that. I hope u clarify points to people about what ur intentions were when u wrote this article.

Posted by Madan on (March 14, 2008, 4:48 GMT)

I think what Mukul's article has inadvertently achieved is underlining the torment we have put or champion batsman through. He is labelled selfish for taking extreme care to get through the 90s without losing his wicket and now when he basks in the most sparkling Indian victory in a long time, he is supposed to be crassy. And I agree, what's with not going to college - by the way, whoever attends lectures regularly at college if it is indeed a source of enlightened opinion, least of all budding sportspersons. I have a question, Mukul, were you disgusted that Pravin Kumar had to be interpreted at presentation ceremonies or proud?? As an Indian, I felt proud that at last real India has snubbed our colonial masters and their pretenders bigtime - it must hurt so much for them to see that a man who cannot muster confident English destroyed their batting line-up, after all cricket was never about how articulate you are off the field and it's high time MCC snobs were shown their place.

Posted by Fawlty Towers on (March 14, 2008, 4:09 GMT)

Incorrect analysis. Tendulakar's comment does nothing to indicate ascendancy of the shorter version and objectively speaking, Tendulkar is absolutely right. During his career, India has never won a series against a strong test-playing nation at its best abroad. A test equivalent of this triangular series win would have been a series victory in 2003 with Warne and McGrath playing in all tests. Or a series victory over SA in SA during the 90s when Donald was at his best. Or if Pakistan and India were playing tests in early 90s, a test series win in Pakistan against Imran, Akram, Waqar. England does not count and a test series win there never counted for much during Tendulkar's tenure.

Posted by Ranjil on (March 14, 2008, 3:57 GMT)

Im an avid cricket fan from NEPAL generally having a neutral perspective on the game. Ive been watchin cricket from last 2 decades and never seen a complete player than Sachin. MK....have some sense man."This is what comes of not going to college"----what a crap. Sorry to say mate, but ive lost respect for you. by the way sachin has the right to say that his century against kenya was his best one.Thats his choice. Not yours.

Posted by vijay on (March 14, 2008, 3:29 GMT)

Man, India won the series coz they played good cricket and secondly coz india won the mental battle as well which affected australia big time. you mentioned india won against the aging aussie team.wel they were an aging team like 4 months ago when they beat SL, just coz india played better cricket than australians you should give more credits to the indians,a team cant age in 4 months anyway.

Posted by Mohamed Sharik Mansoor on (March 14, 2008, 3:15 GMT)

I personally think Test cricket is glorified more than its due. Its a bi-product of boredom underwent by some cranky old English men in 15th century. Torturing oneself for 5 days for a draw is not worth it. Sportsmen give their physical and emotional best during a confrontation and they thrive on the reckoning that comes at the end. There is no worse disgrace than finding equals in opponents knowin you gave your best shot. Beat 'em. Or get beaten. The best part of sport is the pressure exerted by time deadlines, for the viewers and players themselves. Survival is not a charm. Hunting is. Shorter form of the game gives that chance and sure it should be best form for all the reasons i quoted above, more so for the market it generates. For Cricket lives by the virtue of it .I really dont know if Sachin did mouth about CB series being his best victory. If he did, then there is no better affirmation to my view.

Peace !

Posted by varun on (March 14, 2008, 3:15 GMT)

You are a biggest critic of Tendulkar I have ever seen, I think. See every sucess have its own different sweetness whats wrong in defining a sucess what he is thinking. It was not the end of the world for him for not going to college. And still he is a world class personality. See the difference sir, I think your great dictionary words which you used in the article suggests that you are very well educated and see how you are disrespecting a world famous personality. After all education is not only every thing, its part of the life, though important as well.

Posted by varun on (March 14, 2008, 3:15 GMT)

You are a biggest critic of Tendulkar I have ever seen, I think. See every sucess have its own different sweetness whats wrong in defining a sucess what he is thinking. It was not the end of the world for him for not going to college. And still he is a world class personality. See the difference sir, I think your great dictionary words which you used in the article suggests that you are very well educated and see how you are disrespecting a world famous personality. After all education is not only every thing, its part of the life, though important as well.

Posted by Vikram C on (March 14, 2008, 3:07 GMT)

Oh Mukul.. as usual jouros reading too much about something being said on the spur of a moment in cricket, that too a rare victorious moment for Indian cricket in ODIs. Lets not analyse too much. For a 'pure' cricket fan like me, test victories are always far more superior. What a shame though. This article reflects a clear imabalance in Sports journalism/media in India and clear bias towards cricket. I bet people dont know we won Gold medal in Hockey in 1998 Asian games and later on Dhanraj Pillay and his boys had to sleep/rest on floor at Mumbai airport on a late night arrival. No journos.. no cameras .. no IHF officials and of course not many Indian people to greet a triumphant team. Now when Hockey team failed to qualify for Olympics (the team is good, coach is good..but we lost on that day in that match against Brits..thats it) everyone in the Media is criticising them. What a shame

Posted by Anupam on (March 14, 2008, 2:43 GMT)

That was the dumbest tirade ever. "Dravid and Ganguly" are there as a deference to elderly statesmen. Thats so typical. Forget the man who scored the highest he ever has in his One-Day career. Also, after the summer of spite, the fact that we crushed the Australians was sweet. You and you "schooled" bourgeois education can pick themselves up and exit Stage left. Anyways you are just some dumb journalist. Tendulkar doesnt talk. He does it. You know what a straight drive is. Have you ever played one. Sheesh, to think people give credence to pretenders like you.

Posted by Kunal M on (March 14, 2008, 2:42 GMT)

>> This is what comes of not going to college.

And this is what comes out of going to college - "a lame ill-humoured malicious article" . Mr. Mukul , I would rather be a village idiot than a stupid hi-brow keyboard pusher like you. Such a pathetic loser you are. Go practice throwing paper balls in waste basket if you have nothing better to do.

Posted by dileep on (March 14, 2008, 2:23 GMT)

Well see one of the main reasons why tendulkar had said what he said is that this is a new India. The average age of this cricket team is around 24. And many of these people are playing against Australia in Australia for the first time. Now, to win so convincingly against such a competitive opposition is something great. May be not the greatest as you said, but definitely, it is one of the defining moments in the new Indian cricket. And come on, don't over analyze it. haha

Posted by niranjan sivan on (March 14, 2008, 1:39 GMT)

he scored 2 hundreds and 2 ur statistcs wrong

Posted by Raj on (March 14, 2008, 1:26 GMT)

Tendulkar is a kid at heart.

Posted by Nitin on (March 14, 2008, 1:26 GMT)

All you know, he must have said the statement to encourage the young players in team. All that was said about missing seniors. The juniors helped build the victory and Sachin just hit the last nail. I guess its time everyone understands he is born to be a cricketer and that he just loves the game.

Enjoy his time or you will regret later

Posted by Vidya on (March 14, 2008, 1:21 GMT)

Mukul, Totally worthless article. In the past Ive enjoyed some of your writing, but this one is worthless reading. This is just like the reporters waiting for some one liners...

Posted by The Pav on (March 14, 2008, 1:08 GMT)

Sacchin was just carried away with the moment. The real worry is that so many Indian fans in the cool light of day are still so excited.

Perhaps it is because they have been so starved of success but the real news is that in the lottery of one day cricket no single result is of real significance eg Bangledesh beating Australi didn't mean they were then the defacto champs.

This over rating of any performance is what stops continued excellenece. The players get big headed. I see Ishant has already rejected Buchanan's advice to do bulk up a little. Here's a kid afetr a couple of decent games rejecting the advice of one of the most succesful coaches & a deep thinker of the game with great knowledge. You watch , he'll be missing game after game due to injury

Posted by raj on (March 14, 2008, 1:06 GMT)

This article is written as if Sachin has committed the biggest sin of his life."This is what comes of not going to college." senseless.Nonsense. you are out of your mind. i think u had a heavy drink last night, and it has not still got down. Man,take a pill and go to sleep. hey Mukul, i am sure you would have gone to college and earned so many degrees.So, please bring some sense into your articles. you can certainly analyze a statement made by a have gone crazy, and trying to build something big out of nothing. Good for you. "Would Kumble ever say such a thing? Would Dravid? No and no". Well Mukul,who knows. The rules are,don't take any thing for granted. Kumble and Dravid are not even in the one day side,forget the pain of playing through out the tour and delivering in the two finals. Hail the champions,and forget the little things. your madness, and lack of sense is reflected in your article.

Posted by lalic on (March 14, 2008, 0:57 GMT)

i am living in canada since 95 but i am following cricket since n i have watched cb series final.i have realized so called journalist like you will write anything to make earn bread and butter.i felt so disgusted after reading you.please tell me when you think about cricket and india what comes to your mind .sachin tendulkar should be so thankful to greats like him and others who make your home run.please do a favour to you and others if you want to write please write wat make sense and truthful.because sachin is true player and honest to his profession not like people like you who are not honest to their profession.please think.

Posted by sivaram on (March 14, 2008, 0:22 GMT)

very poor article... finding fault in some statement and making a hill out of a mole hole...

Posted by sai on (March 14, 2008, 0:18 GMT)

Arun, Sachin said that this was "his" greatest moment. he never said anything to demean dravid and co. please come out of "your" selfish nature and try to respect the master.

Posted by Harish on (March 14, 2008, 0:12 GMT)

Not going to college! That line is very condescending and does not mean anything! They dont teach these things college, sir! Extremely distasteful!!

Posted by Jazzy on (March 13, 2008, 23:50 GMT)

Mukul, this was totally unwarranted from you. You should go a little easy on things at times. And it is inexplicable for someone to think that Sachin made that statement because he did not go to college. I dont know the intellectual capabilities of Sachin, but why didnt it occur to you that given Sachin's attittude towards life and profession, if he had gone to college and had chosen a career as journalist, he might have been a more responsible than what you did in this column?

Posted by Satya on (March 13, 2008, 23:50 GMT)

This is the biggest amount of bullshit I have read in a long long time. I normally avoid making personal statements but I had to this time.

Its none of your business or mine what means more to Tendulkar and why it should. Its his life and he and only he decides what gives him more joy.

Its not your place to read too much into it and have you article on the front page of Cricinfo. I have sidharth and the others are reading these comments and will have the sense to take this off.

That being said, I think I have made my point.

But have you ever thought why Sachin was so over joyed by this triumph, his biggest regret is not having won the world cup and to him this might be the closest he will get to it. Put aside all the youngster talk, everybody knows it was he was instrumental in scripting that win. Do you know what it feels like to have two scores above 90 in two sucessive finals & win the cup, when his critics keep saying he never wins finals? Its beyond ur understanding!

Posted by Unmesh on (March 13, 2008, 23:47 GMT)

Mr Mukul. You are too biased against Sachin and stop writing such nonsensical things about the greatest batsman. Why are you commenting about not going to his College. Instead of admiring what he achieved for india and being grateful to him for giving us such a joy, you are writing something stupid.You claim to be teaching Social History , will you be able to bat like Sachin. You have gone to College, right..? Or are you against people who are NOT south Indians..You should stop your nonsense and stop wasting everybody's time.

Posted by Anand on (March 13, 2008, 23:44 GMT)

Are you trying to criticise Tendulkar for saying that way? I rate this higher than the 2001 test victories over Australia because they were at home against Australia (not away) but this victory is away against Australia at a time when sledging, bantering is at its worst. I dont think Sachin was wrong in stating that this is one of his most sweetest victories. I mean we cant pick on whatever he says. He is after all human, and he is allowed to have his choices

Posted by Jazzy on (March 13, 2008, 23:38 GMT)

Mukul, this was totally unwarranted from you. You should go a little easy on things at times. And it is inexplicable for someone to think that Sachin made that statement because he did not go to college. I dont know the intellectual capabilities of Sachin, but why didnt it occur to you that given Sachin's attittude towards life and profession, if he had gone to college and had chosen a career as journalist, he might have been a more responsible than what you did in this column?

Posted by Jazzy on (March 13, 2008, 23:31 GMT)

Mukul, this was totally unwarranted from you. You should go a little easy on things at times. And it is inexplicable for someone to think that Sachin made that statement because he did not go to college. I dont know the intellectual capabilities of Sachin, but why didnt it occur to you that given Sachin's attittude towards life and profession, if he had gone to college and had chosen a career as journalist, he might have been a more responsible than what you did in this column?

Posted by legspin on (March 13, 2008, 23:24 GMT)

This is a classic case of how media puts a spin on a very ignorant statement made by Sachin in the spur of victorius moment..Dude Keep on spinning

Posted by Kreacher Rocks on (March 13, 2008, 23:15 GMT)

Mukul, to your question "Would Kumble ever say such a thing?" the answer is "Yes". Kumble did claim that the Perth victory was his greatest moment. Agreed it was a good victory, but even among matches Kumble has played I can point to quite a few test matches that outrank this. Kumble did not play in the 2001 series against Australia, but he did take 10-on-10 against Pakistan when Pakistan was 1-0 up, and he was very much in the team when we beat Australia in Adelaide in 2003-2004.

You have to realise that most statements about something being the best or worst moment need to be taken in context and may not stack up as the superlative on a later revision. For example I could, at this moment, term this article as the worst of yours that I have read and later revise my opinion.

Posted by prasad kasturi on (March 13, 2008, 23:04 GMT)

"This is what comes of not going to college" Mukul, You may be well educated fool to make that statement or the person who wrote this garbage on your behalf!!

Posted by vinod on (March 13, 2008, 22:50 GMT)

ohh mukul..... still alive !!!

Posted by Mukund on (March 13, 2008, 22:24 GMT)

you seem to imply that to lie, you have to go to college. Tendulkar said what he felt, are you saying that if he had gone to college, he would have lied.

Posted by Raul on (March 13, 2008, 22:15 GMT)

I cant believe people are still praising Sachin. His innings in the final was totally selfish. His innings costed the wickets of Gambir and Yuvraj. He got out because of the pressure caused by Dhoni when he walked up to Sachin, after he wasted 3 balls. Then also he was only trying for a single. We won the match because of our bowlers. India should have scored lot more. Australia in spite of the fall of early wickets came close to victory. Sachin dosent deserve any credit and he even had the balls to say this was his one of his greatest victories. Sachin should have been droped along with Dravid and Ganguly. I can remember so many innings of Sachin which has caused defeats. He is talented, but one of the most selfish players cricket has ever seen. His record is impressive, but what about India. Wake up guys and see the reality

Posted by Sriram on (March 13, 2008, 21:43 GMT)

A very well written article, but its just that. There is no substance in this piece by Mukul. It is likely that he was having a drought of ideas and has made a mountain out of a mole hill! Kudos to you. You have proved your mettle. I agree with most of the other people who have commented here that it was made in the spur of the moment. Even if it was otherwise, that is Sachin's personal opinion and we, rather Mukul should learn to respect it and not jump the gun in his criticism. What has college education or the lack of it do with this? I am bewildered. It is an unwarranted and very misplaced comment when the man has carried on in a dignified manner and not throw tantrums like other "college educated" players. Give the man a break and allow him to soak in the pleasure of beating the big bully in their own den.

Posted by Bala Yugandar on (March 13, 2008, 21:34 GMT)

Mukul-For the first time ever since your blog appeared, I've to disagree with you. We should read a little into Sachin's comments after CB series victory but not so much of philosophy/history/epochs. While I agree that he must have been miffed at 'missing' T20 and looking to make a triumphant return! Consider also the media speculation(stoked by Manjrekar)that Sachin was a failure in one-dayers/chasing/being big elephant....his fifty against Srilanka was sparkling where he was square-cutting ferociously and culminated in the 2 most composed/pure innings. I would stick my neck out and say that Sachin values test cricket much higher while very much alive to the enormous commercial clout of shorter versions and his own mastery of those! Finally I am a little saddened that you lowered SMG one level.....SMG shall remain the greatest batsmen ever since he played roberts/holding/hadlee/imran/thommo and the ferocious Marshall attheir peaks AND NEVER BLINKED but scored tonnes of runs witha wink

Posted by Sudeep on (March 13, 2008, 21:27 GMT)

Brilliant. Quite refreshing from the usual hyperbole that gets printed. I love this exploration into minds that you and Peter Roebuk have the cajones to attempt. While Peter tends to go over the top a little, you seem to inject a sense of reality and sarcasm into your articles. Keep it up!

Posted by Sripad - Bangalore on (March 13, 2008, 21:00 GMT)

I think, why Sachin told may be because of two reasons, one is India won because of HIS RUNS second one he was not part of big wins after 1998 against Australia at Dubai.

For Statistics, he failed miserably with the bat in all the finals India played under Saurav, Rahul and himself was captain.

I am not seeing much difference if Sachin would have failed in final, the result would have been same as before.

So all this hip-hop (exagarating new comers to some other level)is not required until, new comers show consistancy, otherwise the BIG 4 (Sachin, Saurav, Rahul and Laxman) are still better players.

Posted by Yogi on (March 13, 2008, 20:56 GMT)

With the experience of the team in CB series any indian would rate this as one of the biggest wins. Most of matches you are talking about were played on indian soil with 8-9 experienced players. I dont think you read the entire article where he said the test team that played in australia with senior players kicked it off. You dont have to be critical of whatever someone says just because you cant criticize them for not winning outside india/ not performing against better teams/in crunch matches or making runs outside india. These are the kind of ppl who call themselves voice of india and call for players to retire and public to burn images / posters and houses of cricketers. Check with records of teams performances in australia playing autralia and you'll know what he means.

Posted by Sumit on (March 13, 2008, 20:35 GMT)

Your post practically embodies the sorry state of a sensationalist and attention seeking media that has been ubiquitously forced upon us. This so called article of yours is nothing but parasitic pickings of someone else's hard work. And please spare us from the 'college' comment you made, I am very sure Sachin would have done pretty well if he had decided to not follow his heart and soul into cricket. So, there you are, isnt this what you wanted? A slurry of reactions coming your way and increasing your hitcount! Thats what I meant by calling your antics 'parasitic'.

Posted by valluri on (March 13, 2008, 19:53 GMT)

A victory is always special and is even more special if you contribute to it against the best. Mukul , you dont seem to realise the fact that long before the tour down under Sachin admitted that ODI is one format of game which he might end up playing even before he quits from test arena. The way you described was wonderful but eventually it doesnt make sense when you actually got the whole point wrong.

Posted by shkr on (March 13, 2008, 19:47 GMT)

Mukul, if only you would be in place of that winning squad you would know what makes a person to comment each match as a special win ! Being critics to other's achievement is a different thing than to achieve it. Sachin made you possible to say things about his achievements. Can you make sachin to do the same for your work ? Imagine !

Posted by duthu on (March 13, 2008, 19:47 GMT)

Crappy article. You seem to have run out of topics to write, and picked up on something Sachin said in the heat of the moment, after the Triseries final. The main point is that personally, Sachin has not been involved in the greatest overseas test victories we've had in the recent years. Its not his fault at all though, its just that when he scored big runs, the match ended in draw or loss for India. The Sydney match in the last tour (when he scored a double but the match was drawn) and Sydney match this time(when he scored 150 and we lost), and Adelaide this time(150 but match drawn) are few examples. His personal high need not be the same as team's high (which would undoubtedly be the last tour to Australia, and the current Perth test(he scored 71 and 15 i think)). So, personally for Sachin this ODI series victory is probably his greatest contribution TO A WINNING CAUSE OVERSEAS(note: overseas doesn't mean Sharjah).

Posted by Karthik on (March 13, 2008, 19:47 GMT)

"This is what comes of not going to college"! Wow I lost all respect for you after that.What a cheap shot.What a snob you are wonder how much your educated mister.

Posted by duthu on (March 13, 2008, 19:42 GMT)

Crappy article. You seem to have run out of topics to write, and picked up on something Sachin said in the heat of the moment, after the Triseries final. The main point is that personally, Sachin has not been involved in the greatest overseas test victories we've had in the recent years. Its not his fault at all though, its just that when he scored big runs, the match ended in draw or loss for India. The Sydney match in the last tour (when he scored a double but the match was drawn) and Sydney match this time(when he scored 150 and we lost), and Adelaide this time(150 but match drawn) are few examples. His personal high need not be the same as team's high (which would undoubtedly be the last tour to Australia, and the current Perth test(he scored 71 and 15 i think)). So, personally for Sachin this ODI series victory is probably his greatest contribution TO A WINNING CAUSE OVERSEAS(note: overseas doesn't mean Sharjah).

Posted by Uday on (March 13, 2008, 19:42 GMT)

Dear Mukul

Its a bit of a tribute to tendulkar, isnt it, that the most cliched comment made by him threw you into dismay, derision, and even made you doubt your age?

As always your narration of your thought process was an enjoyable read, and very reflective of the way a lot of us (Indian fans) think about cricket and build theories without very much to go on.

Posted by Ravi Sharma on (March 13, 2008, 19:40 GMT)

What is this nonsense about going to college? It sounds like you went to college. And if going to college delivers such poor analysis, then perhaps staying away is a good thing. Did you stop tp think that one of the reasons for saying that was because a bunckh of rookies took down the two world-cup finalists? - Laden with veterans? And the comments made by all are somewhat defensive. That doesn't have to be. In the context of the competition, a bunch of rookies taking down two teams with veterans, that truly was the best win for INdia.. And perhaps very few rookie teams can boast that. You need to go back to college to learn to analyze comments!!!!

Posted by pravin d on (March 13, 2008, 19:37 GMT)

Hi Mukul, How media can kill some one's joyful moments. I guess he said those things more than a week before, immediately following win when media people just run over them before they cud take a breath of relief.You can sit in offices and do microscopic dissection abt wht some one has said and present in such a rude fashion. U saying this is what comes of not going to college and comparing whether dravid/kumble wud have said same things...n stressing their answer as no no. I guess ur very biased and to make u understand ur own language I wud say u can say n compare this way only cos u had never ever played competitive cricket and dont know what a victory means. As far as saching goes, he shud b just left alont to live on his own now...he does deserve better treatment from fans,critics (particularly likes of chappel bro's), media, selectors. As a greatest servant of cricket we do need to pay back to this greatest humble cricketer and biggest thing we cud give him is his own space.

Posted by Vijay Challa on (March 13, 2008, 19:28 GMT)

Simply Nonsense article.. Dude you are not even close enough to getting qualified to comment on sachin.

If you want to make it big with your less than mediocre journalism.. go back to school and get some basics straightened out.

Looks like this article is not abt sachin but it is your miserable attempt to look like a genius analyst.

Posted by Makarand on (March 13, 2008, 19:26 GMT)

Hey it was funny that you mention sachin’s lack of college education. I agree with you completely there. I sometimes feel embarrassed to see tendulkar’s interviews for the same reason. You see that his heart is at the right place, he is humble and all, but that sophistication is missing that you see in Dravid’s or Kumble or any aussi players. I never read a witty comment from Sachin - at the most he can be kiddish 

Posted by Sriram L on (March 13, 2008, 19:08 GMT)

Mukul, is there anything in this statement to write an article about ? With this kind of an overreactive mind or a mind that looks for an excuse to write articles, you cannot hope to read your own mind, leave alone Sachin's. Hard to believe that I read through this article and even wrote a comment for this. Smile, relax and the let Lord take of the world Mukul. Take care of yourself first and then think cricket.

Posted by Vijay on (March 13, 2008, 19:06 GMT)

Haven't you heard this before,"enjoy each day as its the best in your life and you ll feel a lot better about yourself". Extend that to cricket and you'll want to say "Enjoy each wins as its the best". That might have what Sachin thought and I think he did it right. Though we say he is God in cricket, we have to realize he is just another human being with extraordinary cricketing skills.When you compare Sunil and Sachin and say ""This is what comes of not going to college"". May one this come out too, Sachin's temperament and focus. He is one of the few that maintains a great manners at the field that adds to the player that he is now. I have never seen him walk out of the cricket like Sunil did against some country and called off the game.Also Realize that that, not all great men that you see and have heard of, have gone to college, Sachin Tendulkar adds to the list.

Posted by Kiran on (March 13, 2008, 19:01 GMT)

vkrg, not everybody who submitted comments misunderstood Mukul! It is clear that Mukul is bowing to the greatness of Tendulkar. However, the reason behind the comments is the unnecessary analysis of an unlikely association between a joyful expression and the history of test cricket as a whole!

Posted by Vishal Nehru on (March 13, 2008, 18:54 GMT)

Mukul, you should have screened your comment about Tendulkar not going to college. That is an irresponsible, untrue, illogical, irrational and crass comment. You seemed worse off after that statement, perhaps because you DID go to college. You may have gone to college like the rest of us since it was the best thing for us to do after high school, but remember that 16 year old was busy at that time in his life representing India (the start of an illustrious career). You give him that cr*p instead of the kudos he deserves for having served India and his fans so well?

Shame on you. If your statement had made any sense in the first place, it would have made me feel so much worse off for having gone to college instead of having done what Tendulkar has done for India. What's so great about going to college? A true education is not held back by pre-requisites of degrees and diplomas. Tendulkar has learnt his lessons by fire. He's free to feel any way he wants about his innings. Txs.

Posted by Vijay on (March 13, 2008, 18:52 GMT)

Haven't you heard this before,"enjoy each day as its the best in your life and you ll feel a lot better about yourself". Extend that to cricket and you'll want to say "Enjoy each wins as its the best". That might have what Sachin thought and I think he did it right. Though we say he is God in cricket, we have to realize he is just another human being with extraordinary cricketing skills.When you compare Sunil and Sachin and say ""This is what comes of not going to college"". May one this come out too, Sachin's temperament and focus. He is one of the few that maintains a great manners at the field that adds to the player that he is now. I have never seen him walk out of the cricket like Sunil did against some country and called off the game.Also Realize that that, not all great men that you see and have heard of, have gone to college, Sachin Tendulkar adds to the list.

Posted by Kiran on (March 13, 2008, 18:52 GMT)

Man!!?? If you can stretch one remark so much, what's wrong with a man, who is celebrating the sweetness of rising from being written off, stretching his personal euphoria just a little bit? Must Tendulkar analyze even the most naturally beautiful emotions before expressing them? He is not a machine, and thank God for that!!!

Posted by Deepak on (March 13, 2008, 18:52 GMT)

c'mon Mukul, that was probably a comment made in passing. Even I was a little taken aback when I heard what Sachin said in reply to Gautam Bhimani's (Star Sports) question. But this was right after the game, end of an acrimonious series won a high with a victory and when he was sorrounded by all the young guns celebrating and having fun. And for all you know he must have meant the greatest one-day victory he's been a part of. I cant think of a greater one-day series victory for India with Sachin in the team. The '04 series against Pakistan in Pakistan maybe, being joint winners of the Champions Tropy with SL.

Posted by ram on (March 13, 2008, 18:33 GMT)

even as an Indian, I think "Ugly Australians" is a new low even for you. In terms of pure cricket, the Australians are the closest to the Brazil of football. Nobody comes and has come close to the way they play the game. Cricket is not regarded as beautiful game, but any beauty in the game can only be ascribed to Australia. Just shows that like the rest of us, you are jingoistic.

Posted by jay on (March 13, 2008, 18:27 GMT)

in addition to you lack of substance in your thinking, your writing is not great either. "The dismay was defensible...". Yuck.

Posted by jay on (March 13, 2008, 18:26 GMT)

When will you learn to accept that cricket (test cricket or any other form) is not an intellectual sport as you keep harping on. Bring the hype down a little bit. You sound like a deluded old man. You may have spent your entire life writing on it - that does not make it a brainy sport. Tendulkar has brought you down to earth with his statement - stay down.

Posted by Ravi on (March 13, 2008, 18:15 GMT)

It is actually very simple - when Alain Prost was asked once whether his win at the just concluded Monaco Grand Prix was his best ever, he replied "The last one is always the best, no?". Same with Tendulkar.

Posted by arun on (March 13, 2008, 18:15 GMT)

Kesavan, you never listen when people tell you that you over-rate test cricket. So you only sit yo and notice when a cricketer tells you that. You've had the misconception that test cricket is for intellectuals - at least now, put this to bed.

Posted by Gandhiji on (March 13, 2008, 18:14 GMT)

MukulBhai, Your attempt at irreverent humor (Sachin not going to college) misfired. He is God.. Most of us didn't find it funny. But you are pardoned because of the fabulous Rest of the article was worth a read.. interesting perspective.. but probably not accurate.

Posted by Mukund on (March 13, 2008, 18:03 GMT)

Mukul, This is a really sad article - making as little as is possible in so many words.

There's a human condition that market researchers & psychologists call "the recency fallacy". This is what humans to say that "this is the best ice cream they have ever had", or "this is the best movie ever" or "this is the best concert ever".

In market research, we know of this human tendency and so wait for time to pass before we make reliable conclusions based on what people say.

Sachin was probably exhibiting such behavior. And I can't believe that its led to this article.


Posted by damodar on (March 13, 2008, 18:02 GMT)

In the recent test series against Australia,Tendulkar has got two centuries and two fifties. Mukul's statement in this matter is hence incorrect.

Posted by Mukund on (March 13, 2008, 17:59 GMT)

Mukul, This is a really sad article - making as little as is possible in so many words.

There's a human condition that market researchers & psychologists call "the recency fallacy". This is what humans to say that "this is the best ice cream they have ever had", or "this is the best movie ever" or "this is the best concert ever".

In market research, we know of this human tendency and so wait for time to pass before we make reliable conclusions based on what people say.

Sachin was probably exhibiting such behavior. And I can't believe that its led to this article.


Posted by Ajay R Kamath on (March 13, 2008, 17:57 GMT)

I came out of watching Taare Zameen Par and felt, for the next hour, that it was the best film I had ever seen. Tendulkar probably felt that way about the one day wins in the first flush of success. To call it a win against an aged Aussie side is being disingenous in the extreme...they are the world champions, after all, and we had a young side that I did not expect anything from.Imagine the joy of beating them in their backyard for the first time in a series of note.To say that Tendulkar is belittling Test cricket is ridiculous, as ridiculous as predicting it's demise.Test cricket is the vintage wine of the game and will always attract the purists. Whatever SMG might have done, we shall never see another SRT.I consider myself priveleged to have lived in the same era as him. Cricket watching will never be the same once he leaves the game...

Posted by Rajesh on (March 13, 2008, 17:44 GMT)

Among the list of wonderful test victories that you have mentioned, I fail to see a single one where a new ground was broken. India had drawn a test series in Australia before (remember Kapil Dev). India had won test series in WI and in England before. What we needed was to win a series in Australia and in South Africa and we have failed to do that. Look at the WI and the England team we beat. It wasn't that big a deal. I am not trying to undermine these wonderful achievements. But one can understand Tendulkar making such a statement after we actually were able to win a tournament in Australia. 1983 and 1985 were great but Sachin wasn't part of that.

Posted by Swapnil S on (March 13, 2008, 17:31 GMT)

I Stopped reading your article after the line "This is what comes of not going to college" and my analysis of your article was, to sum it in one word "bullshit".

Posted by DineshIyer on (March 13, 2008, 17:20 GMT)

Sachin is one of the greatest cricketers who have ever played the game. However, he has not achieved much success in terms of overseas test and ODI wins (forget tri-series victories where the 3rd team was Zimbabwe or Kenya) and no WC success. For most of his career esp in the 90s when he was at his extreme peak he had no support cast. In WC2003, he had single-handedly gotten india to the final and then the bowlers throw it all away by conceding 359. In 2004 at Sydney, Parthiv patel misses two chances on the final day which could have gotten india that victory. The statement he made I guess is in response to the fact the finally all things have come together and gotten him a series victory! Just give the guy a break man!! He has carried the expectations of a nation for nearly 20 years with dignity and grace!

Posted by VR on (March 13, 2008, 17:17 GMT)

I think you are missing the point. I think it was Harsha that asked Dravid about the Perth win. Dravid's response was insightful. He said something to the effect that the latest victory feels more special. When Sachin hangs his boots he may be able to put all the wins in perspective. But right now he is living in the moment. And the moment right now is the CB high!

Posted by a desai on (March 13, 2008, 17:11 GMT)

At first I did not understand your point and was ironically, like the others on the blog, i was infuriated (as you with Sachin's comments) and thought it was too trivial to discuss at length. But once i read the end I realised what a master piece this article is. How beatifully you draw attention to the changing nature of cricket using Tendulkar's glittering carrer as a chart. Well done. Wonderful article.

Posted by Santy on (March 13, 2008, 16:58 GMT)

Dude ... you are a dud !

Posted by Adi on (March 13, 2008, 16:57 GMT)

Mukul, let me tell remind you (you seem to have forgotten)..Sachin has been playing international cricket for 18 years now..with over 400 odi's to his name..He just scored an unbeaten century, and a 91 in the finals of a tournament against the best cricketing nation in the world, Australia, in their own country. Whats more, both knocks were match-winning. And taking into account what has been goin' on the entire summer, it isn't surprising that he has probably meant to call it the greatest moment of his ODI CAREER. <- Emphasis on ODI, if you didn't notice. If I were you, which I wouldn't be too proud about after writing such an article, I would marvel at the greatness of this man. He has served Indian cricket for so long; he is the epitomy of genius. In addition, his statement was probably an 'in-the-moment' one and he should NOT be put under the sword. Period.

Posted by Surbhi on (March 13, 2008, 16:57 GMT)

Well Sachin is the only one who keeps repeating that it it all started from the test in sydney and the momentum was carried to the one day series....and no one should forget the hard work done in the test series....the test series we didn't won on records...we can argue that we were better side there as well but for umpiring but official results will still say that we were losers

Posted by Abhishek Dwivedi on (March 13, 2008, 16:54 GMT)

I dont agree with u Mukul.This is a big win.How many big wins sachin has seen in his career??Though his contribution has been stellar.Since last 5-6 years India has grwon to be a good team, but still no big wins.Rememebr playing good in tournament doesnt matter if you fail to collect trophy.So world-cup 2003 is as bad as any other WC.Its true we won a test-match last time and one this time, but are we really happy for that?We lost 2-1 this time and draw last time.In this respect this win is really big win. As india defeted Aus in Aus and that two 2-0 in back to back matches.This was a thumping victory.A clear proclamation of being a better team.This feat is what is so special about it.Remember Australia is the best team in the world. Also to add, Dhoni too termed it as bigger win than T20 world cup. Had such moment come is test cricket, sachin would have definetly choosen that moment as his best. Dont try to read too much in to it.Sachin has contributed in both forms enormously.

Posted by vidyashankar on (March 13, 2008, 16:52 GMT)

Hi, the first thing I want to tell is that the statement is blown out of proportion. We just take it as the comments in the spur of moments. There is nothing wrong in expressing ones feelings when such victory happens. As some of comments said, it is not fault of Sachin that whenever he played India failed, the truth is that he was the only player of such calibre in the team and cricket is a team game, we could not win on one man show. still he is the biggest match winner for us, and just by his presence lifts the team up. Let us repsect his contribution and stop this topic.

Posted by Elayaraja Muthuswamy on (March 13, 2008, 16:35 GMT)

I dont understand why you people spend overtime analysing comments made by cricketers. What if the CB series is the greatest for Sachin? It has been a very long time since he played a series winning knocks against Australia ( by far the # 1 team in the world). So whats wrong if he feels like that. I dont think there is anything wrong to say those things in the spur of the moment. Every victory against a better opposition in any format of the game will be a sweet one and I guess there is no universal ratings list for these victories as each and every player will have their own list.

Posted by Vimalan on (March 13, 2008, 16:23 GMT)

hey mukul, if person in a joyful moment tells that its probably his best moment is called as crass what about your statement "This is what comes of not going to college"..i think your arrogance is probably what comes of going to college

Posted by Koushik Biswas on (March 13, 2008, 16:20 GMT)

Does being a journalist writer give one the license to publish whatever trash comes to his mind? Sachin's remarks prove that he is human and has every right to get carried away in the euphoria of victory, just shut your journalist's analysis off when the guy has opened a bottle of beer after fighting so hard - go have a beer yourself and have fun. If I started analyzing each and every word any given man utters, I bet I can theoretically prove him to be hypocritical, liar, unethical, crazy, hot tempered, and also loving, caring, responsible, divine and god knows what. Give this guy the space he needs, and show some maturity while analyzing his every breath.

Posted by vkrg on (March 13, 2008, 16:20 GMT)

I think ppl have grossly misunderstood what Mukul's article means. He has actually praised Tendulkar as a master who has conquered the concept of time. He in fact laments that tendulkar was not in the T20 world cup winning team. Even, I agree with Mukul in saying that Sachin will play in the 2011 50 Over and T20 World Cups, and win BOTH for India along with the rest of Team India

Posted by Sreekanth on (March 13, 2008, 16:10 GMT)


Are you drained of subjects?. It just feels like sensationalizing a simple reark after victory. reading too much into such statements and then writing sucha long one on that is intellectual pretendence. All body with No soul. Disappointing !.

Posted by Philip John Joseph on (March 13, 2008, 16:00 GMT)

I think to a certain extent Sachin Tendulkar is hyped. I've always had that feeling that India would win as long as Tendulkar was batting, but really, I think I was just brainwashed by all the nationalistic hero worship that has been aimed at Tendulkar for such a long time. He's definitely up there with the greatest batsmen of all time; and I definitely consider him better than Bradman, though to me that doesn't say much, seeing as I don't think much of Bradman. Just to put things in perspective, I consider both Gavaskar and Lara to be better than Tendulkar. The LG ICC all-time peak test ratings, available as a link from the cricinfo site, would confirm my assertion regarding Gavaskar and Lara being better than Tendulkar. Tendulkar was definitely the ultimate ODI run-machine, but being from Maharashtra, he always had the BCCI on his side. He can dream of the 2011 World Cup, but he'll be approaching 38; so even if he makes the team, his performance might have dropped off by then.

Posted by Raghu on (March 13, 2008, 15:49 GMT)

If you ask Laxman or Dravid, they'd rate their 281 and 233 as their special efforts, Kumble might say his 10-for against Pak is his special moment, does it mean they are selfish as well? Not really, it makes it special because it makes them proud that they had a hand in an Indian victory.

What is selfish is SMG's 36* to settle scores with his captain, Venkat ...

Posted by Oblik on (March 13, 2008, 15:48 GMT)

This is the first victory of the Indian team as a WHOLE, not a victory based on pure individual brilliance. So it should be rated as one of the best, if not the best. India will consistently do well if they are able to erase all individuality in the team, egos like Harbhajan and Yuvraj. Secondly, do you feel the only thing you can write about is some random statements, like Shoaib Malik's one after Twenty20 Final and this one ? Think of something better...

Posted by Raghu on (March 13, 2008, 15:46 GMT)

I would not put much stock to one sentence ... it hardly portrays anything. When was the question asked? Right after the game? If so, the adrenalin might have been high and it is only likely that he'd say that this was the greatest win, after all he had a hand or two in both those wins. And I do not blame him for saying so, as a lot of people have been discounting him for the past couple of years saying he should hang his boots or in this case untie his pads! So this does come as a sound victory.

Moreover, my initial reaction (before I read that section in the article) about how this series was won under trying circumstances (Bhajji and all).

We also do not know what was the question that was posed to him? Did the reporter ask if this was the best one-day win he ever had? To beat Australia 2-0 in a one day series is indeed a big deal and if he did feel so it is not wrong. This does not mean that he thinks of the other wins as any less. If you ask Laxman or Dravid, they'd rate their 2

Posted by Kunal Khurana on (March 13, 2008, 15:26 GMT)

Yo dude,

You need to chill out. You sound like an extremely frustrated person. If Sachin thinks this is his greatest moment of his cricketing career then he is entitled to say it considering he was a big influence in both the wins. if he had been out early in the first finals while chasing, there is a good chance that India would have lost the match.

Beating Australia in a final has been achieved by very few teams. England last year and India this year. Considering no indian cricket team has won a final in australia this is a great accomplishment and as he has his greatest moment. If you remember India got smacked by Australia in the 2003 World Cup.

In your article all you do is criticize the man. Look at his accomplishments. He never says anything to anyone. Leave him alone and let him do what he does best.

Posted by Dev on (March 13, 2008, 15:21 GMT)

Mukul, you have read too much into the statement. The statement from Sachin shows that how much he is a team player. We have won several tests / ODI series individually but dont you think it was the most satisfying to whole nation when Aussies were beaten in their own backyards. You are bound to get such reaction from mastero after what team did in Tests and ODI series. And series win is a series win. (Dont forget, we lost test series under whatever circumstances may be).

I am confident enough that it was a reaction to what was done by India Team to Aussies and you mark the moment which fits the nail in coffin and not the start of the nailing.

Also, I dont think any players statement can change game of cricket. Sachin might be largly responsible for the way cricket has evolved, he himself admits he is a part of cricket world itself.

I wish you could have given rethought on few of the words used for your reactions.

Posted by sagar sriramagiri on (March 13, 2008, 15:12 GMT)

Too much being read into a moment of joy ... It is possible that when you are so overjoyed, you tend to exaggerate the joy in words. That doesn't need to be critically analyzed in an air conditioned room on a comfortable chair in historical context. Would Rahul/Anil have said it? yes, every cricketer at the end of every series says that its their greatest victory to date, because it feels so. Not becuase it is so!

Posted by Sandeep Gadre on (March 13, 2008, 15:09 GMT)

I sincerely hope that your inference of Sachin's "greatest victory" comment could be attributed to his lack of college education was an attempt at cheap humour.

Posted by Abhishek on (March 13, 2008, 15:09 GMT)

Wanted to mention a couple quick things here. 1. Sachin is not the kind of player who'd go, "Nah, I've done better, more epic tours & wins earlier in my life. The last one was just a left-hand's play." He is not street-smart like some other players, so he said what he felt immediately after the tour. 2. age makes events in history look bigger. Without doubt, in 5-10 years from now, folks like you would be praising the '07-'08 Oz series and would badger a player for having said the '12-'13 series win was the high-point of his life. Finally, regd the comment that such a reaction by Sachin means he is now old(odd) is all the more unsavory given that even to this day, when Sachin is batting, people sit glued to the television set and go through every second of the commercial between overs so that they don't miss out on a single frame of action while he's in action. And that first impulse of frustration to switch off the TV when he loses his wicket. That's what he brings to cricket. Always.

Posted by Jit Kundi on (March 13, 2008, 15:08 GMT)

India have never been the best team in the world ever. All of a sudden they beat and match arguably the greatest team ever and look like becoming the best team in the world. For me the significance of that makes this potentially Indias and Tendulkars best achievement to date. Maybe they will look back at this tour after the next world cup saying, 'Thats when we started believeing and became the best'...

Posted by rajeev aditya avasarala on (March 13, 2008, 15:05 GMT)

I really donot understand what is it that bothers Mr kesavan. Its his (sachins)opinion of what holds high in his cricekting career. Iam surprised to see every one taking out the negitives instead of the positives. Its abs ridiculous commenting on such trivial things. Come on please think positive.

Posted by Bharath on (March 13, 2008, 15:01 GMT)

Cricinfo has all the resources. Why not ask the question to Sachin. Why waste all this energy in meaningless conjecture?

Posted by annoymous on (March 13, 2008, 14:59 GMT)

you got way too much time on your hands dude. Get a life. Overanalyzing one statement from Tendulkar is nuts. Give him a break. Test cricket is going no where.

Posted by Arun on (March 13, 2008, 14:47 GMT)

These statements by Sachin reveal that he realized what everyone else knew all along - that he never contributed to most of the great victories that India achieved in Test match cricket over the last 7-8 years. As Mukul says, he was trivializing the achievements of several others such as VVS, Dravid, Kumble, Sehwag etc by making out this CB series triumph as a bigger deal than any of the test victories.

The Aussies have won the last 3 World Cups and yet you see Ponting say that the Ashes victory of 2006-07 was bigger than the World Cup wins. Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting etc have be played both forms successfully for a decade. So we cannot take Sachin's statement too seriously, give it some spin and say it probably means the death of test cricket. Take the statement for what it is - it's one made by a selfish cricketer acutely aware of his shortcomings as a matchwinner in tests. And Mukul, as one of the readers said, please go easy on the melodrama.

Posted by Rohit Verma on (March 13, 2008, 14:37 GMT)

Mukul, I have always enjoyed your posts but as someone said go easy on melodrama. Just one comment in the heat of moment and you have made a mountain out of molehill. Tendulkar perhaps meant that this was his biggest ODI victory. What fuss !

Posted by Raju on (March 13, 2008, 14:34 GMT)

Mukul, your articles lurch from absolutely clear minded to bordering on the ridiculous. They are never boring though!! I would love to hear your take on Manjrekar's comment about Tendulkar faltering when batting second. What did you make of it?? It would surely be entertaining to read your opinion. One piece of stat conveniently missed out by the boffins who reel out stats to discredit Tendulkar---India bt Aus 3 times in the VB series. The highest individual score on each occasion was the oldest man-44,117*,91. Two of those were when we chased down a score(Mr Majrekar are you listening?). If India had lost the second final in Brisbane a lot of critics would have singled out Tendulkar's "slow Play" or "careless shot" as the man cause for the defeat. Mukul, how about an article on the Manjrekar issue. He is free to criticise but needs some balance.

Posted by Sundar Radhakrishnan on (March 13, 2008, 14:29 GMT)

I am one of many people who have been mystified and felt let down by Tendulkar's comments. There could be another angle to this. Tendulkar's single handed victory moments have come always in ODIs. It is probably a combination of his fault as well that of the team. Remember Sharjah, ICC knockout vs Aus in BAN, WC 2003 vs Pak, two finals now (there have been other ODI performances, not as significatnt, but stand out for Tendulkar's contribution vs rest). Add to it the fact that India have not won a final in a long time, Tendulkar has not scored runs either batting second or in a final for a long time. All this made him say what he did, though it is far from truth and just hype. If we had won in Adealide or Sydney he would have rated that his greatest moment in cricket. If you look at India's greatest moments Tendulkar has always been secondary (I do not belittle him here, but somehow Dravid stood out). In terms of quality test innings he has played more than Dravid, but Dravid's win us.

Posted by Pulkit on (March 13, 2008, 14:22 GMT)

Mr Kesavan,

I totally disagree with your article and your feeling of remorse and angre on Sachin calling the CB series win his best moment. No other series ( and i include the Test Matches) has been more hard fought , ridden with controversies and shows such tenacity by the Indians. After the being 2 down in the test series (1 due to umpire errors and Aussie playin spirit), i think all of India were sure that it would be a 4-0 white wash...But to come back and win one test and almost another that too in Perth was outstanding...To follow this up with winning the CB series ( which Aussies have won easily over the years, apart from last yr) with a bunch of new comers and again starting the series terribly deserves speical recognition on its own....Not only did we defeat the Aussies comfortably but we totally outplayed them in all departments( mentally too)..I have never seen a more determined India side who fought the whole way..kudos to India and Sachin Tendulkar!!.

Posted by Achiles on (March 13, 2008, 14:18 GMT)

Mukul, You have misunderstood the champions statement. He would have meant that it was his greatest ODI triumph. If you look at Tendulkar's career, the only thing missing is a big ODI Tournament victory. India has been a very good test squad in the last 8 years, but it has failed to win a major ODI tournament (except the Natwest) in the last 10 years. SO the Master meant that this was a great ODI triumph for the team and for him.

I fail to understand why people like you try to crtitisize the master. Sachin is one of the greats to have played the game. I dont mean to hurt Ganguly and Dravid fans, but Sachin is a notch ahead of the other two.

Posted by Geetika on (March 13, 2008, 14:14 GMT)

I think what Sachin said was in the spur of the moment. He is undoubtedly the greatest player, and has always displayed utmost honor and respect for the game. He has said a lot of times how much important Test cricket is. What he said comes out of the fact that India had never beaten the Aussies in tri series ever before. You can not analyze the statement that much, its mere an expression of happiness. He has never been unthoughtful and I dont think he ever will be.

Posted by pritam on (March 13, 2008, 14:12 GMT)

mukul Do you relly believe that at 26 Dhoni was the next oldest player in the team? What about Sehwag and Harbhajan(30 ,27) Secondly, Tendulkar has never tasted success on this scale as a member of a team. Yeah he has won MOM'S but when the big stage demanded, he falterred and with him INdia. Just tell me other than CB series which tournament has he won abroad ( 2002 Natwest series.....he failed in the final, no worldcup, Hero cup 1992;was in india, 1998 Coca- cola cup was in sharjah..more or less like home conditions and aussies weren't current world champs then) So this the best win of sachin's career.....whatever you say he hasn't won much in tests....Just let me know ho wany series he has won in South africa, New zealand, Australia, Sri lanka (except that one off test in '93), West Indies (he didn't tour last time)...thaz it the guy is a great test batsmen AND A TEAMMAN not selfish like SMG AND HENCE HE RATED THE TEAM'S SUCCESS (which is rare in india) above personal successes

Posted by Pratik on (March 13, 2008, 14:07 GMT)

Oh come on! Tendulkar is entitled to a bit of peace. Don't over analyze all that he says and do, and leave him alone. He has enough burden on his shoulders already, being the cricket crazy nation that it is.

Posted by Subramanian on (March 13, 2008, 14:04 GMT)

What are you trying to say? You are all over the place. Are you talking about his comments, his successful transition to 20-20, managing to hold his own among the younger brigade, his ambitions of playing the next world cup or trying to related all of it in some contorted way? Only the first couple of paragraphs and the last one seem to be related-seriously you are getting old!

Posted by Abhinay on (March 13, 2008, 14:04 GMT)

Great maturity not displaying my comments. You sure did went to college.

Posted by Adithya Rao on (March 13, 2008, 13:57 GMT)

This is the first and last time I read anything you write. How can you, who has achieved nothing in competitive sport, know what makes a sportsman feel good or not or how each success ranks within their mind? Just because you watch sports on tv or live at the field? I'm sorry, but Sachin has been the lone shining star in 20 years of Indian cricket and while other good players have come and gone, it's only within the last 6-7 years has our team produced other match winners and people who know their role. We are lucky that he is humble enough to have not got demoralized by India's consistent failure through his early years and he still is the backbone of Indian cricket. So let's take his statements for what they are worth and enjoy the fact that after 20 years he is still overjoyed and ecstatic about victories. I too agree that beating Australia in Australia far supercedes any other victory we have had during Sachin's career as we have always failed miserably there.

Posted by Rohit on (March 13, 2008, 13:36 GMT)

Relax,test cricket is not going to die because Tendulkar apparently said it was his best victory.What Tendulkar probably meant was it was his best overseas ODI series win,and it actually is,because no one gave India a chance when the series began.Its probably a slip of tongue.If you asked most players around the world what is the highest honour,most would say its a place in the test team and not playing the world cup.Even Yuvraj,the guy you love to hate,has said he wants nothing more than a place in the Indian test team.Test cricket is alive and healthy,and it will be for the foreseeable future.

Posted by Rahul Oak on (March 13, 2008, 13:33 GMT)

Taking some journalistic quote literally, believing in every word and even over-analysing it to produce a few-thousand word article? Come now, you proabably know better than that Mukul. Why can't it just be taken as a heartfelt statement of a cricketer who (like many other on his team) were swept away by the euphoria of returning home victorious. Why try to read his mind and hypothesize and speculate? Let him decide whats best for him. I think the one utmost favor all Indians can bestow upon Sachin is to leave him alone. Apart from living his life on his own terms. Surely, hes earned that much.

Posted by Philip John Joseph on (March 13, 2008, 13:22 GMT)

To be honest Mukul, I think your psychological analysis of Tendulkar's comments are a bit off, though you do have the right idea that there's something going on here and towards the end of the article, you did hit one of the nails on the head. Tendulkar is indeed desperate for a 50 overs World Cup to match Gavaskar and company, as you mentioned, and he feels like if he can stick around, he's finally got the team to do it. Add to that the fact that in the past, India's victories over Australia were always false dawns; and what you have is a case of Tendulkar finally feeling like he can be on a team that will rack up some victories against his arch-nemesis Australia. For someone who's been out there in the middle, batting for a team that never won it all when that someone was there, I can almost imagine the euphoric feeling of "my time and team has come." That said, Gavaskar was definitely better than Tendulkar is/was, but I would definitely rate Tendulkar as the second best of India.

Posted by Varun Dikshit on (March 13, 2008, 13:17 GMT)

Hi Mukul, I think Tendulkar's statement was made in the wake of the CB series victory coming as a breather after the tension-filled Test Series. Also, scoring important runs while chasing would have given him an immense relief after the comments from some ex-cricketers over his dismal batting average while chasing. In fact, may be this was what Sachin thought was left for him to prove! Scoring his first century in Australia, in a final and that too while chasing(and then 91 in the 2nd final) which ultimately made India victorious. I am sure that if asked again, Tendulkar would not rate this as the 'best moment' but something of a 'high point'. It might have been more of an adrenaline rush that made him say so in the wake of the high-drama series in totality. -Varun

PS: Let's form a 'Save Test Cricket' community to make sure the ICC gives it the due importance in the Future programme :-)

Posted by Ashwin Sohani on (March 13, 2008, 13:01 GMT)

why is it that so called "purists" seem to love test cricket but deride other forms of the game?

I think the reason tendulkar said it was that india had won a one day tri series in australia after 23 years. Tendulkar was refering it as the greatest win simply because he had never been a part of a team that had won a one day tournament in australia. That , in my opinion is a great achievement and should not valued less even if it is not quite the equivalent of winning a test series in australia.

Posted by Arvind from The Yankee Country on (March 13, 2008, 13:01 GMT)

Hey Mukul,

Few words I have come up with (partly) to get over nostalgia in life:

"Attachment brings pain and distance brings perspective"

In my view, there is no need for us to go gaga over the CB series victory and devote significant amount of time. Of course beating the Asstralians (under the circumstances) in their own backyard is always sweet.

Keep the good stuff coming mate!

Posted by Parasuram on (March 13, 2008, 12:56 GMT)

Wonderfully composed. At the very beginning I might have been mislead to think that here comes another article Tendulkar for speaking out for himself. But then put up against the picture of Test, one-day and T20, the writer does a great job of bringing the right perpective to the statement. Only point I would disagree is that its not only middle aged nostalgists who love Tests but some like me too. But trivial differences apart, with the emergence of IPL I would agree that Test cricket will have to defend its turf even more strongly.

Posted by Da K Man on (March 13, 2008, 12:55 GMT)

Mukul - you surpass yourself all the time. I guess this is as close as you will come to a tribute, and may it be so. Every inch eked out of your miser's purse of admiration increases the receiver's stature ten feet. Enjoyed your piece as always.

Posted by kaykay on (March 13, 2008, 12:54 GMT)

Mukul - I had respected you as a columnist until now, but with this I change my mind. The derision of his comments and thoughts as crass arising from not going to college, is full of such temerity that I am astounded as much as ashamed. As you say later, yes his comment was probably because of his triumph in both forms of the game for so long. But interpreting it as a slight to the longer version (which Tendulkar has repeatedly stated is the most respected and coveted) and a tipping point in the balance of tests and one-dayers, is certainly daft. Give the great man his due; he says things not because he is silly, but because of so many reasons that are not, and cannot, be known to us. And anyway - this is "probably" HIS best moment; did he say it is Indian Cricket's best moment, or the moment that Mukul should remember most fondly? Please...

Posted by Niradh Kaul on (March 13, 2008, 12:52 GMT)

I believe he said what he said purely because this does count as a great win that was won on the sides of all that went in the series and with a young(ish!) team. Also, post Sharjah, it is the only ODI series that he clearly helped us win by scoring in most critical matches. Yes India did beat Australia in a test series before, but that was on spinner friendly pitches in India. To beat Australia in thier backyard should count as significant as ODI World Cup win in 1983 if not more.

Posted by Prashanth Krishnan on (March 13, 2008, 12:50 GMT)

Sir, I beg to differ. Tendulkar's comment takes root from the sad truth that India has failed him more than he has failed India. In many a match we have seen Tendulkar playing a wonderful innings, worthy of victory, only to find himself in the losing side, because the bowlers weren't good, or the batsmen collapsed. None of the opposing players would have ever played such an innings (that is why he is so respected), yet his team would lose. A perfect example is 96 World Cup Semi Final against Sri Lanka. That is why he praised Yuvraj Singh profusely when he finished the job Sachin had started in 2003 World Cup League Match against Pakistan. That is why he holds this series victory at such a high place. Tendulkar has never been part of a team worthy of his greatness. He himself says that this time our bowlers were strong than in previous tours. So getting a team worthy of him, and contributing greatly for a winning side was sweeter than individual brilliance.

Posted by Aditya on (March 13, 2008, 12:45 GMT)

I think you need to understand, Mukul, that for a great sportsman, every form of the game is equally important and equally competitive. Especially when playing for your country: you cannot drop your intensity either when playing a Test match or an ODI. Obviously a Test match is a different thing altogether and Test cricket is always the ultimate as many cricketers say, no good cricketer or team worth their salt has remained at the top by prioritizing between Tests and one-dayers. Greg Chappell, however much you and I might hate him now, had an interesting thing to say...even Australia became a great Test team by improving their one-day performances first. Because for a cricketer it's the same set of skills...if you can bat out 45 overs at a strike rate of 80-odd that's still a good Test match innings lasting almost 2 sessions. It's not that you can't beat the bat or bowl wicket-taking balls in one-day cricket. So let's not judge Sachin on that, because we're not hin his place.

Posted by Shankar on (March 13, 2008, 12:42 GMT)

I dont agree with you that Test cricket is going to take a back seat in the near future and we have to be nostalgic about it. I am sure many more moments to savour from various rivalries shall come to play.You should also note the fact that most test matches do produce results today and nations have stopped playing for a draw. If test series are fought like the recent Ind Aus series the interest is sustained. It is upto various boards to ramp up the infrastructure,spot talent early, groom them and put them to the ultimate test that is TEST MATCH CRICKET.It is also important to create pitches which offer a even contest between bat and ball so that the contest is lively and result oriented unlike the pitches made for Ind Pak test series recently. Not easy but not impossible too. As for Tendulkar his genius has been written about enough and I dont have anything to add to it. Like you have rightly pointed Great Men do not only master but create history of their own.

Posted by Raunak Agarwal on (March 13, 2008, 12:34 GMT)

Tendulkar's statements are just a reflection of that moment of joy. As far as I recollect, he used the word 'probably the greatest win' which he did in England series as well. So too much should not be read into it. Had India lost the CB series, am sure you would not have posted this article comparing what people might and might not have said. Following tendulkar for so many years,leaves no doubt in my mind that he himself opted out of the twenty20 world cup. If he wanted to, nobody would have dares to stop him. Lastly, If tendulkar remains in this form, I dont think its wrong for him to think about 2011 World cup. Always a pleasure reading your posts..

Posted by Abhimanyu on (March 13, 2008, 12:24 GMT)


Thanks for writing an article on this subject and I'm even more greatful to you for ending it the way you did. I may have missed the crux of your matter midway through when you suggested that Tendulkar's transition to the T20 group was a huge personal achievement, but I reread it to confirm I'd understood you right. I am almost entirely in agreement with you about what Tendulkar has said regarding the triumph. And my first reaction to it was a big groan. All the ecstacy and joy ceased to exist the moment I heard him say that. It was an exaggeration that hurt. And although you expect cricketers to say exaggerated things in the heat of the moment, this one came as a disappointment. Perth, Eden Gardens 2001, Headingly 2001 and Adelaide 2003 still rank higher.I am in my mid 20's. And I'm ready to bet there are others like me.I dont think you're getting old, I just think we're way too passionate about the game to see it change so quickly for the sake of others who arent.

Posted by Salim Tyrewala on (March 13, 2008, 12:19 GMT)

Why not? We drew the test series (Sydney doesn't count) and won the one-day series comprehensively physically and mentally.

In all my years as an Indian fan, I can't remember a more satisfying tour. I dont believe Tendulkar was speaking of just the CB series. It was a long and demanding tour. The CB series was just the climax.

Mr Kesavan, please do go a bit easy on the melodrama.

Posted by Thiyag on (March 13, 2008, 12:02 GMT)

I think the reason for Tendulkar saying so is not because he feels beating a bunch of ugly australians is great but more to do with the role he played in winning the cup (100+/91 in finals and also scoring well while chasing). There are very few instances when Tendulkar has been single most reason for India winning a cup (ofcourse I am giving due regard to others in the team) and definetly winning this cup would rank higher up for him.

Posted by Rahul on (March 13, 2008, 11:56 GMT)

That statement came from Sachin because this victory is an Emotional one. At the end of a long and tiring tour, it must have given immense pleasure to have beaten the Aussies comprehensively in both the finals even though the 2nd final margin was very less, the Aussies were always on the back foot! They were beaten black and blue! Beating the champs at their own den especially after all the trash talks and targetting Indian players a win is certain 2 ignite the emotion of a person! It was an answer to the Unruly, Brash Aussies, who were doing nothing but Trash talk! It was a statement filled with emotion. The answer might have been different if the same question had been asked a week after the victory! Not too much should be read into this!

Posted by Chandra on (March 13, 2008, 11:56 GMT)

I dont agree with you Mukul. You should understand sportsmen psychology before comming out with such criticism on someone who has been EPITOME of sportsmanship for the entire world (more for his FANs). Australia might be an aging team but the nucleus of this team (Ponting, Hayden, Symonds, Clarke, Hussey, Gilchrist, Lee etc.) is by far the best in the world. This Ausies team proved their superiority by defeating all their opposition by margin which is not more than 'convincing'... Now, if you carefully analyse the Indian victories and the level of intensity the entire team maintained in the two ODIs (these are not mere ODI international matches) it is indeed the LAST CELEBRATED TRI-SERIES of the WORLD CHAMPIONS on their hometurf where they have impeccable record.. barring last year. Sachin in particular had played gem of innings in both the matches.. He played as though he is on a mission and made sure we LIFTED the last trophy. Its a pshychological win for a competitive sportsman

Posted by Aditya Sudarshan on (March 13, 2008, 11:56 GMT)

Mr. Kesavan, what a world of uncalled for meaning you read into a spontaneous expression of happiness. It's known as putting words into people's mouths, and when it's done simply to serve some pet- and petty- thesis of your own, it doesn't make you look good. Also, please note- Tendulkar said it's his biggest 'moment'. Not win- moment. As the culmination of a long summer of hard work and genius, it _was_ a big moment, and your small-minded barbs don't change the fact.

Posted by Anand on (March 13, 2008, 11:55 GMT)

You never know. I personally feel Tendulkar said this in the joy of the moment. Maybe if someone would have asked him to clarify later, he might find a lot other high points in his glittering career

Posted by Rahul on (March 13, 2008, 11:54 GMT)

That statement came from Sachin because this victory is an Emotional one. At the end of a long and tiring tour, it must have given immense pleasure to have beaten the Aussies comprehensively in both the finals even though the 2nd final margin was very less, the Aussies were always on the back foot! They were beaten black and blue! Beating the champs at their own den especially after all the trash talks and targetting Indian players a win is certain 2 ignite the emotion of a person! It was an answer to the Unruly, Brash Aussies, who were doing nothing but Trash talk! It was a statement filled with emotion. The answer might have been different if the same question had been asked a week after the victory! Not too much should be read into this!

Posted by MP on (March 13, 2008, 11:46 GMT)

If only you had not said "This is what comes of not going to college"! That has nothing to do with anything. Unfortunately because of that one statement this great analysis of yours - which by the way I completely agree with - sounds a wee bit mean spirited!

Posted by chief on (March 13, 2008, 11:44 GMT)

Actually the second oldest player in the team is yuvraj (27)

Posted by hastagiri on (March 13, 2008, 11:39 GMT)

i love this article. and have to agree with you completely. The test victory in SA, the Series victory in England, the test victory in WI, the AUS draw in 2003-04, the victory in 2001 at home, the Dhaka independence cup victory, even the sharjah triumph in 98 should all rate more than this victory. We have heard public memory is short, but never imagined sachin's memory would be shorter.... or is he associating a factor of his age in the ranking of this triumph? still Perth should count higher. I cannot fathom this... Is it a one-upmanship game telling dravid, ganguly, kumble and laxman that none of u were part of my greatest moment in the game?? if so that would be a cheap thrill to get for such a great batsman.

Posted by PeeGeeKay on (March 13, 2008, 11:38 GMT)

MK, I seriously hope that 'this is what comes of not going to college' comment was tongue-in-cheek, else it drastically undermines what's otherwise a lovely article.

Posted by Vasu on (March 13, 2008, 11:33 GMT)

Your article started on a sour note but ended on a good one. I was not sure whether you were insulting him or praising him. But in the end one has to accept that Sachin is the master of the game. and there's no doubt about that. This tour was certainly one of his finest (both tests & odi). He keeps inventing shots with each passing series. The way he played those shots over the slip fielder (off Jhonson & Lee) were awesome. I wish T20 had come sooner as Sachin would have showed the world how to play the game. It is so suited to his style. Am sure he would have cracked the bowling apart if T20s were played in the 90s. Anyway am looking forward to some great fireworks from him during the IPL.

Posted by Madan on (March 13, 2008, 11:25 GMT)

I think you are missing Sachin's point, Sachin had rated the Perth victory as special too. But he's had an unspoken but implicit grouse that he didn't finish his 'job' often enough for a man of his calibre. Indian fans have cribbed at his failures in the finals of big ODI fixtures, no doubt because they forget about the matches where his heroics couldn't compensate for his team's failings..but then, no smoke without fire. It's only after Sharjah 98 that Sachin finished the job and finished his opponents. He was there right till the end in the first final and but for injury woes would have carried his bat in the second one too. Do not downplay it merely because it is an ODI 'event', surely, whatever the format, great cricket is still great cricket and Sachin is still..Sachin. That India's Test ranking is still better than the ODI ranking and that this was the last edition of the Tri-series shows that Test cricket is still the pre-eminent form of cricket, no two ways about it.

Posted by Abhinay on (March 13, 2008, 11:25 GMT)

It's remarkable how an ordinary statement can let you think so much. Don't read too much into stuff. Be normal. But then, it's your job.

I think he was personally very satisfied considering we had not won an ODI series in Australia. Beating the current English lot and that too not convincingly or beating the Australians in our own backyard isn't much of a great achievement in itself. And it's not like the series victory in 2001 test series was an achievement after a long time. We won the previous time too when the Aussies toured for the Gavaskar Border trophy. Also, every man, no matter how successful he is to the public eye has their own measuring stick which is never shadowed by any amount of public or media fanfare. So when Sachin achieved what he probably was hoping to do for a long time, he let a sigh of relief and was joyous. Yet, you say "This is what comes of not going to college."

Well, that statement takes out all the repect I had for you as a writer.

Posted by gmnorm on (March 13, 2008, 11:16 GMT)

It is possible for a player to have deep context & knowledge and not be a an all tme great performer on field ( eg Brearley, Ed Smith). So why should the reverse also not be true? Thats why performers are performers and critics are critics. They require different specialist skills.Being a great performer creates a halo effect wherein people assume that everything the player says must be true. One possibility is that your assessment that test is the best test and that there are better performances than the CB series is actually correct and you have overintellectualised yourself into error.For if CB series is the benchmark, then Collingwoods performance last year makes him an all time great. I think not. Basically Australias cricketers tire towards end season. This trend I have seen for several years now.This opens up the chances of beating them towards end season. The defining victory was Perth in a test when they were fresh and not CB series

Posted by Vimal Kaliprasad on (March 13, 2008, 11:15 GMT)

Mukul - I think that your long winded comment about Tendulkar is totally off the mark. I am a South African and have been there with all of you to admire the Zidane of the cricket game....Tendulakar like Zidane is Pure Grace, Style and Perfecion in execution! There's other great players in the game - some having better records than Tendulkar in some aspects - but none so graceful. But the reason he was so proud is that is closed a loop in scoring a hundred in Australia which adds to his averages against Australia or away from home. Its closure to a career that has seen his father pass away when he scored the most runs in a world cup, a career that saw him break and set many records and closure to poor form of late that he is perhaps proud to be back in form. Perhaps its the beginning of something special when he sticks in in any innings and he should know, many he feels its that time again like in the beginning of his career when he got out only through run outs.

Posted by Charu on (March 13, 2008, 11:12 GMT)

Mukul FYI - Gavaskar and other Indian greats like Ravi Shastri, Kris Srikkanth & to some extent even Sidhu & Jadeja (all Tv panelsits) rated this as one of India's best wins. The ones they rated above this were all before Sachin's time. So I dont think ur statement that "Kumble or Dravid or Gavaskar would not have said this" is correct. If they were a part of this win they would have said it as well (esp. given the backdrop of the series). So pls leave Sachin alone. I think he should have a right to say what he feels without being judged all the time. It was moment of joy esp. after the stinging media reports on him before the finals began. I dont think Sachin is someone who would de-value Test cricket. He is a true cicketer and will serve Indian cricket in all forms of the game as far as possible. So lets for once appreciate him for what he has done for Tests, ODIs (cricket in general) and not keep nitpicking on e'thing else.

Posted by DJ80 on (March 13, 2008, 11:06 GMT)

Some of India's greatest victorious moments have surely come in test matches, but our "intelligent" media doesn't seem to remember the test series victories in WI(2006) and Eng(2007). Harbhajan Singh's statements that the CB series victory was greater than 2001 series victory sums up the rot that is going to stem into cricket from now on. Surely, after T20 and IPL, test cricket is going to die a slow death. Most of the Indian cricket fans born post 1980 hardly seem to have a liking and taste for test cricket. Mukul, I am not a middle aged man, but certainly I consider test matches as the most complete and enduring form of cricket. However, it's going to be a sad story from now on...I can only sit back and watch the treasure of test match videos that I have spanning the era of 60s, 70s and 80s. With the new bunch of money spinning, hysterical T20 guys on the horizon, test cricket is going to be a bygone thing now. Another superb article by Mukul and beautifully signed off at the end!!!

Posted by Rahul on (March 13, 2008, 11:03 GMT)

steady on. Kevin Pietersen claims after every half decent knock (inculding his recent 42 against NZ) that 'this is the best innings I've ever played.' I think something similar might be going on here. I doubt Tendulkar will actually think, given the perspective of time, that the CB series was his greatest triumph - but in the immediate aftermath of victory, it might seem like it. Only six months ago, he said the test series victory in England was the sweetest moment of his career - I take it you take less exception to that? Don't get too het up about something said immediately after a victory.

Posted by Charu on (March 13, 2008, 11:01 GMT)

Mukul - 3 points. One... maybe Sachin meant this was the best victory in the shorter version for him. The reason I say this is becos of his latest interview in the Hindu. On asked what was the best moment in the Aus tour he rated the Perth vistory as the best. He rated all the test victories (eg. 2003 Adelaide) as his best experiences. So I guess u are probably reading too much into what he said after the ODI victory. point 2... i was dismayed when u wrote that he said something crass becos he didnt go to college. Was that reqd really? I thought u were crass in making such a rude and boorish statement. Was very disappointed that a person like you would stoop to this level esp since he sacrified college to play for India. Sachin is a genius and pls PLS pls do not make remarks that are derogatory to him. point 3... Ravi Shastri & SMG too said this was the greatest ODI victory after the WC & Champions trophy 85. Sachin said it was his greatest since he was not part of the WC83 & 85 squad

Posted by Bigone on (March 13, 2008, 11:00 GMT)

This is Tendulkar's first century on Australian soil in the one day format. When every other side gets trounced by the Aussies, it is not hard to understand why Tendulkar feels the way he feels at the fag end of his career. Tendulkar himself wouldn't have thought he would put on a show like this especially in the finals of the one day game and his performance in the Test matches. As you said its the whole experience and the fact that he had achieved this before he retired. The last time India beat Australia in a final was 10 years ago in Sharjah (I think)so this does call for a celebration. Thought Tendulkar scored many centuries, there arent many games India won purely by his contribution. His 2008 performance in Australia at age 34 was magic.

Posted by sumit on (March 13, 2008, 10:56 GMT)

Mukul, mukul, mukul you just outdo yourself every time. What a wonderful flow!

I must, however, make a small point. The master ended the long and eventful Aussie tour on his, and his team's, terms. THAT was his greatest moment. The emotion was on a macro level.

But still your rationalization holds a lot of reason and ground.

Posted by Ash on (March 13, 2008, 10:55 GMT)

Whole article on a single comment?

Posted by Anurag on (March 13, 2008, 10:44 GMT)

I don't think Tendulkar thought so much before stating what he did. It was a spur of the moment comment which shouldn't be over-analyzed. Scrutinies and strange interpretations of this kind is whats making cricketers less and less forthcoming and spontaneous in their interviews.

Posted by SN on (March 13, 2008, 10:39 GMT)

I think it is an absurdity to carry on about a statement made by anyone on the spur of the moment. Frank Lloyd Wright was once asked which of his projects he loved best - the one on the drawing board right now was his answer. The real curse of modern times is probably the over-analysis of every syllable uttered by every player, umpire, referee and self-proclaimed media pundit. I have always liked Mukul Kesavan's writing but this unnecessary and unhealthy obsession with Tendulkaritis is pretty unbearable. Perhaps he has not noticed that in another article right here on Cricinfo, Tendulkar has talked about how he relished batting in the test matches in Australia?

Posted by al on (March 13, 2008, 10:38 GMT)

If he says so...then it must be, his greatest moment in his career. Accept that! And move on. By the way...I agree with you. Gavaskar is soooo annoying as a commentator these days its not even funny. He's like a grumpy ol' grandad, finding fault with everything except - Tendulkar. His effusive praise for everything Tendulkar does is PAINFUL!!!

Posted by Anand Bobade on (March 13, 2008, 10:24 GMT)

Authoritative. Write-ups like these are very much necessary to strike the much-needed balance once we are soaked up celebrating a success. Analytical descriptions too, are a part of nation's strategy. Readable and thoroughly agreeable. Hats up !

Posted by Dave on (March 13, 2008, 10:22 GMT)


I think that one thing that has always rankled Tendulkar is that his mightiest efforts have been almost always in a lost cause, so how good would he have felt for his huge contribution to India's wins?

BTW, Sunil was great, no doubt. But Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman since the original master, a certain J.B. Hobbs even when Bradman is taken into account. Their similarities are amazing even down to, and most importantly to me, their humility and grace.

And yes, I am Australian.

Posted by Arun Prakash on (March 13, 2008, 10:22 GMT)

Well, I thought it was a statement made in the euphoria of victory. I am sure many cricket fans who have seen the Laxman match or the Adelaide victory would have felt the same. Its just a case of clouded objectivity immediately after an achievement. The way, in school we always felt that the current academic year is tougher than the previous one and so on. I think, to read anything more into it would be doing the fellow a disservice.

Posted by aniruddha on (March 13, 2008, 10:21 GMT)

Mukul I think its nothing more than a bit of over reaction this time. Yes, I agree nothing can match the TEST wins in Australia and England, and also west Indies( Dravid scored two 50s in the decider), but Tendulkar's comment can also be seen as encouragement to the younger brigade. It is similar to his comment where he took a bit of the blame for the Gambhir run out. Fair to say no one can read his mind but it would be stretching it a bit too far to say that he had to prove his place in the team. The fact that he still opens is pointer enough that he still has enough clout where it matters. Test cricket is not really in any kind of danger, T20 is not worse off than bodyline, match fixing or one day cricket. It will survive and would continue to entertain us. Finally T20 match even in ICL with old teams is better viewing that the recent England NZ test match. So quality matters.

Posted by Dave on (March 13, 2008, 10:19 GMT)

As an unabashed Sachin fan (my bordd is named Sachin!) I think you are stringing a pretty long bow. I don't think his statements mean he thinks one day cricket is superior to Test cricket or anything of the sort. I think that after a period of time where he has been written off, he first answered his critics in the Test arena and then, I think the day after the article saying he never delivered in chases, in the one day arena. It was one of the most nasty spirited series I've seen, India were robbed of a Test and at least drawing the series, he was dragged into a court case, and then finally he beat the champions in their own back yard with a clean sweep, meaning India could claim to be the world's best 20/20 side, current best ODI side and serious challengers (with England's woes) for the title of the best Test team. What could sweeter than all that? As a single moment I doubt it is his best, but as a culmination of an incredible summer, who can blame him for finding it so wonderful?

Posted by Ramesh on (March 13, 2008, 10:18 GMT)

This is very unfair on Sachin. Sachin values Tests very highly. I have read that he remembers every dismissal in tests. He gently reminded everybody that great things in this Oz tour started with test series. When we win test series in Australia, then it would be a greater achievement than this win. The comments at the end of tour is more of initial euphoria of doing a great work. Sachin talks about how Perth 91 established him. He is the last person who will belittle tests. When he was at his earlier peak, team wins were very few as we had only one Sachin. With team India winning some good matches, let him enjoy those moments. Sachin is the most analysed person in Cricket and this topic adds an interesting though unfair(most of the analysis on him are) chapter to it

Posted by GM Norm on (March 13, 2008, 10:16 GMT)

The other possibility is that we are reading too much into a statement made in the first flush of victory. it may mean a lot to Sachin personally who hadnt done well in finals of ODIs and in Australia ODIs before.But to extrapolate from that and conclude its Indias greatest win in a stretch.

Posted by madhyama on (March 13, 2008, 10:14 GMT)

sir ,i think you are terribly confused . you say you read what sachin had said . i saw it , and it was said in the spur of the moment . when someone is followed all the time by the media and caught off guard after such a victory , some excited comments are only natural . there is nothing to anaylse so much . he definiely wasnt undermining the role of test cricket and wasnt saying it was better than chennai or kolkata or sharjah . he just said it ! there wasnt anything else to it .it wasnt clear , but i feel he was talking about one days .in any case , lets stop talking about such trivial issues and be glad that this genius is still around after 18 years on his own merit . lets be proud that sachin was born in india and we are indians to call him a fellow countryman and be inspired by him everyday .

Posted by Ankur Rai on (March 13, 2008, 10:14 GMT)

Dude !!!! you are way off when you trivialize the biggest win for Indian cricket in close to a decade. All the test matches that you just mentioned had been won by Indian teams with proven pedigree and full of stalwarts who should have gone on and conquered many more series and trophies then they eventually did. That they did not win anything of note outside India ( remember World cup Final 2003 ) inspite of boasting the best batting line up in the world was a big hurdle in calling them the greatest wins ever. But actually beating Australia for the first time in a tri series down under , that too against World cup finalists Sri Lanka and the world champions Australia ( mind you both at full strength ) with the kind of attack that Australia have at present, you have to be out of your minds to trivialize such an amazing victory. But , as far as Perth test win is concerned , I would have to side with you that it really was the biggest win although Hayden did not play.

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Mukul Kesavan
Mukul Kesavan teaches social history for a living and writes fiction when he can - he is the author of a novel, Looking Through Glass. He's keen on the game but in a non-playing way. With a top score of 14 in neighbourhood cricket and a lively distaste for fast bowling, his credentials for writing about the game are founded on a spectatorial axiom: distance brings perspective. Kesavan's book of cricket - Men in Whitewas published in 2007.

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