March 21, 2012

India

Other Tendulkar records to agonise over

Andrew Hughes
Graeme Swann exchanges words with Dilruwan Perera over a disputed catch, Sri Lanka Board XI v England XI, tour match, Colombo, 3rd day, March 17, 2012
"Don't forget to get cheese for our whines in the Tests"  © Getty Images
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Saturday, 17th March
Well done to Sachin, but commiserations to ESPNcricinfo. Harsha Bhogle’s piece yesterday asking us to stop going on about Sachin being stuck on 99 centuries was the 99th item about Sachin’s 99 centuries to appear on ESPNcricinfo. On the verge of bringing up a century of century-articles, we’ve been left stranded.

There is the possibility of a century of century-celebratory features, towards which these paragraphs might count as a scrambled single. But it’s a tough ask and I think the gathering bad light of reader intolerance might call time on our word chase.

Over the long months of our vigil, the ranks of the Sachin-century spotters had dwindled somewhat. The eager crowds who had at first gathered to see the lesser spotted century bird make its appearance grew bored of staring at a scoreboard waiting for something to happen, and one by one wandered off to find ice creams, jobs, dye their hair, marry, divorce, emigrate, spend some time finding themselves in a Thai monastery, and generally get on with their lives.

So when those three cheeky little digits popped on the scoreboard at the Shere Bangla Stadium, it crept up on us, it was a pleasant surprise, although it wasn’t that pleasant for the Bangladeshi players nor was it much of a surprise, as he’d done it to them five times before. We suspect that they didn’t really mind, though, because they won the game anyway. It was a win-win kind of a win.

But that really has to be the end of it. By now many cricket lovers have developed an angry Pavlovian response to sentences built around the words “Tendulkar” and “century”. So I won’t mention it again. Though I should just let you know, purely for your personal reference, that Sachin is currently poised on 195 one-day international sixes and only needs another five Test wickets to bring up his 50…

Monday, 19th March For a lot of teams, a warm-up game is a relaxing potter around some picturesque provincial field/godforsaken suburban dump; a break from being photographed standing next to architecture, complaining about room service, and trying to identify your socks amongst the hotel laundry. But Team England tend to take everything too seriously and now it seems they’re trying to put the war into warm-up.

As we know, being generally unpleasant and obnoxious on the field of play is a vital part of the modern game. At the moment, Andy Flower’s Angry Boys lead the way in the shouty arts, and so a fixture against a Sri Lanka Board XI was the perfect chance for them to hit their moaning straps. After all, nothing prepares you for Test cricket quite like standing around swearing at someone.

When Dilruwan Perera refused to accept a fielder’s word about a catch and didn’t walk, the England players converged on the offending batsmen in a scrum of arm-waving, pouty indignation. You might think this was just a silly overreaction but I have a weary feeling that Team England will see it as the choicest drop of cream at the very tip of the pedigree cat’s whiskers, and that we are only at the start of several very trying weeks of whingeing, tantrums, foot-stamping and Stuart Broad’s lower lip going all quivery when yet another DRS review request is turned down.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Juan on (May 23, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

I am Australian and no doubt Tendulkar is the better basamtn, especially on recently form, add that to the fact that Ponting has failed at 20/20 cricket while Tendulkar powers on in all forms of the game. Kallis still surpasses them all though, add his bowling and being one of the best slip fielders in the world as well his exceptional 20 20 record and he really is the complete cricketer; probably the best to play the game.

Posted by Sehwag_Is_Ordinary on (April 1, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

I'm surprised since when a cricketer has gone bigger than the game itself? Cricket is a team game and not a person game. It's alright Sachon scored 100 centuries but what's the difference between 99 and 100? None. Zip. For Sachin, Indian had to head back home and stupid Indians praise like him like forever; he is the best ok but he lost the game too- no person is bigger than the game itself

Posted by Dr Lalit Paldiwal on (March 26, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

It seems nobody is taking note of his longetivity record...while he is enjoying longest carreer in ODI s he is 6th in list as far as test is concerned..if he plays for another 3-4 yrs he will be in top 4 in 116 yrs of international cricket....

Posted by Varad on (March 24, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

Let's admit it. As Indians, we are more concerned about personal than collective achievements, unfortunately in team events. While taking nothing away from the achievements of the great man, cricketing success for us seems to mean having a few great cricketers than a great cricket team. We are also ok if a team cause has to sacrificed for a personal achievement so much that players too tend to take this for granted. I think the only Indian who played greatly for a team cause was Kapil Dev, which clearly inspired an otherwise ordinary team to some extraordinary results. Also, everyone of his achievements would be almost always synonymous with a team achievement. Thereafter, it has been just the reverse - number of very good cricketers combining to produce ordinary performances.

Posted by Andrew Hughes on (March 24, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.

Sam, I'm not sure that you can call frequent laudatory articles and regular praise a vendetta. I'm fairly certain that the Sicilian mafia didn't prosecute their feuds by publishing 1000 word pieces on how much they admired one another's achievements.

Posted by vikash on (March 24, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

what about playing 7th world cup!!!!

Posted by Anil on (March 23, 2012, 20:26 GMT)

Sachin is still playing, Kalis is still playing, Ponting is still playing. We have to compare all of them after they take retirement from all types of international cricket. However, their is no need to compare Sir Bradman with these guys. Remember, Bradman played most of the cricket against England, when players do not chase the ball to stop before boundries, but they clap to the short on the ground. He never played spiners like Shawan, Murli, Kumbley, Prasnna, Bedi and Chandrshekher and Bhaji etc. etc. STOP calling him GREAT CRICKET ACHIEVER. He was great when only Cricket was played by England, Australia (He made 2/3rd runs and 25/29 100s against England only.only

Posted by swarzi on (March 22, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

Congrats Sachin for scoring your hundredth 100. However, I hope you and your fans realise how wise it was for you to score it, just to please yourself as uaual; and left your team to suffer the embarassment of a defeat by Bangladesh; and more importantly, that said innings caused your team to be booted out of the Asia Cup. You should have helped India to reach 300 in that match! I guess though, that the overwhelming majority of the 1.2 billion Indians at home preferred you to achieve that somewhat meaningless feat, instead of the more important ASIA CUP CHAMPIONSHIP. To be fair, you had to take it then, as it was not possible for you to get it anywhere else!

Posted by Trisha on (March 22, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

SRT scored 5 centuries in TEST matches. Overall, a dull write-up.

Posted by Mahinda Wijesinghe on (March 22, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

The conduct of Andy Flower's Angry Boys of "whingeing, tantrums etc., etc.," is nothing new. Their pioneer was none other than Dr.W.G. - so the tradition continues!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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