Tendulkar back in the saddle (4 August 1999)

4 August 1999

Tendulkar back in the saddle

Elmo Rodrigopulle

Sachin Tendulkar the Indian batting maestro has once again been saddled with the Indian captaincy. This was expected after India's inability to win the World Cup concluded in England.

The Indian cricketers left their shores with high hopes, promising to bring back the World Cup which they first won under the captaincy of Kapil Dev in England in 1983.

But other than for having the consolation of beating Pakistan in a super six round game, the Indians failed in their endeavour and as usual the cry began for the ouster of skipper Mohammed Azharuddin.

For Tendulkar it came as a surprise to be recalled. As he has stated he was not mentally prepared to take over this onerous job. He was deposed and Azharuddin recalled.

The Indian selectors have once again placed their faith in him, confident that he with his dashing batsmanship and aggressive approach to the game will help to restore their lost fortunes in the game.

As for Tendulkar he never expected to be recalled, preferring Ajay Jadeja to be given the job, considering that Jadeja was the vice captain to Azharuddin in the World Cup.

While the captaincy came as a surprise to Tendulkar it would have been galling for Jadeja who would have been nursing hopes that he would be given the nod. Jadeja's one fault is that he is not a consistent performer in Tests.

Jadeja who led India in the few times he was called to do so very successfully must be wondering what he did wrong not to be given this high office. Jadeja too is aggressive in everything he does and had he been given the job, there is no doubt that he would have got the best from every team member and taken Indian cricket to the top.

But Jadeja was far from the thoughts of the selectors and as chairman of selectors and former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar said, it was an open and shut case and Tendulkar was the unanimous choice.

However this is Tendulkar's second lease of life as captain and now that he has gained enough experience in both forms of cricket, he must now be in a position where he could lead from the front and take Indian cricket to the very top.

Tendulkar's first assignment after being recalled will be in the triangular series in Sri Lanka which also features the world champions in one-day and Test cricket, Australia.

If he could steer India to success in this triangular series, then he would have done well and repaid the faith the selectors had in him.

Source :: Daily News (http://www.lanka.net)