India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mumbai

The final leg of the epic farewell

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

November 13, 2013

Comments: 69 | Text size: A | A
'Wankhede generally produces good cricket'

Match facts

Thursday-Monday, November 14-18, 2013
Start time 0930 local (0400 GMT)


Sachin Tendulkar with the Wankhede groundstaff, Mumbai, November 13, 2013
The final round of goodbyes has begun © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Big Picture

After this match, there will be no switching off the television when he gets out. No Indian fan will wait for the second India wicket to fall. There will be no standing ovations that stretch from the fall of that second wicket to the time he takes strike. Sections of crowds at grounds won't take turns in going 'Sachin, Sachin'. For after this match, Sachin Tendulkar will never play cricket for India again.

So for one last time, it is over to the ground where it all began in 1988, for Bombay against Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy. Few international cricketers get to say goodbye on their home ground, in front of home fans. In that sense, Tendulkar and Mumbai are fortunate that the parting, in the playing sense, will be at Wankhede Stadium.

Fortunate is a word MS Dhoni has used often of late. He's been asked numerous times how it was to play with Tendulkar, and he's said he has been fortunate to have done so for close to a decade. There was a cartoon recently doing the rounds with Tendulkar cradling some babies - a few of his youngest current India team-mates - while the rest of the squad stood around as grinning boys. How old, or young, each of them were when Tendulkar debuted for India is a factsheet that gets thrown around a lot. But that Mohammed Shami is younger than Tendulkar's international career is a fact that seems as astonishing each time you think about it. He's been a colossal father figure. All the India players have grown up looking up to the man.

The opponents were hastily arranged for this farewell series and were not expected to play a big role. That is exactly what West Indies did in Kolkata, folding up in three days. The last time they played at Wankhede, they produced an exciting draw with the scores tied. This match will be known in history as Tendulkar's final game, but West Indies will look to somehow miraculously ending up winning it.

Form guide

India WWWWW (last five games, most recent first)
West Indies LWWWW

In the spotlight

All these years, Sachin Tendulkar has given the impression that he shuts himself from the expectation India heaps upon him every match. Only those very close to him, and perhaps not even them, would know what actually goes on inside the man's mind. Is it only an impression, or does he really manage to insulate himself? Over the course of this final match, however, there will be no need for all this. People will of course love it if he goes out with a big hundred, but as his career has wound down over the past fortnight, they have been happy just to watch him do what he does. Bat, field, bowl, practice, wave. There will be a different kind of pressure now. The realisation that this is it - the end of what has been routine for most of his life. How will he react to that final standing ovation? To that final guard of honour? To that final cheer?

The opposition has a man who has been almost as durable as Tendulkar. Shivnarine Chanderpaul debuted in March 1994, and will be playing his 150th Test. It is a monumental disservice to him that commentators still talk about his stance after nearly 11000 Test runs. And unlike Tendulkar, he's showed no signs that the end is approaching. He averaged close to 100 last year with three centuries. Sadly, his misfiring team is more likely to squander his legacy than build on it.

Mohammed Shami and Tino Best. One fast, the other faster. Both managed reverse swing in Kolkata. Shami had control, Best didn't. Shami had nine wickets on debut, Best had one in 17 overs. With no Kemar Roach in the squad, and an inexperienced new-ball partner at the other end again, Best will have to produce a markedly better effort than what he came up with at Eden Gardens.

Team news

India have little reason to change the winning combination, both debutants Shami and Rohit Sharma having performed superbly in Kolkata.

India (probable): 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 M Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Pragyan Ojha, 11 Mohammed Shami

Playing only five specialist batsmen hurt West Indies in Kolkata. The second spinner Veerasammy Permaul could not support Shane Shillingford. Will they go in for an extra batsman who can bowl a bit? West Indies have also flown in Shannon Gabriel as replacement for Roach. Sheldon Cottrell impressed in patches on debut at Eden Gardens. There is an outside possibility of West Indies playing three fast bowlers.

West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 Narsingh Deonarine/Veerasammy Permaul, 9 Shane Shillingford, 10 Sheldon Cottrell/Shannon Gabriel, 11 Tino Best

Pitch and conditions

Sudhir Naik, the former India batsman and Wankhede curator, is confident that the pitch can last five days. It is expected to be much harder than the one at Eden. There is usually more bounce at Wankhede than is the norm at most Indian venues. The weather is steadily approaching what passes for winter in Mumbai. While that means pleasant mornings and slightly nippy nights, temperatures will still reach mid-thirties in the afternoons. The nearby Arabian Sea can be counted on to deliver some breeze then, and some swing.

Stats and trivia

  • In 328 Test innings, Sachin Tendulkar has never batted at No 3. He's opened only once, when he led India against New Zealand in Ahmedabad in 1999

  • India have lost two of their three previous Tests at Wankhede, both to England. The third, against West Indies, was drawn

  • The last away series win for West Indies, excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, was against New Zealand in 1995. It remains Chanderpaul's only such overseas win

    Quotes

    "I'd like him to enjoy, because you can't guarantee performance."
    India captain MS Dhoni reflects on the hype and expectations that have accompanied Tendulkar throughout his career.

    "I am not worried about Chris. Chris is somebody that could come up on any given day, like he has done all over the world, and destroy any attack."
    Darren Sammy on Chris Gayle

  • Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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    © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    Posted by   on (November 14, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

    Sachin!! One can not define and describe this man's influential on masses in india. I simply can not describe what he has done to us, how he has hypnotised all of us so badlyHe was the first reason at that time when i started watching cricket in 98-99. Still i like collecting videos of his stupendous batting and watched some of innings many many times like sharjas one and 175 against australia. Future generations wont be able to understand the madness of people behind this little man. He was the lone man standing in 90s in indian cricket. Even there are many people like me here who dont wants sachin to retire ever, It is a very heavy hearted feeling that i would never ever be able to watch sachin again playing for india, would never be able to read his articles about his century in next days newspaper. Hope he continous forever. He is like our older members in family. May be he is not at his best but we still carry him with us as long as possible but just be with us. Salute to him!!

    Posted by   on (November 14, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

    my whole life= his career!! I ve watched him play since 1992, I cried wen he was out for 3 against Zimbabwe,64 against SL semis,danced wen he hit that 6 frm leg side of shane,praised him wen he hit kasprowickz,fell to his photo wen he hit shoaib,n he became diety wen he broke the milestone of 200!! one last time,Sachin!! I bow you with immense respect,but with tears pouring that it ll b last time...:'(:'(

    Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 14, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

    @Albert_cambell. Look at the comments below and above to you...how many people from all over the world saluting the great...not just from India . Have you ever seen such a thing for a player? Jealousy do not have eyes...thats sure. pity.

    Posted by   on (November 14, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

    same umpires again - oh no. predicting tendulkar given out when he's not out again.

    Posted by Vivfan on (November 14, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

    It will be difficult for most fans including myself after this Test. A true legend. His contribution to not only India but Cricket in general is profound.

    Hope he scores big, but doubt Sachin will make more than 20 in each Innings. Last time he scored a Test century was back in Jan 2011 in Cape Town. Most Sachin fans nowadays expect an early Sahcin dismissal, back then not so much.

    Posted by   on (November 14, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

    just had a thought on how sachin influenced billions..we know Mahatma Gandhi inspired masses and made people fight for their fredom..but this man ..he gave us sheer joy and pleasure for 24 years...we felt our own blood pumping wen he was @the crease..surely today on children;s day i feel my days of a child are ovr.such enthusiasm..such enigma..can never perhaps be created..in this fast moving world losing of moral values,i doubt anyone can love a person with such madness...u were the greatest indian..i salute you

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