India's win in Chennai December 17, 2008

'It had to have been preordained'

ESPNcricinfo staff
With the Mumbai atrocities still fresh in the mind, the incredible chase, and Tendulkar's fourth-innings century made everybody smile - and not just Indians



Finally Tendulkar slays his fourth-innings demon © AFP

"My dream has come true. I have won a Test for India with Tendulkar."
Yuvraj Singh has played 222 ODIs, scored 10 centuries, won 17 Man-of-the-Match awards, but came of age in this Test

"I've scored a hundred in the second innings, but to actually win a match, play the winning shot, that was something I wanted to do. This makes it really, really special."
Sachin Tendulkaron how much it meant to him

"The toughest win [as captain]. We were not present for the first three days of this Test, did not take wickets and bat the way we should have batted. But we won this match over the last two days."
MS Dhoni kept his 100% record intact, but only just

"When the chase began, I didn't give Dhoni and Co. more than a 10% chance. [Virender] Sehwag, however, changed everything. It's almost unreal that somebody can change the course of a match within 68 balls. What an innings of 83. Our chance of winning, in my opinion, straightaway jumped to 60%. Yes, there have been greater batsmen than Sehwag, but few better match-winners."
Kapil Dev lists the percentages

"Remember the ball was jumping, turning and behaving unpredictably. England will be going over and over how they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The big danger is, it could eat away at some of the players."
Geoffey Boycott talks cricket while all others seem to be discussing the healing

"Virender Sehwag started off, and Sachin Tendulkar played a super, super knock. The script couldn't have been better - a man from Mumbai scoring a hundred to conjure an amazing win for them. In fact, both the sides can feel proud to have played a superb Test, and bring back Tests to where it should be."
Kevin Pietersen takes comfort in the fact that there is no shame in such a loss

"In making his declaration, Pietersen underestimated India's talent and audacity every bit as much as Andrew Flintoff did Australia's in Adelaide two winters ago."
Simon Wilde in the Times lays the blame at the captain's door

"Make no mistake, this will be a bitter pill to swallow."
Mike Atherton points out that England will not emerge scar-free from the experience

"At this stage, when the whole country was demoralised after what happened in Mumbai, India needed something symbolic to lift their spirits, and this wonderful victory will make everybody feel a little better, although the wounds of Mumbai won't heal completely."
Sunil Gavaskar, another Mumbaikar, on what the victory means to India

"Ravi Shastri interviewed Tendulkar and Yuvraj after the match was over, and Shastri said Tendulkar's hair was standing when he said he did this for Mumbai … Cricket has been a terrific healer - ask the 35,000 people who were in the ground today."
David Lloyd is wide-eyed with wonder

"Yuvraj played his perfect part, but the day, the match and the country demanded it belong to Tendulkar. It could not have been scripted more perfectly: a boundary to win the match and complete a century. It had to have been preordained. Had to be."
Some things are just meant to be, Mike Selvey says

"This Test was a great advertisement for Test cricket. It is probably the best possible time that we could have had a Test like this. As you can see, a Test win is somehow more memorable than a Twenty20 or one-day international win."
Sanjay Manjrekar on the boost this win gives the premier form of the game

"The humdinger of a match […] embodied the essence of cricket, maybe of all sport."
Stephen Brenkley pulls out the stops in the Independent