April 2, 2010

Tendulkar's golden captaincy run

The Mumbai Indians captain is backing youngsters and using Malinga and McLaren intelligently; but his side must be cautious of peaking early
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An English player directs a profanity towards an opponent and Kevin Pietersen defends him saying cricket isn't "for girls". Andrew Symonds is asked whether he used abusive language against another player and he said this was cricket and it wasn't "for boys". We could reasonably infer from these two incidents that they did not mean cricket was for women and small children. So, voila, we now know what a game for men is all about! And all those who told us manhood was about being courageous and cultured were just ignorant misfits. So all you young men out there, waiting to step into the real world, follow the Pietersen and Symonds Almanack: practise the right swear words and defend them with all your honour, for then "you'll be a man, my son". What a pity. Maybe we should just watch them, then, and not hear them, because there is actually much to admire there.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Yousuf has retired "for now". There is nothing unusual about that, except that few others before him actually announced it that way. Many great players across eras have retired and returned. Jordan did and Schumacher has and Yousuf's great countryman Imran did - maybe influenced by the ladies' stand chanting "Kabhi alvida na kehna" (never say goodbye) in Lahore during the 1987 World Cup semi-final. While you never know what tomorrow brings in Pakistan cricket, you cannot help get the feeling that this is it for an extremely classy player, who for all his grace and style and runs always had a cloud hovering above him. So with Inzamam gone, and presumably Younis and Yousuf too, you have to wonder who will carry the legacy of great Test batsmen from Pakistan. Hopefully there is a kid out there who wants to play long innings. Maybe Umar Akmal, who has impressed many.

And at the IPL, Sachin Tendulkar continues his purple patch, this time not just as batsman but as captain. He must enjoy this because while his inbox is forever full of accolades about his batting, the captaincy folder has not always been overflowing. But in the first half of the IPL, his leadership has been a breath of fresh air.

Tendulkar's challenge, though, will be to keep his team hungry game after game. Sometimes a winning streak can pose a leadership challenge; players can become complacent, start believing they merely need to turn up

In the first game he backed his youngsters, Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu and R Sathish, and played only three overseas players. In every game thereafter he has given these young players the confidence they need by sending them out at crucial moments. Tiwary, for example, has retained his No. 4 slot ahead of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, Rayudu gets to bat at No. 5, and even Sathish, just returning from the ICL, has a clearly defined role: if he gets 15 or 20 in quick time at the end, and does little else, his captain seems quite happy with him.

Bravo and Pollard occasionally get the No. 3 slot to allow themselves to rediscover form, but I think the best move of all has been to put Ryan McLaren in the side and, in doing so, freeing Lasith Malinga to play the role Tendulkar likes him to: bowl after the new ball and at the death. It helps that McLaren can bat, and indeed the Mumbai Indians now have three allrounders in crucial areas and a floater in Sathish. McLaren doesn't mind bowling up front and that allows Malinga to bowl no more than one over early on, leaving his captain with enough options at the end.

Tendulkar's challenge, though, will be to keep his team hungry game after game. Sometimes a winning streak can pose a leadership challenge; players can become complacent, start believing they merely need to turn up. Already against the King's Xl Punjab they looked ready for the picking and only just scraped through against the weakest side (who are a story in themselves). Hopefully that was a wake-up call for Tendulkar, and if it was, much good will come out of it.

But the team to watch, as ever, is the Rajasthan Royals. Shane Warne is both persuasive leader and child-like colleague. Yes, you read right. I've met him at the toss and at the post-match presentation a few times and he has been excited as a child. That's interesting: one of the greatest cricketers of all time plays a man's game with a child-like fervour. So can the two go together? Maybe that's one for Kevin and Andrew to mull over.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 6, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    what a bunch of trolls here.... Sachin is anyday brainier than any recent cricketer, to add to his batting skills. He is selfish... ahh right, go sit in front of a mirror and chant that a million times, may be it turns true! What Saad and Carnage2 said is apt... its not his Responsibility to ensure victory, he can only do his bit in a team game. What good was Ponting when he had under performing bowlers in 2 Ashes series? Saurav's captaincy is hyped too much.. He was a good leader, without doubt, but what would he have done without Dravid and Kumble, who between them were responsible for more than 80% of his Test wins? Its a team game, learn to respect the fact that outcomes depend on team play and give credit to genius in the individual skills where its due. Rest is all crap!

  • Dayanidhisn on April 6, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    One thing which is glaring is that the Mumbai Indians outfit is totally non mumbaikar outfit except the leader and we talk about grooming youngsters in IPL when its all only Vitamin M.The next IPL, i want two new rules-mandatory 4 players from the particular state of any IPL team and no imports from other states having IPL franchise. Sathish playing for Mumbai,Kohli for benguluru and Rohit Sharma playing for Hyderabad is unacceptable. Else lets change the names of the bandwagons. Dayanidhi

  • acidfaced on April 6, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar was born to bat, Sourav Ganguly was born to lead. They've both contributed immensely to Indian cricket. Tendulkar showed that Indian batsmen could play the best bowling attacks with aplomb and Dada instilled the belief that winning anywhere was possible. Our core group of players in limited overs cricket was hand picked by him. Let's not create controversy by trying to compare their skils.

  • kewl_Intrepid on April 5, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    @KrazzyIndian..You stole the words from my mouth. Why would Harsha want to compliment his captaincy skills?. When Sachin had all the powers when he was captain, he brought in 6 - 7 Maharastrian players into the team..A captain is responsible for selecting the team. It is for sure that he did a poor job as a captain, hanging on to his friends V.Kambli and Co. Think about Ganguly for a moment, Yes he did have couple of bengali babus and Rohan Gavaskar in his team. But he was the one who showed us without Sachin's contribution India can still win.. I would like to ask how many of you switched off your TV after Sachin got out in Natwest Trophy finals (2002) against England. I don't see his captaincy is any good for Team India

  • Psyc_s on April 5, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    People who call Sachin a selfish guy is different in many ways and they wanted to have their own identity among ocean of Sachin's supporters. They call him selfish, not a match winner, poor captain, Tax waiver and more worse things. It seems as though they have incurable inferiority complex, not properly cared by their parents, dumped by their girl friends & cursed by their friends in real world and they are longing for someone to talk or atleast fight them by writing something against reality and that too in modern mass media where no one has any identity and many people will start commenting without reading what the story is all about...Nice Article HB...Gud it would have been without comparisions about KP & Andrew.

  • krazzyindian on April 4, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    I am confident Harsha B is going to author a book titled "The art of making a career out of kissing Sachins Behind".

  • knowledge_eater on April 4, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    @carnage2 exactly .. forget us.... forget the critics. We will be sad for a day or two, when his runs were short to win for India in few occasions. But, Just imagine, what would he be telling everyone in dressing room on field to his close friends and to even himself for long long long 20 years. Its just telling himself and other team members "hey don't worry" this might be the match for us. This might be the WC for us. I have been in to situation myself, in even gully cricket, where I scored good enough runs but still we have lost the match. You know what it doesn't feel great. I don't taste dinner same on that day. You know what never mind. I have decided to ignore the troll and at least not feed the leeches. The reason why I see jealousy coming, because he has break the barrier of expectation long time ago for me. What ever he is doing for India is "Desert" for me, I have already ate the full lunch and full dinner. Peace

  • tangs045 on April 4, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Take bow!!!!!!Master.....

  • zxaar on April 4, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    "Its pity that Sachin have to face such hypocrisy from his own country even after he has served his country like nobody have achieved." ----------------- some people are too much jealous of someone else success. Those who make such poor comments about other successful players are one of two types of people : (1) who can not stand others being successful or (2) they can not stand the fact that their beloved player is not as good as player they hate. In this case of sachin, these are the players who want their heroes to be as successful as sachin. But since their heroes can not achieve things sachin has achieved, they try to belittle his achievements. They live in denial and telling the truth is not gonna change them.

  • carnage2 on April 4, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    I'm having hard time understanding the definition of these guys to call sumone "Selfish cricketer" , if scoring 100's in a losing cause is being Selfish , then Lara is more Selfish.Only 8 of his 34 test hundreds have resulted in WI win.if Getting big scores in a losing cause means you don't care about your country then Sachin is not the only one guilty of this.2 Aussies RTP and Haydos hold the records of highest scores in a losing cause in both major forms of the game.Were they selfish that they couldn't play a match winning knock? Hashim Amla tried everything to avoid defeat in Kolkata , but couldn't do it. was he selfish? Herchelle gibbs got out without finishing the job on 175 too in that epic 434 run chase , but his teammates in the end were just good enough to get the team over the line , had SA lost the match , would that be considered as selfish too from gibbs.RTP also scored 160 odd in that match , was it selfish from ricky ponting , was he only caring abt his personal records

  • on April 6, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    what a bunch of trolls here.... Sachin is anyday brainier than any recent cricketer, to add to his batting skills. He is selfish... ahh right, go sit in front of a mirror and chant that a million times, may be it turns true! What Saad and Carnage2 said is apt... its not his Responsibility to ensure victory, he can only do his bit in a team game. What good was Ponting when he had under performing bowlers in 2 Ashes series? Saurav's captaincy is hyped too much.. He was a good leader, without doubt, but what would he have done without Dravid and Kumble, who between them were responsible for more than 80% of his Test wins? Its a team game, learn to respect the fact that outcomes depend on team play and give credit to genius in the individual skills where its due. Rest is all crap!

  • Dayanidhisn on April 6, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    One thing which is glaring is that the Mumbai Indians outfit is totally non mumbaikar outfit except the leader and we talk about grooming youngsters in IPL when its all only Vitamin M.The next IPL, i want two new rules-mandatory 4 players from the particular state of any IPL team and no imports from other states having IPL franchise. Sathish playing for Mumbai,Kohli for benguluru and Rohit Sharma playing for Hyderabad is unacceptable. Else lets change the names of the bandwagons. Dayanidhi

  • acidfaced on April 6, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar was born to bat, Sourav Ganguly was born to lead. They've both contributed immensely to Indian cricket. Tendulkar showed that Indian batsmen could play the best bowling attacks with aplomb and Dada instilled the belief that winning anywhere was possible. Our core group of players in limited overs cricket was hand picked by him. Let's not create controversy by trying to compare their skils.

  • kewl_Intrepid on April 5, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    @KrazzyIndian..You stole the words from my mouth. Why would Harsha want to compliment his captaincy skills?. When Sachin had all the powers when he was captain, he brought in 6 - 7 Maharastrian players into the team..A captain is responsible for selecting the team. It is for sure that he did a poor job as a captain, hanging on to his friends V.Kambli and Co. Think about Ganguly for a moment, Yes he did have couple of bengali babus and Rohan Gavaskar in his team. But he was the one who showed us without Sachin's contribution India can still win.. I would like to ask how many of you switched off your TV after Sachin got out in Natwest Trophy finals (2002) against England. I don't see his captaincy is any good for Team India

  • Psyc_s on April 5, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    People who call Sachin a selfish guy is different in many ways and they wanted to have their own identity among ocean of Sachin's supporters. They call him selfish, not a match winner, poor captain, Tax waiver and more worse things. It seems as though they have incurable inferiority complex, not properly cared by their parents, dumped by their girl friends & cursed by their friends in real world and they are longing for someone to talk or atleast fight them by writing something against reality and that too in modern mass media where no one has any identity and many people will start commenting without reading what the story is all about...Nice Article HB...Gud it would have been without comparisions about KP & Andrew.

  • krazzyindian on April 4, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    I am confident Harsha B is going to author a book titled "The art of making a career out of kissing Sachins Behind".

  • knowledge_eater on April 4, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    @carnage2 exactly .. forget us.... forget the critics. We will be sad for a day or two, when his runs were short to win for India in few occasions. But, Just imagine, what would he be telling everyone in dressing room on field to his close friends and to even himself for long long long 20 years. Its just telling himself and other team members "hey don't worry" this might be the match for us. This might be the WC for us. I have been in to situation myself, in even gully cricket, where I scored good enough runs but still we have lost the match. You know what it doesn't feel great. I don't taste dinner same on that day. You know what never mind. I have decided to ignore the troll and at least not feed the leeches. The reason why I see jealousy coming, because he has break the barrier of expectation long time ago for me. What ever he is doing for India is "Desert" for me, I have already ate the full lunch and full dinner. Peace

  • tangs045 on April 4, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Take bow!!!!!!Master.....

  • zxaar on April 4, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    "Its pity that Sachin have to face such hypocrisy from his own country even after he has served his country like nobody have achieved." ----------------- some people are too much jealous of someone else success. Those who make such poor comments about other successful players are one of two types of people : (1) who can not stand others being successful or (2) they can not stand the fact that their beloved player is not as good as player they hate. In this case of sachin, these are the players who want their heroes to be as successful as sachin. But since their heroes can not achieve things sachin has achieved, they try to belittle his achievements. They live in denial and telling the truth is not gonna change them.

  • carnage2 on April 4, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    I'm having hard time understanding the definition of these guys to call sumone "Selfish cricketer" , if scoring 100's in a losing cause is being Selfish , then Lara is more Selfish.Only 8 of his 34 test hundreds have resulted in WI win.if Getting big scores in a losing cause means you don't care about your country then Sachin is not the only one guilty of this.2 Aussies RTP and Haydos hold the records of highest scores in a losing cause in both major forms of the game.Were they selfish that they couldn't play a match winning knock? Hashim Amla tried everything to avoid defeat in Kolkata , but couldn't do it. was he selfish? Herchelle gibbs got out without finishing the job on 175 too in that epic 434 run chase , but his teammates in the end were just good enough to get the team over the line , had SA lost the match , would that be considered as selfish too from gibbs.RTP also scored 160 odd in that match , was it selfish from ricky ponting , was he only caring abt his personal records

  • on April 4, 2010, 5:42 GMT

    Its a pity that player of SRTs caliber and greatness is accused to be selfish. If player is scoring centuries and piles of runs it doesn't mean that he have no interest in teams winning and loosing. Sachin have single handedly changed course of many matches and its pity that below par Indian team have failed to turn em into victories. Just look at Sachin's recent 175. However India's hopeful future failed to to score easy 15 of 12 balls. Sachin's tendency and capacity to score centuries and piles of runs cant be blamed for India's below par performance. I haven't heard a single West Indian blaming Brian Lara's 400 for their teams draw or his 5 or 6 double centuries which ended up in the losing cause. Its pity that Sachin have to face such hypocrisy from his own country even after he has served his country like nobody have achieved.

  • carnage2 on April 3, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    I just want to tell everyone that .

    PLEASE don't feed The trolls. We know sachin is great and he will always remain great. The Jealous haters will always try to belittle his contribution to Indian cricket , Just because people say Sachin is selfish , doesn't make him selfish. Their arguments are self contradictory and lame.

  • knowledge_eater on April 3, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    I hope ppl. are not carried away with this evil troll, I won't be surprised if the evil troll are actually big supporter of Tendulkar him self haha and they will declare and wait for others to reply see how did I provoke fire .. haha see how did I increase rating for Tendulkar ..hhaha see how did I make Sachin on hot searches again hahaha We have no life other than Tendulkar, leave the poor guy alone. Even I am seeing ppl. are stealing his bat in MI, I saw Pollard, Bravo and Bhajji ... haha "Welcome to Stalking Academy Of Tendulkar" What do you have to do to get in admission. All you have to do is say Sachin Tendulkar, tendya, or SRT. When ever there will be exam in this academy .. there will be one option always Sachin Tendulkar. You will get an A. When teacher ask question any question in class .. raise a finger and say Sachin Tendulkar. hahaha I hope they don't include Sachin Tendulkar in as a noun or verb in Dictionary. You never know, they might Tendulkar fever is still hot. lol

  • Kreacher_Rocks on April 3, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan, Was your question rhetorical? Of course I have wondered why it is only SRT with you. Didn't you read? Oh, don't answer that. Interestingly you bring up Lara, who has made way more runs in his team's defeat than anybody else in history. Even his mammoth scores of 400 and 375 led to rather boring draws. By your yardstick shouldn't you be calling Lara more selfish? I don't because I believe Lara was a superlative test player, whatever his team's results. So far I have heard SRT say several times that he is happy if his team wins & whether he scores or not is irrelevant. Obviously that doesn't matter to you. So you rant irrespective of whether he scores and leads India to a victory, or he scores heavily in a defeat, or he doesn't score in either victory or defeat (though there are 10 others in the team in each scenario). Quit making money for yourself and contribute more to the country, and if you don't make any money, contribute more of it to the country nonetheless.

  • Mina_Anand on April 3, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    Looks as if most of the readers here are not 'girls' or 'boys' - but 'men' !

    Not 'manly' at that !

  • henchart on April 3, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    There are two things you cant say in India -Sachin Tendulkar plays only for records and there were/are better playback singers than Lata Mangeshkar.Either of these two statements mounts to sacrilege.Folks dont have a go at each other over SRT .He is the last person affected by your for and against statements about his batting prowess.He is laughing his way to the bank ,anyways.As far as people like Bhogle are concerned,they get paid for setting the cat amongst the pigeons.

  • crikkfan on April 3, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    sachin_isnt_god Have you considered that Sachin is playing for 20 years bcoz he is THAT GOOD??? Cynics like you will always remain for every great personality.

  • on April 3, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    its a dangre inning by vijay.RR In problem

  • gr8_sachin_fan on April 3, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    @sachin_isnt_god, very remarkable point.. Its with nauseating regularity that the guy gives statements, after some match were he has scored a meaningless personal record, and the team has lost, saying that he was very sad even though he scored this much and this much but the team lost.. like u said, "only those people repeatedly say such things who want to give the impression that they are a team player but are actually not".. and like i said, "when you enter every single match with the only objective of achieving personal milestones regardless of wether ur team wins or loses, and if in that process you can lead a billion people to believe otherwise"....

  • nirasir on April 3, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Harsha's articles for some time has been on a rapid slide.He is clearly a confused mind now.KP and Symo's remarks have been misconstrued here.They told whatever they did not to justify themselves,but to mean that their words need to be taken in the right spirit , the way they do.Coming from Harsha, it sounded like cheap deification of one at the cost of demonisation of others...As for captaincy, if Sachin had been given to lead the team that Lara did for most part of his captaincy,hewould have cried aloud...Is it ideal to quit captaincy for it affects one's own game ? Has not Ponting's personal scores come down because of the burden of captaining an inexperienced team that loses more regularly ?

  • sachin_isnt_god on April 3, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan.couldn't agree more with you.it is so obvious that sachin only care about making runs and setting records otherwise he wouldn't play for twenty years..he wants to set the record so high so that no one comes close..he is always mentioning that centuries are not important to him as long as the team wins..only those people repeatedly say such things who want to give the impression that they are a team player but are actually not..the fact is that sachin is not a "winner"..of course he is a great batsman scoring many runs so by default the team will win but he will never win the big ones like world cup and IPL because he is selfish..just like charles barkley in the NBA and terrel owens in NFL and countless more great players..is it really a surprise that India won t20 world cup and sachin wasn't there?.he can play the IPL but not for India? (because he obv cant set any records there)..if he really cared about winning for india he would be playing t20 for india

  • Gk16 on April 3, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan: let me explain in simple terms. A bowler has to take wickets to enable his team to win. A batsman has to score runs briskly and consistently to earn the same result. Sachin, as a batsman, is doing his job far better than anybody else for 2 decades... shane warne, mcgrath, kumble etc have been doing the same in their departments(bowling). His records and stats are by-products of his 20 yrs career. you cant wish to add his score only to the team' tally and not to his personal records. I don't know where "selfish" comes into the picture when he's doing his job perfectly. He gets runs, team gets runs and he contributes in fielding. That's what he can do... he cant hold zaheer's hand and teach him to bowl or teach dhoni to keep wickets. Cricket is a team game and everyone has to contribute. If others don't put in their effort, the team cant win even if one or two players perform superbly. If u don't know what is a team game, go watch golf or tennis.

  • zxaar on April 3, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    "When you have immense god-gifted talent, and with that talent you enter every single match with the only objective of achieving personal milestones regardless of wether ur team wins or loses," ------- okey wise guy you tell what to do other than scoring runs for team so that you can call it selfless act. The guy has scored most runs in both forms of cricket. According to your logic when tendulkar is at 99 he should hit his wicket and get out. So that his personal milestone will not be reached. By some strange logic of yours it is suppose to help team. Or you are saying that sehwag getting out at 10 is immensly helping team since he did not get personal milestone. Can you tell a way that batsman can not get personal milestones like 100s 200s and help his team score 350runs in odis and 600+ runs in tests (because untill and unless you score 350+ in odis and 600+ in tests yoour team's chance of winning are not guaranteed). So enlighten us, how to help team without scoring runs.

  • CoolShubham on April 3, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    HI HARSHA, I READ YOUR BLOG ABOUT SACHIN'S CAPTAINCY AND I AGREE TO WHAT YOU HAVE SAID. MUMBAI INDIANS , I THINK, MAY GET CARRIED AWAY. THEY ONLY NEED ONE DEFEAT TO LOSE ALL THEIR CONFIDENCE. IT COULD BE IN SEMI-FINALS AS WELL.THANKS FOR YOUR TIME....

  • akpy on April 3, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    A captain is as good as his team...yes, there are definitely a lot of responsibilities but the end result depends on the 11 players, not just the captain. On the attitude of players, each one to their own, as long as there are no personal comments or a stupid comment like gambhir's about RR...the young indian cricketers are no saints and hence, we cant only talk about kp, symmo, mcgrath. Best cricketers by far are from new zealand, led by captain marvel, Dan vettori..who could play for 20 years without anyone noticing it..every team can learn from new zealand, as they play as hard as anyone and to the best of their abilities..mccullum, taylor are all v.aggressive but just in their cricket...credit to the new zealand culture and upbringing i suppose..

  • Mesh713 on April 3, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    @GK16....GREAT COMMENT....

  • gr8_sachin_fan on April 3, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    @Kreacher_rocks, thanks for the attention.. Have u ever wondered why its only SRT with me, and never dravid, kumble, ganguly, gavaskar, kapil dev, or for that matter not even lara, ponting or kallis.. When you have immense god-gifted talent, and with that talent you enter every single match with the only objective of achieving personal milestones regardless of wether ur team wins or loses, and if in that process you can lead a billion people to believe otherwise, you can score more than 17000 runs in ODIs and more than 13000 runs in Tests.. And u still have the guts to declare that you will play till 15000 test mark.. Please remember, the ambition is clear to score more runs, there is not a mention of helping the team win more matches.. Thanks, Kreacher_rocks, i am in peace with my life!!!

  • missileh on April 3, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    All of us (at work) play for ourselves. When we have some problem (financial, personal or anything) in the company we work with, most of us leave the company and switch over to a new one for better money, appreciation, life and what not...! If you consider cricket as a profession, then sachin has never had the option to change his 'company' (Team India). He continued to play even in the worst of times (when he had his best bowlers lost due to shoulder injuries in the form of kumble, prasad and srinath), when in 1 year he had to try atleast 9 opening partners (1997), 7 to 8 'medium pacers', 4 to 5 'spinners'!! How can anyone lead such a 'team'. There were problems all around during that time but he had no option like us (leave our 'team' and 'move on')...

    About not winning matches, well to all those who have accused sachin (even after that 175 in hyderabad) for this, I could only say that they don't know wht is a 'team game'...

  • asicengineer on April 3, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    I'm a great fan of sachin, but i also believe in stats. I'd like to see sachin's batting strike rate in test matches. I know it hardly matters in tests, but it'll be nice to have anyways. Same with sunny as well. Ppl who started along the time that sachin did have their strike rates. I get to see lara's strike rate. Is there something missing?

  • dbping on April 3, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    Not a single article about Sachin passes without some form of Sachin bashing from gr8_sachin_fan. Granted, he has been praised to high heavens while others equally great have been disparaged. But please do indicate where you have come across this selfishness. The only thing that you keep harping about is a pitiful reference to his captaincy

  • siva87 on April 3, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    Sachin is more than 35 now.Remember the day when he scored 175 Vs Australia,he had hit 4 straight sixes.He usually doesn't hit straight sixes after his back pain came.

  • cricket_fan_1 on April 3, 2010, 2:46 GMT

    Going by all what is being said is that scoring runs for yourself and your team is being selfish. From that, Brett le has has been least selfish and most generous and should be most loved by those accusing Sachin of selfishness. Fact of the matter is, there are always going to be people who like to hate legends and great people because they themselves or their loved ones are not even close to the legend. cheers.

  • pmkulkarni on April 3, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    I think one cannot assess a captain without assessing the team he was captaining. Any comments from someone who thinks Sachin was not a great captain??? This was the Indian team when Sachin was Captain --- V Rathour WV Raman SC Ganguly SR Tendulkar* M Azharuddin R Dravid NR Mongia† A Kumble J Srinath David Johnson BKV Prasad

  • on April 2, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    Sachin Sachin.. why its always Sachin... Harsha.. is this the way you make your money always ....!! Let him alone

  • Vignamitra on April 2, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    The one major thing i want from the ipl is for sachin to do well as captain. Captaincy has been one area where statistics do not reflect his skill. His experience is unmatched, his judgement of situation nonpareil, he is to me cricket's own son. So, he deserves to win as captain. And this year, the smile on his face says it all ( like the one when brett lee got out in the last game)- Priceless!!!. Great article as always from Harsha!!

  • Suri.K on April 2, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan Are you kidding me!!!... Sachin is scoring at over 150.00 stricke rate and u say he is playing selfish. Does playing for the team just means risking ur wicket at the cost of team???? look at the stats of Yousuf, Gilchrist, Raina, Warner and Uttappa......they failed risking 6 at crucial stages which cost their team valuable points. Sachin is taking calculated risks and is playing anchor role with other playing around him. Mumbai Indians are at the top of the table just b'cos of him....we have seen what happens (to the team) when he didn't perform during the last 2 seasons.

  • Kreacher_Rocks on April 2, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan, I look forward to the comments section of Cricinfo just for the fun of seeing what you have posted and how you have dragged SRT into it. Your comments do elicit roars of laughter along with a shake of the head saying, "This guy seriously needs a life."

    You remind me of a Shiv Sena politician, who can never be happy without moaning and complaining about someone else for your own shortcomings. It doesn't matter to you that SRT scored 200 in an ODI with a humongous strike rate, or that all his 50's in this season of IPL 3 were scored fantastically fast AND resulted in team victories - you always like to post that he is playing for records.

    What happened? Did SRT refuse you an autograph? Or did someone say bad things to you and you felt the need to vent here?

    I am going to change my sign-in name to "gr8_fan_of_gr8_sachin_fan", and write about how you live only for yourself and for making money, not for the rest of your country. That should be enjoyable! Peace.

  • SrikanthReddi on April 2, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Harsha.. I simply love your piece on cricket.You are the genius. Critics wage tongues irrespective of Sachin scores or not. When Sachin fails, critics say he failed the team. But when Sachin scores, same critics say Sachin still failed the team and sated his personal hunger for records. Comeon guys, give me break.Honestly, I don't care.

  • knowledge_eater on April 2, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    and about evil troll going around cricinfo's comment page hahaha i just feel sorry for them .. to be honest more you criticize particular player ... more ppl. have respect for them, who already know they are witnessing something special. Its like we are all leeches hanging on particular player .. and getting attention from the world just by including the name .. its quite sadistic .. very sad sad people, who doesn't even like when their siblings breath more oxygen than they are. Hahaha here is something will shock all of us : None reads these comments other than crazy stalkers like us .. they are like flies who burn in flames, and flames won't even feel a thing. haha very sad but true. None is going to call you and ask you, hey do you want an autograph haha sad but true. Welcome to stalkingcricketers 101.

  • badzaah on April 2, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    @Harsha - I am a Tendlya fan but this article is highly biased towards Tendulkar, what do you want to convey? KP and Symo play the game in a certain way and as they say each to his own. No one has a right to pass judgements on them. As far as Sachin's captaincy is concerned it doesn't simply matter because end of the day IPL is not an international tournament.The article put Sachin on a higher moral pedestal than Symo and KP; and nobody has a right to do that. Its a surprise that someone like Harsha wrote it. @Tendlya critics - Funny that you guys are grabbing this opportunity to put down Tendulkar. "He is accumulating runs as usual for personal records even in IPL" The logic - he is not hitting sixes. Strange! So what if he is one of the leading boundary scorers, we will conveniently (choose to) ignore it? "Bhajji got fined under his captaincy" So now he gets blamed if someone else sledges impromptu! Double standards.

  • Gk16 on April 2, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan: okay sachin plays for personal records... so wat? his score adds up to the teams total and he doesnt eat up balls.... wat if he doesnt hit sixes? a 60 run innings from 40 to 45 balls with 8 or 9 boundaries is wat is needed... not hitting a six is not a reason to say he's selfish... u hav to appreciate that he's able to play in par with young players without slogging like a pinch hitter or taking any risks... I wont be suprised if u say tat sachin is selfish because he's not giving any of his prize money to you... utter lack of cricketing knowledge or courtesy. anyway u provide good comic relief... keep on targeting him and he'll answer with his bat...not with his mouth which is the only thing u do... just talking talking...

  • viku13a13a on April 2, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Gr8_sachin_fan..... are you? you claim you are great sachin fan... but you wrote everything against him... if it was true i would say you are honest... but This is IPL buddy who the hell plays this game for sport or any other means... It is all about money everyone involved in IPL is all about money... So if SRT does it why not I would say he should be paid minimum of 10 Million US $$ per year to paly because he damn sure deserves it. Cricket is a team sport one man can not be responsible for other 10's action. Harsha... i would say when your are watching live cricket after every ball read each bowler's lips they all have lot to say weather it is a good ball or bad.. they all "F" this and "F" that...i am sure you have been lot closer than me so you all ready know.. it is just matter of who gets cought doing it.. Mr. Yousuf Very good cricketer but i think he has always been a cry baby.. i want to see him once stand for him self ... just once..

  • US_Cricket_Fan on April 2, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    gr8_sachin_fan has spoken my words!! Tendlya (as gavaskar likes to call him) has always been about himself..he's still around just so he can get all the records..he's one of the all-time greats no doubt..there's a perception out there that lara is selfish..on what grounds i don't know but looking at sachin, it seems like he's the selfish one..but the 1.2 billion indians won't accept that idea so the 'reality' becomes what the 'majority' says..thats how the world is anyway..if u repeat sth a few times, that becomes the truth!! just deviated a little from my point a little i guess..and my main point was sachin is a great great player but he's chasing the records..

  • knowledge_eater on April 2, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    I am never fan using foul word on pitch, however I do try to make sentence which can unsettle players mind. Like when new bats man come, I use to keep shouting, "new batsman is on the crease, he must be under pressure, take his wicket now." Its obvious that he is under pressure. Also, when captain comes, I say, look captain has come on crease, he is on tremendous pressure.When I am outside, I cheer like so opposition can hear me, e.g. if my team batsman his hitting 4's and 6's, i shout like take this guy's wicket now or you will loose. Often if i know that particular opposition's player is very good, I often shout, take this guy wicket then its over. And when his wicket is taken, i keep repeating its over now, you can't win anymore, your best guy is gone. I got sledged a lot, by opp. because I use to open, and take my time before settling, the best way to cope with it is to sledge your self, like hey I am baby hit me bouncer. In fact, i was good puller, so it backfires Peace

  • Kilat on April 2, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    Livinproof, you might disagree with Harsha's criticism of Symonds and KP, but this has nothing to do with Sachin Tendulkar's captaincy. It doesn't even have anything to do with Harbhajan Singh: Harsha's comment did not concern swearing per se, but the use of the child-man dichotomy as justification. If you want to express your grievances against Harbhajan, start a blog. Don't misappropriate Harsha Bhogle's deservedly large readership in order to air an irrelevant grudge.

  • DAN22 on April 2, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Hey Gr8_Sachin_Fan, how can a person chasing only personal records own the record for getting out in the 90's. If he had converted even half of those 90's he would have a hundred tons by now.

    BTW I always felt that a brilliant cricketer like Sachin would be a great captain but feel that his luck wasnt on his side. He captained India through the worst of the scandals when probably half the team was playing for dirty money. Also probably as a captain he feels he cannot ask his teammates to do what he cant. This was Ganguly's greatest gift as he can even now glare and shout at a misfield while not being the best fielder.

    Winning the IPL as a captain probably comes too late but might have been a blessing in disguise as in losing a good captain we retained the finest batsman (arguably) of our generation.

  • Worldchamps on April 2, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    Harsha, I think you forgot an important piece in the Mumbai puzzle in Shikar Dhawan. He has been a revelation so far and has helped in atleast 3 victories, I wonder what the Daredevils are thinking now after they let him go. I always thought he was underutilized in the last 2 IPL's. Coming to the sledging/swearing comments, I think we will always have characters like Bhajji, Symonds and KP in every sport and that's what makes sports interesting. It is my opinion that kids do not learn this stuff from their idols, it is the innate nature of a person whether he turns aggressive or sedate.

  • Chandar on April 2, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    @livinproof: Harsha is ciriticising KP and Symonds only because they were trying to defend wat they did.

  • on April 2, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Sachin could or could not have been a great captain we will never know. But even Mike Bearley with Noel David (remember him) could not win against Zimbabwe. Then maybe it is a character foley to be captain an Indian team you need to be a bit like a street bully which Ganguly and Dhoni possessed ...even Dravid and Kumble who are more like Sachin were not great success...also by then Indian team under wright and Ganguly had acquired a certain character, to fight.

  • livinproof on April 2, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    Bhogle's article displays bias; he questions, and even ridicules the character of KP and Symonds when it comes to swearing, before lavishing praise on a captain whose strike bowler, Harbhajan Singh, has just been fined 15 grand for his latest abusive language offense in what is an extensive back catalogue of previous. Is Bhogle's compiling an Alamanck of Selective High Horse Journalism so I can understand why he singles out two foreign cricketers for criticism and mockery when the behaviour is in fact widespread and common place within the game.

  • gr8_sachin_fan on April 2, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    Sachin is playing IPL3 just like he has played the rest of his cricket. To build up personal statistics for himself. Thats why he scored a number of half centuries without any of them having an impact. Just check why he is intent on scoring less risky shots on the leg side and has only 1 six till date. I felt he could not rise above his self interest to play for the country, but now it somes he cannot leave his self even for the IPL money. For him, everything begins and ends with his personal records. Has there ever been a more self-minded player than him?

  • on April 2, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    Harsha in this world of choices, it is for us to choose who we want as idols. I know that Indian men in sport have always been idolised as people who do good and do not let out a single swear word. This is so not true and this can be seen clearly in today's television coverage. KP and Symmo can be idols too as much as Dravid, Kumble and Tendulkar, as they all play the same game. There is nothing wrong with a display of aggression or passion and there is no offence to anyone. We've got to stop fussing over the silly things and focus on the greater challenges of the game. I think your column should be a bi-weekly or monthly column as the standards are dropping now.

  • Jiteendra on April 2, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    Sachin as always is a great, pure n wonderful entertainer... with his class, quality, temperament n patience he has ruled the cricket for almost two decades.. now he is bringing the same passion into his captaincy and leading Mumbai Indians surely towards the crown...

  • Sekhar_S on April 2, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    One thing that surprises me about Mumbai Indians is that they are yet to play the famous Mumbai trio of Ajinkya Rahane,Dhawal Kulkarni and Abhishek Nayar.The way the ex-rebels and the lad from Jharkhand have responded to their captain's requirements is highly commendable.Satish proved that he is Mumbai's gain and Chennai's loss.Two more wins will seal their place in the semis and in the rest of the league games I expect the Mumbai trio to get some games.MI's success so far should be attributed not only to Sachin but also to Robin Singh,T A Sekar and Jonty Rhodes.

  • Khirubagaran on April 2, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    Mumbai seems to be the only champion side in IPL 3. Tendulkar's current form is transmitted to rest of the players so the positive energy and a happy outfit. 2 wins from now and they can experiment with few new faces. 13th and 14th match bring back the original team and prepare mentally for semis and stay positive for finals... Mumbai Indians throughly deserve the cup with Sachin not leading by example but also staying pure without politics and vengeance. Hail Sachin

  • AlokJoshi on April 2, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    Using improper language, or resorting to words that demean ladies and children, is inappropriate. Yet use of cuss words in cricket is rampant and hence it is unfair to single out names. This is a cultural issue, with different tolerance levels. Indian players also use unmentionable language but the writer has chosen to ignore those outbursts. In any case, this matter is best addressed by players' code of conduct. Interestingly, whilst Harsha wrote on twitter.com (dug out his 18 March 10 tweet), "rr lack of depth exposed.ordinary selection.worst come upon them.if warne looks at that dressing room,there is no one he can turn to", this article proclaims RR as the team to watch. Kindly decide Mr Bhogle: Is RR a team to watch out for or not? Captaincy of Sachin will be put to test in later stages of tournament albeit that MI has done well so far. Sachin must muster all of his limited captaincy experience to win the ongoing edition of IPL. As usual, the endgames will separate boys from men!

  • Herath-UK on April 2, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Harsha, I always like your comments/commentary however you seem to have gone a little more jingoistic on this occasion suggesting to overlook star international players for local untapped talent;isn't the whole IPL concept is in jeopardy in that case,why call international players at all & get your local boys only.Mumbai has deprived us to enjoy the power hitting ability & skills of Pollard etc because of this policy. In the case of Warne with child like enthusiasm,well I'll tell you money has done more wonders than that!money talks & you can add here it smiles too!

    Kent

  • Stromeon on April 2, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Talking about Shane Warne as a captain, he was very unlucky not to captain aus because they had superb captains in ponting etc. Also on Mohammad Yousuf, lets hope he comes back as he is a superb batsman to watch

  • vxttemp on April 2, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    If I'm not wrong, cricket is a sport and one should probably display cricketing skills. If someone want to sledge and win games then they should probably choose or start a new game which allow to showcase their talents in that. If this is the factor that separates men from buys then I'm sorry guys. Isn't it like Gandhi is a boy and killers in jails are men in your definition. If someone likes sledging and swearing sort of drama then probably they should watch thriller movies :-) :-) Toooo much for today :-) :-)

  • Gupta.Ankur on April 2, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Tendulkar is not only the best batsman and best cricketer ever to have played,but is also a shrewd captain and a master tactician.........

    Tendulkar has always had to pay the price of not his own mediocrity but of his team-mates........

    There have been many experts pointing out sachin's poor captaincy or not winning games,but seldom have they known that its the team that wins or loses not individuals....

    This year sachin has got wonderful talent to work with and his captaincy prowess is coming to the fore..

  • Knightriders_suck on April 2, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Where is Nayar???? he is a better batsman and a better bowler than Satish. and he is a Mumbaikar

  • JogeshPanda on April 2, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    @Harsha, not in the level of your high standards of writing, 1st of all What Pietersen or Symmos are doing cricketing world really unbothered about and mentioning them is more of given unwanted attention to smethin trivial in cricket. Now Coming to yousuf truely said it was expected and a great is not treated well n he has every right to go away " for now" or "for ever". The last part about Sachin's Captainship, its not fair to judge in these T20s. There is a big chink in MI, they are not picking a proper wicket keeper and paying extra byes and fumbles. On a crucial day it may be costly. I still feel sachin is less a gambler than any other captains and that brings lots of predictability. I really dont bother abt his captainship since he has achieved so much as a sportsperson. So all this discussion is unnecessary.

  • rustin on April 2, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    @Sibasish109: "letting your basic instincts take over" This is exactly what Harsha is contradicting: With maturity you should control your instincts and not let them take over you. Your entire focus should be on playing well. Sledging is for those who are devoid of cricketing talent and have to resort to "below the belt" tactics. Of course there are greats who have indulged in it. But just look at Sachin Tendulkar for further details. Is he not competitive?

  • ram5160 on April 2, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Well, I ve heard many girls and small children speak in terms you would not believe. Maybe its because they want to play cricket??? I do think ur making too much of this swearing in cricket. Its everywhere in society. If u watch Martin Scorsese's films, a sentence is incomplete without a swear word.

  • vikpai on April 2, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    Maybe its time for the next season of the IPL to do something different. Maybe its time for gender equality in sports. I think the next season of the IPL should have at least two women players per team, one being an Indian woman cricketer and another from any other country. I think if the ICC wants to popularize cricket, women should be given an opportunity to play along with men and I believe the IPL can go a long way towards making that possible.

  • alokmishra2003 on April 2, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Mumbai is doing good, because Sachin is in great nick. He is among the runs and that's making difference in his captainship. He is a great thinker of the game but he could not do wonders with his early assignments with captaincy. Thank you Master for giving us these exciting moments.

  • Percy_Fender on April 2, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    I am not sure about this 'peaking early'theory that is talked about often in the IPL. I feel that if all the players of a team are in great form either in a group or individually right through the tournament, the team having this will go all the way if luck also favours them. That is the crucial factor. Luck. I remember India won all their matches in the WCC in Australia in 1985 including the finals against Pakistan. Just before that they had lost to England in India 2-1, if I am not mistaken. No one really gave India much of a chance in the WCC. It was Sunil Gavaskar's swansong in ODIs as captain as well. Kapil took over for the Sharjah tournament immediately after that. The way the MI are playing, with their youngsters coming good and Sachin himself in sublime form, I think they will win this edition of the IPL without any trouble. Considering the great rivalry between Mumbai and Delhi, it might just be these two contesting the finals.May the better team win.

  • Hassie on April 2, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Umar Akmal is an asset for Pakistans Cricket future. But he hasn't got the experience which yousuf and yunus got. Players like Shoaib Malik and Akmal brothers got to share the work load of the team.

  • Sibasish109 on April 2, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Dont agree with your first part Harsha. Cricket without the Merv Hughes banter and McGrathesque abuse is a poorer game, I believe. I would love if the sport would get more visceral and verbal abuse is a part of the game. And it really separates men from boys. And for that matter, KP doesn't go about abusing every other man on planet. If he utters a few pleasantries once in a while, I as a follower would be okay. Symonds abused Pathan and Pathan just drowned DC. That's what sport is about. Being competitive, and sometimes letting your basic instincts take over.

  • RedShirt on April 2, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    Good piece, Harsha. But you didnt write anything about kumble. If kevin and symmo are rouge-like and warne child-like, kumle is much statesman-like. He did a great job in the last season. I hope he becomes the winning captain this season.

  • on April 2, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    The reason why Mumbai nearly lost to Punjab is because Mahela Jayawardene captained Punjab, not because Mumbai became complacent. Mahela is, by far, a much better captain than Kumar Sangakkara, who is, IMHO, good only for diplomacy.

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  • on April 2, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    The reason why Mumbai nearly lost to Punjab is because Mahela Jayawardene captained Punjab, not because Mumbai became complacent. Mahela is, by far, a much better captain than Kumar Sangakkara, who is, IMHO, good only for diplomacy.

  • RedShirt on April 2, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    Good piece, Harsha. But you didnt write anything about kumble. If kevin and symmo are rouge-like and warne child-like, kumle is much statesman-like. He did a great job in the last season. I hope he becomes the winning captain this season.

  • Sibasish109 on April 2, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Dont agree with your first part Harsha. Cricket without the Merv Hughes banter and McGrathesque abuse is a poorer game, I believe. I would love if the sport would get more visceral and verbal abuse is a part of the game. And it really separates men from boys. And for that matter, KP doesn't go about abusing every other man on planet. If he utters a few pleasantries once in a while, I as a follower would be okay. Symonds abused Pathan and Pathan just drowned DC. That's what sport is about. Being competitive, and sometimes letting your basic instincts take over.

  • Hassie on April 2, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Umar Akmal is an asset for Pakistans Cricket future. But he hasn't got the experience which yousuf and yunus got. Players like Shoaib Malik and Akmal brothers got to share the work load of the team.

  • Percy_Fender on April 2, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    I am not sure about this 'peaking early'theory that is talked about often in the IPL. I feel that if all the players of a team are in great form either in a group or individually right through the tournament, the team having this will go all the way if luck also favours them. That is the crucial factor. Luck. I remember India won all their matches in the WCC in Australia in 1985 including the finals against Pakistan. Just before that they had lost to England in India 2-1, if I am not mistaken. No one really gave India much of a chance in the WCC. It was Sunil Gavaskar's swansong in ODIs as captain as well. Kapil took over for the Sharjah tournament immediately after that. The way the MI are playing, with their youngsters coming good and Sachin himself in sublime form, I think they will win this edition of the IPL without any trouble. Considering the great rivalry between Mumbai and Delhi, it might just be these two contesting the finals.May the better team win.

  • alokmishra2003 on April 2, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Mumbai is doing good, because Sachin is in great nick. He is among the runs and that's making difference in his captainship. He is a great thinker of the game but he could not do wonders with his early assignments with captaincy. Thank you Master for giving us these exciting moments.

  • vikpai on April 2, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    Maybe its time for the next season of the IPL to do something different. Maybe its time for gender equality in sports. I think the next season of the IPL should have at least two women players per team, one being an Indian woman cricketer and another from any other country. I think if the ICC wants to popularize cricket, women should be given an opportunity to play along with men and I believe the IPL can go a long way towards making that possible.

  • ram5160 on April 2, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Well, I ve heard many girls and small children speak in terms you would not believe. Maybe its because they want to play cricket??? I do think ur making too much of this swearing in cricket. Its everywhere in society. If u watch Martin Scorsese's films, a sentence is incomplete without a swear word.

  • rustin on April 2, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    @Sibasish109: "letting your basic instincts take over" This is exactly what Harsha is contradicting: With maturity you should control your instincts and not let them take over you. Your entire focus should be on playing well. Sledging is for those who are devoid of cricketing talent and have to resort to "below the belt" tactics. Of course there are greats who have indulged in it. But just look at Sachin Tendulkar for further details. Is he not competitive?

  • JogeshPanda on April 2, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    @Harsha, not in the level of your high standards of writing, 1st of all What Pietersen or Symmos are doing cricketing world really unbothered about and mentioning them is more of given unwanted attention to smethin trivial in cricket. Now Coming to yousuf truely said it was expected and a great is not treated well n he has every right to go away " for now" or "for ever". The last part about Sachin's Captainship, its not fair to judge in these T20s. There is a big chink in MI, they are not picking a proper wicket keeper and paying extra byes and fumbles. On a crucial day it may be costly. I still feel sachin is less a gambler than any other captains and that brings lots of predictability. I really dont bother abt his captainship since he has achieved so much as a sportsperson. So all this discussion is unnecessary.