Haryana v Mumbai, Ranji Trophy, Group A, 4th day October 30, 2013

'Tendulkar innings was the difference' - Jadeja


Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten 79 in his final domestic match was the difference between Mumbai and Haryana, Ajay Jadeja has said.

"The innings he played made all the difference," Jadeja, the Haryana captain, said. "In a score of 240, if someone makes 79 not out, then that settles the game. If he is not out, this only tells you that if they needed 25 more or 50 more he may still have got them. Till you get a batsman out, there's always the chance that he'll take the game away from you."

Jadeja tried about as hard as he could to make things difficult for Mumbai with innovative field placements, something his counterpart Zaheer Khan commended. Jadeja placed third man so fine at times for Tendulkar he was standing beside the sightscreen in line behind second slip. He let Dhawal Kulkarni face a bouncer barrage from Mohit Sharma with a short leg and a silly point standing in the batsman's face. Jadeja felt Haryana were in the game till the very end.

"Yes, we lost, but as Zaheer said, no one knew who was going to win till the end. If you look at Mumbai they have lost only 19 matches in the last 70 years… Even with only four runs needed I felt we had a chance. Gameplans come and go, some work, some don't. It was pretty simple, we had to get Tendulkar. There's no team in the world that can win when Tendulkar is in the opposition and you don't get him out. We tried but we couldn't. You call him god, I call him master. If you go by what you call him, then who can fight god and win?"

Jadeja said despite the loss, his players would take a lot from this match, and hoped that Haryana would get an opportunity to play Mumbai again in the knockouts. "I don't think there is anyone in the Haryana dressing room who thinks we haven't progressed in the last four days. The journey never ends. Sachin showed us today that even after 25 years the journey doesn't end. There's always something more to learn.

"We have to get better and make progress. There will be losses along the way. But, hopefully we'll have a chance to play Mumbai again this season, in the final or one of the knockouts. You can't win the Ranji Trophy without beating Mumbai."

The game, played in the village of Lahli outside the city of Rohtak, was watched by thousands of fans on all four days. Jadeja said that at smaller venues, one usually got good attendances, which boosted the players. "Any player wants to see people watching him. Unfortunately, most of us who live in cities don't have the time to go and watch Ranji Trophy games. Here we do get people. If you are in a smaller town, you get crowds and that encourages players to give their best. At the end of the day we are here to play and if there's no one watching it's not as much fun as when there's a full house, whether that's 5000 or 10,000 or 100,000."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • akn on October 31, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    good pic....taking masterclass from master blaster....look at the faces...

  • sam on October 31, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    It was a great game of cricket. Helpful pitch, decent seam bowlers on both sides and a couple of aggressive batsman and extremely experienced seniors made it a great game of cricket.

  • sanjeev on October 31, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    I wish if jadeja could perform well at domestic level and selectors gives him a chance to play atleast a few one day matches(not like in 2004 and 2005 when he was the highest run getter in domestic cricket but was left out due to board politics) to bade him and the countrymen a repectable and memorable farewell! This would be a dream come true for many-many of his hardcore fans like I have been for ages.... May god have some magic span!

  • raj on October 31, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    This was a fitting end to SRT's Domestic career - to remain not out and winning the game for Mumbai! A true champion with a fitting finale. Sadly, he left his international departure a bit late (should have done it after the WC) but we all make mistakes - He is human, after all.

  • Android on October 31, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    happy to see Sachin and jadeja playing together.. jadeja one of heroes of 90's had a come back.. wish too see him with the same action back once again after my childhood.. hope he plays his old tremendous knocks..

    can't accept that Sachin won't play after a month.. we wish him to see him playing in some forms of crickets for some more years..

  • san on October 31, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    One thing I did not understand is, why he did not bowl Joginder sharma... He is the one who looked like getting the wicket with his guile and bowling in the right areas and looked dangerous even at such low pace.... And for someone who took a 5-for in the first innings to bowl only 9 overs in the first 60 is truly baffling..

  • Dummy4 on October 30, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    This is the best example of a match in which there is a good balance between the bat and the ball. If all the pitches in the country are made this way, we will see a rapid increase in the quality of our bowlers. now coming to the contest of the match, sachin played well and showing again a glimpse of what he can do, as Jadeja rightly said. and i hope rahane comes back into the test side. in my opinion, he should be played at no. 3 in the test side and pujara should be at no. 4.

  • nikhil on October 30, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    now that tendulkar is retiring the selectors have the option of replacing tendulkar with jadeja. If he plays well this season he can get selected as well. For the overseas tour we need an experienced players so jadeja has experience. But this might be the last that both jadeja and tendulkar has played in same match.

  • Bhaskar on October 30, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    I think Jadeja was a very shrewd captain, he did wrong things & lost his status for 5 years. He would have been a way better captain than Azhar, do not know how come a non performer like Azhar was allowed to captain Indian in 3 world cups, never to cross even Semi - Final even once. Anyway, he is there to play now & hope he does not repeat his antics which caused him ban for 5 years.

  • Sriram on October 30, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    Ajay Jadeja along with Vinod Kambli, Sreesanth are a few names that comes to my mind who i think were loss to Indian cricket for various reasons! Call it greed, ego or whatever..all 3 had the potential to go the distance in thier career. Although Ajay has recovered in a smart way from the allegations, the other two are nowhere!!

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