IPL cricket: Why is Sachin Tendulkar so harshly judged as captain of Mumbai Indians?

The most revered cricketer in the world is Sachin Tendulkar and if anybody tells you differently, he (or she) should be lowered head first from the top of the Eiffel Tower, have his (or her) ears tweaked, nose tickled with a feather and  knuckles rapped with a sledgehammer.

Usually, there is more tortuous punishment for heresy, but since India was born out of non-violence (never mind Harbhajan Singh planting his palm smack on Sreesanth’s chubby cheek in the first edition of the IPL), the offender could be let off after that and fed a purgative to cleanse his system of such outrageous thoughts.

In India, of course, Tendulkar is not only revered but deified. He is master, lord, master-blaster, god, little master… you can choose the most euphemistic description without fear of reproach or dissent. Everything fits right. Yet, there remains one area where his stupendous record falls short: when it comes to captaincy, god becomes all too mortal and questions are occasionally asked, even if in furtive tones.

It is borne out by Wisden, and from anecdotes real and apocryphal, about how some of the game’s greatest players were somehow never brilliant captains. Hammond, Sobers, Richards, Lara, Botham are a few names that come readily to mind: their captaincy record pales in comparison to their other feats. Is it because they expect every player to perform to the same high degree that comes so easily to them, and are therefore impatient of lesser mortals?

But while I agree that Tendulkar’s record as Test captain falls short of the extraordinary standards he has set otherwise, I think this assessment is also a tad unfair because he is also judged by a different yardstick from other players. For instance, in Saturday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, Shane Warne, considered the Wizard of Oz in matters of tactics and man-management, conceded 212 runs to Mumbai and even lost the match, but came out unscathed as captain; Tendulkar, having won the game, however narrowly, had darts of doubt thrown at him.

Life’s not fair, even for the world’s best, best-known, most loved, richest cricketer. I doubt any captain on Saturday could have done much to thwart Yusuf Pathan’s onslaught at the magnificent Cricket Club of India. When a batsman scores 100 runs off just 37 deliveries, a captain can at best wring his hands in despair and pray.  Tendulkar did more: he ran to his bowlers to guide them, cajoled his fielders to put in more effort — did so much work in fact that he ended up being fined for slowing down the over-rate.

None of this could faze Pathan however. With four wickets down for very little, and chasing a daunting 213, Rajasthan looked down for the count till the tall and strong Pathan opened his powerful, imposing shoulders and started hitting the ball with such frequency and such long distances that it seemed the parameters of a cricket field needed serious and rapid revision.

In the end, Mumbai won by a whisker, a mere four runs, but Pathan it was who won the awe and admiration of everybody, including the mighty Tendulkar. He has come nowhere near a Test match and last year lost his place in the one-day side. His batsmanship still appears one-dimensional. Make that two: slam-bang. But in the Twenty20 firmament, Pathan is the game’s fastest rising superstar.

In 2008, when the IPL began, he came cheap; at a little more than $100,000. Come next year, when all players will be up for sale again, the buzz already is that he will be a Multi-Million Dollar Baby. Want to know more why the IPL holds so much fascination for almost every cricketer in the world?

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Tendulkar, Gambhir fined $20,000

Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar, his Delhi Daredevils counterpart Gautam Gambhir and Kings XI Punjab skipper Kumar Sangakkara have been fined $20,000 each for their teams’ slow overrate in the Indian Premier League matches played on Saturday.

An IPL release said Tendulkar was fined after the Mumbai Indians “were assessed to be two overs behind their required rate” during their four-run win against Rajasthan Royals at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.

“Under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over rate offences, Tendulkar was fined $20,000 by match referee Andy Pycroft,” the statement said.

In the game at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium at Mohali, both the Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils were each assessed to be one over behind the required rate.

Fines were slapped on both the captains by match referee Srinivas Venkataraghavan.

With Gambhir leading from the front with a knock of 72, Delhi Daredevils beat Kings XI by five wickets.

Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Sourav Ganguly was fined an identical amount for his side’s slow over rate during the tournament opener against defending champions Deccan Chargers at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai Friday.

Sachin is already a ‘Bharat Ratna’, says Thackeray

After brickbats, it is now bouquets for cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar from Shiv Sena.

Sachin’s double-hundred against South Africa in Gwalior has not only silenced his critics, but clean bowled the Shiv Sena, which had taken on the iconic batsman over his “Mumbai for all” remark.

“Hundred crore people of this country have already crowned Sachin as Bharat Ratna,” Sena chief Bal Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana.

“Shivaji Maharaj used to vanquish Moghuls on battlefield. Similarly, Sachin is a warrior on cricket battlefield. Such warriors are born only in Maharashtra,” Mr. Thackeray said.

“Shivaji wielded the sword. Similarly, Sachin wields the bat,” the editorial said.

“Sachin does not need anyone’s recommendation to be awarded Bharat Ratna. He is already one,” it said.

The Shiv Sena leadership had last year questioned Tendulkar’s loyalty to Maharashtra following his Mumbai for all remark.

British media heaps praise on Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar’s stupendous feat of becoming the first cricketer to score a double century in one-dayer was on Thursday hailed by the British media, which described the little master as the “finest batsman” ever.

“Tendulkar underlined his sensational class with a double century in Gwalior. To have reached such a landmark, with a single in the final over, only serves to underline his class and add to the legacy that already surrounds arguably the finest batsman to have played the game,” BBC Sports said.

“His innings, the 46th one—day century of his career, was typified by wristy strokes, trademark boundary shots and, above all, stamina as he batted through the entire innings,” the report read.

Meanwhile, The Times tried to anticipate whether the Indian can complete a century of centuries in international cricket by the end of this year.

“All kneel down and praise whatever god you fancy for the mighty Sachin Tendulkar. This could just be turning into the greatest year of his international career, more than 20 years after it began,” the report said.

“Tendulkar now has 93 hundreds in international cricket — 47 in Tests and 46 in ODIs — which is 25 more than the next best man, Ricky Ponting. At the age of 36 and in such great form, he could reach 100 hundreds by the end of the year,” it added.

Tendroolkar!

Gwalior: It was Sachin Tendulkar at his very best by a long mile — his divine knock at Sharjah, 14 years ago, included. On Wednesday at Gwalior in front of a packed Captain Roop Singh Stadium, the Master Blaster officially penned his name on a truly unique batting record, becoming the first batsman to hit the 200-run-mark.

Sachin carried his bat, facing 147 balls for his colossal 200 not out (25×4, 3 x6) in India’s 401/3 in 50 overs. He added 194 with Dinesh Karthik (79) for the second wicket and an unbeaten 101 for the fourth wicket with Dhoni (68 n.o.)

In reply, South Africa managed 248 in 43 overs this time, falling to a 153-run loss as AB de Villiers’ played a lone hand with a fighting 114 not out.

Speaking after the match, Sachin said he sensed he could be the first batsman to hit an ODI double century only after he had reached 175 in the second one dayer against South Africa. “In the first half an hour, I was striking the ball well and timing well. The ball was coming nicely on to the bat,” Sachin said.

“I was not thinking about it all along. It was only when I crossed 175 and realised that it was still the 42nd over, I felt I have an opportunity. So I decided to take singles and give strike to Dhoni who was hitting so well,” Sachin said.

On his epic knock, Sachin said, “I don’t know how to react. I’d like to dedicate this double-hundred to the people of India for standing behind me for the last 20 years, come what may.”

Sachin said he expected India to score in the vicinity of 340-350 but it was the big-hitting spree of Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan which took the team to 401/3. “If you look at the partnerships, every over there played big shots. Yusuf changed the momentum and MS finished well,” Sachin said.

Scoreboard

india

Sehwag c Steyn b Parnell 9, Tendulkar n.o. 200, Karthik c Gibbs b Parnell 79, Pathan c de Villiers b Van der Merwe 36, Dhoni n.o. 68.

Extras (lb-3, w-5, nb-1) 9

Total (in 50 overs) 401/3

FoW: 1-25, 2-219, 3-300.

Bowling: Steyn 10-0-89-0, Parnell 10-0-95-2, van der Merwe 10-0-62-1, Langeveldt 10-0-70-0, Duminy 5-0-38-0, Kallis 5-0-44-0.

South Africa

Amla c Nehra b Sreesanth 34, Gibbs b Praveen 7, R. van der Merwe c Raina b Sreesanth 12, Kallis b Nehra 11, de Villiers n.o. 114, Petersen b Jadeja 9, Duminy lbw Yusuf 0, Boucher lbw Yusuf 14, Parnell b Nehra 18, Steyn b Sreesanth 0, Langeveldt c Nehra b Jadeja 12.

Extras (nb-4, lb-5, w-8) 17

Total (in 42.5 overs) 248/10

FoW: 1-17, 2-47, 3-61, 4-83, 5-102, 6-103, 7-134, 8-211, 9-216, 10-248.

Bowling: Praveen 5-0-31-1, Nehra 8-0-60-2, Sreesanth 7-0-49-3, Jadeja 8.5-0-41-2, Yusuf 9-1-37-2, Sehwag 5-0-25-0.

What they said

* Sachin Tendulkar has yet again re-written the record books of cricket, by climbing yet another Mt Everest of the game.

President Pratibha Patil

* Magnificent knock. You have led by example and all Indians are proud of your achievement.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

* My heartiest congratulations to Sachin the world’s greatest sportsman. We can see him only rise. Inspiration to us all. I salute Sachin.

Lalit Modi on Twitter

* He is the greatest batsman the game has ever seen. Who else has got 90-plus centuries, 17000-plus runs in ODIs and 13000-plus runs in Test cricket?

Sunil Gavaskar

* Yes yes yes!!!!!! Well done Sachin my friend … congrats !!!! Awesome …

Shane Warne on Twitter

* Records are there to be broken but it makes you happy when someone like Tendulkar does it. I think he thoroughly deserves this record and many more in days to come

Javed Miandad

* Congratulations Sachin:) proud to be Indian and a sports person in his era! Wooww!

Sania Mirza on Twitter

Top knocks

* 200 not out: Sachin Tendulkar (Ind) vs South Africa in Gwalior on February 24, 2010.

* 194 not out: Charles Coventry (Zim) vs Bangladesh in Bulawayo on August 16, 2009.

* 194: Saeed Anwar (Pak) vs India in Chennai on May 21, 1997

* 189 not out: Viv Richards (WI) vs England in Manchester on May 31, 1984.

* 189: Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) vs India in Sharjah on October 29, 2000.

Sachin breaks world record, India wins series

Sachin Tendulkar rewrote history on Wednesday by smashing the first double century in ODI cricket as India crushed South Africa by 153 runs in the second one-dayer to clinch the three-match series with one game to spare.
Tendulkar (200 not out in 147-ball blistering knock) became the first batsman in the four-decade history of ODI to hammer a double century as India piled on a mammoth 401 for three and then skittled out South Africa for 248 in 42.5 overs for a facile win.

With this victory, India not only took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series and rendered Saturday’s third and final match in Ahmadabad inconsequential but also ensured there was no threat to their status as the number two ODI side in the world.

For them, Dinesh Karthik (79 off 85 balls), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68 not out off 35 balls) and Yusuf  Pathan (36 off 23 balls) starred with the bat but the day belonged to Tendulkar.

Epic 25 fours and 3 sixes

It was not only Tendulkar’s 46th ODI century but also the highest score in one-dayers, eclipsing the previous record of 194 which was held jointly by Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar and Zimbabwe’s Charles Conventry.

Charl Langvedt went into the history books as Tendulkar steered the pacer to the off side to get to the magical figure as the packed stadium went into a frenzy. Tendulkar’s previous best was an unbeaten 186 against New Zealand made at Hyderabad in 1999.

South Africa’s mammoth chase looked doomed as Praveen Kumar cheaply castled swashbuckling opener Herschelle Gibbs (7) in the third over. S Sreesanth (3/49) removed Roelof van der Merwe (12) with his fourth delivery and returned to see the back of in-form Hashim Amla (34 off 22 balls).

Ashish Nehra got the better of Jacques Kallis (11) in his second spell and by the 23rd over, South Africa were gasping for breath at 134 for seven.

AB de Villiers (114 not out) showed the kind of defiance not seen in his teammates as he hit his fifth ODI century. He added 77 runs with Wayne Parnell (18) to delay the inevitable but South Africa’s defeat was just a matter of time by then. De Villier’s unbeaten 101-ball knock had 13 fours and two sixes in it.

It all, however, was reduced to a footnote today as Tendulkar made history. During his unforgettable knock, Tendulkar rattled up a record 194-run second-wicket partnership with Dinesh Karthik, who recorded his career best 79 off 85 balls with the help of four fours and three six.

Partnership breaks India’s previous record of Tendulkar-Dravid 181 runs

It was Tendulkar all over as he also shared quick and big partnerships with Pathan and skipper Dhoni to pile the agony on the South Africans. With Pathan he added 81 runs for the third wicket, which ended when the Baroda all-rounder fell to Roelf van der Merwe. Pathan played his own aggressive brand of game and was ruthless against Parnell, hitting the left-armer for two sixes and a four in the 38th over.

Then for the fourth wicket, Tendulkar and Dhoni raised an unbeaten 101-run stand, which took India to its highest score against South Africa.Earlier, Wayne Parnell had cut short Virender Sehwag’s (9) stay but once Karthik joined Tendulkar in the middle, India were always in charge.

Top 10 individual ODI scores

Player Runs Team Opposition Year
  • S R Tendulkar
200* India v South Africa 2010
  • C K Coventry
194* Zimbabwe v Bangladesh 2009
  • Saeed Anwar
194 Pakistan v India 1997
  • IVA Richards
189* West Indies v England 1984
  • ST Jayasuriya
189 Sri Lanka v India 2000
  • G Kirsten
188* South Africa v UAE 1996
  • SR Tendulkar
186* Indi v New Zealand 1999
  • MS Dhoni
183* India v Sri Lanka 2005
  • SC Ganguly
183 India v Sri Lanka 1999
  • ML Hayden
181* Australia v New Zealand 2007

Sachin Tendulkar becomes world’s highest ODI scorer

Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday surpassed world’s highest ODI score today leading India to a strong 300 run-mark in the second ODI against South Africa in Gwalior. Tendulkar also beat his own record of highest runs.

Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar slammed his 46th ODI century leading India to a strong 200 run-mark in the second ODI against South Africa in Gwalior. Tendulkar reached the mark in 90 balls with 13 fours.

It was a poor start for India as Virender Sehwag departed after scoring mere nine runs.

Earlier, Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat. India have retained the same side that won the opening one-dayer by a run in Jaipur.

Trailing 0-1 in the series, South Africa have made three changes in their bid to level the series.

Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Roelof van der Merwe have been included in place of Loots Bosman, Albie Morkel and Johan Botha.

Teams:
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, S Sreesanth

South Africa: Jacques Kallis (c), Hashim Amla, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Alviro Petersen, Mark Boucher, Roelof van der Merwe, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Charl Langeveldt.