March 6, 2006

Vintage Sachin!

He was there only for 38 minutes, he scored only 28 runs and he hit only five boundaries.

But in those 38 minutes, in those 28 runs and especially in those five boundaries Sachin Tendulkar showed glimpses of his best.

It was amply clear to everyone that Pathan and Dhoni were best suited to have a go at the impossible target and Sachin's job when he finally arrived was to take singles and give Dhoni the strike. That he was at peace with that job was clear from the first ball he faced. One could see that all his efforts were directed at taking a single.

Then, almost as an afterthought, he scored 25 runs (including five boundaries) in a span of 10 balls. The way he hit those 4's gave me the impression that his best is yet to come. He started with two efficient glances to fine leg boundary against Flintoff. And then he ended a not-so-hot match for Ian Blackwell with a nonchalant paddle reverse sweep very fine to third man boundary, a fierce conventional sweep to square leg boundary and finally a majestic inside out whack over extra cover.

It was an innings lost in the maelstrom of a cheeky fling at an impossible target. But it was an innings that comforted anxious aficionados - all's right with the master!


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