Was Sachin Complacent and Overconfident, if not Selfish!!

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar added another feather to his already over-feathered cap, when he registered the missing Twenty20 century in his kitty full of batting records. Yet, Mumbai Indians lost and that raises eyebrows on sachin’s approach towards the game against Kochi Tuskers. His century and Mumbai Indian’s loss in high scoring match made Sachin, the captain, look complacent and overconfident, if not selfish.

Kochi Register First Win, Sachin’s Maiden Ton in Vain

The match between Mumbai Indians and Kochi Tuskers was the face-off between David and Goliath. Mumbai Indians and IPL fresher Kochi Tuskers Kerala faced each other first time, playing their three games. While MI was running on a high with two easy wins while chasing, Kochi desperately needed a win after losing two games to prove that they also exist in the race of equals. MI’s top order has not let the middle order bat in first two matches, while their bowlers have made a mockery of their first two opponents batting skills against Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kochi bowlers on the other hand, despite being termed as Bowling Academy had just managed to take 10 wickets in their first two matches, whereas their top order and middle order showed exciting future.

Sachin Records Maiden Twenty20 Century
When Rayudu was run out on the 4th ball of last over, Sachin was left on strike with the scorecard yelling 95 not out. He had 2 balls and 5 runs were required. Pollard was waiting on the other end, without facing a ball. Fifth ball of the over was duly sent to boundary and Sachin reached 99. MI had just lost 2 wickets by then and scoreboard announced 181/2, with 1 ball remaining. The last ball saw Sachin completing his missing century in the Twenty20 format, with a gentle push towards long on. The God of Cricket has completed centuries in all format of Cricket now. He was undefeated, for the third consecutive time in the 4th edition of IPL. He walked with head higher at inidvidual score of 100.

Was The Master and Mumbai Indians Complacent and Overconfident
While batting after losing the toss, Mumbai Indians scored at a pesky rate with Sachin hitting maximum runs. Despite struggling Jacobs never took any risk, although a battery of untested power-hitters in the form of Pollard and Symonds were waiting in the dug-out, padded to take Mumbai Indians to the record total of IPL 2011. Despite playing on a batting track in front of home crowd, they never looked in search of 200-plus score. Rayudu did get the momentum moving faster, but the Master blaster was happy with an average touching 8 runs per over till 15th over. Except Rayudu nobody took that extra step to accelerate the run rate to reach 200-plus.

When the team has 181/2 on board, and the last ball is bowled seldom one sees a batsman, specially a well-set batsman, to not try for a boundary for some extra runs. But, probably Mumbai Indians and Sachin Tendulkar felt that it was already too high a score for their batsmen to defend, that too against the freshers Kochi Tuskers, who had not tasted victory in their first two matches.

Can The Act be called Selfish!
The single scoring push on the final ball of the innings, with 181 already on board is debatable. But, can it be called an act of selfishness!! Some may term it so, as Tendulkar just needed 1 more run to reach his century, which he and the fans must have eyed since last 3 years of IPL. Probably if it was any player, the act could have been termed so. Even Virat Kohli did the same to complete his century in India’s match against Bangladesh in the World Cup, when instead of going for a big hit, he just opted for a single to complete his first World Cup century. But then the scoreboard for India was screaming 370, a huge total by any standard. 181 which changed to only 182 with the single, can never be a huge score on a batting track, unless one considers that beyond opponent’s reach in one’s own figment of thought.

Surely an Act of Complacency and Overconfidence
What followed the single was more horrible for MI fans. Kochi openers slaughtered almost every Mumbai Indian bowlers, including Malinga and Harbhajan. The onslaught was so devastating that even Malinga panicked giving 42 runs in his 4 overs. But, the common logic is he can not be successful every day. Common logic also makes one accept that it was Kochi’s day.

But was there any harm in trying other ammunition from the MI’s inventory. Symonds is an established allrounder. Rohit Sharma often does useful bowling even at international level. Pollard and co were getting thrashed. Yet, Captain Sachin Tendulkar never threw the ball towards both his players. If regular bowlers were getting hit, what more harm an over, for trial, from these two could have done to MI’s fate!!

Sachin’s Two Error Helped Kochi Record First Win
MI’s fate was sealed with Sachin’s two errors in the match. First while batting he never tried to accelerate the run rate to a level that could have registered 200 runs on board. Probably, he did not have confidence on his untested middle order composed of Rohit Sharma, Symonds and Pollards.
Second while fielding, he did not use enough options to test Kochi batsmen. They were ready for Malinga’s yorkers and Harbhajan’s spin. Introduction of Symonds and Rohit Sharma might have helped break their momentum.

Hope Sachin and MI takes it as Lesson
Being an avid fan of Sachin Tendulkar, like scores of other Cricket Lovers, I cherished his century. Yet, for MI to win the IPL, a lot of improvement is required, and hope Sachin takes the lesson from this shocking defeat. MI is a strong team, and Sachin is the best batsman. With few improvements Sachin and MI can make sure that they avoid a repeat of 2010, when they went as favorite in the finals, but few decisions costed them the finals. The upset in just their third match, may hopefully emerge better as an allround performer team. His Orange Cap and Mumbai Indians first two crushing victory have not come without any good reason. Surely, they will bounce back in the strongest possible way.


  1. Sachin is a selfish player just like most of the other cricket players.. I don’t understand why Indian people are so crazy about him. Rahul Dravid, Mike Hussey are way better batsmen than Mr.God

  2. IPL Match and Selfish Sachin

    This is what the data from cricinfo says about sachin’s centuries… ( http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html?class=2;filter=advanced;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;opposition=7;opposition=8;orderby=default;result=1;result=2;result=3;runsmin1=100;runsval1=runs;template=results;type=allround ). Against strong teams, india lost/tied 12 matches out of 27 when Sachin made century. That is just too many loses, it seems his centuries does not really help india much. Australia lost 2 out of 17 when Ponting made century. West Indies (clearly a much weaker ODI team in the last 15 years) lost only 3 out of 14 when Lara made a century. Again, I don’t want to prove anything or accuse any player in particular, as statistics are only a partial truth. But, there must be something wrong with sachin’s attitude. Just a point to ponder….

    In the MI-Pune IPL match, even assuming the last ball was difficult to hit, he could have swung his bat as hard as possible. Even if it was an edge, there was a high chance that he could have taken a single and with little luck it could have gone for a boundary. There was some chance that he could have been out or he could not have taken a single to miss his century. But, the safest way to reach the century was to just take a risk-free single. Tendulkar is very shrewd and he was perfectly aware of this. So, he just avoided any risk and took the safest approach to century and in the process cost few valuable runs for the team which could have changed the outcome of the match. I am not trying to put all the blame on Sachin, afterall its a team game and it needs contributions from others. But, that doesn’t mean you ignore his resposibilities. He stayed till the end, yet it is the slowest of the IPL centuries. The last shot he played was disgraceful and one of the most selfish shots I’ve ever seen. Others were definitely responsible for the loss, but you can’t deny these facts.

    The point is pretty simple. When Lara made a century, he could win most of the matches and lost only two against strong teams even though most of the time he was batting for a third rate team. But, Sachin couldn’t win 12 matches against strong teams when he made a century even though he played for a much stronger team. The question is why is it so? And the answer is probably not obvious. But, I can always see some kind of selfishness in his approach for personal records which always affects teams winning chance. I’ve always seen him slowing down near his century, critically affecting the team’s momentum. Of course, others not performing is one of the important reasons for defeat. But, how Lara can win matches without any major contribution from others while Sachin fails in many such cases even though he is considered a great player. Comparison with Ponting will be inappropriate here since he played for a great team.

    Of course, Sachin has won many matches for India. But, the high rate with which he fails to win when making a century just points to his selfish approach while nearing a century just killing any momentum team has, which is very important for winning. In fact the last shot he played in the last IPL match was the most disgraceful and selfish shot I have ever seen. What I’ve observed is, if he stays for a longer time after century he recovers the momentum and normally team wins. But, if gets out soon after 100, he just kills the team momentum and loses the match. Tragically, I’ve not seen any player who fails so regularly to win matches even after hitting a century. Comparison with Ponting will be quite inappropriate since he played for a great team.

    Even in the WC, you can easily draw a sharp contrast between Sachin’s attitude and Dhoni’s attitude. Dhoni made several risky decisions during the world cup (and many of them I didn’t like and thought they were bound to fail). But, he backed them and took the risjy approach even though he knew he will be crucified, if his decisions backfires and India fails to win WC. But, he was not selfish like Sachin about his personal records and just did what India needed to win. I thought the most audacious and unselfish step from Dhoni was coming ahead of yuvi in the final and he would have been literally crucified, if India would have failed then. But, fitting he played a very good, possibly a great innings to win the WC while Sachin is yet to play a very good innings in any WC knock out matches even after playing in 6 WCs. I personally think this is what makes someone great, not just scoring buckets of runs for personal record. Now, if you analyze WC and points table closely, you should realize Sachin’s main scorings were against SA and Eng. Even if he would have made a 0 in both matches, India would have only lost 1 point and would have surely gone to the quarter finals (very likely with the same position as well). So Sachin’s contribution to the league stage was not significant. He did ok in quarter final and played pathetic innings in semi-final and final. If you clearly analyze the WC, you can easily see Yuvi, Gambhir, Sehwag, Raina, Dhobi etc apart from some bowlers contributed more than Sachin though he scored most of the runs :-).

    I remember in India-AusODI series, Hayden was out on 98 in an ODI trying to hit a six and in the next match he again tried to hit a six when on 95 odd, but reached the century this time. The point was he never slowed down or did anything silly when nearing a century to change the team momentum. I don’t know, if you know about this or not: Hayden never counted his runs, so he never knew his score when he was batting 🙂 (May be that’s why he could play such audacious strokes). I’ve not seen that kind of attitude in Sachin in spite of already having so many centuries. Definitely he was won many matches alone, but many instances he unnecessarily acted selfish as well. Outside the field also there many such instances, Sachin publicly criticized Dravid when he declared the innings while he was on 194 (I don’t know what difference is there between 194 or 200, both are great!!!). He also wanted tax waiver for ferari even though he is a super rich. When Sehwag and Gambhir were settled as opening pair, he wanted to open by breaking the settle pair as he can create more records by opening the innings. Last but not the least, he was a very poor captain as well. There is no doubt he’s a great talent. But I felt he behaved in a lot more selfish manner considering all the great players (especially in the latter half of the career) and probably that’s why he didn’t do very well in pressure situtation in the later half of his career. Incidentally, he wasn’t like that in the first 12 years of his career when he was a kid. But, the few selfish innings and the few off-field incidents I mentioned earlier has changed my opinion. Anyway, conclusions/opinions can differs, but the facts can’t. I just wanted to state some facts (many of which are also unknown to few people), you can draw your own conclusions.

    But, I do agree Sachin is one of the most talented batsmen and I salute his dedication and longevity.

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