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.
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.