Monday, March 28, 2011

Commando's walk in the storm

This is the video link of the famous desert storm innings, Sharjah 1998:

India were facing elimination in the tri-nation tourney if they lost this match by a certain margin. After a major early collapse, there appeared no way that India would even come close to overhauling that margin. Sachin helped the team get over the minimum runs required to make the final..and then even tried to go for an impossible win (before falling just short). This innings had everything - EVERYTHING that an ODI batsman is expected to do for his team. Have you watched Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Commando"? No? Watch Sachin's 143 instead. Barring the end result, it can put even Miandad's last-ball-sixer-knock in Sharjah'86 to shade.


For those who questioned the intent behind Sachin's walk in 2011 WC (suggesting it was prompted by fear of getting caught at UDRS):

YES, that could have been a possible reason for his walk (I am sure it will be THE reason for many future walks)...but Sachin had started walking long back.

Watch the closing moments of this video - he had 'walked' at the end of his innings. He waited to check if it is a no-ball due to height - and walked away when he saw no no-ball signal...even after the umpire gave him not out. As I had opined to my FB friends earlier, there was a time before 1995 when Sachin used to let umpires decide if he was out. But from late 90's ever since he become a role model (or ever since Ponting started playing for Aus & took up the 'non-walker' mantle ;-) I have always seen him taking the decision himself.

[I am willing review that stand if I get proof that he selectively chose not to walk even after 1998. Unlikely - this was a high octane match against his eternal foes Australia, he was the lone fighter badly wanting to win this match (I am 75% sure he would have won it that day had he stayed...and there was no UDRS at the time.]

Alternative climax of Commando: Just before slaying the villain, Schwarzenegger turns into a monk and walks off into the mountains.


Shridhar Jaju said...

Sachin is a selective walker, in my opinion. Just like he shots are chosen instinctively, I think he lets his mind do the same about walking or not walking.

During India's tour of Sri Lanka in August 2008 (better remembered as Ajantha Mendis' debut Test series), there was an occasion when SRT had gloved an attempted paddle sweep of Muralitharan to the leg slip.

The umpire ruled him not out, but he stayed... did not walk. I could not find any video link of this incident, but I remember it well.

There have been incidents where he's walked and where he's chosen not to walk. I think his decision not to walk might also have been influenced by the fact that he (and India) had been on the receiving end of a number of wrong umpiring decisions in that period.

In 2007, Sachin was stranded in the 90s a lot of times, 2-3 of them being poor umpiring decisions. Early in 2008, we had the scandalous Sydney Test.

I think, when he chose not to walk there in Sri Lanka, all those factors weighed on his mind. Now, after a couple of better years, he had no qualms about walking again.

angshu said...

Hi Shridhar: very pertinent note, this one from you. As I said, I will check the video you referred. I am ready to review my take on Sachin on this. However, unless he has avoided walking 'unprovoked' (as you have mentioned there were special circumstances at times when he did not walk) I am willing to look into it as an aberration as most normal humans can be enraged away from their principles at times. I still believe he 'aims' to practice walking and I see no need to put his occasional refusal to walk in repelling circumstances as 'selective walking'. But again it depends on a person how he sees things. I won;t expect Sachin to walk in the 1999 series (or even the 2003-04 series) in Aus after the kind of decisions he got first up. He is a good guy, he is not a saint.