"Whatever happens, tomorrow will be a wonderful day,” Sachin Tendulkar had said on the eve of the final day’s play.
But even Tendulkar could not have imagined that India would brush aside Australia with such ease on Wednesday to sweep the series 2-0 and reaffirm their position as the Number One Test team in the world.
India breezed to victory by seven wickets. While Murali Vijay laid the early foundation and Cheteshwar Pujara showed tremendous character scoring a stroke-filled 72, it was Tendulkar’s unbeaten half-century that finally sealed the deal.
It’s been an amazing year for Tendulkar. At age 37, he has had his best year in international, scoring 1,270 Test runs at an amazing average of 97.69. The highest point of this achievement was the masterly 214 in the first innings of this Test.
But the little master was more interested in savouring victories than keeping track of runs.
“I don’t count. Let the others count. I just want to continue scoring,” said Tendulkar, who made it a point to praise the strong crowd support. “Normally, there is not much of a crowd for Tests, thanks to Bangalore for coming out.”
Tendulkar, with scores of 98, 38, 214 and 53* had no rival for player of the series. But different members of the team also rose to the occasion.Experienced hands like Zaheer, Laxman and Dravid weighed in at crucial moments, while the likes of Ishant, Raina and Pujara grabbed the opportunity to show their worth.
The Australians don’t usually concede much but even they now have to admit that India are genuinely the Number One team in the world. Never mind what a computer-driven ranking system says; leave alone the petty who point to niggling shortcomings in India’s performance. At the moment, this Indian team is on top.