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What a fillip for cricket and India

It was an awesome win. Cricket couldn't have got a more ballistic shot in its arm than the Chennai Test. MS Dhoni's incredible boys have made it a habit to go where nobody has gone before, writes Ravi Shastri.

cricket Updated: Dec 15, 2008 22:50 IST

It was an awesome win. Cricket couldn't have got a more ballistic shot in its arm than the Chennai Test. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's incredible boys have made it a habit to go where nobody has gone before.

Just when you feel that this is the last peak they have scaled, there is a fresh one, bigger and brighter than the previous one. This one is sweeter because the game needed such a boost and the nation a balm on its wounds.

Dhoni wanted to do his bit to bring cheer to the lives of ordinary Indians and similar would have been the philosophy of his teammates. Or how would you describe the innings Virender Sehwag played on the fourth evening.

Or the resolve of Gautam Gambhir to curb his aggressive instincts and go along with the team's cause. Or how Yuvraj Singh flushed out the failure of nine years to shape India's most remarkable win at home.

Above all, there was Sachin Tendulkar. Figures alone can't describe his knock. No longer would any churlish critic question his ability to come good in a winning cause.

His unflappable concentration on a crumbling pitch on the fifth day was a lesson — never committing himself till he was sure, waiting till the last second for the ball to come on to his bat and never allowing the scoreboard to remain stationery. His century ought to be one of his finest. Who said the man is in the autumn of his career?

A 1000-runs in a calendar year has to be from a man at the top of his craft.

Then there was Yuvraj, just a ball away from stamping out his own stereotype image of a failed Test batsman. He withstood the taunts and jeers of the Englishmen and the enormity of the occasion to deliver. One thing noticeable in this bunch is that they don't leave the job halfway. Everyone performs as if the buck stops with him. Just three wickets on the final day is a testimony.

The only thing that is needed is for Rahul Dravid to come good. Dhoni showed the faith in him by keeping him at number three in the second innings. I honestly believe that Dravid is due in Mohali.

How sweet an end would that be to an absolutely amazing year.

TCM