Gone with the Windies
The first Test was over inside three days, and the second is heading towards a similar finish. The tour has proved to be a disaster for West Indies. The quality has been so poor that it has taken the gloss off Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series.cricket Updated: Nov 16, 2013 00:00 IST
Bowled out well inside the opening day in the first Test and bowled out well inside the opening day in the second as well.
The first Test was over inside three days, and the second is heading towards a similar finish. The tour has proved to be a disaster for West Indies. The quality has been so poor that it has taken the gloss off Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series.
A first day’s wicket in India generally doesn’t hold many demons and the Wankhede track didn’t look any different. On a turf where India scored 495, the West Indies folded up for 182 in their first attempt and are already reeling at 43 for three in their second.
Going by the team sheet, the last West Indies side to play in India had lesser names, but no Caribbean team touring here has played poorer cricket.
The farewell is not just about gifting mementos and showering praises. It’s also about quality cricket, which is dependent on two equal opponents.
Sachin has ridden the cricket world like a colossus and even though he had form issues for the last season, he has showed at the Wankhede that he had worked his way back for his swansong to be ready at his best.
It’s a series Sachin would have cherished every moment spent on the field. But as it may turn out, he will be deprived of four days of cricket. And not just the legend, the fans too have lost out.
The Mumbai batsman who had passed on the baton to him, Sunil Gavaskar, had left the stage after an innings of 96 on a rank turner at Bangalore against one of the best sides of that time — Pakistan. The innings remains etched in history. It remains an example for all on when to choose the farewell moment.
According to the original schedule, Sachin could have been playing his 200th and final Test at Cape Town against the world No 1 side. By changing it at the last-minute, the BCCI couldn’t have given Sachin a better stage for his final game. But they have faltered in the choice of opponents.
Not only have West Indies proved no match for the hosts, the lack of intensity on the field has been shocking.
At times it bordered on the comical in the way they allowed Rohit Sharma to canter to his hundred with just the tailenders for support.
Making a poor attempt to explain his team’s performance, Shane Shillingford said: “For the first day, the wicket was on the damp side. The ball was doing a bit and it was spinning more. As the match progressed, it started to become a bit slower. I still think it’s a wicket where our batsmen can come out and bat for long and score big runs. It’s about application. Once you apply yourself, you can get big runs.”