Sachin knows team?s interest is top-most priority

Published on Apr 01, 2004 12:28 AM IST

It has been an eventful Test match. While the Indian domination continued like in the one-dayers, Sehwag's historic feat has made it even more memorable, writes Javagal Srinath.

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | ByJavagal Srinath

It has been an eventful Test match. While the Indian domination continued like in the one-dayers, Sehwag's historic feat has made it even more memorable.

Rahul Dravid's captaincy has been brilliant and enforcing the follow-on was a bold and right decision. He did not let Zaheer's absence effect his aggressive mindset, though I must admit I was worried that the paceman's injury could distort the balance of Indian attack.

Though India will finally convert their domination into their first Test win in Pakistan on Friday, this Test will always be etched in the memory for Veeru's great achievement.

One thing I know -- this triple hundred will take Veeru's level of confidence to a new level. A six over mid-wicket to cross the 300-run mark only shows that records and cold statistics could never get the better of Sehwag's cricketing attitude.

Veeru's rate of scoring also reveals one thing clearly -- his first and foremost priority is the team' and not any of his personal milestones. To me, Sehwag's innings once again reiterated the fact that: "Technique to score runs is more important than the technique to defend".

From my experience I can say that some of India's greatest cricket technicians have killed the game defending their personal reputation, while forgetting the importance of scoring runs to match the team's objectives. If Sachin, Sourav, Rahul and Laxman are considered icons by the current generation of cricket lovers, then Sehwag is all set to be the same for the next generation.

The time of declaration has caused some confusion in the Indian camp. I know, some are waiting to grab this opportunity and will make all effort to blow this issue out of proportion. True that Sachin expressed his disappointment for missing an important milestone. But he is too great a sport to keep anything in his heart and make an issue of it. After all, he belongs to the same team that took the decision. The message is loud and clear -- the team objective is the top most priority.

I am puzzled why the Pakistan management opted for such a placid track. A team, which boasts about its wealth of fast bowlers, has certainly lost the initiative. To add to the guilt of the Pakistani bowlers bowling short or too full, their fielders did not do any favours with their butter fingers.

Sachin played another gem of a knock. Although it appeared that he was playing a second fiddle to Sehwag, the maestro was responsible for Sehwag to create a new record. Sehwag, I thought, definitely required that support at the centre.

What can I say about Anil Kumble. He is bowling even better than before. Irfan Pathan has become a wonderful student of the game and is bowling as if he has been around for ten years. He is growing in leaps and bounds in every outing.

The swing he achieved was far superior and dangerous than his Pakistani counterparts, who were mostly operating at 90 miles speed.

Sachin also chipped in with a few good overs. His magic delivery to Moin Khan on Tuesday will even make Shane Warne envious. But on such tracks, it's always good to have the fifth regular bowler to fill in the overs. Basically the fifth bowler would bowl few tight spells to give rest to the main bowlers, who then can come back with renewed vigour.

On such wickets, the bowlers are bound to get tired. However, Pakistan's swift capitulation helped Rahul Dravid manage the bowlers in such a way that they didn't get tired by over-use.

Physio Andrew and the trainer must be surely spending sleepless nights. The recovery session for the players will be much longer than usual. A good stretching in the pool for at least an hour after the game, followed by some good rub on the back, legs and the shoulder is what the recovery session is all about.

There will be a beeline for the physio's room after the hard day's work. The best bowler of the day gets the priority.

In my opinion it's Irfan Pathan.

(Chivach Media)

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