Posted by: nestaquin | April 8, 2010

The IPL Unexplained Part 3

Perusing scores of cricket blogs these last few hours it would appear that many of cricket’s most articulate and passionate supporters are growing tired and irritable about the IPL.

The reasons usually revolve around it’s length, incessant crass advertising and sycophantic commentary but there is plenty to satisfy those with a more patient and discerning disposition.

The outstanding highlight in my opinion has been watching Sachin Tendulkar captaining his native Mumbai.

After two unsuccessful stints as national skipper more than a decade ago there was a general consensus that the Little Master had less to offer as a leader of men than his contemporaries.

It would appear that that judgement was a touch premature.

Mumbai have been the outstanding team of the tournament and Sachin has led from the front. Obviously, his supreme mastery with the willow has been a factor but what has impressed most is the spirit and energy he has fostered among the team.

Unshaven and unflustered he has, through a mixture of both fear and love, shaped the team in his image and all in the space of a few hectic weeks. Quite a feat but as we know Sachin is no mere mortal. He is the special one.

Respected and revered by team-mates and opposition alike, in this tournament he has displayed aspects of his character seldom seen.

Basically, Sachin is displaying outwardly what has hitherto been mostly hidden by his natural humility. He is one hard and determined bastard. (For those that don’t understand ‘Strine that’s a compliment of the highest order)

In the field he is in complete command of his team and very few of his subordinates are keen to meet his disdainful stare if they commit an error. There are no committee meetings about strategy either. Everything rests on his broad shoulders.

In the last match he was so focused on the task in front of him that he was brought to the point of exhaustion and he was most reluctant to heed the medicos advice about having a spell.

After all his wonderful batting feats I didn’t think I could be more impressed but a few weeks short of 37 Sachin has matured to a point where he could also be an international captain of the highest order.

It’s a shame that many in Indian cricket circles believe he needs protection from added responsibility, and that he is unlikely to get a chance to add that chapter to his legend, for there is no doubt in my mind that if given the opportunity he could inspire, cajole, lift and lead India to what they now covet most, the 2011 World Cup.


  1. He’s having a great tournament, but he also has what I believe to be the best team in the tournament.

    Notwithstanding his own batting, which is a massive plus point, Mumbai’s bowling attack is outstanding. Malinga, Harbhajan and Khan alone offer great variety (I reckon Malinga to be the best pace bowler in the IPL atm), but they’re backed up by Bravo, Pollard and McLaren (all far from useless) as well. That team has a great balance to it.

  2. MI has a very good team… but what’s been very impressive is SRT’s batting! Despite all the success that MI has achieved in this tournament thus far, SRT remains the only Mumbai Indian in contention for the Orange Cap.

    The bowling has been good, fielding impressive and captaincy a revelation. His decision to use Harbhajan against Gilchrist and then pluck one out of thin air was brilliant to watch.

    I really wish to see him excel at the 2011 World Cup and win it for India. Nothing else will befit this man!

  3. Great Article. I strongly agree with you. Cheers SACHIN….

  4. The question today is, will Sachin also succumb to the crass ways of the IPL? Or is he a part of it and helps build the advertising and the hysterical commentary? It will be interesting to see if he refuses to wear the blue shoes that have been made for the MI (see for the first video of the shoe available to the cricketing world) to preserve some traditions of cricket. Because, as far as I can tell, the only thing that have remained true to cricket in the IPL is the length of the pitch and the use of white shoes (an ICC ruling says that the shoes must be white and can have a little colour).

  5. I think there are bigger matters to deal with than the colour of the shoes tbh.

  6. It also helps when the league comes up with a schedule that sees you play 7 of your first 8 games at home with the famous rowdies of Mumbai adding to the pressure on the opposition.

    • Mahek can you believe they cheekily pretended that Deccan could play Mumbai ‘at home’ in Mumbai?

      Gilly must be feeling ever so slightly stitched up. Sharma obviously is as he pointed it out in an interview.

      • I very well can. I don’t know how familiar you are with the BCCI officials but the board president has ensured his city Nagpur gets as many games as possible. The new stadium hosted its first game in 2008 and since then it has hosted one test, two ODIs, an international T20, one IPL game, and will host two more IPL matches. Mumbai gets to host the finals again (It hosted the semis and the final in 2008) because it is the power centre of the current BCCI top brass, which is also why the World Cup final will be there and not in Kolkata.

      • Lou, that’s been an almost common practise in the Australian Football League…

        • I haven’t followed AFL for years. It is hard to take an interest when you don’t live in Australia.

  7. It’s always easier to captain a good attack, but it’s still not easy. Hats – if not quite orange hats – off to Sachin!

    There’s so much to go wrong before India reach the World Cup with expectations so high that giving MS Dhoni a break (he’ll captain in 2015 after all) and handing it to Sachin might be a masterstroke. Who’s going to pull a faction together against him?

    • It won’t matter who leads the side in the World Cup as long as we have Harbhajan Singh and an assortment of trundlers who are parading around as pace bowlers.

  8. I’ve only just discovered that Sachin is not going to the Caribbean. Is he, like Ponting, not interested? Or do the selectors think he isn’t good enough?

    • Tendulkar has maintained his position when it comes to playing T20 for India. No selector in India can even think of dropping Tendulkar for a series if Tendulkar wants to play.

      • Thanks Mahek, the team list I read must be wrong.

        • Lol, I meant he’s maintained his position that he doesn’t want to play international T20s. What I meant was it’s entirely his decision and if he wanted he could very well play for India in that format.

  9. Glad we have that sorted, Mahek.

    Should we read anything into the fact that the two most prolific and experienced batsmen in world cricket have no interest in international T20s?

    • I think most cricketers know which is the most challenging format. Tendulkar and Ponting are already well-paid and they can afford to pick and choose what format, or even series, they want to be part of. It’s a bit harder for Ponting since he’s the national captain but CA have been much more judicious with regard to resting its players as compared to BCCI.

      On the other hand, there are so many young cricketers who aren’t nearly as rich and are bound to covet the big money contracts the IPL has to offer. Then there are your bowlers who bust their butt on flat tracks in test cricket and suffer more injuries than batsmen. T20 and the IPL are easier on their bodies and they are free to lend their services to multiple employers since there is no restriction on the number of domestic teams a player can turn out for.

      • It bothers me that a really young Aus player like Mitchell Marsh is in the IPL already. He should be learning how to play with discipline, not the slash and burn game.

  10. The real god Sachin

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