The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Agony and ecstasy of six
Declaration stuns Sachin
WHO IS HE POINTING AT' Sachin Tendulkar raises his bat after his century. (Reuters)

• The only other player to return to the pavilion unbeaten in the 190s because the captain declared the innings is Frank Worrell, the legendary West Indian. At Bridgetown against England in 1959-60, Worrell was 197 not out when Gerry Alexander declared on 563 for 8. The match was drawn.

• West Indian Everton Weekes and Australian Rodney Marsh are the only two players to be stranded in the 90s because of a declaration.

FOOTNOTE: Rahul Dravid was 91 n.o. at Sydney when Sourav Ganguly declared last January. Dravid, however, had been struck on the earlobe and needed two stitches.

Multan, March 29: Even 22 years after Imran Khan’s declaration in the Hyderabad (Sindh) Test against India, Javed Miandad remains unhappy he wasn’t asked to speed up towards a triple. He stayed unbeaten on 280. Pakistan won by an innings.

One hopes Sachin Tendulkar won’t be cut up for too long over stand-in captain Rahul Dravid’s declaration, which left him six short of what could have been his fourth double century.

Dravid declared on 675 for five in the final session on Day-II of the first Test. At stumps, Pakistan was 42 for no loss.

No individual is bigger than the sport and the team’s interest must be foremost. Yet, an awful communication gap occurred at the Multan Cricket Stadium, which threatens to spoil the excellent Team India dressing room spirit.

“Yes, it’s disappointing to miss the double. Getting so close and.... The declaration took me by surprise as I was under the impression another two-three overs would be played. We were averaging fine,” said Sachin, now one short of Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 centuries.

Of course, he did add: “What is done is past.... What has happened has indeed happened.... We have to get on with the game....”

His uncharacteristically pointed comments have stunned the touring party. A very senior member initially didn’t believe Sachin actually spoke in the manner he did.

“Is that what he said'” he asked, distinctly troubled.

Later, he indicated a damage control exercise would be necessary. It won’t surprise if coach John Wright moves to ensure hard feelings don’t remain.

While Sachin insisted he “wasn’t sure” of the declaration, sources pointed out that “messages” were sent through Murali Kartik. What happened is a mystery, but just about everyone feels Sachin ought to have been given an over more.

Or else, Dravid — he wasn’t available for a reaction — should have declared earlier. As it became touchy, the handling ought to have been sensitive.

That Sachin didn’t take the field for the Pakistan innings encouraged a million whispers, but the maestro clarified he stayed in the dressing room as he had “tweaked” his left ankle.

No matter how upset Sachin is, we believe that.

Email This Page