Contest-wise a flop, Sachin-wise a memorable occasion

A gem from Sachin Tendulkar on his last batting display. The legend made a fine 74.-K.R. DEEPAK

The Test had little to offer in terms of competition. It will, however, find a special place for being Tendulkar’s final appearance in a Test match. Vijay Lokapally reports.

The West Indies made a mockery of yet another Test. It was a huge let down in a match that would be remembered as Sachin Tendulkar’s Farewell Test. At Kolkata, the West Indies had failed to make India bat twice. It was no different in Mumbai. The loser was the paying public, the passionate cricket fans, who were denied the opportunity of watching their Little Master bat again for the second time.

“It’s very disappointing. We never turned up in the series. We left the Caribbean at the back of six Test victories, (against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe). Coming here really taught us a lesson, exposed us, taught us how far we are behind the top four teams in the world. We’ve just not turned up,” the West Indies captain, Darren Sammy, was honest in his confession. But then he was also part of the undisciplined display in the two-Test series.

The West Indies looked out of place. Obviously, it hurt the West Indian pride too as Sammy put it nicely. “I was speaking to a good friend of mine and he summed it up very well. He said we knew you were coming here to a celebration and hoped to get a lot of gifts. That’s what we did. Rohit (Sharma) making his debut Test series, gifts, two hundreds. (Mohammed) Shami making his debut, gifts, lots of wickets. We just didn’t turn up.” West Indies was never seen so weak on the field.

The focus was on Tendulkar and he did not disappoint, playing a gem of an innings. Considering the emotional quotient of the occasion and the pressure, it was one fine innings. The pressure mounted when he walked in to the middle and he knew well that this was his one last chance. However, this West Indies team lacked the application and the skill to put up a fight.

Tendulkar was out to a poor decision in Kolkata. In Mumbai, his aim was to last in the middle. He ensured that there was no messing up as he middled well almost every ball. There were some anxious moments on the second day, before he succumbed. It was a prize-wicket that off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine can never forget. Probably, he would tell his grandchildren how he got the wicket of the best batsman the game has seen.

Sachin congratulates Pragyan Ojha who had a match haul of 10 wickets.-K.R. DEEPAK

Rohit Sharma, the Man of the Series, scored his second successive century. “The team won, so I’m happy, and since I’ve contributed it’s all the more nice. But there’s one thing that we’re going to be tormented by for the next few days. From now on Sachin Tendulkar will not play with us. This will keep on coming back to our hearts again and again.” Rohit summed up the team’s feeling.

Rohit described the moment well. “His presence in the dressing room will really be missed. It’s not just about batting, it’s about a lot of things that you need in yourself to succeed. All those things will be missed.

“ I don’t know how the team members are going to react to the situations now on, now that we finally know that he will not be with the team any more, we need to get over this very quickly, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it. It’s never going to be easy. Just an hour back you saw what happened at the ground, that shows what sort of a man he was, what he brought to Indian cricket.”

Tendulkar’s contribution was evident. His delightful reaction as India claimed the last West Indies wicket conveyed the bonding he had with the players.

The Test had little to offer in terms of competition. It will, however, find a special place for being Tendulkar’s final appearance in a Test match.

THE SCORES

Second Test, Mumbai, November 14 to 16. India won by an innings 126 runs.

West Indies — 1st Innings: Chris Gayle c Sharma b Shami 11; Kieran Powell c Dhawan b Ojha 48; Darren Bravo c Dhoni b Ashwin 29; Marlon Samuels c Vijay b Ojha 19; Shivnarine Chanderpaul c Ashwin b Kumar 25; Narsingh Deonarine c Vijay b Ashwin 21; Denesh Ramdin (not out) 12; Darren Sammy c Sharma b Ashwin 0; Shane Shillingford lbw b Ojha 0; Tino Best c Dhoni b Ojha 0; Shannon Gabriel c Dhoni b Ojha 1; Extras (b-8, lb-8) 16; Total: 182.

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-86, 3-97, 4-140, 5-148, 6-162, 7-162, 8-162, 9-172.

India bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 17-2-45-1; Shami 12-2-36-1; Ashwin 15-2-45-3; Ojha 11.2-2-40-5.

India — 1st innings: M. Vijay c Sammy b Shillingford 43; S. Dhawan c Chanderpaul b Shillingford 33; C. Pujara c & b Shillingford 113; S. Tendulkar c Sammy b Deonarine 74; Virat Kohli c Sammy b Shillingford 57; Rohit Sharma (not out) 111; M. S. Dhoni c Sammy b Best 4; R. Ashwin c & b Gabriel 30; B. Kumar c Sammy b Shillingford 4; P. Ojha (run out) 0; M. Shami c Best b Deonarine 11; Extras: (b-8, lb-2, w-2, nb-3) 15; Total: 495.

Fall of wickets: 1-77, 2-77, 3-221, 4-315, 5-354, 6-365, 7-409, 8-414, 9-415.

West Indies bowling: Sammy 9-1-41-0, Gabriel 16-0-85-1, Shillingford 43-6-179-5, Best 18-0-93-1, Samuels 11-0-42-0, Deonarine 11-0-45-2.

West Indies — 2nd innings: Chris Gayle c Dhoni b Ojha 35; Kieran Powell c Shami b Ashwin 9; Tino Best lbw b Ojha 9; Darren Bravo c Vijay b Ashwin 11; Marlon Samuels st. Dhoni b Ojha 11; Shivnarine Chanderpaul lbw b Ashwin 41; Narsingh Deonarine c & b Ojha 0; Denesh Ramdin (not out) 53; Darren Sammy lbw b Ojha 1; Shane Shillingford lbw b Ashwin 8; Shannon Gabriel b Shami 0; Extras (b-4, lb-5) 9; Total: 187.

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-28, 3-43, 4-74, 5-87, 6-89, 7-157, 8-162, 9-185.

India bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-0-4-0; Shami 7-0-28-1; Ashwin 17-4-89-4; Ojha 18-6-49-5; Tendulkar 2-0-8-0.