November 14, 2013There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the Little Master walked out to bat for the last time. Will he notch up a 102nd international ton or will it be a muted farewell, a la Don Bradman who, in his last innings, failed to read a googly and was bowled for a duck?
In the curtain raiser to Tendulkar’s farewell, India defeated West Indies in Kolkata by and innings and 51 runs. After achieving parity in the first two days, the West Indies proceeded to collapse in a heap. Following a below par 234, they allowed India to recover in their first innings from 83-5 to a final total of 453 and were then themselves skittled out second time round for a meager 168. India’s heroes were Rohit Sharma, the ODI double centurion last week, who scored 177 in his maiden test innings, Ravichandran Ashwin, with a century batting at number 8 and another debutant, Mohammad Shami, who picked up nine wickets in the match. With West Indies failing to show any backbone, the size of India’s talent pool seems almost limitless.
The start of the Ashes series is but a week away and Australia are well ahead in the propaganda war. Skipper Michael Clarke has joined Shane Warne in suggesting that Alastair Cook’s captaincy style is boring while taking the opportunity to ‘announce’ the England XI for the first test. Paceman Mitchell Johnson claims he will be targeting the throats of the English batsmen and, if that doesn’t work, he will attack their fingers. Bad weather and injuries have hampered England’s preparations. Vice captain Matt Prior and Kevin Pietersen have both suffered leg injuries and are battling to regain fitness for the first test in Brisbane on 21 November. Australia have announced their 12 for the game. George Bailey and Johnson (who will play in place of the injured Mitchell Starc) have been added to the team that played in the last test in August.
Visiting South Africa have defeated Pakistan in the ODI series by four matches to one in the UAE. In generally low scoring matches, the Pakistani batting has looked distinctly fragile, while their bowling has lacked strength in depth. Particularly with more consistent batting, the South Africans can justifiably claim to have made great strides since suffering a 4-1 defeat in Sri Lanka in August.
The weather is playing havoc with Sri Lanka’s home ODI series with New Zealand. The first match was washed out after Sri Lanka had scored 288 in their innings, while the second was decided in New Zealand’s favour by the dreaded Duckworth / Lewis method.
The Scoop 14/11/13