This Day, Last Year




Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

Just as you thought he had achieved it all, he goes one step ahead and does what nobody has done ever before. Yes the ‘he’ I am talking about is a bloke by the name of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. On this day, exactly a year ago, Sachin did something that no man on the planet could do in 40 years of existence of ODI cricket – score a double hundred, and he chose the best bowling attack in the world to go out and achieve the feat.

Also Read: Sachin Tendulkar – The Heartbeat Of India

Summer was just beginning to set in at Gwalior, the venue of the second of the three match ODI series against South Africa. A warm day, a flat deck and news of Dhoni electing to bat first was enough reason for me to bunk college and hop over to a friend’s to watch the match. And that bunk was destined to be a bunk of a lifetime.

Although Sehwag fell early, that day, Sachin was into fifth gear even before he shifted into the second. He brought up his half century in 37 balls as the cuts, drives and flicks came off his bat like spells from a wand. The sun was beginning to set in Gwalior and the rest of the country as Sachin neared yet another century. I had to go home and decided to leave after he reached the three figure mark. Tendulkar got there in the 28th over as India snatched control of the match. Watching the flair with which Sachin was batting, I decided to stay on. But something special was yet to come, I had never imagined.

The attention shifted to Yusuf Pathan as he wrecked havoc on the African bowlers while Tendulkar carried on silently – not silent considering he took only 28 more balls to reach 150. He reached 175 in the only 41st over but still the double hundred was quite a distance away. I continued watching!

Dhoni took off from where Yusuf left as he continued torturing the African pacers as Tendulkar moved on to 191 by the end of the 45th over. A nervous excitement began to creep upon me. 5 overs to get 9 runs I calculated. Piece of Cake! Tendulkar eclipsed the record for the highest ODI score previously held by Charles Coventry and Saeed Anwar as he moved onto 195. 5 runs in 4 overs, I muttered to myself. I knew I was close to witnessing history but the pessimist in me refused to believe that. As he moved on to 199, I half expected him to play a rash shot or get a bad decision!

But little did I expect the villain would be Mahender Singh Dhoni. With Tendulkar still on 199, Dhoni played the whole of the 49th over smashing 17 runs of it. But neither I, nor the entire nation waiting with abated breath, wanted runs anymore. We just wanted Sachin on strike!

I grew restless as Dhoni struck the first ball of the 50th over for a huge six. “What was he doing? We need a single.” The second ball was struck equally well and it looked to be a boundary until Hashim Amla came out of nowhere and pulled off a brilliant save. They had taken only a single which meant Sachin was on strike. Goosebumps had taken over!

As Langeveldt ran into bowl, I prayed (prayed to whom I don’t know considering my God was Sachin). And then there was the moment! Sachin steered the ball towards point and scampered away for a single as screams erupted from me, within me, around me, from the television and from everywhere else possible. The maestro removed his helmet and acknowledged the crowd. He became the first man to score a double ton in ODI cricket. Yet another mountain had been scaled. My God had made me proud once again.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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