Sachin’ Century – Lucky or Unlucky

Before the quarterfinal match between India and Australia a lot of speculations were made regarding Sachin’s century. Many Indians were at a common consensus that his century has always been unlucky for India. They have often said, “I don’t know why, but whenever Sachin scored a century, India lost the match”, or “Either Sachin shines or India”.

Honestly, it a very strong statement to make, not because it challenges what Sachin has done for the Indian Cricket Team but because it challenges his true love for cricket and India. He is the master blaster. He has made unbeatable records. He has made every Indian proud of his performance. He will undoubtedly be the greatest batsman ever if India wins World Cup 2011.

But, the implied meaning of this statement suggests that Sachin Tendulkar is self-centered and that ruins everything. It suggests that every record he breaks is for himself rather than for India. It may not be clear through the words, but it can be easily sensed in the tone of people’s voice. No matter how much people love him they don’t take a second to go against him. However, a healthy criticism is always welcomed but something like this is intolerable. Do they want to imply that if Sachin scores a hundred, it doesn’t benefit team India? Just because India didn’t win when he scored a century in group matches, is not a reason to make him responsible for the defeat. It is ridiculous and insensible. [If you haven’t guessed it yet, then the matches in question are India v/s England, where both teams had a tie, and India v/s South Africa, where India lost.

Just to set the record straight, Sachin has scored 48 centuries in one day international cricket. Out these 48 matches, India had won 33, lost 13, 1 was a tie and 1 had no result. Does it in anyway suggest that he had been unlucky? In fact it’s quite the opposite. Does his game deserve to be questioned like this? Shouldn’t the rest of the team be blamed for those lost matches, who despite having Sachin’s hundred could not win? India didn’t play the whole 50 overs in SA’s match, the last nine wickets fell for 29 runs leaving eight balls unused setting a target of 296, out which 111 runs belongs to Sachin.

Actually, nobody should be held responsible. Players might be in the wrong form or might have made mistakes on field but all of it is part of the game or it might just be a bad day for any team.  Look at Ricky Ponting’s fate in India v/s Australia quarterfinal. He scored a valiant century with 104 runs, yet his team lost the match to India. Should Australians blame Ponting’s century for their defeat or should they consider it a saviour from a shameful defeat?

Now, India has won the quarterfinals but not because Sachin didn’t score a century in this match. It is because the team gave an amazing performance. Yuvraj was the deserving man of the match with two wickets and 57 runs not out. Zaheer and Ashwin took a couple of crucial wickets, Gambhir & Tendulkar scored a half century and Virat Kohli & Raina made a decent score of 24 and 34, respectively.

Maybe, a lot of people will now say, ‘see, I told you, when he doesn’t make a century India wins the game’. It is so easy for spectators to put blame on players for a bad performance without properly analyzing the match situation or player’s health and form. That too of a player like Sachin who has been playing brilliantly for the India cricket team with so many injuries that almost each part of his body had been under surgery every now and then. People rather need to appreciate team India’s effort, hard work and unmatchable spirit than put Sachin’s hundred under question mark.

Shikha nehra