Sachin's presence in the dressing room was vital

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 28, 2013 11:39 hrs

Cheteshwar Pujara’s magnificent batting and his partnership with Virat Kohli ensured that India had no hiccups as it won the fourth Test match at the Kotla inside three days and gave India an unprecedented 4-0 win over Australia. India had beaten the Aussies in both the Tests of the series in 2010, but to win all four Test matches was really extraordinary and very special indeed.

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The Australians were totally outclassed and just did not look a Test team. The batting, apart from Michael Clarke, was so ordinary that most would struggle to find a place in their state teams of the last decade when the Aussies ran rampant in the cricketing world. That these batsmen just did not learn a thing or pick up any tips from the Indians is a story in itself.

When there was more interaction between players of teams off the field, there was so much to learn, and to pick the brains and soak in some of the experience of the seniors of the opposition teams was a great learning curve. That doesn’t happen any more with the modern notions of losing intensity on the field in case there is fraternising with the opponents.

These are spouted by those who have never played the game at the highest level and so know nothing about the pressures that international sport can bring. Talking a good game and actually going out and playing it are two totally different aspects.

There is no script in international sport and so many variables that the management types will never understand or even begin to comprehend. So just making a good presentation to the administrators may well get you the job, but when it comes to the hurly burly of international competition, that does not get you very far.

That is why despite Tendulkar not scoring runs, his presence in the Indian dressing room was so vital. His calming manner and inputs would have gone a long long way in settling the nerves, the anxious attacks that the new generation of Indian batsmen would have had.

Murali Vijay, Pujara, Kohli and Dhawan to name a few would have drawn inspiration and imbibed the necessary patience and attributes required to succeed at the Test level from just being in the same changing room as ‘The Master’.  

The man of the match and the player of the series don’t do it on their own. They have helping hands and idea feeds from the others in the team and that allied to their special talent enables them to win those awards, medals and trophies. They couldn’t have done it on their own. Nobody can in cricket.

India’s was a team effort alright with the batsmen doing their bit and the bowlers also exploiting the conditions well. On the other hand the Australians were in disarray and so fell apart like a pack of cards.  When you picked the cards up you found there was just one ace, the rest were jokers.

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