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Millennium Post

God Fails Again!

Whatever hopes cricket fans nursed of an Indian resurgence in the fourth and final Test against England at Nagpur were nipped in the bud by the team’s famed batting order, which again found James Anderson too hot to handle on an otherwise slow pitch.

With India losing Virender Sehwag early and Cheteshwar Pujara too falling prey to a dubious decision, the stage was set for a Sachin Tendulkar special. But his 25-minute shaky stay at the crease, in which he was completely beaten twice by his nemesis in the series, Monty Panesar, was finally cut short by his career nemesis, Anderson, who got his wicket for a record ninth time.

Brought back into the attack after the drinks break, Anderson first made two balls go away and then brought one back to rattle Tendulkar’s stumps. To see Tendulkar fall all over while trying to block a low incoming delivery was indeed a depressing sight. The way Tendulkar has been repeatedly opened up in the present series, even his staunch supporters won’t back him as a part of the playing XI. Sachin has enjoyed a magnificent career spanning 23 years and deserves to be remembered for being a prolific scorer, not for his waning powers. But unlike Australian selectors, known for the ruthlessness they apply to get rid of dry woods, Indian selectors don’t have the spine to take tough calls. It’s time they speak to Sachin about his future plans.

It’s a known fact that you can’t have non-performers in the side. While we sometimes get emotionally attached to senior cricketers, especially Tendulkar, we keep forgeting that under-performing senior is a bigger worry than an under-performing youngster. If past glories and records don’t ensure wins, why not give youngsters a chance? They can’t perform worse and it’s always good to see fitter and hungrier players battling it out in the middle.

With top four batsmen already back in the hut, India face an uphill task in order to prevent England from winning it’s first Test series in the country in 27 years. And going simply by current form, it will take a herculean effort for India to save the Nagpur Test.
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