TORONTO - Sachin Tendulkar, who has obliterated nearly every batting record during his illustrious career, has his sights set on the World Cup, a trophy that has eluded him. And that’s no secret.
The greatest batsman of all time has played his heart out in this tournament in quest of that elusive silverware with two centuries to put India well on its way to victory in two of the five group matches.
But much to his chagrin, both of his efforts were wasted by inept batting by the majority of his teammates. These are the same colleagues who were quoted as saying they were determined to win the trophy for the Little Master.
In the match against England, Tendulkar hit 120 and when he departed at 236 for three he had put India in a commanding position. The next seven wickets fell for 102 runs allowing England to tie the game at 338.
Tendulkar then made a mockery of the South African pace attack with an exquisite 111 in India’s total of 296. He built a solid platform with Virender Sehwag (73) to power India to 267 for two when he was out.
But what unfolded after his departure left him seething. The last nine wickets fall for 29 runs, India’s worst-ever batting showing ever.
Sunday, 38,000 will pack Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium to cheer Tendulkar on his way to another landmark. If he does get a century against the West Indies it will be his 100th (51 in Tests and 48 in one-day internationals).
Tendulkar’s millions of fans will be praying he does get his century. Let us hope his teammates won’t squander another one of his gems.