Sunday, April 06, 2008

Of Sachin and Fitness!

Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman produced by India in any form of the game and is a role model for innumerous youngsters learning the game of cricket. However, recently, he showed the kind of irresponsible behaviour which was not expected from a man of his stature.

Immediately after the tour of Australia, the then physio, John Gloster, had in his fitness report mentioned that Sachin needs rest of at least 2-3 weeks in order not to aggravate the groin injury he had sustained in Australia. However, Sachin, inspite of the physio's advice, pronounced to the world and the media that he was 100% fit as far as he was concerned and was raring to play in the first test match against the visiting South Africans . His contribution to the Indian team in the first test was a BLOB. Of the 5 days of the match, he spent 70% of the game in the dressing room. He did not take the field on the last day as it was diagnosed that the groin injury had flared up and this time resulted in the him missing the next two test matches.

If it was any other Indian cricketer who had done such a thing, I would not have dwelled a lot on such a behaviour. Sachin, by playing a test match, when he was not fully fit, could have even joepardised the team's chances of coming up with a win though in hindsight, that was not the case. The point is, it could have cost India the match. Agreed that Sachin played in the 2nd final of the CB series in Australia, when he had the groin niggle, but that was an limited overs match and this was a test match played over 5 days.

After the Indian team returned from Australia, all the players who had played in the test matches were asked to undergo fitness tests to prove their fitness. Even, those in the ODI squad with dodgy fitness were tested, but Sachin was not asked to prove fitness when it was clearly mentioned by John Gloster that he was not fully fit. This is the kind of favoritism which has been the bane of Indian cricket and will continue to be so forever. Now, by aggravating the injury, Sachin could have done more harm than good to his body.

For the sake of Indian cricket as well as his Sachin's supporters, which includes me, I do hope Sachin comes back to full fitness soon because the team needs him more than anyone else.