Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Lara couldn't,Clarke could

-This post has been written in reference to the Sydney Test between India and Australia,played on  3Jan2012.

Hats off to Michael Clarke for  a decision ,not many could have taken. Opportunities for cracking a 400 don't present themselves that easily and when joining the 400 club is offered on a platter - it's the rarest of the rare!!

A tired,lackadaisical,spiritless attack,a pitch offering no assistance,with more than 2 days to go and given the current form of the paper-strong Indian batting line-up.....the ingredients were all in place for records to stumble.And then came a sportsman's decision- a selfless declaration,that would have turned many a heads.

While the cricketing world is all praise for the Aussie skipper ,I doubt how many could have replicated Clarke's decision,given a chance to step into his shoes.And even the great West Indian- 'Brian Charles Lara' couldn't!Yes,I'm talking about that quad-century against a hapless England attack,where in-spite of his great laurels with the bat,his team failed to register a win!

But it's not just the selfless declaration and his team going on to win effortlessly that makes the decision so praise-worthy.What does is an interesting analysis-

Clarke in fact, had the luxury of having the best of both worlds.A 400 was on for sure and yet he would have left his bowlers with more than sufficient time to dislodge 10 Indian wickets(Well,if nearly 2 days are not sufficient,nothing more will be ever!).Yet came the stunning decision from the Aussie skipper.Stunning for most but not for me and that's because as per my  understanding of Aussie cricketing culture,team interests are always given far superior preferences that individual milestones.If it all,anything that surprised me was the fact that Clarke didn't declare the moment he touched 300.But maybe he had a team score in mind.

The ability to restrict the temptations of getting into the 400 club,more so when there was absolutely no limitation of time- is worth a true applause.And if I try to dig into Clarke's reasoning that could have been potentially applied,it must have been something like .....

" I can go on...definitely there's plenty of overs left....Even if a few Indian batsman get stuck,it wouldn't hurt...Even if a Tendulkar or a Dravid manages to eat-up a few large chunks of time...there's really no shortage of time in hand...This is indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity for me..And no-one would ever raise a finger on me..If anything,I can press on the accelerator to show my self-less team-spirit...What more am I expected?Don't I deserve this?And I'm not hurting my team's cause...we'll still win comfortably with a jewel in my bag...."

And after second thoughts

"Hang on....We have got such a sizable we need any more?Simply because I need a few more to get to 400,does my team also need that many?Agreed,it'll take a miraculous effort from Indian batsman to save this,but miracles do happen!!And if I can plan for a marathon innings,why shouldn't I?"

It is for this precise reason that Clarke deserves an honest appreciation.For me,he has redefined how the game should be played.....played for the team to win at any cost! records and milestones happen by default and planning exclusively for them is sheer selfishness.

Mr. Clarke , you have won a million cricketing hearts(including mine) ! lots more than you will ever do by achieving any number of milestones...
And although my Indian heart was not liking it one bit,when our poor chaps were being toyed with,my cricketing heart is brimming with respect for your gesture towards this game.

"Captains are born to serve their team.....and not to take the service themselves."

Dedicated to Michael Clarke-"The trend-setter".

-Image source:Google Images


Shreya said...

Hmm.. cricket lover. :) Loved the title ;)

Need a favour: how to get copyright for blog? Help! :O

kalaiselvisblog said...

"Captains are born to serve their team... and not to take the service themselves"

nice quote buddy...

BGT said...

I agree and I disagree with you Rohit.. I agree - coz what Clarke did, no one could have done it.. Declaring when he was on the verge of something huge!! But in Lara's defence, I must say teams win Test matches, individuals don't. Clarke had a team that can take 20 wkts. Lara didn't. He scored 400* and still the match was a lame draw.

But yes, Clarke = RESPECT!! The pup is now a dog!! :D