Sachin is India's all time 'Mr Reliable'

Updated: 01 February 2011 16:34 IST

There are no adjectives left to describe this man. He's been there for more than 20 years, has accomplishments far beyond the reach of any of his contemporaries, and yet the kind of form he is in at this age, makes him look almost immortal.

Sachin is India's all time 'Mr Reliable'

There are no adjectives left to describe this man. He's been there for more than 20 years, has accomplishments far beyond the reach of any of his contemporaries, and yet the kind of form he is in at this age, makes him look almost immortal.

Sachin Tendulkar is in a class of his own and it is tough to join him in that league, but his hunger, his application and his determination are worth emulating. His ability to adapt to different bowlers, conditions, formats and situations with equal ease is amazing. After his double hundred in Colombo, Sachin said, "people should stop talking" about his age. Yes, they should. I would rather call him 'Domaine Romanee-Conti' for getting better with age.

Despite having some of the world's best batsmen in the side, Sachin has been India's most reliable and consistent batsman for the last 20 years. And it was no different in the 3-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Amassing 390 runs in the series, Sachin pulled India out of tricky situations on more than one occasion.

In the first Test, he played a knock of 84 runs in the second innings, but his efforts were not enough to save India. In the second Test, he made sure India did not lose. He hit a double century and also shepherded debutant Suresh Raina brilliantly. The match ended in a draw and India stayed afloat.

In the third Test, India were pushed on the back foot after Sri Lanka ripped off their top order on the penultimate day. It was the Master again who calmed the Indian nerves and played sheet anchor's role. Sri Lankan spinner Suraj Randiv's deliveries appeared fatal but as long as Sachin was there, the hopes were very much alive. He scored 41 and 54 runs in the third Test. But more than the runs, it was his approach that helped India no end. His knock in the second innings was special. It was slow and solid. His presence allowed VVS Laxman to settle down and the duo then built a much-needed stand of 109 runs.

Laxman proved once again why he was 'very very special'. His century came up when it was needed the most. Surviving cramps, Randiv, Mendis and Malinga, Laxman steered India to series-levelling win.

Virender Sehwag was his usual self. No fuss, no complications, he played as he was expected to. Slamming two centuries and picking a handful of wickets, Sehwag's form up the order gave Indian batting the much-needed strength and look that India is known to have.

Raina, who made his Test debut in this series, showed that he had the temperament and the technique to survive in Tests. His impressive show with the bat has sent out warnings to the likes of Yuvraj Singhs and Rohit Sharmas.

One player who was a huge disappointment in this series was Rahul Dravid. Once called 'the Wall', 'Mr Reliable', 'Mr Dependable' and all that was synonymous with consistency and solidity, Dravid looked completely out of sorts. There were ample opportunities for him in the series, which he once relished, but he failed to grab any of them.

It's a bitter truth but Dravid is heading towards the fag end of his career. Not every player can do a Sachin, but Dravid has carved a niche for himself and it's up to him how he wants to finish. Time's running out for him and a player as great as he is, deserves to walk out on a high.

Topics : Sachin Tendulkar Cricket
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