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In the end, so near yet so far...

November 15, 2013 14:48 IST

In the end, so near yet so far...

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Haresh Pandya

In his farewell innings at the Wankhede, Sachin Tendulkar, says Haresh Pandya, may have sent a message that he still has it in him to hang around for some time more.

So, in the end it turned out to be so near yet so far for the retiring Sachin Tendulkar, who had been widely expected to score a century in his farewell Test, which is being played at the Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai, since Thursday.

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For a man who has scored 51 centuries in Tests and another 49 in ODIs, to convert an already well-executed innings of 74 into a three-figure knock and probably go beyond and finish his marathon 24-year career in style was never going to be difficult at all; certainly not against this West Indies side, which does not inspire awe.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: BCCI

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Haresh Pandya

But, then, it is not without reason that cricket is called a game of glorious uncertainties. Tendulkar, who had survived a couple of close appeals in the morning, appeared to have been tempted by offie Narsingh Deonarine to fiddle with the ball. And the West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who made it clear on landing in India that they are here to play serious cricket and would not show any magnanimity towards Tendulkar on the cricket field, was unlikely to drop the catch which fell in his waiting hands in the slips.

- Aamir talks about sachin


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: BCCI

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Haresh Pandya

Fans may have been a bit disappointed in that Tendulkar failed to score his 101st international century after coming so agonisingly close, but the great man did not fail to make a point that he was leaving the game when looking still capable of not only taking on a set of Test bowlers but also scoring runs.

A score of 74 is a major innings in any form of cricket, undoubtedly in a Test, but we are so used to seeing Tendulkar scoring centuries that such a figure always appears very tiny, which is at once a tribute to his genius and ability to plunder runs, anyway.


Photographs: BCCI
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Haresh Pandya

Tendulkar, who always appeared a bit reluctant to announce his retirement, may have sent a message loud and clear to all those who were of the view that he ought to hang his willow that he still has it in him to hang around for some time more.

Considering India's strong and deep batting line-up, the Caribbeans are in for a long time on the field despite Tendulkar's departure.


Photographs: BCCI
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Haresh Pandya

A big Indian score is in the offing, which means Tendulkar might not get a chance to bat in this Test again. The chances are the West Indies will collapse in their second innings, too, on this turning track.

An Indian win looks inevitable and Tendulkar can be said to have finished his Test career by making yet another valuable contribution to the team's victory.


Photographs: BCCI
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