ndians love cricket and millions are glued to the fortunes of the Indian team. Everybody wants India to win and it is one game that has a big hand in national integration. Cricket also generates tremendous revenue, but that is on the backs of the Indian masses who are enamored of the game. Sometimes one wonders that even with a large percentage of the population subsisting on less than a dollar a day, yet the love for cricket is undiminished.
The recent wallop by England and meting out a 4-0 knock out to India has dismayed millions. Even when Dhoni failedto chase 86 to win in 90 balls in the 3rd test against the West Indies, the decision dismayed a lot of Indians. Thus the bottom line is that the masses want India to win, but it is not happening.
Look at an event that has not been reported or commented much in the Indian press and that is the feat of Ricky Pointing, the Aussie test player and former captain. When Australia beat Sri Lanka in the first test at Galle, it turned out to be the 100th time Pointing was part of a winning Australian team. It was a historical moment as no player in the history of the game has been part of a winning team, that won 100 test matches. Not even Bradman or Viv Richards or Sobers or anybody.
The Indian press and public was Luke warm on this historical achievement. One reason was that the public were anticipating a 100th century from Tendulkar. He already has 99 to his credit. Another reason is that 100 wins with Tendulkar in the team is a well nigh
Ricky pointing may not have the records of Tendulkar under his belt, but he has done Australia proud by being part of 100 test victories. It is also on record that in these 100 test victories the performance of Ricky Pointing was not insignificant. He has after all 39 test centuries to his credit.
Cricket is a team game and though individual records matter, they are not a substitute for victory. After all a general wants to win the war and not a battle. A personal record is just a milestone on the way to a victory. But in the case of Tendulkar it has not happened that way. He has made his records but for India defeat is the milestone. An example is that with Tendulkar in the team, India has never won a series in Sri Lanka after 1993, never in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Alas! What use are these records if India cannot win.
The present washout in England was not what the public was looking forward to. They wanted an Indian victory as well as 100 centuries from Tendulkar. Unfortunately Tendulkar could not save India in a single test match. Nothing like the brave Sangakarra hitting 208 against Pakistan and drawing the test. Well friends take your pick, 100 centuries or 100 wins.