Sachin Not Out At 38 On First Day Of His Final Test
Sachin not out at 38 on first day of his final Test
By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Shreyas+Sharma Shreyas Sharma]
Published: 22:05 BST, 14 November 2013 | Updated: 22:05 BST, 14 November 2013
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comments] Sachin Tendulkar was not out at 38 as the first day of the Test came to a close
What could be a better stage than one's testimonial match to play a knock that serves as a tribute to one's glittering career?
Sachin Tendulkar was 38 not out at stumps on Thursday, and there's no doubt that Mumbai and the rest of India will come to a standstill on Friday as the countdown to a billion fans' dream knock - a farewell century - begins.
There was enough action packed into the first day of the second Test between India and the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium here to almost guarantee that this match won't last the scheduled five days.
The West Indies' ineptitude against reverse swing at Eden Gardens was replaced by their total inability to play the turning and bouncing ball.
For the record, India finished the day at 157 for two in reply to the West Indies' 182, with Cheteshwar Pujara giving Tendulkar company on 34.
It was just after 3:30pm when Murali Vijay was caught at forward short-leg, and if the Wankhede stands still had a roof like the one that was removed a few years ago, the 25,000-plus fans' roar would've torn it down.
He walked out to a guard of honour from the Windies players and jnvcw.cn the umpires and a standing ovation from each and every person in the ground.
He took guard to face Shane Shillingford - the man who had got him with a doosra in Kolkata and had just taken out both the India openers within three balls.
He inside-edged the first one but, to the collective relief of the crowd, the ball dropped short of the fielder.
What followed over the next 72 deliveries was a highlight reel of some trademark Tendulkar shots, interspersed with rock-solid defence.
Yes, there were a few early jitters, but the ugly swipe for his first run was quickly replaced by more and more assured strokes.
The best was stored for Darren Sammy. He was greeted by the Tendulkar on-drive that has set a billion hearts aflutter.
Ironically, that blow would have stung the Windies skipper the least. Having been put into bat on a green-looking wicket, Sammy saw his teammates flounder against R. Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha, after going into lunch with the score at 93 for two.
Suresh Raina has played 180 ODIs in the company of Tendulkar
Suresh Raina is a star in his own right, but like all the players of his generation, is in awe of Sachin Tendulkar.
The Uttar Pradesh batsman has played 180 ODIs in the company of Tendulkar, but his abiding memory of the legend comes from a Test match.
"When I made my Test debut in Sri Lanka, he was at the other end. He got a double century and I got a century. That is the most important day of my life, even now," Raina told Mail Today.
Nine months later, the two were in Mumbai together, celebrating India's WC victory, another moment Raina can't forget.
"When we won the World Cup, we all got very emotional. I can never forget the way he helped us achieve the WC and, most importantly, the way he enjoyed with all the players and threw a special party.
"We all had a good time with family members and also the net bowlers.
We saw a different side of him that day. It meant the world to him to realise his dream, but at the same time he was very respectful and almost in awe of the World Cup," he said.
Sachin's mother joins the fans at Master's swansong
By Shreyas Sharma in Mumbai
In the final over of the first day's play here, as Sachin Tendulkar blocked out Darren Sammy, the giant screen displayed the wheelchair-bound woman who had given birth to the legend in 1973.
Rajni Tendulkar attended her first-ever cricket match on Thursday and, as soon as she saw herself on screen, her eyes lit up and she bit her tongue as if to say 'what am I doing up there!'
This was followed by shots of her grandson Arjun, granddaughter Sara and daughter-in-law Anjali, even as the crowd continued to gaze at and cheer for the diminutive genius.
Proud: Sachin Tendulkar's mother Rajni watches the opening day's play at the Wankhede Stadium
That was not the only first - the master's walk to the crease amid a guard of honour from the West Indies players and the umpires culminated in a hitherto unseen gesture.
He touched the pitch with his right hand in a sign of deference, before taking guard.
Tendulkar's childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar was also in attendance, and though the guru can barely speak any more, his daughter Kalpana Murkar said: "All he wants to see now is a century."
Sachin Tendulkar's coach and mentor Ramakant Achrekar (left) speaks to Anjali Tendulkar
The zenith of excitement, of course, was the moment right before that when Murali Vijay got out and the crowd got the unexpected gift of watching the maestro bat on the first day itself, something that had seemed unlikely when M.S.
Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl.
There was a section of the crowd that booed him and shouted slogans against him.
Before the first ball, dignitaries gathered in front of the pavilion to felicitate Tendulkar, with union minister and MCA president Sharad Pawar joined by his governmental colleagues Kapil Sibal and BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla, Board president N.
Srinivasan, secretary Sanjay Patel, and the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.
Union minister Kapil Sibal releases a special stamp with Tendulkar, MCA chief Sharad Pawar, BCCI chairman N.
Srinivasan and BCCI V-P Rajeev Shukla
Anjali Tendulkar watches the match unfold with (from left) her mother, son and father
Sibal released two commemorative postal stamps, while Srinivasan gifted Tendulkar a silver-and-gold trophy with his initials embossed on it.
Patel handed over a portrait of the maestro, while West Indies captain Darren Sammy presented him with a team shirt signed by all the members of the squad.
Gavaskar, meanwhile, ruffled Tendulkar's hair with affection that the latter seemed to enjoy.
Srinivasan was also present at the toss, which took place with a specially-minted coin that had Tendulkar's left profile embossed on it, and the batsman took the field with a special cap presented to him by Dhoni on account of his 200th Test, instead of the regular white floppy hat.
Srinivasan (left) presents Sachin Tendulkar with a trophy to commemorate his 200th Test in Mumbai
Former West Indies captains Clive Lloyd and Brian Lara (right) soak up the atmosphere
The feat also made its way to the Indian team members' shirts, which have 'Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test' printed below the BCCI logo on the left side of the chest.
The television commentators have been given blazers with 'SRT 200' - the host broadcaster's marketing title for the match - sewed into the front pocket.
The commentators were joined for a while by Bollywood mega star Aamir Khan, who confessed to being a die-hard Tendulkar fan. Once Tendulkar did away with the cap after lunch, the crowd got into its act, rushing to the boundary fence wherever he went to field and cheering his every move.
And if the roar that greeted his arrival is anything to go by, the mind cannot begin to imagine what it'll be like if he does get to his 52nd Test century on Friday.