There is a game of cricket actually due to be played in Mumbai tomorrow, but this Test match will obviously – and I suppose rightly – over shadowed by the the retirement of the Little Master.
Obviously the limited overs Indian teams have moved on without Sachin over the past few years. But having said that, Sachin probably could have named his date, time and format to choose to play his final match… so with this in mind, I’m very happy that Sachin has made his final international cricket match, a Test match.
Maybe it’s time the likes of the BCCI, WICB and SLC took note.
Not that it’s likely to get a mention in all the hullabaloo, but Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be playing in the small matter of his 150th Test match. A great West Indian who gets little accolade.
What a player he is also. For years he has carried this side, and when he started playing in 1994, he was playing with some of the West Indian greats in the final throws of their careers, and didn’t look out of place with them.
Formalities and moans over, so now on to the cricket.
In the cricket betting, India are the favourites at 4/9 to win the Test match. The Draw is 5/2, and West Indies are 8/1.
Even allowing for all the obvious distractions, India should still be too strong for the West Indian team (judging by the winning margin in the 1st Test). Having said that, Shane Shillingford (13/8 to be top West Indies bowler) showed some good form and troubled the Indian top order at Kolkata, so he shouldn’t be treated lightly.
Duncan Fletcher looks to have unearthed another Indian gem in Mohammed Shami. He will be looking to build on his impressive performance last week, when he took a remarkable 9 wickets on debut.
I’ve written it many a time on this website, and make no apologies for writing it again…. this team is now Duncan Fletcher’s, and he is building a very impressive outfit.
The weather looks okay, and the pitch is expected to last 5 days. The last Test match played here seen England win, and 19 wickets go to spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. Three centuries were scored and there was a couple of 60’s, but apart from that there was no real scores of any note. This suggests runs are possible, but only if you can play yourself in first.
Sachin is 5/1 to be top Indian batsman and go out in a blaze of glory.