Tomorrow we play one of the crucial games of the year (yes, this year, not of four years) when we face Sri Lanka in World Cup Finals. I don’t know why this game does not excite me much. May be because we have played Sri Lanka too much in recent time or may be because I feel so many similarities between Indian and Sri Lankan team. May be because I would have supported Sri Lanka for World Cup if India exited earlier. There can be many reasons, but this game does not enthuse me as an India-Australia or India-Pakistan final.
Most of the let down in energy comes from the fact that both teams are similarly placed – heavily dependent on batting line up, masters of spin pitches, donning heavy spin attack spearheaded by one fast bowler. This makes both teams adopt similar strategy and that does not make me happy. I wanted it to be a battle of bat and ball, but it seems like a contest of bat and bat.
But that’s not the biggest thing going on in my head. Sachin Tendulkar is the key, not because he will play a crucial role in game but because this is his final World Cup. We need to win this cup for him. If we succeed, India’s greatest star will get the gift he deserves. If it was just up to his performance we would have secured at least four out of five cups he has played in, but cricket is a team sport and there are too many aspects for a victory or failure than just an individual’s brilliance.
Then is the idea, that it might be the last time we will watch Sachin Tendulkar bat in a One Day International. And if that is going to be the case then I want time to stop now, I don’t want to see what happens tomorrow, I don’t even want to imagine what happens afterwards. World Cup or not, without Sachin Tendulkar, cricket will never be same again.