The legendary Sachin Tendulkar got a memorable gift in his emotionally-charged farewell Test which lasted just about two and a half days as India crushed a hapless West Indies by an innings and 126 runs to complete a 2-0 whitewash in one of the most lopsided contests in recent history.
There was an outpouring of emotions when the moment arrived as a teary-eyed Tendulkar left the playing arena,which he dominated for 24 long years. Amid standing ovations from his teammates as well as the fans who had thronged the stadium to see the champion for one last time,Tendulkar walked into the sunset of his glittering career.
Starting the day at 43 for three,the West Indies were skittled out for a paltry 187 in their second innings as Pragyan Ojha completed a match-haul of 10 wickets taking his second five-for.
Only seven sessions of play was possible in a Test match in which one of the most respected and celebrated cricketers in the history bid goodbye to the game in front of his home crowd and his family,many of whom watched him for the first time from the stands.
Gauging the emotional atmosphere,skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni,once the play was extended for 15 minutes after the fall of eighth wicket,introduced Tendulkar to roll his arms for a couple of overs amid deafening cheers from the partisan crowd.
He pitched a googly right,bowled a few loopy half volleys which were cheered by one and all.
He didn’t have much luck like the first Test but it didn’t matter as Dhoni replaced Tendulkar with his frontline spinner Ashwin,who got the ninth wicket of the West Indies innings.
Moment after the final West Indies wicket fell,the Indian cricketers converged around the ‘Man of the Moment’ and handed him a souvenir stump as they came one by one to hug him.
After that a relay ‘Guard of Honour’ was given by Dhoni and his men as Tendulkar walked out of the pitch one final time trying hard to conceal his emotions under the floppy sun hat.
But one could see him wipe a tear off as the West Indies players came down to congratulate the legend on a wonderful career. Arjun Tendulkar,who was doing the duty of a ball-boy,stood applauding at the boundary line.
Starting with a 8-1 off-side field,Ashwin bowled on Gayle’s pads as he was clipped for three boundaries in a single over by the big-bodied Jamaican.
Marlon Samuels (11) stepped out to a flighted delivery from Pragyan Ojha,only to find that Dhoni had effected the easiest of stumpings.
Gayle also followed suit as he edged a straighter one from Ojha for Dhoni to take a sharp catch. At 87 for five,there was a fear that the match may well get over even before lunch session as Narsingh Deonarine (0) offered a simple return catch to become Ojha’s fourth victim of the innings and ninth of the match.
However Chanderpaul,playing his 150th Test match offered some resistance in company of Denesh Ramdin (53) as they added 68 runs for the seventh wicket before the veteran padded up one from Ashwin that went straight after pitching. Chanderpaul scored 41 with four boundaries.
Skipper Darren Sammy (1) who had demoted himself in the batting order didn’t fare any better.
Ramdin,however,continued hitting the odd boundaries in between as he reached half-century as wickets fell at the other end.
It was Mohammed Shami,who brought an end with a typical inswinging delivery that brought curtains down on a wonderful career.
It was yet another dismal batting performance from the West Indies as the likes of Gayle,Kieron Powell,Dwayne Bravo,Marlon Samuels and Chanderpaul failed to live upto their expectations for the second time in the match.
Gayle managed to score just 35 off 53 balls today,his highest in the series,that was studded with four boundaries and a six.
A dashing batsman in the T20 format,Gayle finished the series without a single half century to his name in the four completed innings. His scores in the series stand as 18,33,11,35. A total of 97 runs in a high-profile series doesn’t do justice to his enormous big-hitting potential.
However Chanderpaul played in his typical manner trying to put up a resistance against the spin twins of Ojha and Ashwin on a track that had considerable wear and tear. The 50 run partnership between Chanderpaul and Ramdin came off 60 balls.
Ramdin,who was fighting a losing cause,completed his 50 off 60 balls with 10 fours and a six which he hit over deep midwicket off Ashwin’s bowling.
Shane Shillingford (8) hung in there for sometime dangerously and helped Ramdin complete his half-century. But it was only a matter of time before Shillingford finally got an off-break from Ashwin that turned sharply to trap him plumb in-front.
At 185 for nine,when last man Shanon Gabriel walked in one anticipated a near end to a one-sided Test match.
At 11.47 am,it was Shami,who brought an end with a typical inswinging delivery that breached through Gabriel’s defence,bringing curtains down on a wonderful career.
West Indies team will have some introspection to do before the ODI series comes calling as they have surrendered both the matches without a semblance of fight.
The Caribbean batsmen were below par and the pace attack didn’t have forepower to dismiss the talented Indian batting line-up. The only bright spot for the Caribbeans has been the performance of Shillingford,who got back-to-back five wicket hauls in the series.
India jump to 2nd in Test rankings after series win
India jumped one place to second on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table after winning the two-Test series against the West Indies 2-0 in Mumbai.
India had started the series in third position and a 2-0 win has put them in second position.
This sets up an interesting two-Test series between number-one ranked South Africa and India to be played next month in Johannesburg and Durban. India had needed to win the series against the West Indies to move up the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table.
India’s innings and 126 runs win in the second and final Test has helped them gain three ratings points to end at 119 ratings points,three ratings points ahead of England.
In contrast,West Indies have retained their pre-series sixth-rank but has dropped four ratings points to finish at 95. West Indies are now six ratings points behind fifth-ranked Australia and seven behind fourth-ranked Pakistan.
Meanwhile,the ICC said the qualification pathway for the inaugural World Test Championship,to be hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2017,will be through the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings,with the qualifying period being from May 1,2013 to December 31,2016.
The top four teams at the conclusion of the qualification period will qualify for the event in 2017. The results of any Test series ending after May 1,2013 and the results of any Test series starting before December 31,2016 will be included in the period that determine qualification for the ICC WTC.