Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Tendulkar’s retirement a boon not a bane

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While Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement may have been looked upon as the saddest chapter in Indian cricket, the fact remains that his exit can only work to the benefit of MS Dhoni’s emerging Test side.

There is no doubt about Tendulkar’s contribution to Indian cricket but as statistics show his impact was on the decline, more so in the last two years.

Tendulkar averaged only 31 in Tests in last two years, highest score being 94 against the West Indies in November, 2011. His average is lower than that of Dhoni (41.3), Virat Kohli (41.1), Cheteshwar Pujara (80.2) and Murali Vijay (55.4) in the same period.

With time, Tendulkar’s batting also transformed itself. The right-hander curbed his aggression and focused more on protecting his wicket without the attacking intent of the past. His recent knocks haven’t been free-flowing essays, but jerky outings.

Importance of being Sachin Tendulkar

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For 24 years Sachin had been India’s happiness index.

If a common man, while wading through the struggles of his daily life, smiled, it was mostly when Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar took guard for India. All that has come to an end with his retirement.

India may never find another sporting icon who singularly succeeded in making the nation forget its faults – a unifying factor of rare stature. No player, in contemporary cricket, has evoked spells of pure joy with his craft and conduct for so long – 24 years. Life, for the nation of a billion people, will go on but never be the same again.

Life in the time of Federer and Tendulkar

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In sports, the fear of loss does different things to different people. It spurs athletes to greater heights; for spectators, it often changes the topography of their nails. In some, it induces mild depression.

Its inevitability is creeping into the minds of even the most stoic spectators. Soon, they won’t have Roger Federer and Sachin Tendulkar around anymore. What will be the world like without Federer and Sachin? Surely, the sporting world will move on, for no athlete is bigger than the game. But will it be the same again? Maybe not. Federer brought to tennis a “complete game”, rarely seen before. What made it even surreal was the ease and elegance with which he wielded his racquet.

Domination in ODIs a thing of the past

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Recent results in one-day cricket have not only made a mockery of the rankings but it has also injected some much-needed excitement in the format.

First, it was current No. 1 India, who lost to Pakistan (No. 6) at home, followed by third-ranked Australia, who fought hard to just level a series with visitors Sri Lanka. Then it was the turn of hosts South Africa to lose a three-match series to lower-ranked New Zealand.

from India Insight:

Defying Hitler and jostling for Goering’s autograph

    The Dutch broke his stick hoping to find a hidden magnet The Japanese suspected his stick was coated with glue Cricket legend Don Bradman gushed -- "He scores goals like runs in cricket" Adolf Hitler was so impressed with him that he offered him German citizenship and a post in the army

If an athlete's greatness is measured by the number of apocryphal stories about him or her, hockey wizard Dhyan Chand is in a league of his own.

Before every Olympic Games, India indulges in nostalgia about its hockey heyday and revisits the folklore around arguably the greatest hockey player ever.

Force India’s Hulkenberg drives me crazy

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By Amlan Chakraborty

“So help me God”.

Four innocuous words but it nearly unnerved me enough to back out of the whole business. I somehow scribbled my name in the indemnity form below those four words and the face of my three-month son instantly flashed before my eyes.

By the time my head was squeezed into what looked more like an astronaut’s headgear than a helmet, I was a bundle of nerves, kicking myself for agreeing to do something as silly as this.

Dravid hit the high notes despite playing second fiddle

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By Sudipto Ganguly

Rahul Dravid will go down in the annals of Indian cricket as a champion batsman who had no qualms about playing second fiddle during an illustrious 15-year career built upon the soundest of techniques.

A purist’s delight, Dravid will be fondly remembered as someone whose batting was as perfect as a coaching manual and the numerous rescue acts he performed would secure him a place on the wish-list of any international captain.

DRS in cricket…to use or not to use?

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By Sudipto Ganguly, India sports correspondent

The inconsistent use of the Decision Review System (DRS) has put the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the firing line once again, strengthening the already popular notion that the governing body is helpless against the wishes of its most influential member board – India.

As the rest of the cricketing world went up in unison in a huge appeal, like a stern umpire, India once again shook its head and refused to budge on the use of technology in the game.

Wanderers test will not match Newlands. But for better or worse?

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Last week’s crazy Cape Town test match between South Africa and Australia, where 23 wickets fell in a day and the visitors narrowly avoided the lowest ever test score, will go down in cricket’s esteemed annals.

They meet again at the Wanderers from Thursday. But would test cricket fans want to see a repeat?

How long can England dominate test cricket?

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England have destroyed India to go 3-0 up in their test series and officially become the world’s best test nation having also humbled Australia Down Under just a few months ago.

It’s a new position for England to find themselves in after batting collapse after batting collapse undermined their sides in the 1980/90s and sporadically in recent years.

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