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ARTICLE : Bahutule can win matches (S.Gavaskar) - 23 Mar 1995

Bahutule can win matches

It was interesting to talk to Sachin Tendulkar as he  loosened up
to  field in the finals of the India No. 1 Challenger trophy.  He
candidly confessed that it is his concentration, or the  lack  of
it, that is making him play shots that get him out.

He was saying that he makes his mind  up  not   to   play   risky
shots  but  suddenly  as  the ball is bowled, he wants to send it
into  or- bit. He has a terrific cricket brain and  one  is  sure
that  he  will   find  a way to get over this lapse in concentra-

What is heartening is that he knows  that  he   should   not   be
chucking  it away especially in a team where the form of the rest
of  the batsmen can only be described  as  fickle.  When  a  team
depends   heavily on a player to score the runs he has to discip-
line his batting in a manner that is best  for  the  team.   That
Tendulkar  is  aware  of  this and is working towards it is great
news for Indian cricket and Indian cricket will be the better for

Vinod Kambli, who has not scored runs as heavily as  he  did  the
previous  season,  seemed  to  be inspired by the presence of his
erstwhile school chum and he played some  audacious  pull   shots
off Venkatesh Prasad to match Tendulkar in scoring runs  off just
about every ball he faced. After Tendulkar fell to  Bahutule,  to
that lapse in concentration he was concerned about, one felt Kam-
bli would take over but he too fell  to  a  prodigiously  turning
ball  that  he shouldered arms to, without corresponding movement
of his feet.

Bahutule followed these two prize wickets with as fine a spell of
legspin bowling one could hope to see. He  was  attacking all the
time, not afraid to be hit even as he gave the ball generous  air
and  invited  batsmen  to go after him. He has been another  con-
sistent  per- former in  recent  seasons  and  like  all  quality
legspinners  he   might   get  collared once in a while but he is
more likely to win you matches too.

That the India team got out in the 48th over shows  how  vital it
is  for  batsmen who get set to keep going and not to chuck their
wickets away.  Their total of 225 was not a good total  to  de-
fend if the India `A` team got off to a good start. The India `A`
team  had  dropped the attacking Khoda for the solid Muzumdar and
with  Manjrekar getting bogged down, they did not get the start
they were looking for.

Srinath bowled with fire almost as if he  was   charged   up   by
Ankola`s performance of the previous days and in  getting Rathore
and Dravid off consecutive deliveries he put  his  team  on  top.
His   Karnataka  teammate  then tightened the stranglehold with a
miserly spell that  included the wicket of  skipper  Manjrekar.
The  crowd  forgot  his   heroics  of the previous day and hooted
him. If only it was easy to  play  out in the middle as it is  in
the stand then we all would be Sir Garfield Sobers, wouldn`t we?

Vaidya too was lively as if he realised that if at all one had to
perform,  it  was  this  day, for the selectors were going to sit
down to choose the squad for the Asia Cup.

Though the India team proved much the stronger   of   the   three
teams,  the tournament served its  purpose  of  pitting  the best
talent available against each other in similar conditions,  pres-
sures  and   wickets. The performances could thus be judged in
the  proper  perspective rather than when one  performs  in  dif-
ferent  parts of  the  country  in different conditions and wick-
ets and where the opposition is not always demanding. The cricket
board  and the sponsors need to be  complimented on having such
a tournament and it is good to  know  that  the next one will  be
played  just  before  the  Indian  squad for the World Cup is an-

Sunil M Gavaskar

 Contributed by Sadiq.Yusuf (

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