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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)