Two years ago, Darren Sammy ‘spoiled what was shaping up to be a crazy party in Mumbai’, catching Sachin Tendulkar on 94. The West Indies skipper aims for a repeat in the Master’s 200th and final Test.
I have played enough cricket in India to know how the noise levels climb a few notches whenever Sachin Tendulkar enters the scene. And I know it’s going to be crazier when he walks down the steps of the Wankhede Stadium in November, one last time. Not to forget the three innings before that. But I can assure you that every time Sachin walks out to bat in his final series, we will look to get him out first ball.
This is not to say that we don’t realise the magnitude of the event. This will be the last time the passionate Indian fans will get to see their biggest hero on a cricket ground.
The atmosphere is going to be emotional and surreal but we are there as a proud team looking to win a Test match. And for that we need to take 20 wickets, including Tendulkar’s. Plus, all my bowlers will be motivated to get him out. There’s history at stake after all. All of them, including yours truly, will want to be the bowler who dismissed the great man for the last time. And there’s going to be great competition amongst us. So we’ll all come extra hard at him.
Probably at the end of the day, we will sit down for a drink with him, and celebrate the 24 years he has spent amazing the cricket world. But there’s no question of us dropping our guard and getting swayed by Tendulkar mania. As the captain of the West Indies, I am more focused on being competitive during the Test series, and try and post a win in India.
We as a team have had a good run over the last 18 months in Test cricket and have climbed up the rankings. Our goal is clear when we reach India, which is to keep improving. Winning in India is never