CHENNAI // A day after Ricky Ponting refused to walk, Sachin Tendulkar did not let the fact that he was playing his 450th one-day international (ODI) affect his decision-making and gracefully conceded he was out in the first over against the West Indies.
Tendulkar walked after getting the thinnest of edges and was caught behind for just two off the sixth ball of his milestone ODI game at the World Cup today.
His sporting decision silenced a boisterous crowd at a packed MA Chidambaram Stadium who were hoping India's favourite batsman might make an incredible 100th international century in the Group B match.
Instead, the world's most celebrated player glanced round to check wicketkeeper Devon Thomas had held onto the edge off Ravi Rampaul's final delivery of the first over, and once he was satisfied he headed off.
Steve Davis, the umpire, had ruled Tendulkar not out, but that did not stop Tendulkar from walking off after admitting he had edged the ball.
Yesterday, in direct contrast, Ponting, the Australia captain, refused to walk despite clearly getting an edge to the wicketkeeper in a Group A game against Pakistan. He later admitted he knew he was out, but always waited for the umpire's decision. Ponting's unsporting behaviour sparked angry confrontations between Pakistan's fielders and the Australian batsmen.
Everyone except umpire Marais Erasmus realised Ponting had been caught behind, but the Tasmanian would not walk unless Erasmus raised his finger.
"There were no doubts about the nick," said a brazen Ponting. "I knew I hit it, but as always I wait for the umpire to give me out. That's the way I've always played the game."
Through to the quarter-finals as convincing Group B winners, one of South Africa’s problems going forward might be deciding who to leave out of the team. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and AB de Villiers all sat out Saturday’s game against Bangladesh, and they were hardly missed in a 206-run win.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe claimed the man-of-the-match award with figures of three for 14. “We’ve always said we are a squad and this tournament was always going to take a big squad effort,” Graeme Smith, the captain, said. “It’s nice to know there’s quality waiting in the wings.”
New Zealand have called Daryl Tuffey into their World Cup squad as a replacement for the injured Hamish Bennett, who picked up an Achilles injury in the Black Caps’ loss to Sri Lanka on Friday and the ICC have confirmed they had approved Tuffey as his replacement. The 32-year-old right-arm seamer has taken 110 wickets in 94 ODIs for New Zealand.
Ian Bell believes England’s unpredictability means they are a side none of their rivals will want to face in the knockout stages of the World Cup. England tied with India, the co-hosts, and beat a highly fancied South Africa, yet lost to both Ireland and Bangladesh in the group stage, before a thrilling 22-run win over the West Indies on Thursday kept them in the tournament and put them through to the quarter-finals.
“In the last 12 to 18 months, when we’ve had matches we’ve got to win we’ve come out well,” Bell, the batsman, said. “I’m sure there are a lot of teams around that don’t really want to play England – because they don’t quite know what they’re going to get at the minute.”
Bangladesh media came down heavily on Shakib Al Hasan and his team yesterday after the Tigers crashed out of the World Cup. Bangladesh were shot out for 78 chasing South Africa’s 284 for eight in a must-win game on Saturday. “One feels sorry for the faithful who spent sleepless nights in queues for tickets and braved every hurdle imaginable to flock to the stadium,” the Dhaka-based Independent wrote.
The paper slammed the inept batting display after Bangladesh had slumped to their lowest one-day total of 58 against the West Indies earlier in the tournament. “If once, it can be put down to a bad day in the office, but two occasions is inexplicable,” it said.