Sachin Tendulkar is still centre stage after an extraordinary opening day in Mumbai, says SSN's Geraint Hughes
300 runs, 12 wickets, a cricket legend and two car crashes; an extraordinary day in Mumbai, says SSN's Geraint Hughes.
Last Updated: 14/11/13 5:45pm
Mumbai was definitely a good place to be in for lovers of cricket, sport and emotional drama on Thursday. Forget Downton Abbey, the Sachin Tendulkar show is much more Hollywood or should I say Bollywood.
Thousands of people arrived early at the Wankhede stadium in southern Mumbai in anticipation of witnessing Tendulkar's final Test appearance. Face painters were doing a roaring trade as were flag sellers. It was a day to be proud to be Indian, proud of Sachin Tendulkar.
So there was a slight anti-climax when India's captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to field against the West Indies; most thought they wouldn't see their hero bat, indeed many people with precious tickets left the stadium vowing to come back only when Tendulkar appeared.
They didn't have to wait too long. At lunch the West Indies were two wickets down, before tea they were all out. Pragyan Ojha and Ravi Ashwin taking eight wickets between them as the tourists slumped to 182 all out.
With a session left and India's openers looking composed and comfortable the likelihood of Tendulkar batting appeared slim. However, two quick wickets changed everything. The stadium filled up. The decibel level rose, the atmosphere electrified.
Tendulkar walked out to a guard of honour, but unlike Sir Don Bradman on his final Test appearance in 1948 there was no tear in the eye, Tendulkar looked like the only person in India without nerves.
Every dot ball, every forward defensive, every run and boundary received rapturous adulation from the crowd. They were loving it, but clearly all were concerned that Tendulkar might actually be dismissed. No chance. The Little Master was putting on a master class, 38 not out at stumps.
Leaving the stadium, the spectators were beaming - 'we love Sachin! Give us a century!' the universal cry.
Ravi Shastri, another Indian icon, said; "He's in the zone, he's there. He hasn't been there for a while but he's in the zone now. The West Indies need to get him out quickly in the morning otherwise this will be big."
And it won't be just Tendulkar's adoring public that hope it's big. For the first time Tendulkar's mother watched him play cricket, unbelievable considering he's been playing for 24 imperious years.
Day Two of this extraordinary Test match will have to go some way to match Day One, over 300 runs, 12 wickets and Sachin in imperious form. I'm talking rubbish, should Tendulkar make a century the place will go bonkers!
And talking about bonkers, thats the best way to describe the traffic in Mumbai, our taxi driver is the only unhappy man in the city- two cars have driven into his taxi today.
You can watch the whole of Day Two from Mumbai on Sky Sports 1 from 3.45am on Friday 15 November