What’s a 100? It’s just a number, one after 99. Nothing big and definitely nothing to make any hype out of. It is just two zeros attached to a 1 and in mathematics they say “zero has no value” (yes, we know we are taking things out of context, but don’t we always?). In cricket, they say, 100 runs is a century, so what’s the big deal, even Harbhajan Singh, a bowler, has two to his credit. Thus we simply fail to understand what’s all this hoopla is about “century of centuries”, we plainly believe it’s another promotional gimmick by those who want to bring religion into the game to lift their “so called deity” to the ultimate level, unnecessarily.
Okay, let’s look at it analytically by extending the SHT here. Let’s take you all back to just the beginning of this year when India toured South-Africa. In the first and in the third test same Indian Batsman (we don’t want to name him to avoid any finger pointing) scored hundreds in each of the test and India didn’t win any of it (apparently some people made a big deal about some 50th test century or something), while in the second test VVS Laxman (aka real match winner) scored 96 and India won the test. So if 100s can’t even win a game for your side then what’s the point, why are they given such a huge importance? Now, please don’t ask us why we selected this tour as opposed to the more recent tour of India’s to England where 3 such 100s from one man couldn’t save his team from going down 0-4. Don’t you already know that we are “selective” when it comes to stats and numbers?
Yes, we know that some of you, with a pure aim of confusing us with fuzzy math, might come after us with statistics like Colombo 1993, WC 1996, Chennai 1998, Desert Storm 1998, Headingly 2002, WC 2003, Chennai 2008 and numerous others where hundreds can singlehandedly win matches. But don’t you worry, we have gathered facts too, Chennai 1999, Hyderabad 2009 (aka Chennai reloaded), and WC 2011 are instances where we can prove our point that 100s are worthless and don’t win you anything (again, why are you questioning our choice of facts, don’t you know our fondness for selectivity, and no, we have no agenda against any one player).
We firmly believe that 100 is just a personal landmark that some cricketers cherish more than the others. I mean look at another of our favorite match winner Viru; he doesn’t care much for it. He get’s stump out for 99 while going for a big heave. And while we are talking about Viru, remember it was his score of 83 that received Man of the match in spite of another centurion in the fourth innings of a test match where India chased 387. Just talking about Indian Batsmen, look at VVS Laxman, he doesn’t even have 20 centuries in tests but he’s the true match winner, remember Mohali 2010? Now, please, don’t try to undermine his monumental efforts by mentioning things like #10 and #11 batted with him for certain time and didn’t get out like Chennai 1999 or Hyderabad 2009.
It now appears that even politicians have joined the hype-n-hoopla about this meaningless gimmick of 100X100, with Mr. Vilasrao (MCA) announcing a felicitation with 100 gold coins. Imagine how many poor and hungry children can be fed with that amount of money in third world, underdeveloped, African nations. We have been hearing about this 100th ton for almost 9 months now. We sincerely believe that a team in WC2011 even conspired to make that happen (wait, and we will get you proofs). Then later, in England, the so called “milestone” was almost reached, only to the disappointment of the certain fans of the game (not sure if we can call them fans or are they just crazy fanatics?), it was left unconquered. Now the Mumbai stadium is the latest victim of the gimmick and as a result the ticket prices have gone through the roof. How does a common mumbaikar, traveling through the local trains, afford to go to the game now?
We collectively need to ignore such “personal milestones”. Yes, some of you (fuzzy math lovers) might argue “but 74 of such 99 occasion ended up ensuring that our team didn’t lose”, so be it. That doesn’t warranty holding the entire cricketing fraternity like a hostage for 9 months. Let’s instead pay attention to the likes of Aswhin, Yadav, and Aaron who hold the future of our National Team. Cricket is not about one player, it is a team-game (most of the times except Chennai 1999 and Hyderabad 2009). So stop celebrating individual glory and instead start thinking about how team India can regain the #1 test ranking.
-True Cricket admirers