In their most recent game against England in the World Cup, India’s top seven batsmen consisted of the following names: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, M. S. Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, and Virat Kholi. For the baseball fans among you, this is not far off having a top batting order consisting of Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Mike Piazza, Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Bonds. If the first two batsmen fail, then the third or fourth of fifth of sixth or seventh are likely to succeed. Like the dream baseball line-up above, all seven Indian batsmen have the potential to rip the game from your hands just when you think you have them on the rack.
It’s hard to see how anyone is going to beat this Indian side, especially since they’re playing at home before an adoring and ecstatic crowd. In this game, Tendulkar scored a century—his fifth in World Cup games, and a new record. The crowd went wild, and the English blinked and looked bemused, as though they’d woken up from a nightmare, only to discover that the nightmare was real. But then, how’d you feel if having just struck out DiMaggio and the Monster of Mash, you looked out from the pitching mound to see the Splendid Splinter striding to home plate?