* All the bad omen surrounding the captain-coach imbroglio has been sent for a hiding.
* There is SOMETHING different (of course, positive) seen in this team, which was sorely missing when he didn't play in the past few months.
* The master-stroke of the first match, i.e. promotion of Irfan to # 3 has been hailed as Sachin's suggestion, which also indicates that Irfan's opening with Sachin in Challenger Trophy must also be his idea.
* In the India Seniors vs India B match at the Challengers' trophy, after the India B innings, the players were returning to the dressing room. Some kids were waiting to get a glimpse of their heroes near the boundary rope. Sachin comes first, one kid asks for autograph, Sachin extends his hand and taps the kid's cheek and goes. The other players show no feelings towards the kids. Felt good and bad at the same time.
* His terrific knock at the first match was a glee.. He played some of the strokes which were missing for long time.. Reminded all Sachin of 1998 (When the Pepsi ad "Ullathai thanthenayya.." was hair-raising everytime I saw/heard).
* He constantly talks to Irfan and guides him through the big partnership, which took the game away from the Srilankans.
* Even today, he was talking to Ajit Agarkar before he bowls the last ball of the over, and that ball, BINGO.. the slower ball of Agarkar gets Atapattu.
* He is intent to take on the key bowlers from the opposition - Vaas and Muralitharan and comes succeeds. He is the highest run scorer in both the matches.
I am optimistic of India's chances in the forthcoming busy season, as long as Sachin is fit and raring to go.
HOT NEWS UPDATE: Sourav Ganguly was not selected for the next three matches too.. mmm.. Have we seen last of him? Atleast his influence on this series is pretty much over, IMHO.
Have a Good Weekend, Friends !!!