04 August, 2021

The Quick Versus The Quicker

A rival from the other end of the pitch reflects on Sachin’s reflexes

Reuters (From Outlook 29 April 2013)
The Quick Versus The Quicker

It isn’t easy to write about Sachin Tendulkar. Here is someone on whom pages and pages have been written over the last 24 years, someone who has broken almost every major batting record there is to break, someone who has scored runs in all conditions, in all countries where cricket is played. He is unanimously accepted as the best batsman to have played cricket in the last two and a half decades. While all of this is true, it’s important to try and understand what makes Sachin so special. That’s what I have tried to do in this piece, on the occasion of his 40th birthday.

Sachin isn’t the tallest man in the world. According to conventional wisdom, you can ruffle up a shorter person if you bowl short and real quick to him. And you might remember that, in my prime, I could easily generate up to 150 kmph. Sachin, however, always found more time than others to deal with my bowling. He could rock back and hook or pull with equal panache. Anything pitched up could disappear to the off-side boundary. If I got my line slightly awry, he could flick, glance...

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