Sachin Tendulkar reveals batsman’s secret to play on fast pitches

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Sachin Tendulkar reveals batsman’s secret to play on fast pitches

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SportsCafe Desk

01/03/2018

India’s struggle on fast pitches, offering lateral movements, is no secret and in South Africa, where they will get that a lot, Tendulkar explains how a batsman should deal with it. The legendary batsman also hailed South Africa’s ability to produce world-class all-rounders over the years.

Though critics and experts have been visibly excited about how the lethally-blessed Indian pace attack would perform well away in South Africa, they sure have their reservations when it comes to the batsmen. Indian batsmen have almost always struggled to get going on the fast and bouncy pitches with their recent games against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens and in Dharamsala being prime examples.

However, legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar has denied that belief stating that his teammates - Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman - never had that problem. He then went on to explain what goes through a batsman’s mind when he faces pace bowlers on moving pitches.

“A good batsman will always see to it that his hands are close to him. And a good bowler will always see to it that he gets the batsman to move his hands away from the body. Both exactly work the opposite of each other and that's where the plotting begins. The closer your hands remain to your body will mean you're using your feet, which in turn is what your mind is telling you, to move closer in lineof the ball.

"If the feet don't move, but the batsman tries to move in line with the ball, then the upper body begins to compensate for that movement. That's where it gets tricky. How you settle down into that rhythm is the key,” said Tendulkar in an interview with TOI.

Tendulkar’s cricketing career, which spanned an enormous 24 years, also saw him playing against South Africa when they returned to international cricket for the first time. Recalling his tours, the Master Blaster stated that the strongest suit of them has always been the all-rounders, who provided a perfect balance to the side.

“The thing with South Africa is they always enjoyed an amazing balance. The all-rounders lent an air of authority. And by all-rounders, I just don't mean guys who could bat and bowl. Likewise, when I speak of all-rounders, look at the transition that happened from Brian McMillan to Jacques Kallis. A batsman used to be their fourth fast bowler (Kallis) or they had a bowler who could bat at No. 6 (McMillan). These were elements to a side that just changed the entire outlook when they took field.”

This South African team, however, don’t really have that luxury anymore. Though they count Vernon Philander as an all-rounder, the Belville man is primarily a bowler with a batting average of 25.45 in Tests and 12.58 in ODIs. Hence, Virat Kohli and company is unlikely to feel the same South African wrath that their predecessors had previously faced.

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