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IND vs SA | Front-foot defence key to success for batting in South Africa, says Sachin Tendulkar

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Sachin Tendulkar believes that front-foot defence holds key to batting in South Africa

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IND vs SA | Front-foot defence key to success for batting in South Africa, says Sachin Tendulkar

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SportsCafe Desk

12/21/2021

Sachin Tendulkar marked front-foot defence as a key factor to succeed as a batsman in South Africa, ahead of India’s three-match Test series in the country. Tendulkar cited examples of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma’s exploits in England, as he explained the significance of defensive batting skills.

Sachin Tendulkar, the leading run-scorer and century-maker in international cricket, showcased his brilliance against various attacks under different playing conditions through his glittering 24-year-old international career. 

Tendulkar had great success in South Africa in Test cricket, where he scored 1,164 runs at 46.44 with five hundreds, including a landmark 50th Test ton in Centurion in 2010. He plied his trade in the country in ODIs too, his glorious 2003 World Cup campaign being the highlight, in which he aggregated a record 673 runs at 61.98 during India’s impressive run to the final.

Ahead of India’s tour of the country which features three Tests and as many ODIs, the batting great marked front-foot defence as a major key to success, especially in red-ball cricket.

"I've always said, front foot defence is important. Up front, front foot defence is important. And that front foot defence is going to count here. The first 25 overs, front foot defence is going to be critical," Tendulkar said while speaking on the show 'Backstage with Boria'.

Tendulkar further explained the dynamics of defensive batting citing KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma’s success during India’s tour of England earlier this year. While Rahul totalled 315 at 39.38 from four Tests, Rohit aggregated 368 runs at 52.57, with each scoring a match-winning hundred at Lord’s and at The Oval respectively.

"And that is what we got to see in England, when Rahul got those runs and so did Rohit. Their front foot defence was solid,” said the 48-year-old.

"The hands were not going away from the body. When your hands start going away from your body, that is when you start losing control slowly, but surely. And the beauty was their hands were not going away.

"They got beaten on occasion and that’s fine, you know? Every batter gets beaten. Bowlers are there to pick wickets, so that’s okay. But when your hands start going away from your body, that is when you are likely to edge the ball.

"The reason for them continuing to bat was because their hands were close to their body. And that was the major difference between the earlier partnerships which were unsuccessful and the last tour of England where the openers really did a fabulous job."

The first of three India-South Africa Tests will be played in Centurion from December 26. The three ODIs will be played between January 19 and 23.

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