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IND vs SA | Sachin Tendulkar reveals how he tackled Allan Donald’s short-pitched bowling

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Sachin Tendulkar has 15,921 Test runs and 18,426 ODI runs to his name

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IND vs SA | Sachin Tendulkar reveals how he tackled Allan Donald’s short-pitched bowling

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SportsCafe Desk

12/23/2021

Ahead of the India tour of South Africa, Sachin Tendulkar has revealed how he had found a strategy to get under the short balls delivered by former fast-bowling great Allan Donald during his playing days. He added that the strategy worked for him as he was able to pick the length of the ball.

India is scheduled to tour South Africa for three Tests and as many ODIs, beginning with the first red-ball fixture on December 26. The Virat Kohli-led side will be looking forward to scripting history by claiming India's first-ever Test series victory in South Africa. India have an experienced batting line-up, and the team has excelled in overseas conditions in the last year or so. However, the South Africa bowlers will present a stiff challenge in conditions greatly suited to them.

The last time when India toured the rainbow nation in 2018, the visitors suffered a 1-2 defeat in the three-match Test series. Apart from Virat Kohli, all other Indian batsmen failed to outplay the fierce Proteas fast bowling attack.

Meanwhile, legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has revealed how he had found a strategy to get under the short balls during his playing days, and that helped him to tackle the short-pitched bowling by Allan Donald in South African pitches. 

"Allan Donald was known for his hostility, his aggression. Mind you, off the field he was a fabulous guy then also and we continue to be friends, and I value that friendship. With Donald, when not much was happening from over the wicket, the strategy was to go around the wicket and attack my rib cage, try and get me out there. So I thought sometimes, taller guys use their height to get on top of the ball, so why not shorter guys use their less height to get under the ball," Tendulkar said on ‘Backstage with Boria”

Tendulkar amassed 1741 runs in 25 Test matches against South Africa, and has 2001 runs from 57 ODIs including a double hundred to his name - the first ever in the format. Tendulkar and Donald faced each other in seven Tests across two series in South Africa in 1992-93 and 1996-97. The former Indian cricketer scored 443 runs at an average of 36.91 including two centuries in these fixtures, with two centuries - the first in Johannesburg in 1992-93 and the second being 169 in Cape Town during the latter tour..

Tendulkar revealed that he was able to pick up the length Donald was bowling, and was able to make a decision based on that.

"So that is what I started to do. I shifted my centre of gravity lower and started going under the ball. So anything around this area (signals to his face) or even this area (signals to his chest) for that matter, I started going under the ball and it became easier. Because Allan Donald bowled quick. He was called ‘White Lightning’. So, because of his pace and the bounce he was generating, I felt that even if I felt that the ball was just short of good length, I can duck under it,” he narrated. 

"To be able to do that consistently, if I widen my stance, I go even lower in my stance. So even before the ball is released, I’m much, much lower. And then it was all about picking the length. If I’ve picked the length, then I already had a huge gap between my legs and it was easier to go down.”

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