SCI­ENCE OF SACHIN'S STROKES

WE DE­CODE THE TECH­NIQUE THAT HAS MADE SACHIN TEN­DULKAR ONE OF THE GREAT­EST BATS­MEN EVER

India Today - - COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE -

FLICK SHOT

[Vi­jay Dahiya, for­mer In­dia wick­et­keeper, KKR as­sis­tant coach]

Sachin keeps his bat straight and ro­tates his wrist at the time the ball hits it, to guide the ball away from the field­ers. Against fast bowlers and on pitches where there’s a bit of bounce, he changes tac­tic to avoid bowlers who tend to bowl a lot into his body. He takes a mid­dle stump-guard and gets in­side the line of the ball.

BACK­FOOT PUNCH

[Ran­jit Fer­nando, for­mer Sri Lanka player, com­men­ta­tor] Sachin judges the ball early to get into po­si­tion. He uses the depth of the crease well to move back and get ex­tra time and space to play his shot. Also, he plays the ball very late, so he gets more time to change his shot if he wants to. He of­ten stands up on his toes to counter the ex­tra bounce that a bowler might de­rive from the pitch.

COVER DRIVE

[Su­nil Gavaskar, for­mer In­dia skip­per, Team In­dia bat­ting con­sul­tant]

Un­like a clas­si­cal bats­man, Sachin doesn’t lunge to­wards the ball but al­lows it to come to him. He keeps his head still so that he can judge the ball early and get in its line cor­rectly. He puts his left foot at the right po­si­tion in line with the de­liv­ery, and even if he has a bot­tom-hand grip on the bat, he uses the top hand to dom­i­nate the shot.

STRAIGHT DRIVE

[Eric Si­mons, for­mer South Africa fast bowler, In­dia coach]

A good straight drive is the best way to rate a bats­man’s tech­nique as it re­quires per­fect body bal­ance, head po­si­tion and op­ti­mum use of both hands. If the bot­tom hand dom­i­nates the shot, the ball will go to­wards mid-wicket, but if the top hand dom­i­nates, the ball will lean to­wards the cov­ers. Sachin’s bal­ance is su­perb and his down­swing is straight.

STANCE

[W.V. Ra­man, for­mer In­dia opener, Kings XI as­sis­tant coach, Tamil Nadu coach] Sachin’s stance is bal­anced, feet not too wide or too close, and his body weight is dis­trib­uted evenly. The key to his suc­cess is his still­ness while play­ing a shot. He has rarely tin­kered with his stance.

SWEEP SHOT

[John Em­bury, for­mer Eng­land off-spin­ner and coach] Sachin can iden­tify how a bowler will spin the ball and judge the flight and length of the de­liv­ery. He de­cides on the type of sweep shot he wants to play–tra­di­tional or pad­dle–and then changes the an­gle of the bat on the down­swing. He brings the bat down ver­ti­cally for the pad­dle in case of fuller de­liv­er­ies.

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