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Who is Sachin Tendulkar?

Batting has been Gods gift to him.Candidly, Sir Donald Bradman ,a boy from Bowrel,had not been as gifted as India's little young man.

drive.jpg (7727 bytes)This is truism,according to experts who have had the oppurtunity to watch in action the two masters at work. If Bradman got a century in every third innings,it was not merely because of his prowess and skill,but because of his unwavering application.If the Indian star develops the same uncanny application that the great Don had,he will rewrite most of the batting records.He is already eight years old in international cricket at 24 but age is on his side for him to achieve what no other cricketer has achieved.

He is short and compact.But in his 'not so slim frame' he possesses nimble feet.There is a spring in his legs.This helps him reach quite up to the pitch of the ball without imbalancing himself or losing his rhythm.Even Mushtaq Ali,a marvel of a batsman himself,envies him and his style of batsmanship.

His strength is his eyesight.He sights the ball much quicker than most accomplished specialist international batsmen.He can even read the rotation of the seam.His hawk-like eyes provide him ample scope in positioning himself for any stroke.It is said that he,like Bradman,is always in a position for two strokes on any ball bowled at him.

His stance is orthodox.But his grip is unorthodox.His peculiar grip does not worry him.In this particular respect,he belongs to the class of Vijay Hazare whose unconventional grip did not prevent him from striking the ball well and hard. He does not possess wrists of steel.But he derives all his power in his strokes from well-poised and well coordinated body position.He strokes the ball with perfect timing with his unusually heavy bat for the ball to race to the boundary before any fielder could have the time to intercept it.

His range of strokes is varied.He does not believe in caressing the ball;he has faith in punching the ball with systematic swing of his bat and follow-through for the ball to sail serenely,leaving the fielders stranded and on-lookers in raptures.

When the master is demonstrating his workmanship with his implement called a bat,he reduces the bowlers,quickies and spinners alike,to mere pigmies.Runs flow from his bat and the score-board leaps instead of merely moving.It is a shear joy to watch him make mincemeat of the attack.

When the little boy was in Pakistan in 1989 at the tender age of 16,he had the courage and convivtion to mutate Abdul Qadir-Pakistan's leading spinner to no more than a schoolboy.The harder Qadir tried to twist or turn the ball,the more reassuringly he smashed it into the galleries.3 sixes and a four came from that over - all from a 16 year old school boy playing his first match abroad! What a controlled hitting it was! Pakistan's devastating bowler was himself devasted in the process.To Qadir's credit,it should be said that he was man enough to praise the talent of the under-teen.

Since then,much of the sea-area has been reclaimed for skyscrapers to come up and this young man has gone from strength to strength.

The batsman we are talking about is Sachin Tendulkar. He is as good a human being as a batsman.During 1997,he lost much and gained a little.In 1998,without the cares of captaincy,he has already regained his form and potnetiality for which he is known the world over.

When Tendulkar is at the crease,bowlers shudder to bowl while fielders are virtually non-existent.Such is the power of his bat.He is a batsman who is dreaded the most by his opponents.

Here is a player who can let the cricketing world know that he has in him to be a better batsman than Gavaskar and more durable than Kapil Dev.In Tendulkar's success lies India's renaissance...

Only 10 batsmen in the world have made it to number one in the Coopers & Lybrand Ratings since they were launched in 1987, and Sachin Tendulkar is one of them. He went top on 5 December 1994 after his innings of 179 and 54 at Nagpur against the West Indies, after five years of steady if not spectacular progress up the Ratings.