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Slide #3

 

The pull, from on or outside off, is trademark Sachin. A quick eye and effortless footwork ensures that Sachin spots the short ball early, gets into position almost before the ball has bounced, and is perfectly placed to cart it over the infield and towards the mid-wicket boundary...

 

The sweep is a shot Sachin has not played much of, of late - but only because he has increasingly preferred the glance, the flick, or even the chip off the pad. Again, impeccable technique - front foot down the wicket and pointing straight, head over the ball, the wrist rolled over the ball at the moment of impact, the torque in the body giving impetus, and power, to the stroke...

 

Bat raised in acknowledgement of a century on Ranji Trophy debut. A calm gesture, this. Very assured. Very contained. A mere acknowledgement of applause. But then, for a boy who has made run-getting his mission in life, one century must be pretty much like any other, right? So what's to do cartwheels about?

 

A characteristic of Sachin is that he is always 'in' the game - even when he is not playing. As those who have observed him down the years will vouch, Sachin is constantly monitoring the action... observing the batsmen, the bowlers, the field placing, the rival captain and his tactics... and learning, learning all the time..

 

Sachin is not ready to take strike - so, with an imperious gesture of the hand, he stops Pakistan pace ace Wasim Akram in his tracks. The ground, Karachi. The occasion, Sachin Tendulkar's Test debut. The date, November 1989. At the time, Sachin Tendulkar was 16 years old - and already rated by the international media as the star of the future. Note the body language - indicative, not of schoolboy shyness or even nerves, but of total calm, of absolute assurance... The body language of a player aware of his abilities, and glorying in them...