Sachin Tendulkar: Good pitches can produce entertaining Test cricket


Sachin Tendulkar was flooded with interview requests forward of his 47th birthday. That he managed to oblige near 32 journalists solely speaks for his recognition; even seven years after retirement.

Tendulkar spoke to Sportstar on numerous elements of the sport, particularly the unsure future because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Excerpts from the interview:

Test openers have turn into way more aggressive right now. Your ideas?

We all know Mark Greatbatch began the pattern of aggressive batting within the 1992 World Cup. I adopted it up in 1994 once I began opening the innings.

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I believe I managed an identical strike-rate. Sanath (Jayasuriya) and (Romesh) Kaluwitharana took it a notch the next on the 1996 World Cup. It had turn into the norm to go and slam the ball from the primary supply.

How concerning the pattern in Tests?

The pattern continued with batsmen like Mathew (Hayden), Viru (Virender Sehwag), Chris Gayle and Adam Gilchrist. I keep in mind Gayle began enjoying massive photographs in a Test match in South Africa. It was the fourth or fifth over of the innings when the sector set for Gayle was a long-on, deep sq. leg.

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The area was well-spread with only one slip. Gayle carried on with the aggressive type. We puzzled how lengthy he would succeed by hitting the ball excessive. But he did it relentlessly. At one stage, David Warner additionally batted in an identical method in Test cricket (towards India at Perth in 2011).

Do you imagine the times of defensive openers are over?

Cricket is seeing quite a lot of modifications because of the T20 format however on the finish of the day if in case you have a stable method you can rating runs in troublesome conditions additionally. And extra constantly. You can go into each match with a slam-bang principle in thoughts. You can’t simply at all times throw your bat round. The batsman slotted at quantity three must also really feel assured when the openers are batting.

Can he be ready on the steps with a sense that he could also be required to stroll in any time as a result of the batsmen within the center can be trying to hit each ball? It doesn’t work that means at all times. We have had some splendid batsmen who’ve left the ball effectively, blocked the ball effectively after which, in the event that they got here throughout a free supply they had been in a position to put them away.

Do you assume there’s a decline in quick bowling?

I believe quite a lot of it has to do with the pitches. I received’t generalise worldwide bowling and say it has declined. There will at all times be elements behind the rise and fall of sure elements of the sport. Pitches had been completely different once I began. They had been completely different as my profession progressed. We might see the modifications in direction of the tip of my profession.

Would you say pitches are the explanation for the state of cricket in any period?

You can say so. Pitches do dictate the pattern of cricket we get to see. I’m certain if in case you have good pitches you can produce entertaining Test cricket. There are talks that Test cricket is dying and revive it.

How do you have a look at it?

Can we scale back the variety of days? Is that the answer? It isn’t the amount, lesser variety of days, however the high quality that we have to enhance. If you scale back the variety of days for Test cricket I might have a look at it as an extended model of a limited-overs match. What we should always do is produce good sporting tracks for the bowlers. That to me is probably the most crucial a part of coping with five-day cricket.

Why do you say that?

Because in T20 and limited-overs cricket the batsmen are consistently attacking the bowlers. They assault relentlessly in each the codecs. Remember in each the codecs, there’s a restriction on area setting.

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The arms of the bowlers are tied. So there must be one format the place you give the bowlers one thing to look ahead to. The bowlers additionally look to be on the highest and that received’t occur in the event that they don’t get sporting pitches.

What form of pitches would you counsel?

We can have seaming tracks. We can have tracks that permit the ball to show. Look, you can’t put together a flat monitor and count on good cricket. It can be uncommon that you’d get entertaining Test cricket on flat tracks. We have two codecs which can be in favour of the batsmen so why can’t we have now one format in favour of the bowlers. You need to stability it out.

Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid taking a look on the pitch forward of the primary Test towards West Indies at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in 2011.   –  S. Subramanium

 The new era is watching T20 and ODI cricket extra. In T20, the batsmen appears to make the most effective out of each ball. In ODI cricket a complete of 300 isn’t any extra a profitable rating. It’s nearly okay complete. The sport has tilted an excessive amount of in favour of the batsmen with two new balls, no reverse swing, an additional fielder has now been introduced into the circle.

Are you suggesting that cricket is more and more loaded in favour of batsman?

What is there for the bowlers to really feel inspired? Let the batsmen really feel some strain. Let them additionally expertise some testing pitches. Let the batsman make runs on pitches that can take a look at his expertise. Let him survive when the ball is seaming or turning.

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I might like to see such a contest which challenges your expertise. On a useless monitor, the batsman is aware of effectively he received’t get out till he performs a silly shot. The bowler additionally doesn’t look to discover as a result of he is aware of it might show costly. So the aggressive flavour goes out and it turns into an uneven enjoying area. The bowler then appears to undertake a adverse line as a result of he too has to outlive and preserve his place within the staff.

How is all of it impacting Test cricket?

If Test cricket is dying it’s exactly due to lack of sporting pitches. It is crucial for the survival of Test cricket. You wish to see thrill in each ball. You wish to see how in a different way the bowler goes to reply. When a batsman appears to attain runs at the same time as he tries to outlive will create difficult Test cricket.

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I’ve performed that form of Test cricket. If you allow little little bit of life within the pitches only a few of the matches would go to the fifth day.

Can you recall one such sporting pitch in a Test match?

Of course. The one at (Headingley) Leeds in 2002. We received the match by an innings. We had centuries from myself, Rahul (Dravid) and Sourav (Ganguly). Believe me, it was a troublesome pitch.

Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar acknowledges the cheers from the group after finishing his 30th century towards England, on the second day of the Third Test at Headingley, Leeds on August 23, 2002.   –  N. Sridharan

 We received runs however we didn’t permit England to attain runs. Seamers (Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Sanjay Bangar) received wickets and spinners (Anil Kunble and Harbhajan Singh) did effectively too. It was a whole bundle of fine Test cricket. You watched good batting and equally good bowling. I wish to see such pitches increasingly more in Test cricket.

Should junior cricket turn into extra aggressive? Maybe have matting pitches?

No. Just make them play on good pitches. Everything boils right down to maintaining an excellent floor. I’ve a suggestion to enhance junior cricket. I’ve mentioned it earlier too. We have to introduce a 14-a-side cricket in colleges and junior faculties. What it ensures is that batsmen don’t rating runs towards part-time bowlers and bowlers don’t enhance their tally by taking out tail-enders. Of course, you’ll take 10 wickets however then these ten wickets will likely be of fine batsmen.

Similarly, you rating runs off the most effective bowlers. The batsmen get to play a wide range of bowlers – left-arm spinner, off-spinner, leg-spinner. In regular circumstances, considered one of them might have to take a seat out or possibly a seamer might need to miss the sport.

What is the essence of your fascinating suggestion?

What I’m suggesting is that allow all of them get to bowl on this 14-a-side cricket. To me what’s necessary is that every younger aspirant ought to get a chance to showcase his expertise in a aggressive match. If a batsman will get a century, he would have confronted a right-arm quick bowler, a left-arm quick bowler and three number of spinners. The batsmen won’t be going through drained bowlers at any level and the bowlers may even be up towards charged-up batters. At all occasions, there will likely be 11 males on the sector and the coach will determine who will bowl when. I’m certain it’s going to enhance the usual of cricket.

What will likely be cricket’s destiny after the lockdown is over?

It will likely be aggressive. Personal hygiene can be paramount. We will see if saliva can be utilized to the ball. We will see if the huddle can be eliminated. The excessive fives will occur or not.

I don’t know if it’s going to scale back the swing of the ball or improve it in case you don’t apply saliva. It will affect the motion to some extent. How a lot exactly I don’t actually know. Let us not be speculative. It will likely be inappropriate for me to say at this second if the ball will swing or not, it’s going to bounce or not.

Your views on dealing with lockdown?

It is the necessity of the hour to remain inside your home, preserve hygiene, not put strain on the authorities by flouting directives on social distancing. I’ve not stepped out even as soon as because the lockdown was introduced. These are exceptionally difficult occasions and we have now to help the authorities, the police, the well being staff and people engaged in delivering the necessities. We need to be collectively within the struggle towards COVID-19.

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