Home > Features >

What Sachin Tendulkar needs to do to shut up his trenchant critics

What Sachin Tendulkar needs to do to shut up his trenchant critics

The only way Sachin Tendulkar (above) can silence these detractors is to regain his enthusiasm, energetic body language and positive mental frame. He should shut the noise out and focus on the challenges © Getty Images

The Mumbai Test showed that when a team is highly motivated, determined and focussed on the job at hand, crisis can be turned into opportunity. They are the characteristics of a team that is hungry for victory. And England has shown that they are hungrier than Team India.

Man proposes, God disposes

The plans of depriving the England batsmen practice against spinners in the run-up to the Test series has failed. The question to be asked at this point: Did the Indian batsmen play games against spinners on turning wickets? From what I know, most of the Indian players played in Ranji Trophy games before the first Test on good batting tracks. That, for me, is either poor preparation or a complacent attitude.

Everybody knew that captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would demand turning tracks for the Test matches – in fact, pressure the curators to provide pitches that turn from Day One. When planning, one should also anticipate counter-strategies that the opponent would employ to negate the plans made for their downfall. However, the Indian batsmen were caught in their own trap at the Wankhede pitch – a track that had something for everyone.

The Indian spinners had not played adequate matches in the longer version and had not bowled long spells in competitive games coming into the Test series. And that could be one of the reasons for running out of ideas to break the match-changing partnership between Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen. They seem mentally fatigued bowling long spells in Test matches. As a consequence, they erred in line and length. They went on the defensive instead of attacking with accuracy – hangover of the overs-limit format. The Indian spinners have the requisite talent and skills, but they need to show adaptability and mental discipline – two keys to help them bounce back in the series.

Dhoni won a vital toss and took first strike on the Wankhede strip. The script went wrong for India when a Sikh left-arm spinner – Monty Panesar – had the home team struggling. Panesar’s pace and accuracy of his delivery, as also the turn and bounce he got from the wicket had most Indian batsmen in copious trouble.

Cheteshwar Pujara yet again shouldered the responsibility alone as the more experienced batsmen in the team succumbed to spin. Pujara’s partnership first with Dhoni and then with Ravichandran Ashwin – fast maturing as a dependable all-rounder – took India to a respectable score of 327.

Cook yet again gave eloquent testimony that the Indian spinners can be tamed. And then Pietersen took the Indian attack by the scruff of the neck to batter them into submission. The variations he brought to the sweep shot were jaw-dropping. He swept square, reverse, and out of the ground. He pounded the spinners through covers, off either foot to come 14 short of a double hundred. Though the last four wickets contributed only 31 runs to take the England score to 413 on the afternoon of Day Three, the game was evenly poised with the possibility of all three results.

But Panesar played havoc and in the bargain showed that Indian batsmen are also vulnerable against quality spinners by running through the line-up. He pierced their defence convincingly as the Indian innings folded quickly on the fourth morning. The England openers quickly scored the required 57 runs without loss to register a comprehensive victory and outclassed India in all departments of the game.

The Sachin Tendulkar factor

I am of the view that what matters is performance and not seniority. The interest of the team is served by performance and not by experience that is rich but now unproductive. The latter has to make way for performing younger players who will be the lifeline of the team in the years to come. The foundation has to be laid to give them the necessary international experience. But when the player is Sachin Tendulkar, a legend, it’s difficult to take the call as the cricket fraternity knows his ability to bounce back and inspire the next generation of cricketers to rally around him and fight back. Unfortunately, Tendulkar is experiencing an extended dry run, leaving him open to savage attacks from critics.

The only way Sachin can silence these detractors is to regain his enthusiasm, energetic body language and positive mental frame. He should shut the noise out and focus on the challenges.

The time is ripe for Tendulkar’s bat to speak. And for us fans, to enjoy the genius of his batsmanship.
 
(Balvinder Singh Sandhu played eight Tests and 22 ODIs. A crafty bowler who moved the ball both way, he was one of the heroes of the 1983 World Cup triumph. His delivery that bowled Gordon Greenidge, shouldering arms, in the epic final is etched in every Indian’s memory. He was an useful later-order batsman who scored 71, batting at No 9, on Test debut against Imran Khan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Abdul Qadir and Iqbal Qasim, and in his fourth Test 68 against Michael Holding, Andy Roberts Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall. After retirement, he became one of the finest coaches in the country and now imparts his knowledge through his site http://www.balvindersinghsandhu.com/)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014 (16:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 12, 2014  at Sharjah

New Zealand won by 4 wkts

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Steven Smith appointed Australia captain

Australia 221/4 at stumps against India on Day 2 of 2nd Test at Brisbane

Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal: How can cricket eliminate the howler?

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane: Maiden wickets, an elusive ton, and other highlights from Day 1

Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane guide India to 311/4 against Australia on Day 1 of 1st Test at Brisbane

Australia India Interviews Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin South Africa

Live Scorecard: South Africa vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 2 at Centurion

Live streaming: South Africa vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 2at Centurion

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Alastair Cook a major concern ahead of ICC World Cup 2015: Ashley Giles

Australia 221/4 at stumps against India on Day 2 of 2nd Test at Brisbane

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 2: India’s familiar collapse, Umesh Yadav’s heroics and other highlights

Keki Tarapore – India’s manager on the successful West Indies tour of 1971

Shane Watson at No. 3? Australia may want to reconsider

Murali Vijay continues to make impressive progress against Australia

Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal: How can cricket eliminate the howler?

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here