Sachin Tendulkar conclave: Tendulkar was demanding as captain, says Javagal Srinath

Javagal Srinath (left) said Sachin Tendulkar understood the abilities of the players a lot better during his second stint as captain of India © AFP

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Mumbai: Nov 12, 2013

Javagal Srinath said that Sachin Tendulkar was demanding during his first stint as captain of the Indian team. Srinath was speaking at India Today’s ‘Salaam Sachin’ conclave in Mumbai on November 12, 2013.

Srinath also recalled the heartbreak of the 1996 World Cup, where India lost in the semi-finals. He spoke of the atmosphere in the dressing room after the defeat to Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

He said in India Today’s Conclave, “I remember a few players were crying and even I tried to. I put my towel on my face and couldn’t cry. Then I looked at Sachin and he too wasn’t crying. So I told him, ‘I am not crying and nor are you.’ He said, ‘Why should we? We played with conviction and lost it.’ That helped all us.”

Srinath added, “Sachin never threw his bat around or boasted about his tons. He scored so many tons, he may have been bored actually. So, his celebrations were subdued.”

The former India fast bowler shared some interesting insights from when Tendulkar was captain of the Indian team for the first time. “I had to ask Sachin for the ball against South Africa at Ahmedabad in 1996. One good thing was that, he never said no to me.

“He might have told me to wait for two minutes, though. On Indian spinning tracks, I was only a symbolic fast-bowler. When he was captain, we couldn’t emulate his talent be it batting or bowling.

“Like, after a knock, he would pick-up the ball and bowl according to the conditions. If it was a green track, he would take new ball and bowl seam-ups. On turning tracks, it would be leg-spin or off-spin.

“During his practice, you would never see him whiling away time. I have never seen any cricketer so committed to three hours of practice. He wouldn’t even miss the optional practice sessions.

“He was demanding as a captain in 1996. He would stand at slip and say, ‘bowl outside off.’ I would say I can’t but he would then do it in the nets and ask me why I can’t. The next time he became captain, he was a lot better as he realised the abilities of his players.”

Catch live updates of the Salaam Sachin conclave here