February 25, 2008

Indian cricket

'No one wants to talk about Tendulkar's failures'

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan
Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed for 44, Australia v India, CB Series, 4th ODI, Melbourne, February 10, 2008
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Sanjay Manjrekar lists Tendulkar's statistics when chasing and wonders why "no one wants to talk about Sachin's failures." Read the piece in the Times of India.

In the last 51 One-day internationals, Tendulkar’s batting average when he bats first is 62.10 in 24 innings. In contrast when he bats second, it’s 26.00 in 27 innings. After a brilliant Test series, it’s not so much his form in this One-day series that is the concern but his contribution, at that crucial opening position when India is set bigger targets to chase. If you look at it, it’s a simple batting issue that the maestro along with the team management should professionally address.

But with Tendulkar, it’s like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.

Asking Tendulkar to bat down the order could help India do better, writes Peter Roebuck in Mumbai-based Mid-Day.

Whereas most batsmen move their back foot across their stumps and into line, he gives himself room to play off-side strokes by leaving his right leg in its original perch. That makes him vulnerable to break-backers.

As a result, Tendulkar has been dismissed clean bowled and leg before a remarkable number of times. Often he finds himself forced to play across the ball. His front leg obstructs his bat and causes him to miss deliveries darting back. In his pomp he could adjust his shot and flick the ball away with a late roll of the wrist reminiscent of Viv Richards. But his peak has passed.

Former Indian captain Suni Gavaskar also feels it's time the team changed the batting order.

... which would mean having Gambhir open with Sehwag and Uthappa at three with Tendulkar at four What this will do is protect Tendulkar and Sharma from the moving ball. Dhoni has shown been bold to send Pathan at three and if he shows the same attitude, India may well be able to get a batting order that actually bats deep rather than just being strong on paper.

Read his column in the Hindustan Times for more.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo

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