March 19, 2010

All hail the old guns

Kallis and Tendulkar have shown that classical virtues still have a place in the IPL
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Like writers of classical prose getting on to Twitter, Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis are lighting up this year's IPL. They still compose sentences, have time for a stylish adjective, and can still fit their thoughts into 140 characters. Dey dnt hv 2 rush der shots,hv gr8 timing & hit de gaps. (I'm sure someone can better that!)

It was fascinating watching Tendulkar bat against the Delhi Daredevils. A crisp cover drive off Dirk Nannes was classically struck, and when Farveez Maharoof bowled the slower one, he advanced as close to the pitch of the ball as possible and with a flick of the wrist played it along the ground through midwicket. Occasionally, only occasionally, he made a concession to new-age batting by trying to slog the young legspinner Sarabjit Ladda but in doing so, actually showed why he didn't need to. He made 63 from 32 balls, and you came away thinking you had seen a painting, not splotches of colour thrown randomly onto a canvas.

He was followed by young Saurabh Tiwary, one of our new-age cricketers who frequently make a mockery of boundary ropes (sometimes the groundsman is forced to as well). He is a big-built man, with broad shoulders, and only occasionally makes a concession to the nudged single; doesn't worry too much about searching for gaps in the field, for his idea of an opportunity is the space above the fielder, not between him and the next guy. Admittedly he batted after the field restrictions had gone off, but his style brought 61 from 37 balls. It was like being at a music festival where Manna Dey and heavy metal were on the same stage.

Meanwhile Kallis was adapting too. He played himself in during the fantastic run-chase against the Kings XI (45 from 38 chasing 204?) and when the time came exploded, but stylishly (next 44 from 17). Again, he was able to do that because Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa were hitting the drums on turbo while he was plucking the strings, but he showed it is possible to retain the elements of orthodox batting and still make the strike rate look very acceptable.

The ICC needs to be careful not to go the way of Indian airports, where certain people are allowed to circumvent security requirements. Young Stuart Broad needs to realise that he can be pulled up if he commits the same offence as others

Both Tendulkar and Kallis probably need to open the batting, but they are demonstrating that you do not need to alter your favoured bat speed to score runs. Both batsmen have their game built on precision; the bat comes down at a certain time to be able to hit the ball at a certain spot, the body is ideally positioned for that event. When they try to slog (or when anyone is, for that matter) the bat comes down faster, the head goes out of sync, it looks like a bad dance step. To be honest, I don't know how much longer the game will allow the classicists, but what we do know is that such players can be survivors too. Three cheers to that.

The first week has also shown that you cannot really determine how many runs can be scored in the last few overs. Eighty are getting scored routinely in the last six against bowlers who haven't exactly grown up playing for Yellow House v Green House at school. The most obvious reason is that pitches and outfields and boundary lines are stacked in favour of batsmen, and that you are allowed to lose 10 wickets in 20 overs. But I think there is more to it. Like computer technology opened our eyes to new speeds and storage capacities, I think batsmen are also discovering that things are possible that they hadn't been aware of.

For bowlers to go down a similar path (and they have already begun), they need a bit of help. In the last few days I have had the opportunity to have a quick chat with Daljit Singh, the curator at Mohali, and Venkat Sundaram at Delhi, and I put the same question to both of them. For one game, I asked, why can't you prepare a pitch with some zing in it, where the keeper can feel the ball thudding into his gloves, where the crease becomes what it always was - a safe haven not to be transgressed. For a brief moment their eyes lit up; then they shook their heads.

Meanwhile the ICC needs to be careful not to go the way of Indian airports, where certain people are allowed to circumvent security requirements. Young Stuart Broad needs to realise that he can be pulled up if he commits the same offence as others. It will do him good in the long run but it will also do good to the ICC's credibility.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. He is on the IPL commentary team

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MartinAmber on March 22, 2010, 20:56 GMT

    @ EdwardTLogan - I should hope so too (on both counts)! Please also see The_Gamer's recent comment for yet another example of how your nation, which has the best overall record in 130 years of Tests and in 9 ODI World Cups and boasts the greatest batsman in the history of the game, is *apparently* jealous of a domestic league run by a self-promoting bloke with a few quid. (the star quality and worldwide commercial potential of said league also owes a great deal to men from your nation, but to admit that really would be a problem for some...)

  • Nixe on March 22, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    Does everyone remember that Sachin was not selected for the T20 game? Yes, he did say he was not available to avoid the insult but insulted he was. Why would he want to make himslef available now without an open apology from those so called wise men? He is just answering the selectors and the team management with his bat. One can not find words to describe the short sightedness of lot of those in authority. These 'wise men' (hee hee hee...) were calliing for SRT to retire so that young talent can come up. It was a faulty, rather biased and jealous, logic and derailed thinking. Let any one of these wise men mention one younger Indian player who can even spell Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, let alone bat and behave like him. Long live the Legend

  • mmmuthukumar on March 22, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    HARSHA,

    How about a IPL team of only local content, players, coach, trainer, physio and all support staff all INDIANS. May be SAHARA can try out this in the next auction since al the players will be available then.

  • on March 21, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    Its about old guns this article, but of the young guns, I PRAY TO GOD that Umesh Yadav is further nurtured and plays test cricket. India needs a world class opening duo in the veins of Singh and Nissar!

  • on March 21, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    Manna Dey and Heavy metal in the same stage. That is very funny Harsha or LOL in internet talk.

  • The_Gamer on March 21, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Ha Ha These Aussies .They were never able to conquer this 20/20 game and that's why they always hate the existence of IPL.We have to accept that India is the powerhouse in the Cricketing World now and they hold all the cards. All other countries specially Sri lanka ,Pakistan and Bangladesh with weak economy structure can't match the indians in the next 100 years also.lets accept it guys that IPL is the future of cricket and if our country is not able to pay our players India and IPL will for sure.

  • on March 21, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    T20 cricket is all about making that small mental adjustment doesnt matter if you are a batsman or a bowler. We have seen Rahul Dravid pound 17 maximums in 32 innings that just one short of what he has done in 240 innings in test cricket. Sachin and Kalis are great batsmen and they have the ability to change gears vey quickly be it one day test or T20. For batsmen like Sehwag, Afridi, Y.Pathan they all come from a different school of thought which says "Attack is the best form of defence" so they play the game as same as the other formats. Bowlers need to change thier approach to the game and not just bowl one day style.Malinga, Bravo, I Pathan have done than n are successful. It is all in your mind and the best part of the game comes from inside the heart.

  • RahulSharma5 on March 21, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    I think Kallis is the next best player after Sachin Tendulkar, even Kallis should get the title 'Sir' since he is worth the same. He is the best all rounder in the world.

  • rookie4u on March 20, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    Yes, the classy players for the old school of cricket have shown the importance playing proper cricketing strokes. So now we know that T20 cricket is not all about slogging rash strokes. Not sure why Harsha failed to mention Sehwag, Gilchrist, MSD, Pathan & others who really played proper cricket. Also, interesting question is why SRT doesn't play for our national in this format...

  • acrazycricketfan on March 20, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    Whether the batsmen have a classic game or not , ultimately its the runs scored which will decide the fate of them.Sachin , Kallis , Dravid are all class but what about people like Sehwag , Gilly , Hayden.They also have made a name for themselves.So score runs in an orthodox or an unorthodox way & make a name for yourself.Just watch out for Eain Morgan for Royal Challengers Bangalore.You will forget all the above mentioned players by his unorthodox style of batting.

  • MartinAmber on March 22, 2010, 20:56 GMT

    @ EdwardTLogan - I should hope so too (on both counts)! Please also see The_Gamer's recent comment for yet another example of how your nation, which has the best overall record in 130 years of Tests and in 9 ODI World Cups and boasts the greatest batsman in the history of the game, is *apparently* jealous of a domestic league run by a self-promoting bloke with a few quid. (the star quality and worldwide commercial potential of said league also owes a great deal to men from your nation, but to admit that really would be a problem for some...)

  • Nixe on March 22, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    Does everyone remember that Sachin was not selected for the T20 game? Yes, he did say he was not available to avoid the insult but insulted he was. Why would he want to make himslef available now without an open apology from those so called wise men? He is just answering the selectors and the team management with his bat. One can not find words to describe the short sightedness of lot of those in authority. These 'wise men' (hee hee hee...) were calliing for SRT to retire so that young talent can come up. It was a faulty, rather biased and jealous, logic and derailed thinking. Let any one of these wise men mention one younger Indian player who can even spell Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, let alone bat and behave like him. Long live the Legend

  • mmmuthukumar on March 22, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    HARSHA,

    How about a IPL team of only local content, players, coach, trainer, physio and all support staff all INDIANS. May be SAHARA can try out this in the next auction since al the players will be available then.

  • on March 21, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    Its about old guns this article, but of the young guns, I PRAY TO GOD that Umesh Yadav is further nurtured and plays test cricket. India needs a world class opening duo in the veins of Singh and Nissar!

  • on March 21, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    Manna Dey and Heavy metal in the same stage. That is very funny Harsha or LOL in internet talk.

  • The_Gamer on March 21, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Ha Ha These Aussies .They were never able to conquer this 20/20 game and that's why they always hate the existence of IPL.We have to accept that India is the powerhouse in the Cricketing World now and they hold all the cards. All other countries specially Sri lanka ,Pakistan and Bangladesh with weak economy structure can't match the indians in the next 100 years also.lets accept it guys that IPL is the future of cricket and if our country is not able to pay our players India and IPL will for sure.

  • on March 21, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    T20 cricket is all about making that small mental adjustment doesnt matter if you are a batsman or a bowler. We have seen Rahul Dravid pound 17 maximums in 32 innings that just one short of what he has done in 240 innings in test cricket. Sachin and Kalis are great batsmen and they have the ability to change gears vey quickly be it one day test or T20. For batsmen like Sehwag, Afridi, Y.Pathan they all come from a different school of thought which says "Attack is the best form of defence" so they play the game as same as the other formats. Bowlers need to change thier approach to the game and not just bowl one day style.Malinga, Bravo, I Pathan have done than n are successful. It is all in your mind and the best part of the game comes from inside the heart.

  • RahulSharma5 on March 21, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    I think Kallis is the next best player after Sachin Tendulkar, even Kallis should get the title 'Sir' since he is worth the same. He is the best all rounder in the world.

  • rookie4u on March 20, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    Yes, the classy players for the old school of cricket have shown the importance playing proper cricketing strokes. So now we know that T20 cricket is not all about slogging rash strokes. Not sure why Harsha failed to mention Sehwag, Gilchrist, MSD, Pathan & others who really played proper cricket. Also, interesting question is why SRT doesn't play for our national in this format...

  • acrazycricketfan on March 20, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    Whether the batsmen have a classic game or not , ultimately its the runs scored which will decide the fate of them.Sachin , Kallis , Dravid are all class but what about people like Sehwag , Gilly , Hayden.They also have made a name for themselves.So score runs in an orthodox or an unorthodox way & make a name for yourself.Just watch out for Eain Morgan for Royal Challengers Bangalore.You will forget all the above mentioned players by his unorthodox style of batting.

  • EdwardTLogan on March 20, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    @ MartinAmber - the Aussies are watching the real cricket. The Test match between Australia and New Zealand. The IPL is insignificant in Australia and I for one hope it stays that way.

  • TATTUs on March 20, 2010, 1:18 GMT

    Well, Harshaji, I loved the first para. But I cant quite understand or like Sachin and Kalllis being bracketed together. Had this game been in the 90s, we would have seen kallis doing the same , but Sachin doing what the so called 'greats' of 20-20 are doing now.But the thing is sachin is playing some roles in his team.He can change that accordingly , if you remember the innings against the KKR in the last edition.I still remember that pull over midwicket. But Kallis will do the same no matter what. So please open and close that bracket once , to let kallis out of it.

  • crikkfan on March 19, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    A lot is being written abt the classicist Sachin which i totally agree with - but sachin - a stranger to aerial shots?..hellllooo....how was sachin battiing in the 90s ? I have never seen anyone play as beautiful an ondrive for a six as Dravid does in ODIs too - remember his 22-ball 50? The difference is how graceful they look doing it as opposed to being brutal! The effectiveness is however the same.

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on March 19, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    I am missing the bowlers. Its become a batting vs batting contest......

  • MartinAmber on March 19, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    Hey, where are all the Australians, trying to argue that just because Harsha Bhogle writes favourably about the IPL, he's not a respected journalist and commentator with a deep knowledge of the game, but is in fact just a Modi stooge who is desperate to compensate for his deep-seated envy of Australian cricket? Oh, sorry, they're not here, because they don't go round doing that sort of thing in the comments section. Guess we'll just have to wait for the response to the next article in which respected cricket historian and writer Gideon Haigh offers a rational critique of the IPL, then.

  • helloeveryone on March 19, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    people do not realize, it's a game, it has to evolve, players have to evolve ...so do the people outside the boundary line...:-).....it's a tribute to this great game that players like Sachin and Kallis take it to a new level with thier skills!

  • helloeveryone on March 19, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    pcommand : totally agree with you! Totally! That has been the problem with us, you know, we lack the integrity to respect! Please continue Mr. Harsha...it's always a pleasure to read and listen to you!

  • andeep on March 19, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    We all know the cricketing abilities of Sachin and Kallis. Singing their praises when they score off third rate domestic bowlers is hard to digest. Their real T20 worthiness will show when they play for their respective National Teams or in the Champions League.

  • __PK on March 19, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    Petty, spiteful, unnecessary final paragraph which detracts from what was, otherwise, quite an interesting article. I expect more from Harsha. These sort of repeated, gutless insinuations make him sound like a New Zealand TV commentator.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on March 19, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    @ram5160. My thoughts exactly! I have nothing against t-20 being a batsman's game and agree that pitches should mostly encourage batting, but there is a limit to the 1-sidedness. No hard feelings against guys like Tiwari,David Warner and Pathan, they have some talent and t-20 is a format where they can earn a living BUT in no form of the game should they be scoring on par with Kallis, Sachin, Dravid, and AB Devilliers, Ghilcrist or Sehwag. They are just not as classy or ADAPTABLE and in conditions where the bowlers have a better chance they mightn't make it. Kallis and Sachin show that they can score when things are tough and they can cash in just like the bashers when the bowlers are all but taken out of the game. That is how I feel and it seems like Harsha feels the same way but is reluctant to say so On Air.

  • knowledge_eater on March 19, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    Aaaah I forgot to mention Haydos in my Oldy the Goldy list, ohhh man he is strong fella, I thought he can hit six with his bear hand (well he might hurt his hand in process) but powerful man. When I saw him pondering runs against India in his debut test series against india, as I remembered he played very big role in beating India in India. He could be great muculo-skeletal demonstrator for medical school student. haha @cpcommand exactly. Harsha is legendary commentator and one of the best spokesman ambassador for India. He doesn't need to prove or do better anything in his commentary. Ignore the troll, its manipulative comments. Please guys show your wisdom somewhere else where its needed. And About marketing commentaries, well i can't really make comment about it, because I am no where near to having or knowledge of MBA or marketing strategies. I have never learn how to provoke 'ginny' to go inside plastic bottle.

  • Rahulbose on March 19, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    Classic batsmen have indeed adapted their game with T20s, this is also impacting the way teams chase big totals in ODIs.

    Another thing being seen in the IPL is that cricketers retire too early in the International ODI/Tests formats. IPL has seen many retired/ old players doing very well. The likes of Warne, Hayden, Gilchrist, Ganguly are still match winners. Atleast this should make people reconsider the retiring ages in ODIs.

  • rajababu555 on March 19, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    Writing about somebody who only thinks cricket is not a nice thing to do. I guess this person does not understand cricket and also don't know how to respect others. Every article by Harsha Bhogle is a privilege to read. Keep up the good work Harsha!!!!!

  • muthu77 on March 19, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    Sachin has hit a purple patch (again) with his form. HE SHOULD BE IN THE TEAM FOR WORLD T20.

  • NewYorkCricket on March 19, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Cut down the number of batsmen allowed to 8 for the T20 format. This will put a big premium on good batsmen and attacking bowlers. The average scores will come down a little bit, but the quality will go up. Leaves enough place for a tendulkar, pathan and batting and bowling all rounders

  • cpcommand on March 19, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    I have been a bit disheartened by some of the disparaging comments made by the users here regarding Harsha Bhogle. I am not sure how many of them actually know that Harsha is one of the pioneers in his league. He has been in the Commentary business as long as I remember and I have seen him grow in stature over the years. He is one who has the command on the language, has great understanding of the game, one of the most respected indian commentators in the world and also has the business credentials (remember he is IIM, Ahmedabad product). He not only played cricket but has seen cricket from close quarters almost for over 25 years. So he is highly equipped to discuss cricket and write about it. Apart from his expertise, he also provides great opinion. So before we pillage players/commentators of his stature, we need to respect their credentials. Every Tom, Dick and Harry who hasn't lifted a cricket bat/ball in life doesn't get the freedom to ridicule them guys however they want. Respect

  • mani86 on March 19, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    I was predicting that some one would write a typical story like this - that Kallis and Tendulkar are amazing etc after the past few games. However it is a bit sad that it was Harsha Bhogle who came out with it. It is a pretty mundane article with little insight beyond what a typical fan would anyway have. Come on Harsha, we expect much more from you!

  • on March 19, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    Gilkrist fliers and now symond and Gibs are doing well ......

  • gurn79 on March 19, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Yellow House v Green House! Ha ha ha!!! Harsha, that is so HPS :-) I know where you are coming from. Cheers!

  • sachinsaint on March 19, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Yes. I agree with ram5160. If there has to be a change in the way pitches are prepared or the boundaries made longer, its the senior pros like Harsha, Sunny and Ravi who should intervene. I understand that they may have their commercial agreements, but we would like to hear some fair commentary, atleast from the revered giants. I am enjoying IPL, but I don't like to see score of above 200 in each match.

  • gwd80 on March 19, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Stuart Broad does things like that all the time recently. Don't see why he doesn't get punishment. Same for Swann. It was quite unseemly and unnecessary so why not give them appropriate punishments? Just because they said sorry afterwards doesn't mean they didn't commit the offence in the first place. A lot of Asian fans keep banging on about how unfairly the disciplinary processes are implemented in international cricket and when things like this keep being overlooked you can see why they complain. I thought India were meant to be the main power within the ICC these days though? So why therefore do English players seem to get let off more often if the authorities would not have any apparent reason not to treat them in the same way as they would players from any other country? I like Swann and Broad and don't want to see the competitive edge removed from cricket but if you're going to behave yobbishly then you should expect to have to pay a price for it as this is cricket not football.

  • Percy_Fender on March 19, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Both Tendulkar and Kallis are all time greats who have a level of skills that is not very commonly seen. It is just their adjusting those God given abilities to whatever any particular format of the game calls for. While Sachin was always an attacking player in any format, Kallis seems to have surprised the many pundits of the game with his performances in IPL 3 for the BRC.Kallis was always a positive player not the role model from the coaching manual. So his transformation is not as striking as Gavaskar's was. Most of us who saw his baptism in the 1975 World Cup could never have imagined that he could have scored a 100 in just 83 deliveries as he did in the World Cup 1987.It is just translating abilities as needed.Greatness caters for that as well. Some thought obviously goes into this though. So I believe that great players can adapt seamlessly. Not for them the restrictions of being typecast.

  • Dragonpig on March 19, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    I remember an Australian commentator saying "Jaques Kallis is not suited to this twenty over stuff, he's a decent test batsman but he lacks the agression needed in twenty20" They went on to say a player like Andrew Symonds is the perfect T20 player and Kallis is just to safe and orthodox. I think Kallis is the perfect player to open the innings in T20, he's not going to bludgeon the ball over the ropes every time but he will lay a platform for those who do. I'm quite sure every team would benefit from having 1 or 2 "bankers" in their team that they can rely on to bat well and lay a platform, T20 sometimes comes to much of a "hit and hope" type game but watching someone play a drive on the up is possibly more entertaining than watching someone hoik a ball for a leg side 6. I'm 18 and in general I prefer watching good cricket to a bit of bashing so the whole of my generation isn't only into T20, it is entertaining to watch but test cricket will forever be the greatest

  • ram5160 on March 19, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    Talking of the PITCHES, y dont u say it in commentary? In the box, all u do is praise the wicket as being good for T20 and sing DLF maximums and Citi moments, lets not forget the Karbonn whatevers.

  • nirmit on March 19, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    I have followed your commentary on the game of cricket and it's various aspects for over 10 years now. And still each article is such a pleasure to read. I love how you put the merging of Classical(Sachin) style batting to a slogfest(Tiwari) as "Manna Dey and heavy metal were on the same stage." CLASSIC.

  • on March 19, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    and kallis is unbeaten till now in the third addition of IPL.....waving down legends are legends..no matter how much you can criticize them...they are just good and smart enough to adjust their games when and where required

  • CricFan78 on March 19, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    This year's IPL has been fantastic so far. Watching Sachin bat with likes of Tiwari and Kallis bat with likes of Pandey and Uthappa has been a bliss. The experienced players have also shown that its all about timing and finding the gaps and you can still maintain SR of nearly 200.

  • pranabashish on March 19, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Agree totally to the comments for Stuart Broad.. why the heck is he getting away with so many indiscretions??

  • Modis_Daddy on March 19, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Harsh I love you to bits. But really dude ?? So, you are now gonna write an article about how balanced Sachin and Kallis are when they play cricket shots ? How come you haven't written about how the cricket commentary sucks during IPL ? And if you bring up Mishti Doi with Sunny ever again or ask Robin Jackman what the tailenders should do when they have to score like 80 runs of 8 balls I swear to god I'll stop watching live cricket.

  • gr8_sachin_fan on March 19, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Sad to say, Tendulkars innings was more patchy than grand..

  • Screen1990 on March 19, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Kallis has done exceptionally well but not sachin, 3 seasons of IPL and sachin played just2 knocks....Kallis is good with ball too in this season

  • on March 19, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Just when the "test" cricketers had been written off, they showed why in sport, its not just technique and method which separates the great from the ordinary. Adaptability to change, mental strength and flexibility can make great sportsmen adjust to any format. Hopefully, the coming generations can learn from them, and adjust to test cricket just as these guys adjusted to t20s!

  • BillyCC on March 19, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    It is very true that all good Test batsmen in the current era are good batsmen in the shorter forms of the game as well. You cannot go wrong with being technically correct, having good concentration and facing often poor bowling from the opposition. The much harder trade is to turn yourself from a good ODI or T20 batsmen into a quality Test batsmen (Yusuf Pathan, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Kieron Pollard; take note!)

  • knowledge_eater on March 19, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Yup, Old is Gold, but being Bold is also Gold in 20/20. And Younger cricketers have full license to be Bold. Old ergo experienced ergo Superstars have to think too much to be Bold. They are the one who is going to answers to their fans, if they fail. Even recently I saw ridiculous some where they (Old) were accused of political drama. They have to bear all. I mean sometimes I think Kalis Ganguli Tendulkar Dravid Kumble Warne Boucher Jaya Martyn Gilly don't they bend down from the weight they carry !!! But then I recall my learning from school, that hey its motor skill. Its like driving car. There is big difference when you drive car first time, and when you drive after 20 years of driving experience. Obviously, they have come this far by being flexible and facing thousands kind of bowling deliveries or bowling it. Well, but i heard Sachin saying some time ago, that he still gets funny feeling while going toward crease. I think thats the case to any players.

  • saurabh.somani on March 19, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    "Like writers of classical prose getting on to Twitter" - you're one of the writers harsha! couldn't agree more on pitches with zing in them, sadly i think it is in the realm of fantasy only.

  • AdiNene on March 19, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Very often people who love the sport and who watched it not merely for fun would appriciate the fact that it can still be won by playing authentic shots. These cricketers like Sachin, kallis are ones to whom cricket is indebted. Even the younger crop we see India like virat and robot are capable of winning matches on sheer skill

  • prashant1 on March 19, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    All very fine. But you have made an error in assuming that Tendulkar can only do the classical ,straight bat stuff. If you recall when he started opening the batting in ODIs he could both pull out the straight drive and charge the quicks with equal ease and frequency. It's only the Body that failed him in later years- but he can whack and pulverise and attack as well as the next man.

  • on March 19, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Love the analogies in the first half. Nice piece.

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  • on March 19, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Love the analogies in the first half. Nice piece.

  • prashant1 on March 19, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    All very fine. But you have made an error in assuming that Tendulkar can only do the classical ,straight bat stuff. If you recall when he started opening the batting in ODIs he could both pull out the straight drive and charge the quicks with equal ease and frequency. It's only the Body that failed him in later years- but he can whack and pulverise and attack as well as the next man.

  • AdiNene on March 19, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Very often people who love the sport and who watched it not merely for fun would appriciate the fact that it can still be won by playing authentic shots. These cricketers like Sachin, kallis are ones to whom cricket is indebted. Even the younger crop we see India like virat and robot are capable of winning matches on sheer skill

  • saurabh.somani on March 19, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    "Like writers of classical prose getting on to Twitter" - you're one of the writers harsha! couldn't agree more on pitches with zing in them, sadly i think it is in the realm of fantasy only.

  • knowledge_eater on March 19, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Yup, Old is Gold, but being Bold is also Gold in 20/20. And Younger cricketers have full license to be Bold. Old ergo experienced ergo Superstars have to think too much to be Bold. They are the one who is going to answers to their fans, if they fail. Even recently I saw ridiculous some where they (Old) were accused of political drama. They have to bear all. I mean sometimes I think Kalis Ganguli Tendulkar Dravid Kumble Warne Boucher Jaya Martyn Gilly don't they bend down from the weight they carry !!! But then I recall my learning from school, that hey its motor skill. Its like driving car. There is big difference when you drive car first time, and when you drive after 20 years of driving experience. Obviously, they have come this far by being flexible and facing thousands kind of bowling deliveries or bowling it. Well, but i heard Sachin saying some time ago, that he still gets funny feeling while going toward crease. I think thats the case to any players.

  • BillyCC on March 19, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    It is very true that all good Test batsmen in the current era are good batsmen in the shorter forms of the game as well. You cannot go wrong with being technically correct, having good concentration and facing often poor bowling from the opposition. The much harder trade is to turn yourself from a good ODI or T20 batsmen into a quality Test batsmen (Yusuf Pathan, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Kieron Pollard; take note!)

  • on March 19, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Just when the "test" cricketers had been written off, they showed why in sport, its not just technique and method which separates the great from the ordinary. Adaptability to change, mental strength and flexibility can make great sportsmen adjust to any format. Hopefully, the coming generations can learn from them, and adjust to test cricket just as these guys adjusted to t20s!

  • Screen1990 on March 19, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Kallis has done exceptionally well but not sachin, 3 seasons of IPL and sachin played just2 knocks....Kallis is good with ball too in this season

  • gr8_sachin_fan on March 19, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Sad to say, Tendulkars innings was more patchy than grand..

  • Modis_Daddy on March 19, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Harsh I love you to bits. But really dude ?? So, you are now gonna write an article about how balanced Sachin and Kallis are when they play cricket shots ? How come you haven't written about how the cricket commentary sucks during IPL ? And if you bring up Mishti Doi with Sunny ever again or ask Robin Jackman what the tailenders should do when they have to score like 80 runs of 8 balls I swear to god I'll stop watching live cricket.