February 19, 2011

Watch out for vintage batsmen

Now that these technically sound players have freed up their batting via Twenty20, we can expect some sizzling innings from them in the World Cup
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The first time I realised, as an international batsman, that I needed a different technique for ODIs was when I saw Navjot Sidhu bat in Sharjah once. Sidhu, like me, was a traditional batsman who grew up being told to go back and across when the ball was short, and to come forward when it was full. Only bad balls were meant to be hit; the rest were to be respected and defended.

In that particular game in Sharjah, I was playing traditionally, leaving balls outside the off stump alone and defending the good ones. However, Sidhu was playing differently. I could see that he had made an adjustment to his basic technique: he was not moving his feet much, and he was hitting through the line. He was scoring freely and I wasn't.

In that era very few batsmen hit through the line. Now it's the norm. A few years later, while commentating alongside Aamer Sohail, I saw Virender Sehwag, still quite new to international cricket, deliver a lesson in how to convert good balls into hittable ones by not moving your feet much. It was a revelation. Sehwag, by not moving his feet much, was deliberately creating room to free his arms against balls that were pretty close to off stump. In the process he managed to treat with disdain a line that batsmen had been trained to believe was a good one.

I remember an observation the late cricket journalist Rajan Bala made about the two little masters of Indian cricket. He said Sachin Tendulkar had hit as many good balls for four in his five-year career (at that point) as Sunil Gavaskar probably had in his 17-odd years in the game. It is important to remember here that Gavaskar's era of batsmanship was different. Batsmanship then was built on the fundamentals of "defend the good balls and hit the bad balls". I was from the Gavaskar school of batting.

Today good balls are regularly hit for boundaries - and often with minimal movement of the feet. I think this is a smart change in approach, in keeping with changing times. There is no point having copybook technique in batting-friendly conditions when it's going to hamper your scoring rate. Green, seaming wickets are rare. Why build your game for those?

Looking at the evolution of ODI batting, it's worth starting with New Zealand's Martin Crowe, a batsman who was hugely admired by my generation. We could relate more to Crowe than to someone like Viv Richards, who seemed from a different planet. Crowe was a more classical batsman, who played proper cricket shots, but in one-dayers he switched to aggressive mode. He was one of the best one-day batsmen I have seen. In a 1992 World Cup match in Dunedin, I remember watching from square leg when he gave Kapil Dev a mock charge and disdainfully pulled the resulting short ball for a flat six over square leg. He made a great bowler look like a schoolboy. Very few could bat like Crowe did in one-dayers when in form. He was an attacking and dangerous one-day batsman but his methods were still quite traditional.

Next came the generation who shunned tradition and built their game on taking big risks. These were people like Sanath Jayasuriya, Mark Greatbatch and Romesh Kaluwitharana. They were successful while playing a high-risk game because they all had one gift - tremendous ball sense. Players of this sort understand ball behaviour better than most and are able to hit almost any kind of delivery as a result. That they did not put too much of a price on their wickets made them more dangerous.

When you talk of one-day batting, you can't leave out Tendulkar, the ultimate one-day run machine. When he was an opener in one-day cricket, his early innings were a bit like Jayasuriya's - both would go after the bowling from the start. Like Jayasuriya, he too did not set long-term goals: he looked to hit every ball for a four, if not six. Tendulkar, however, changed that approach soon and became more of an innings builder. Perhaps he had no choice because of the state of the team he played for. I can't forget some of the explosive Tendulkar innings I have watched from the other end in domestic cricket, when he played without any burden. It was, again, classical batsmanship adapted to attacking cricket - and further up the graph than Crowe managed in 1992. The range of shots Tendulkar produced when he batted in that fashion was staggering, to say the least.

There is no point having copybook technique in batting-friendly conditions when it's going to hamper your scoring rate. Green, seaming wickets are rare. Why build your game for those?

The Pakistani opener Saeed Anwar was another terrific batting talent in one-dayers. He too had a superb array of shots, which made him a real nightmare for new-ball bowlers. I have never seen wrists being used the way Anwar did to produce the big shots. He could casually flick a ball off his pads, 10 rows into the stands.

The new mindset shown at the top of the order by batsmen in the early 90s inspired openers like Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Herschelle Gibbs, all terrific players with great hitting skills.

Late in the 1990s or thereabouts, one-day cricket itself was crying out for a change. A one-day innings then typically went flat after the 15th over. This to me was not so much because of the change in field as it was about the approach to batting in one-day matches at the time. Ian Healy used to wonder why there was no more the same intensity in batting after 15 overs. The answer was quite simple really: because that is how it was done. Nobody knew better.

Enter batsmen like Andrew Symonds and Yuvraj Singh, who revived the middle overs somewhat by hitting sixes at times in games when ones and twos were acceptable. Such batsmen also helped less aggressive players like Rahul Dravid become effective one-day batsmen at No. 5 or 6. The Dravids and the Michael Bevans became masters of a different style of batting. They were experts at soaking up the pressure, but they also needed some assistance from a big hitter at the other end to help their cause. Many teams started finding good use for Dravid-like batsmen down the order.

Inzamam-ul-Haq of Pakistan is another player who was quite brilliant when it came to handling pressure in a one-day match. Where he was different from the Dravids and Bevans was that he could up the ante very well himself. He truly was one of the greats of one-day batting. Sadly his running between the wickets always comes in the way of him being in the ODI hall of fame.

As if ODI batting was not evolving enough, along came Twenty20 cricket, wiping out whatever little fear or inhibition was left in the minds of batsmen. Thanks to Twenty20 we are now seeing shots played in 50-overs cricket that one only fantasised about 10 years ago. Twenty20 has also taught the more accomplished Test batsmen to not take failures to heart. So much so that these batsmen, with their minds freed, are now making more of an impact in 50-overs cricket than before.

Some of the bigger beneficiaries have been vintage batsmen like Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. These batsmen, because of Twenty20, are not afraid to cross the boundaries they had laid down for themselves for a number of years. In this World Cup I expect this breed to make a mark like they never have before.

This is the first World Cup where we will see the complete influence of Twenty20 on the tournament. That will be something to look out for.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY titansnights on | February 21, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    omg...he called sachin a run machine....false praise

  • POSTED BY Vorticon on | February 21, 2011, 2:30 GMT

    I think the best example of what Sanjay is talking about is Ricky Ponting's innings in the first ever twenty20 international. 98 (I think) runs in a twenty20 and only 'proper' cricket shots played.

  • POSTED BY Q_Khan on | February 21, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    This was a good article from Sanjay Manjrekar. I loved it. The people who are talking about Afridi and Razzaq, they should know that the above article is about proper batsmen. it is not about the street batsmen who have many sixes but a few runs. look at the average of Afridi and Razzaq. From Pakistan only two batsmen deserved to be mention in an article and they were mentioned.

  • POSTED BY rahulkmc on | February 20, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Those trying to get back at the author for not mentioning some 'key' players whom you think needed a mention in the article - It would have become a lengthy article without necessarily adding anything to what he was trying to convey here. He has mostly mentioned names where he was involved in some way. Broaden your minds sometimes and try to get what the article is conveying. And for the record, can't agree more with Sanjay, although bowlers have been needlessly and mercilessly strangulated with numerous rules against them to maximize run scoring. For the sake of good cricket they should bring back some balance between bat and ball.

  • POSTED BY arun.oscar on | February 20, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    Excellent piece by Sanjay. The transition and transformation of one-day cricket is explained well with striking examples. This was something already existing but never written by any other writer.. Modern cricket is boon for batsmen and bane for bowlers...

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | February 20, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    @Mark00 Have been watching cricket for over 20 years now and if you consider giving oneself some room and to hit the ball through extra, cover or point is consdered slogging then even the legendary Viv Richards was a SLOGGER. In my book it is great innovative batting. No wonder the batsman I have loved watching over the years are Viv, Lara, Sehwag and Gilchrist. All the rest have just played for their averages.

  • POSTED BY on | February 20, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    Guys - keep in mind. These articles are not written to pay homage to every one and their brother in laws. As soon as an article like this comes out you see comments like "Oh, you forgot Afridi, you forgot pietersen" ..

  • POSTED BY on | February 20, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    LOL... No mention of Afridi??? ARE U SERIOUS???

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    well... u talking about aggressive odi batsmen... and forgetting the man with the most sixes and the fastest odi century????

  • POSTED BY The_big_j on | February 19, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    Good Article Sanjay, your articles are always very informative and never too bais unlike some other writers on cricinfo.

  • POSTED BY titansnights on | February 21, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    omg...he called sachin a run machine....false praise

  • POSTED BY Vorticon on | February 21, 2011, 2:30 GMT

    I think the best example of what Sanjay is talking about is Ricky Ponting's innings in the first ever twenty20 international. 98 (I think) runs in a twenty20 and only 'proper' cricket shots played.

  • POSTED BY Q_Khan on | February 21, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    This was a good article from Sanjay Manjrekar. I loved it. The people who are talking about Afridi and Razzaq, they should know that the above article is about proper batsmen. it is not about the street batsmen who have many sixes but a few runs. look at the average of Afridi and Razzaq. From Pakistan only two batsmen deserved to be mention in an article and they were mentioned.

  • POSTED BY rahulkmc on | February 20, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Those trying to get back at the author for not mentioning some 'key' players whom you think needed a mention in the article - It would have become a lengthy article without necessarily adding anything to what he was trying to convey here. He has mostly mentioned names where he was involved in some way. Broaden your minds sometimes and try to get what the article is conveying. And for the record, can't agree more with Sanjay, although bowlers have been needlessly and mercilessly strangulated with numerous rules against them to maximize run scoring. For the sake of good cricket they should bring back some balance between bat and ball.

  • POSTED BY arun.oscar on | February 20, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    Excellent piece by Sanjay. The transition and transformation of one-day cricket is explained well with striking examples. This was something already existing but never written by any other writer.. Modern cricket is boon for batsmen and bane for bowlers...

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | February 20, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    @Mark00 Have been watching cricket for over 20 years now and if you consider giving oneself some room and to hit the ball through extra, cover or point is consdered slogging then even the legendary Viv Richards was a SLOGGER. In my book it is great innovative batting. No wonder the batsman I have loved watching over the years are Viv, Lara, Sehwag and Gilchrist. All the rest have just played for their averages.

  • POSTED BY on | February 20, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    Guys - keep in mind. These articles are not written to pay homage to every one and their brother in laws. As soon as an article like this comes out you see comments like "Oh, you forgot Afridi, you forgot pietersen" ..

  • POSTED BY on | February 20, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    LOL... No mention of Afridi??? ARE U SERIOUS???

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    well... u talking about aggressive odi batsmen... and forgetting the man with the most sixes and the fastest odi century????

  • POSTED BY The_big_j on | February 19, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    Good Article Sanjay, your articles are always very informative and never too bais unlike some other writers on cricinfo.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    Mr Sanjay u talked about Big Hitting and there was no mentioning of Afridi and Razzaq STRANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY mlkt on | February 19, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    and which brand of batsmanship does Harbhajan Singh belongs to???????

  • POSTED BY ssivamurthy on | February 19, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Nice article Sanjay. I like how you've captured the transformation in batting styles. The question of who is the greatest is indeed redundant when you consider how so many have contributed to make cricket what it is today. I would love to read more such insights from you.

  • POSTED BY Mark00 on | February 19, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    The batting technique being espoused by Sanjay Manjrekar, in the old days, was called slogging. It results in batsmen who are weak against the short ball. Sehwag is the perfect example. Then again, as Manjrekar says, cricket rules and pitches have been altered to be very batsmen friendly so you can simply leave the bouncer and safely slog everything else.

  • POSTED BY alrehman on | February 19, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    I think a real batman is one who can adjust himself according to the situation. I think the best batsman could be considered is one who's strike rate is best with combination of tests,ODI's and T20 matches. I think this will be an interesting calculation. For your information now a days bowlers can't bowl on leg side which give an extra advantage to the batsman...on other side batsman can play any short which he want,,, even from the back side of the bat,,, it's called improvisation..lol

  • POSTED BY diehard_pulkit on | February 19, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    Sir ,

    An edition to this you need to show the flip side of the coin...you show the heads (the batsmen) but where is the evolution of tails( the bowler) when you show the ying, you ought to present us with an outlook on the yangs...the bowlers, who changed themselves to face the might of sehwag, gilly, Sanath, pathan...

    slower deliveries, much more potent yorkers, bouncers...20-20 one day test...too much cricket...today every bowler has a tougher shoe to fill

    Have you also forgotten, how now pitches are made for run fest; so it entertains the crowd more.

    We will watch out for those vintage golds like kallis and tendulkar (MY GOD), but seriously with all the advancements going to the bats and blah pitches and to smaller boundaries I wonder what would have happened if the beasts of today Lee, Tait, Akthar were given even more spicier pitches like in older times.

  • POSTED BY ejsiddiqui on | February 19, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Good Article Sanjay, but you completely forgot the impact of late order hitting in death overs in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY jay0m0 on | February 19, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    I was expecting something diff in this article...but same story....we all know this world cup will have influence of Twenty20 on the tournament......And please stop writing anything about sachin.....you r not worth of writing anything about him(We read all your articles about his batting when he was little out of touch after returning from injury)

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    another batsmen who was a prolific boundary hitter was Sourav, should hv been mentioned

  • POSTED BY pratik356 on | February 19, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    nice article sir...really liked it....but whatever you said...is another way to approach...it's lyk another option ...when the best option is not in your kitty....basics are the fundamental things....batsman...can't be successful for long time...if they don't have proper technique, unless they are gifted like..sehwag and gilchrist...

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    agreed fully with statshank. hayden,razzaq etc

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | February 19, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    2.De Silva has a fantastic record against Australia and would have been considered an all-time great batsman if he had played for a more influential cricketing nation. In fact de Silva hurtled towards 9000 ODI runs and was good for more if only Sri Lanka had been invited to play more in Eng, OZ and SA. Fans also need to remember that Ganguly was the master at guiding chases (Toronto 1997, Karachi 1997, Dhaka 1998, England Natwest 2002) and for a period between 1998-2002 was peerless at the top of the order. Sidhu was a fantastic ODI player and even Azhar used to be in awe of his consistency at scoring 50s. Many old-timers seem to have forgotten Krish Srikanth who was the original initial 15 overs blaster -that too against potent WI attacks, OZ and Eng fast medium bowlers and also against Imran. However, he scored substantially only once every 10 or so innings and should never have been allowed to play the number of Tests that he did.

  • POSTED BY AdityaUpadhyay on | February 19, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Great Article. This world cup may well decide which direction the batting in world cricket will head to (the sehag,dhoni ,pathan way or sachin, dravid,sangakkara way)....

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | February 19, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Good article but he has forgetten some names who can destroy whole team. Ricky Ponting..........i think he forgot his 2003 final innings. May be dont want to remember it as an indian.

    Shahid afridi........... 37 balls 100 Abdul razzaq........... 60 balls 100 two months ago. Keven Pieterson............extremely destructive batsman. Cris Gayle......he is monster of a batsman.

    However , players like Hashim Amala, AB Deviliers , Smararwera, younas khan will contribute too becuase of low bounce. Good article have fun.

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | February 19, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    1. Manjrekar (snigger!) will always try and associate himself with Gavaskar and Tendulkar - he is still desperate that he could never get to be a playing great or acknowledged as such for his undoubted technical proficiency (as against a commentator for which he is better lauded). Once he mentioned that if he had the benefit of today's cricket fitness methods, he would have scored 10,000 Test runs: Ramiz Raja on the same program sniggered. He could have been the next Gavaskar for sure but for his arrogance about not seeking advice or tips from players-former or otherwise. Disclaimer: Manjrekar, more than Tendulkar was my fav in 1989-the only year when Manjrekar performed consistently in international cricket. Crowe was just brilliant during 1992 and aesthetically such a pleasure to watch. Kalu more than Jayasuriya was the more fearless batsman. I so looked forward to seeing him bat.But the most consummate ODI batsman of the 90s along with SRT was actually Aravinda de Silva.CONTD.

  • POSTED BY akpy on | February 19, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    most articles ignore krish srikanth...his style of batting in both tests and ODIs were way past those times and hence, treated with disdain by people apart from a few praises. Even his strokes, lofted drives to the V, pull/hook (remember WC final shots of Andy Roberts slow and fast bouncer)...yes, he averaged only 30s but bowlers truly feared him, esp when sunny was solid at the other end..chika however did not have temparament and used to give it away on his own rather than bowlers dismissing him..but, he was way before greatbatch, jayasuria, etc and probably the pioneer who was way ahead of his time...

  • POSTED BY Hemant_A1 on | February 19, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Sanjay, excellent article. But no mention of the Prince of Kolkata - no footwork but great strokerplay on the off...

  • POSTED BY Arpra on | February 19, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Wonderful analysis as always from Sanjay... Do heavier and better bats have an impact? With HotSpot technology you can actually see balls rocketing off the outside half of the bat squarer rather than finer.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    I think sanjay is quite right but he missed one great one day batsman Javed Miandad. who can forget his last ball six to win one day game against India.

  • POSTED BY statshank on | February 19, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Bhau....you forgot to mention the impact of a few ordinary people such as Adam Gilchrist, Kevin Pietersen and possibly Afridi. Gayle should be counted in the same breadth

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Great write up Sanjay! I wish only if you could have applied this learning in your prime time, we would have had the best services of you, someone we regarded as an immensely talented player. It was quite obvious to us as spectators that you need to adapt to the faster games. To be fair to you, you did try. I remember that 47 against Aiustralia in th 1992 world cup that took us so close to victory under an adverse situation. I don't remember having seen you hit a six anytime else.

    Looking ahead, I feel players like Pujara should take this lesson and gear up for limited overs games too. Murali Vijay, who resembles you in this basis temprament, has shown great adaptability for the shorter version (remember his 127 in IPL).

    That said, I feel, the basis of batsmanship still need to be strong with anyone who wants to play for long. Hitting across the line may also cut a career short. I feel Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina,Virat Kohli etc run that risk. Please coach them to balance it out.

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | February 19, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Good article on the evolution of batsmanship. Hopefully Sanga, Mahela and Samaraweera can put evolution into practice. The evolution of bowling is another facet of the game and little credit is given to Sri Lankan quartet of spinners in 1996 who suffocated the batsmen in the middle overs especially crushing India in the semi and limiting Australian total to a gettable one in the final. This world cup will be a battle between bowl and bat and spinners will be critical to limit scoring versus batsmen"s ability to negotiate spin[in the middle overs] and this may be Australia's downfall this WC. We should also mention the evolution of pacemen at death like Malinga. T20 has contributed to this but we need all 3 forms to survive.

  • POSTED BY natasrik on | February 19, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    How can you miss a player of the calibre, Ponting who infact has done wonders for australian cricket. Sachin played like Jayasuriya initially when he started opening the innings, just does not make any sense in that.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Great Article Sanjay.. I agree on all the points you made..

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  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Great Article Sanjay.. I agree on all the points you made..

  • POSTED BY natasrik on | February 19, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    How can you miss a player of the calibre, Ponting who infact has done wonders for australian cricket. Sachin played like Jayasuriya initially when he started opening the innings, just does not make any sense in that.

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | February 19, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Good article on the evolution of batsmanship. Hopefully Sanga, Mahela and Samaraweera can put evolution into practice. The evolution of bowling is another facet of the game and little credit is given to Sri Lankan quartet of spinners in 1996 who suffocated the batsmen in the middle overs especially crushing India in the semi and limiting Australian total to a gettable one in the final. This world cup will be a battle between bowl and bat and spinners will be critical to limit scoring versus batsmen"s ability to negotiate spin[in the middle overs] and this may be Australia's downfall this WC. We should also mention the evolution of pacemen at death like Malinga. T20 has contributed to this but we need all 3 forms to survive.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Great write up Sanjay! I wish only if you could have applied this learning in your prime time, we would have had the best services of you, someone we regarded as an immensely talented player. It was quite obvious to us as spectators that you need to adapt to the faster games. To be fair to you, you did try. I remember that 47 against Aiustralia in th 1992 world cup that took us so close to victory under an adverse situation. I don't remember having seen you hit a six anytime else.

    Looking ahead, I feel players like Pujara should take this lesson and gear up for limited overs games too. Murali Vijay, who resembles you in this basis temprament, has shown great adaptability for the shorter version (remember his 127 in IPL).

    That said, I feel, the basis of batsmanship still need to be strong with anyone who wants to play for long. Hitting across the line may also cut a career short. I feel Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina,Virat Kohli etc run that risk. Please coach them to balance it out.

  • POSTED BY statshank on | February 19, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Bhau....you forgot to mention the impact of a few ordinary people such as Adam Gilchrist, Kevin Pietersen and possibly Afridi. Gayle should be counted in the same breadth

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    I think sanjay is quite right but he missed one great one day batsman Javed Miandad. who can forget his last ball six to win one day game against India.

  • POSTED BY Arpra on | February 19, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Wonderful analysis as always from Sanjay... Do heavier and better bats have an impact? With HotSpot technology you can actually see balls rocketing off the outside half of the bat squarer rather than finer.

  • POSTED BY Hemant_A1 on | February 19, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Sanjay, excellent article. But no mention of the Prince of Kolkata - no footwork but great strokerplay on the off...

  • POSTED BY akpy on | February 19, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    most articles ignore krish srikanth...his style of batting in both tests and ODIs were way past those times and hence, treated with disdain by people apart from a few praises. Even his strokes, lofted drives to the V, pull/hook (remember WC final shots of Andy Roberts slow and fast bouncer)...yes, he averaged only 30s but bowlers truly feared him, esp when sunny was solid at the other end..chika however did not have temparament and used to give it away on his own rather than bowlers dismissing him..but, he was way before greatbatch, jayasuria, etc and probably the pioneer who was way ahead of his time...

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | February 19, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    1. Manjrekar (snigger!) will always try and associate himself with Gavaskar and Tendulkar - he is still desperate that he could never get to be a playing great or acknowledged as such for his undoubted technical proficiency (as against a commentator for which he is better lauded). Once he mentioned that if he had the benefit of today's cricket fitness methods, he would have scored 10,000 Test runs: Ramiz Raja on the same program sniggered. He could have been the next Gavaskar for sure but for his arrogance about not seeking advice or tips from players-former or otherwise. Disclaimer: Manjrekar, more than Tendulkar was my fav in 1989-the only year when Manjrekar performed consistently in international cricket. Crowe was just brilliant during 1992 and aesthetically such a pleasure to watch. Kalu more than Jayasuriya was the more fearless batsman. I so looked forward to seeing him bat.But the most consummate ODI batsman of the 90s along with SRT was actually Aravinda de Silva.CONTD.