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Commentator, television presenter and writer

Look out for KP and Sachin

Their particular circumstances and their manner of playing make two cricketers especially worth watching in the India-England series

Harsha Bhogle

November 9, 2012

Comments: 96 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar played some good-looking strokes, Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2012
Tendulkar: will not go quietly © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Kevin Pietersen | Sachin Tendulkar
Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
Teams: England | India

A character at the height of his powers and a legend winding down his career will be the ones to watch out for over the next six weeks. Kevin Pietersen and Sachin Tendulkar have more in common as batsmen than is immediately apparent, but it is the manner in which they have chosen to live that they tread different paths.

Tendulkar admitted recently that he doesn't have a lot of cricket left in him. We know that and so do his ardent fans; they speak as if they are in denial, but even they know. For him to admit it just draws it closer.

Watching Tendulkar has been the one constant in our lives over the last 23 years. Much has changed. Nations have been created, the world economy has gone boom and bust and boom and bust again, music has evolved, young people drawn to him when he started might have children who are now married. He has been a wonderful habit, spreading cheer when gloom is the market leader.

And we don't know how much longer we will see that walk down the ground, the push through cover, the flick through square leg, the straight drive, the quirky problem with sightscreens, the boyish smile, the occasional legbreak... we don't know. It could be this series, it could be another, it could be longer; but suddenly Tendulkar the cricketer feels finite. And so I am going to go to the next four Tests and just enjoy watching him bat. I hope he is nimble on his feet and chooses to play shots rather than drop anchor, though who's to say he isn't the best judge of his own cricket? But his best batting in recent years has been when he has sought to dominate, whether it was the tussle with Dale Steyn in South Africa or against the Australians in Melbourne and in Sydney.

You can tell the fire burns bright, as it always has done. He batted against Railways with food poisoning, and the Mumbai coach says he faced 300 balls an hour in the nets. That second fact is quite something. In a match situation you get at best 90 balls an hour, of which you might face 50. It will always be quicker in the nets because every bowler is at the top of his mark waiting for the one before him to deliver, but to play five balls a minute for 60 minutes means Tendulkar is on to something. He won't want to go quietly; that's not him.

 
 
It will not be like Pietersen to grind out a hundred. He will attack, he will seek to dominate, and it is the thrill of that contest that could well define how England go in this series
 

It will be fun. And if after four Tests he has made enough, the next four will be fun too. The thespian will be delivering his lines and you won't know which will be the last. Isn't that enough to grab your attention?

Meanwhile a slightly younger man with a much more stormy existence will also seek to dominate this series. I was in an airport lounge recently, grabbing a quick breakfast, when the highlights of Pietersen's 149 against South Africa came on. The idli stayed in my spoon for two minutes. It was breathtaking batting and it reminded me of two Tendulkar hundreds: one at Edgbaston, when he was but 23, and another three years later, in Melbourne. Remember, there are at least ten inches separating the two; the stride therefore is different and the bounce affects them differently. But in both instances the batsmen were looking to attack, cutting and pulling, not afraid to go down the ground or to hit in the air. It was gladiatorial. If you wanted an innings from the last 12 months to showcase cricket, it would be this one from Pietersen; and maybe Michael Clarke's in South Africa.

But India will be very different for Pietersen. He cannot camp on the back foot and get on top of the bounce. He will have to crouch, he might have to advance towards the ball rather than watch it come quiveringly towards him. The ball will snake its way around, and those darn left-arm spinners will be swarming around him. I've never understood that: a batsman so astonishingly gifted, so brutal, and yet so transfixed by little fellows who toss a ball up to him left-handed.

It will not be like Pietersen to grind out a hundred against them; a Gongura chutney might more likely find its way onto a delicate pasta. He will attack, he will seek to dominate, and it is the thrill of that contest that could well define how England go in this series. On the last four occasions they have toured India, only once, back in 1993, when Graeme Hick was playing, has a player scored more than 300 runs in a series. If Pietersen can be the player to erase that sorry number, we will have seen some thrilling cricket.

There will be other stars, and they will demand our attention too, but I can already feel the thrill of the little giant and the massive dueller walking out with bat in hand.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

tendulkar is the best and no 1 cn take that away from him. we all know the inevitably retirement is due. lets just let him go with a bang...long live sachin

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Indian test cricket batting has all about Sehwag at top and laxman in the middle order for the past 5 years. Both these guys have helped India to win matches. Sachin and Dravid have helped to draw or save test matches with the rate in which they play. How can Mr. Bhogle compare Sachin with KP. Sachin has been boring us for a long time now. And Mr. Dhoni without adding value in test side is bent on removing Sehwag and Laxman. Laxman is out and he has taken 4 openers to put extra pressure on Sehwag. Opening in test cricket against new balls and fresh wicket is the most difficult skill in cricket. We have had many middle order great batsman. How many good openers we had Gavaskar, Sehwag ...... May be Sidhu and Gambhir.The last 8-0 has been because Sehwag and Gambhi have not fired. Once openers get out middle order gets exposed to new ball earlier than expected and then it becomes tough for everyone. Its a chain reaction. Openers do well and you will also see huge scores in middle order.

Posted by paps123 on (November 12, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

Absolutely, with Tendulkar we lose 8-0 outside subcontinent and he plays poorly too. By playing well against England in India, what he proves is best known to him only. Nice to see Dravid and Laxman having that sensitivity towards Indian cricket which quite clearly Tendulkar does not have.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

Has Harsha played any cricket?

Posted by Ha8rick on (November 11, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

I used to be a HUGE fan of Sachin while growing up as he is my age. Now, I think he is just a selfish person who is holding up a spot for younger folks and in the process destroying a few careers.

He should have quit all forms of cricket after winning the World Cup and leave the game with his Head held up high.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (November 11, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

KP yes, but Sachin? not sure...

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

Udayakumar Aravamudhan Sir, that is very very true.... I don't know y these guys are posting worthless comments about our Cricket GOD...

Posted by alarky on (November 11, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

Cont'd: Without any disrespect for the great man, all those who are encouraging him to carry on should instead graciously tell him, "Sachin, please take up your bat and go home".

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 4:42 GMT)

Sachin should have retired 2 years ago. Can't understand why he keeps playing. Sometimes he looks so useless at the crease that it's embarrassing. Occasionally he scores some runs, even Ashwin is more constant than him.

Can't help but feel he's playing for the record books.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (November 11, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

RANDYOZ is famous for his cakewalk comment...mate i am a big fan of your jokes..i expect many more from you please..

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 0:55 GMT)

Sachin should not be called a failure even if he does not get many runs this seris. He will go when he feels like it. I don't care but he is one of the most complete batsman in the world. The amount of runs and wickets he has gotten. Only Kallis may argue the case but India can hold their head up high when Sachin retires.

I can only think India will try to now get more spinny pitches now all the scorers have gone. Tendulkar, VVS, Rahul, Ganguly and soon Sehwag. The likes of Ojha and Ashwin are India's next biggest stars.

As for KP, I think England needed him looking at their batting worries of late. (Bopara)

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 10, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

@RandyOZ: Dear boy, why not go and do the rain dance so that the rains stay away in your country ? What you doin here eh ?

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 10, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

Sachin will remain greatest ever irrespective of wether he scores or not against ENG

Posted by St.John on (November 10, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

KP I can understand but nobody is interested anymore to look out for Tendulkar. Dont aim to be mean but thats how it is...

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

oh my Harsha! you predicted a West Indies Victory (in T20 WC) by stating "every body will be happy if they win". Now you have stated this..... I hope this also happens, I am die hard fan of both........

Posted by Indian_Cricket_Fanatic on (November 10, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

Before I begin my comment I shall write I love Sachin!!!. Now as much as I love him I see no point how is this article of any importance prior to the England and India series as these two guys are so self motivating and will certainly be looking forward to do well in their games. I would have loved seeing harsha write about Indian young guns like virat and pujara or even yuvraj...and from england probably cook or swanny. Inspiring talks about those guys would mean something from them....Expecting sehwag's 3rd triple hundred this winter :)......

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

People have to learn from sachin on how to be passionate on what you do.. he could have easily walked with dravid n VVS but instead tryin to get better...

On your youngster waiting..That was a joke some one has mentiond Rohit gettin a chance if Sachin retires.Rohit is the biggest failure india hav ever had.. Sachin at the age of 50 will play better then Rohit of 25..

Dada retired in 2008 and the only player to cement his place after that was Kholi in the yr 2012 (4yrs after Dada's retirement)&now 2 vacant (No.3&6) place are available. Pujara(He could be the next grt But Still 2 prove himself 2 cement his place) Make your youngsters earn the place and push sachin rather then begging Sachin to retire and earn the place..

Some one said sachin has failed for 2yrs now ..am not sure how he missed the Worldcup 1.5yrs ago (Sachin top scored for india and the 2nd top in WC2012) In Eng&Aus he failed but still the 2nd highest run getter for india in both the series (just 3runs behind kholi)

Posted by SublimeFan on (November 10, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

If only Tendulkar was a match winner like KP. Whole world knows Tendulkar plays for himself, runs, records and milestones. No doubt he is a game-great when it comes to cricketing records but he is just not a match winner.

Posted by CricketIsnotlife on (November 10, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Sachin and KP have nothing in common. KP's batting is all about dominating the bowlers and Sachin looks to build an innings and stick around.

Posted by Sobhan_Sachinfan on (November 10, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

I doubt people who never hold a cricket bat are commenting 'against' Sachin. Most of the Indian cricket fans (which are in millions) love to watch him play forever. He is not only a legendary cricket player, but a biggest motivation to the Indian youth; giving them tremendous confidence to face the tougher world through his on and off field behaviour. " Sachin The Great" . <If some one want to spit on the sky - you may carry on mate>

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

I think no one is allowed to speak anything negative about Sir Sachin Tendulkar, moreover he dosent need to prove himself again and again... he had proved himself millions of time. It just a time phase. And i can bet, Sachin is again going to kill those negative thoughts coming out from negative people. " I would love to say one more thing " Wait and Watch" :)

Posted by tearawayquick on (November 10, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

Tendulkar and Pitersen have more in common as batsmen than is immedeately apparent..!!!

I stopped reading after that...

Posted by tickcric on (November 10, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

Honestly there is not much to look for in this series. Things might be different when the business starts but right now it does not appear to be a big contest. India winning is a foregone conclusion. From the Indian side this series and also the next one might help in prolonging Test careers of the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir & Dhoni. For England its yet another opportunity to learn how to play spin. Really interesting battle is going on Down Under- mouth watering prospects! Yes, I will tune in... to see KP, Virat and Sachin (without expectation... well, few straight drives may be) but BCCI, Dhoni & England's lack of skill in playing in subcontinent condition makes it an upper mid-card contest at the most. I will be happy to be proved wrong though!

Posted by afridi102 on (November 10, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

That's well written but just one thing.

Kevin Pitetersen's innings against South Africa and the shot he played in it are nearly unmatched by anyone against this type of quality bowling. Surely the two innings of Sachin you mentionned are no way half as good as KP's!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

tendulkar is finished mate, age is catching up on him he hasn't been the same old tendulkar he was woeful in the champions league

Posted by screamingeagle on (November 10, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Will be interesting to see how many of these posters will do an about turn if Sachin gets a good series.

Posted by SamRoy on (November 10, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

Harsha currently Sachin is a much diminished batsman then he used to be even 18 months ago. Almost everyone is a better bat than him except probably Yuvraj and on current form Gambhir (Yes currently even Dhoni and Ashwin are better with the bat than him even though they are not specialist batsman). Under such circumstances, constantly drawing attention to a diminished great is uncalled for. JUst hope he contributes to India's cause enough so that India can win against England and Australia.

Posted by prashant1 on (November 10, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

SACHIN TENDULKAR -The greatest batsman of all time . Period .

Posted by cricketpurist on (November 10, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

Why do you want to say this Harsha: "legend winding down his career " he will be going to south africa. MARK MY WORDS.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

why everyone here is so much skeptical about sachin..!!! y are we criticizing him and for what?? He has done enough for this country to earn our respect..one and a half years of poor form doesn't make him a bad cricketer..we have to be a little patient with him...the way we have been running after his head is just annoying.It is like disowning your parents once they become weak and feeble.COMMON INDIANS!! HE NEEDS OUR SUPPORT @LONG LIVE SACHIN

Posted by   on (November 10, 2012, 2:58 GMT)

How can one compare Sachin with KP, KP is involved in alots of match winning innings single handedly, where as Sachin mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.u know.

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (November 10, 2012, 0:45 GMT)

A slow news day for Harsha, does not have anything else to write about.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar has averaged 49 over the past two years!! #JustSaying

Posted by maddy20 on (November 9, 2012, 21:56 GMT)

@RandyOZ For once I completely agree with you. Despite of all our strengths in the subcontinent, the top 3(Gambhir, Sehwag, Sachin) have become a liability. Given the relatively inexperienced middle order, it would put them under enormous pressure if these three keep performing like they have been for the past 1 year. I even read that Sachin was bowled twice by the rookies bowling in the nets and he looked tentative. The powerful Mumbai lobby played a significant role(led by Sunil Gavaskar and Vengsarkar dropping catches and what not) last time England defeated India in India.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 21:13 GMT)

Guys, take my words.. he is gonna kill england this time.. he is not just a great player..he is a god gift to india (feels sorry when indians dont recognize his very own kohinoor).

he doesn't have to prove anyone..he s on a mission where he will be competing with himself.. NOTE IT DOWN its gonna be a nightmere for so called word's best spinner at the moment greame swann..

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

I feel the fitting swan song for Sachin would be against Pakistan in the series occurring next month. Its India vs Pakistan where we have seen some of his best.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (November 9, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

Can't wait to see Sachin in action..The cover drive , upper cut, sweep, straight drive, paddle sweep, solid defense on the crease and most entertaining back foot PUNCH to the cover and point regions..masterclass...just superb!!!

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 9, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

Cricket without sachin would very entertaining. I hate run gathering batsman for the sake of their own stats. i rather see young blood like baba apartjith play.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 9, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

just let yuvi bowl at pieterson. Pieterson is bunny of left of wrist spinners. Just slow it down.

Posted by Thamara on (November 9, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

I think Harsha, now we have come to a stage where we cannot expect incredible things from sachin as his reflexes are weakening. To be honest, time has come for sachin to make a final decision on his international cricket. A lot of young batsmen are on the waiting list of national team and they should now be given a chance to show their potential. If sachin retires from test cricket, Roshit sharma or Murali vijay will get constant opportunities to play in the first eleven. It will be good for indian cricket in the long term. Rahul Dravid took a decision at the right time for both him and the team. He could easily have played one more year given the form he was in by the time he retired. Unlike Dravid, Sachin is showing the consequences of getting old as a human being. I think kevin pieterson played well even in the warm up match. It means his good form hasn't gone out of him. He is highly talented players and one of the best batsmen I have ever seen in my life. It will be a goot test.

Posted by riverbaby11 on (November 9, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

this line cracked me up - a Gongura chutney might more likely find its way onto a delicate pasta ; never saw a reference to this very Andhra delicacy before in all the cricket stuff I read..Harsha Bhogle you Da man :-)

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

Mumbaikar? Maharashtrain ..cmon guys we all are Indians ...you do not like Sachin so be it ..pls for god sake do not bring such diviisons in such a great forum like espncricinfo ..let us all enjoy the cricket chat w/o such prejudices . Guys who do not think Sachin is great ... can simply skip this article why bother to read and comment Cricinfo please publish .

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

Lookout for Sachin and KP? Joking? You should compare KP to late 90's Sachin. It is unfair Harsha. Now Sachin has to be very careful to save his guard and the other side KP is all set for attacking our bowlers. Why don't you encourage our young cricketers like Kohli and Pujara. Kohli is been playing an extra-ordinary cricket for the last couple of years. And he is a promising future star. And you are comparing KP with Sachin. Don't always write an article with past statistics. Frankly speaking it's been boring to seeing an article like this. Sachin is struggling to score runs and the reason he went to Ranji Cricket to get practice to not lose his wicket.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

Beautiful article.... just wish Sachin scores a century like Edgbaston one....

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 9, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

@ Randy u seem to have forgotten that tendulakr was the only batsman who scored heavily against yor best bowlers and how many ponting has scored against Indian medicore bowling in so called india's batting friendly pitches. I feel still u r dreaming that ponting will surpass Sachin

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 9, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

@ Randy u seem to have forgotten that tendulakr was the only batsman who scored heavily against yor best bowlers and how many ponting has scored against Indian medicore bowling in so called india's batting friendly pitches. I feel still u r dreaming that ponting will surpass Sachin

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

7. Dhoni: His helicopter is slightly out of order. So make him play that shot. Keep on yorking, you will get him.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

4. Sachin: Stump to stump; that's the 'mantra'. Don't give width. Cramp for space. Will give you 'lbw' or the stump. Preferably use a rookie, like Meaker. Have weakness for rookies.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

3. Pujara: Another wall. You want to buy; he doesn't sell. Wait for a mistake.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

2. Veeru. Just bounce, bounce & bounce. Make him upper-cut. He will hit afew for sixers. But sure enough one of those hits will have the elevation, but not the distance. Keep a fielder at deep point who can run any direction, to grab it both the hands.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

Harha, You hadn't read Flower's Dozier. Here are extracts. 1. Gambhir: Don't bounce. Don't York. Just keep on swinging; mostly outsingers, occasional inswingers. He may hit a few to the cow corner, but sooner than later, he will poke one into the slip's hands, or play an inswinger on to the stumps.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 9, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

I feel that flighted spin is what England will find difficult to play in this series. I hope both Ashwin and Ojha have been sharpening their skills in this regard. I also agree with Nampally that a leg spinner would have been far more handy that Harbhajan who will not play in any case.Rahul Sharma may not have taken too many wickets so far but he brings into play the Anil Kumle kind of leg spin. Anil always did well against England and Rajul too could have added a similar dimension to the Indian bowling. I also watched Umesh Yadav in the Champion's league. I have a feeling that he is slowly inching forward as has Ishant. They need to bowl the right length and use the crease width and they could be a handful even for the doughty Englishmen. I am not sure about Zaheer anymore. I hope he stays the course.Much as I have watched and marvelled at both Sachin and Kevin, I am not sure how it will go for them. But since both find favour with me I wish them the very best of luck.

Posted by indianpunter on (November 9, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Tendulkar could have announced that this would be his last series. That would have freed him from his inner demons ( the ones that haunted him down under and then against the kiwis ) , allowed him to be the tendulkar of yore and he could have gone out on a high; Ala, Ganguly, against SA 2008. Alas ! opportunity lost!!

Posted by indianpunter on (November 9, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

The Mumbai lobby at it again, spruiking a long finished 'endulkar". This series will be his waterloo. Not blowing any trumpet here, but i predicted (correctly) last year, that austraia will prove to be dravid and laxman's deathknell ( despite RD's superlative effort vs Eng ). Its time, Ten. U are now overstaying your welcome. Pietersen will do well, for sure.

Posted by Nampally on (November 9, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Yes, the 2 guys picked by Harsha are the most charismatic batsmen for their respecive Nations. I could not imagine England without KP, as it appeared at one stage!.On KP, the England batting hopes rest. Of course Cook,Trott & Bell will also feature in the batting but there is no other batsman as dominant as KP. Sachin is easily one of the greatest batsmean in the World. It will be his farewell year & what a Cricketer he has been. He owns almost every record Including the best batsman ever produced < 5'-6". His talent & contributions to the Cricket World are second to none!. I am sure he will be keen to produce his best. I also feel Sehwag the other great batsman will be just as keen to get out of the slump for India's sake. I definitely expect Kohli & Pujara to show that they are ready to be the backbone of the future Indian batting. India is missing a right arm wrist spinner like Rahul (instead of Bhaji) to compliment Ashwin & Ojha especially on Ahmadabad wkt.It will handicap India!.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

Harsha, please take another look at the title of this article - Look out for KP and Sachin?. Yeah, duh! Seriously, you thought people weren't looking out for how these guys do in this series? You do realize it's one of the weakest headlines ever?

Posted by silly_pt on (November 9, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

That 122 at Edgbaston was such a gem. Wish more innings of that quality from the master in coming series. All the best to KP as well.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 9, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

Let it go Harsha. Sachin is not the future of Indian cricket. He is the past. Just let it go! I know as a fellow Mumbaikar you think it's your duty to praise Sachin. But that great man has done nothing in last 1 year. We play to win - not to lose. We have Kohli and Pujara, and many more gems yet to be discovered. They will take Indian cricket to new heights. Just look at how Amla and Kallis are dismantling the Australian bowlers. The same bowlers to whom our so- called greats like Sachin, Sehawag, Dravid and Laxman rolled over meekly. Dravid and Laxman, being true gentlemen realized that their time had come and decided to hang up their boots. These days Sacin and Sehwag are like walking wickets. They are not helping team India - instead they are helping the opposing teams.

Posted by kevinpp2412 on (November 9, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

deffinetly KP gonna shows what he has!! he is the best no doubt abt that thar wud b amazing test series... cant wait

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 9, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Is this a joke, Statchin can only score centuries against Bangladesh now, we all know that

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

Yawn...........................pls someone wake me up once this guy stops hyping him up.

Posted by Juniorklassy on (November 9, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Never Get tired of reading about the Maestro..... !! another beautiful article by a wonderful writer about a Specially Extraordinary player.... :-)

i read some comments above : well there is a thing called "" Bowling Machine "".. hope i guess many of you must not heard bout that... hence all these comments..

anyways : Mr Harsha : Please keep writing such beautiful articles :-)

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 9, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

@blue lightning . absolutely true . sachin should play freely now . he should not think of his critics & media .

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

@ Ruschil Aggarwal haven't heard of a thing called a bowling machine ???

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 9, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

My top picks for the series are 1) Viru vs Jimmy, 2) Yuvi vs Boardy, 3) SRT vs Swann, 4) KP vs Ohja/Yuvi, and lastly 5) Pujara, Kholi, Bairstow, Umesh

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Ok, not trying to be a cynic, but seriously 300 balls! Firstly, how did the Mumbai coach keep a tally? We are talking half an ODI here! And secondly - in one net there can be at the most 4-5 bowlers. So for 300 balls, each bowler sent down 75 deliveries - thats 12.3 overs per bowler in 1 hour! R u freaking kidding me? If there are bowlers with this level of fitness bring them on! Where are they hiding? Granted, bowlers can rotate and thus it may not be the same set of 4 bowlers at the end of the hour, but the changeover would consume time, certainly crucial when you are fitting in half an ODI in 1 hour! Needless to say, Sachin is a batting great with infinite enthusiasm for the game. But Harsha, please keep the metaphors down! Your writing typically makes for worthwhile reading. Granted there is a market for hyperbole, but let's retain the class. Please.

Posted by Princepurple1979 on (November 9, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

Isn't it time that Harsha Bhogle got over the fixation of his fellow Maharashtrian? Honestly its becoming a bit nauseous to read these sachin praised from the same author over and over again for years! Let sachin do something worth while with the bat, which he hasnt done over the last two years, and then talk about him. Till then I would be looking more eager at a Kohli or Yuvraj!

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

Common Harsha, dont try to impress sachin every time as BCCI is doing? some one tell him that he is aged now ( with all due respect to his records ).

Posted by kapilesh23 on (November 9, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

Another article about Great Sachin Tendulkar. Really I am tired of Sachins articles now. Every type of media always telling us people how great Tendulkar is. Come on cricket is a team sport right. Are there no players out there in Indian team apart from Sachin Tendulkar. I was crazy fan of Tendulkar some time ago but now I am ready to move on. Well Harsha you go on scanning, watching, reveling, praising, singing etc about Sachin Tendulkar. I will watch out for Kohli and Pujara. These are the only two players who look reliable in test cricket. And this series would be the real test.

Posted by sirilpalreddy on (November 9, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

Fantabulous article. Already I am awaiting for this series, but with this article I am in more anticipation. Can't wait to see the God of cricket walks in to motera stadium to bat. Really I am in tears with Joy after reading about My Idol ofcourse everybody's (The God). Just want to see one last time the legend ruthlessly dominate the bowling attack. Thought I dont want to call up his boots forever, but realistically that might not be the possibility. Let us cheer for Little Giant & wish him all the best to deliver the mission accomplishment of 4-0 INDIA WIN... Cheeers to Tendulkar... Cheers to Entire Nation... Jai Hind

Posted by BlueLightning on (November 9, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Early in his career, with the Indian team falling like 9 pins, Sachin with his counter attacking style captured the imaginations of millions of cricket lovers around the world by single handedly carrying the flag of team India.

Then RD, SCG, VVS came and SRT started grafting and turned into a run machine. Now withl all of them gone and Viru/GG outta form and middle order very raw, SRT need to go back to his to vintage old attacking self so the other young players like Kohli, Pujara, Rahane etc will be looking upto him now and they can feed off his attacking instinct.

If SRT gets bogged down and retreats into his shell, then its doomsday for India. We saw glimpses of vintage Sachin on the tour of Oz and we need that avatar of him now MORE than EVER.

Just go enjoy yourselves like in the 90's and play like a free bird Maestro. Its Deja Vu time!

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

300 balls in an hour..5 balls every min, 12 sec for each ball and if you give 2-3 seconds for bowler run up, 2 seconds to finish follow through and 2-3 seconds for the shot played and picking of the ball, it means Tendulkar was ready and back in his stance in 3 seconds.. try that for 5 mins..even when no one bowling..you will be dizzy and have blurry vision and hands will be aching..and then put your batting gear on and helmet..and try again.. and then say anything you like about Sachin..

Posted by CanTHeeRava on (November 9, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Tendulkar will not go quietly...Harsha...I grew up watching Tendulkar and I know he won't go quietly. There will be many who will stop following the Indian team after he leaves. Until recently, I was going to be one of them. But now, as the real hour beckons (hopefully not soon), I get a lump in my throat. I will eventually prepare for the inevitable but with a new hope that there will be someone like Tendulkar to get me going again, knowing fully well that it is highly unlikely. More importantly, I won't be 6 or 7 again to fall in love with another Tendulkar. His presence in the middle has given me so much...what a player...Love you Harsha for writing what you write best about Tendulkar. Your insight into the little master's game is only second to the man himself.

Posted by varunrallapalli on (November 9, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Harsha being an ardent fan of Sachin, like you, i would not be happy with anything less than a vintage Tendulkar on the field before hanging up his boots. Now, is the time to let loose his repertoire and let everybody know that age is merely a number.With England, Australia and Pakistan set to land here to combat with India on the cricketing arena,everybody would want to see sachin unleash himself more so than ever.As far as KP-The Rebel is concerned everybody would want to see him at the peak of his powers as batting is a delight for the lovers of swashbuckling displays.With 4 tests between the sides to it would be everybody's money worth to watch the Golden oldie and the swaggering combatant.

Posted by Sunman81 on (November 9, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

There is a remarkable difference between how the Indian star batsmen approached the England away tour and the current home series... Sachin seems to have learned from his mistake.. the fact that he skipped Windies tour to have a break had actually contributed to the slump in his form.... but full credit to him for having realizing the mistake and playing a tour match with rigorous session at Nets... I am sure he will give tough time to the English bowlers... Same is not the case with KP... You can expect a century from him but anyone who have little sense will back england/ KP to defeat india with this squad...

Posted by TATTUs on (November 9, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

300 balls in an hour in the nets is just absolutely amazing! You have got to be a machine. I think it will be around 200. But still its mind boggling.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

This one has ignited a spark in me. Good show Harsha!

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

This one has ignited a spark in me. God show Harsha!

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

In terms of niceness, he is Federer In terms of ruthlessness, he is Mohammed Ali In terms of mental Toughness, he is Bubka In terms of consistency, he is Schumacher/Vettel In terms of tenacity, he is Messi All in one, he is Sachin Tendulkar

Never mind records, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (November 9, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

Any cricketer worth his salt will tell you how difficult it is to bat in the nets for 10 mins. Your back starts to give in and after five more mins you find it difficult to take the stance properly. At his age if Sachin is batting for an hour in nets then hats off to his fitness and willingness. Let's hope and pray that he has a good series and maybe should decide to bid goodby with his head held high.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

Mannn...I am always glued to the TV when Harsha speaks about Tendulkar...

Posted by rahulcricindia on (November 9, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

@xylo I don't think you are watching cricket for more than a decade otherwise you wouldn't have written this, anyways The only constant in this Indian cricket algebra is Sachin and when we lose this constant the equation gonna mess up for sure. For me cricket would be as uninterested as algebra itself for sometime at-least.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Eyes are moist. I was 11 when Sachin started. Saving some silent tears for when it will be his last walk on to the green.

Posted by xylo on (November 9, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Harsha, who do you think would be the bowlers to get Sachin out bowled? I started watching test cricket proper in the match that VVS scored 167 in Sydney. From that day on, the only constant that I have been witnessing was Dravid wearing down attacks while emptying buckets of sweat, and a nonchalant VVS chasing down various targets.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

Great article ,apart from these two from India Bhajji and Yuvi will make mark . Anderson may end up as a highest wicket taker for England

Posted by cheguramana on (November 9, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

Nice of Harsha to hype this up. His love for Tendulkar's cricket comes thru. But I think grand displays of cricketing brilliance will not materialise, neither from Tendulkar nor from any of the other Indians. Sry to say this, but Indian team is still in transition, and I do not think they have the will, stamina or form at this point in time, to make this a great series.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

Mr. Al_Bundt1, thanks for that wonderful comment but may i know of at least one incident where sachin had complained about the pitch or bowler for his failure over the last 23 years? we are talking about SRT not MSD, mind it.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

Harsha, whatever you've written about Tendulkar seems to me like I've visualized and felt as I grew. I'm 28 now. I almost started watching cricket when the legend started his career. It's been a wonderful 23 years. The nation's getting formed line is superb. In all the turmoil, he's been a reason to celebrate. You have summed it up beautifully. I didn't even read the KP part yet. I know Sachin is finite. But I want your writing to be infinite. You've been a legend of espn-cricinfo.

Posted by cricinfreak on (November 9, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

With the current sorry state of the Indian test team, I've been looking for a reason to follow the imminent Ind-Eng series with the same fervour which was characteristic till a couple of tours ago. And I believe, Harsha, has provided me with THE one reason. The legend and the maverick will be great to watch!

Posted by TheOrestes on (November 9, 2012, 4:20 GMT)

Keep writing Harsha ... Just keep writing :)

Posted by only_sachin on (November 9, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

I am following cricket since last 20 years (I was just a kid), I really can't imagine cricket without sachin.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

Sachin: One man always to watch, and never tired to watch, never tired to cheer for him. Will control my natural outflows while he is on strike as always.:P

Posted by only_sachin on (November 9, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

I really don't image cricket without sachin

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 9, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

May I ask England Fans, Why Your great batsmen haven't collected more than 300 runs on any tour. These are Flat Tracks!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 9, 2012, 4:04 GMT)

This is what's going to happen - KP will score at least half century, maybe even a century, while SRT will get clean bowled after 20 - 30 odd runs. After getting clean bowled, SRT will complain about the bowler.

Posted by m_ilind on (November 9, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

This is wishful thinking. Sachin took ages to get his 100th international ton. We can forget the Sachin of old, if he makes any useful runs for the team, that would be great.

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Harsha BhogleClose
Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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