I took a break to watch the last six overs of the Indian innings…and wow. I’m not going to go and on about how well Tendulkar batted, or how he managed to get a century in conditions where the other great player in this team failed. One shot:
A good length delivery, and Sachin leans ever so slightly forward, transfers his weight on to the front foot and lifts the ball over point, and over the boundary ropes. With. Effortless. Ease.
A couple of things made this shot different from any other that he played before or after it, or for that matter, any shot I’ve seen for quite some time:
- He hit the ball almost too soon, midway up the bat: he judged the length early.
- A straight batted, languid follow through. He didn’t hit the ball too hard. All timing
Nothing after it was as good. It’s just great to have Sachin playing again, and I’m glad that this puts an end to all those speculations about the end of his career. He may not score as quickly as a Sehwag or a Dhoni, be as fluent as a Lara, as bludgeoning as a Gilchrist or a Jayasuria, or as picture-perfect or patient as a Dravid – but he is one person who can do any or all of these things when he wants to, and more.
Okay. I’ll stop gushing now. I didn’t realise how much of a Tendulkar fan I am until today, seeing him bat after so long.