Sachin - A transformation phase ?
There has been a lot talk going on about how he cant handle the pressure, how bowlers have sorted his out and how he is a mentally soft batsmen..etc. Lets analyze his career and wht in my opinion is a transformation phase of his career.
How good is he ?
Obviously very good. Sound techique. Has every shot in the book..and a few improvised strokes to boot. One weakness is that he seems to clean bowled often - something gavaskar has pointed out and Abdur Razaak has taken advantage of.
As a 16 yr kid he stood up to wasim at his peak and waqar at his fastest and qadir and performed. He held his own against every bowler to this day that not a single bowler can claim that he is their bunny. Amazing feat.
In 1992 or 93 when SA needed 4 runs to win ( semis of hero cup) kapil hesitated to take the ball from Azhar...before a young sachin grabbed the ball and bowled india to victory.No warm up nothing ..last over and no fear. This is kOlkata ..wow
There was a talk of how warne would beat him...but reality was very different. Mcgrath,donald, wasim.saqlain,murali,ambrose,walsh - yeah these the bowlers who came second best to sachin.
So obviously he can perform under pressure.
Big match temperament:
During the first 6 yrs of his career he alwys came good under adversity. His knocks in sharjah 98 agaisnt oz showed that he can perform when put under the spotlight.
During his second captaincy period sachin seemed to change a lot. No longer a young charger he seemed to feel the pressure of being the most experienced even though still relatively young. He seemed to lose his impetousity and became more calculating. Despite the fact that now he has a good supporting cast he seems to fail during crunch games.
He has now failed a number of times under important matches and when a lot is under stake it is the Mcgraths and Donalds who come out on top.
I remember only one phase in his career where sachin went thro a rough patch. In 93 in onedays. But he droppedhimslef in the order and came good soon.
Now his recent phase where despite his obvious heavy scoring the intimidation of sachin has gone. Ray price,andy flintoff,giles,hoggard,dillon, pedro collins - the names of his recent tormentors. Men who would have pissed in thier pants when sachin was in full flow.
I feel that this has more to do with sachin realising that he has to bring india more victories and decided that since we didnt win anything when he was aggressive he is now going for the patient approach when he should be more aggressive considering the support cast he has got now..
Sachin has been very cerebral, with and ability to adapt fast, eliminate any chinks in his technique and conquer a bowler if he wags his tail once too often.
But so far Nasser and Fletcher have managed to get the better of a sachin in two minds - attack or defend. I have a gut feeling that he is gonna come good and slaughter england if he decides to do a gavasker - come firing on all cylinders.
And sadly all the talk abt his failures in the finals, pressure from media and ex stars really seem to weigh him down.
Hopefully he will turn it around...cheers