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Sight Screen

Monday, May 23, 2005

T-storms in tea cups

Rediff, I notice, is carrying a discussion board on Greg Chappell's statement that Sachin will never be the player he once was.
Trust us to get our collective truss in a knot the minute something remotely approaching criticism is aimed at one of our 'icons'.
What is interesting about the emerging furore is that Chappell wasn't saying anything new. For instance, Viv Richards -- who, briefly, threw his hat in the coaching-India ring -- said pretty much the same thing.
'When you are 21,' Viv said, 'you are the best, with perfect sight and good hand-eye coordination. At 26, you get a lot wiser. Tendulkar is now a very mature player.'
In other words -- he will never be the curly-haired annihilator he was in his prime, and that is only natural.
Mercifully, several past worthies -- Anshuman Gaekwad, Chandrakanth Pandit, Ajit Wadekar, Kiran More -- have pretty much echoed Chappell's words, and pointed out that the new coach's comment should not be interpreted as some form of lese majestie.
And to put the whole in perspective, this is the same view Sachin himself expressed, not so long ago -- when he said his changed role within the team framework, and his own battles with injury, have forced him to change his playing style.
The real point of interest will be to see how Chappell works to create a new role for Sachin, especially in the one-day format.
Can't wait, meanwhile, to see what readers make of the whole furore, on the Rediff discussion board.

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