Over the years,Sachin Tendulkar has moulded himself so well to changing requirements that age and injury have imposed on him. You dont see him attacking as much as he did before. But incredibly,he has over a thousand runs to his credit by the end of the year.
Only Sachin can do that,and that speaks of his class. Over the last decade,Sachin has adapted himself and instead of going hammer and tongs at the ball others can do that he has realised that his role is to provide stability to the batting order. And the ease with which he got into that role is amazing. In fact,the ease with which he gets into any role is a joy to watch.
I remember when I went out to open with Sachin in Gwalior,he told me that my job was to see the South Africans off for the first three overs. He told me that if I followed that advice,they would not be able to get me out on that wicket. I didnt listen to him and just went about hitting and got out. Sachin went on to get a double hundred. I felt really happy for him,I think he deserves all the records.
He was,is,and will be,such a fine player in all his avatars. Whether it was his paddle shot or the upper cut or curtailing the cover drive in certain matches or not playing the pull in others,Sachin has adapted to the modern game better than any of the youngsters in the team. This adaptability is a testament to his greatness.
The great thing about Sachin is that he doesnt need big shots to score runs; however hard a bowler tries,Sachin will still create gaps and score his runs. Its hard to contain him and hes shown how one can have a great strike-rate without hitting over the fielders. He has also shown that with an undiluted,unjaded love for the game,players will adapt and last the test of time. He has always been in his prime,young or old.
(Virender Sehwag spoke to The Indian Express earlier this year)