Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar finally bid adieu to cricket on Saturday at his home ground - Wankhede Stadium - after serving the nation for 24 long years. The batting legend made many records and set new milestones for the next generation to achieve.
Though the Master Blaster has retired, his few trademark shots will always remain in the minds of his fans. Let’s go through some of his favourite shots through which he entertained the cricket fans throughout his illustrious career.
It was one of his favourite shots which he often played against fast bowlers. Using the pace of the bowler, he sliced a slightly short ball over the top of slips cordon either for a six or for a boundary. It’s more of a minimum effort maximum result shot.
There are many cricketers who play this shot down the ground, but the way this man played it with his dead straight bat and his foot moving to the pitch of the ball to keep it grounded, was simply a delight to watch. The shot looked so elegant as if it was a patent one from the master.
Flick of wrist
Indian batsmen have a penchant to flick the ball that pitches in middle and leg stump towards the mid-wicket area. Tendulkar was no exception either. But at times the way he placed the ball in gaps especially with fielders inside the 30 yards circle, with the help of his nimble wrists, to fool the packed off-side field, was often hailed as a class act.
A shot that Sachin played with good affect during his heydays. Standing tall on his toes, he used to punch the ball in the gap between point and the gully fielder with such precision and perfection that made even the best of the bowlers hapless.
Indians are generally not good while playing the short-pitched stuff as they are not very good puller or hooker of the cricket ball. But Sachin is among those rare Indian batsmen, who picked the length of the ball early and thrashed the bowler out of the park.
By using the pace of bowlers, Sachin used to glide the ball towards the third man region to collect a boundary. He always made sure that he played it fine with the help of a gentle touch, so that it could easily beat the third man fielder. Later in his career, the little master also started using this shot against spinners, who were usually quick in the air.
It was one of the shots which the batting maestro could play on back foot as well as on front foot with equal precision. His balance while playing this shot was so perfect that even the bowlers could have thought of patting the batsman’s back. His perfect head position and timing over the shot made it classier.
Sachin himself was believed to be the innovator of this shot. He started playing this shot to counter the spinners especially the right arm leg-spinners. The shot looks quite risky at a glance but when the innovator himself plays the shot, it seems like a masterstroke.