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Sunday, May 1, 2011

India's new coach is a big fan of Tendulkar.

"Chappell almost seemed to want to provoke Tendulkar into playing better," wrote India's new coach Duncan Fletcher earlier this month

India's new coach Duncan Fletcher indicated that former coach Greg Chappell played down the wrong line as it were when it came to dealing with Sachin Tendulkar. "Chappell almost seemed to want to provoke Tendulkar into playing better, but a player like that does not need challenging. Like all great sportsmen, he drives himself," wrote Fletcher in his The Guardian column published on April 2, the day of the 2011 World Cup final.

Sachin Tendulkar hooks England's Andy Caddick during Day Two of the
third Test match at Headingley in Leeds on August 23, 2002.


No dramas
"I like the fact that Tendulkar tried the captaincy and decided it was not for him, but still contributes so much to the team on and off the field. He does it without too much ego. When he gives advice to MS Dhoni he is not demonstrative. He does not wave his arms around just to show the crowd that he is still making decisions, but just walks up and has a quiet word in the captain's ear," Fletcher wrote. Meanwhile, Fletcher admitted in his autobiography Behind the Shades that England failed to execute their plans when it came to tackling Tendulkar on India's 2002 Test tour to England. Referring to the plan to unsettle the batting maestro, Fletcher wrote: "We had noticed that Tendulkar seemed uncomfortable against fast, short-pitched bowling, so we decided to test him out with that, but then suddenly changing to bowling wide outside his off-stump, frustrating him by not bowling straight to his strength. However, as his 193 at Leeds indicates, it did not always work."

The Zimbabwean mentioned earlier in the book that he supported then England captain Nasser Hussain's tactics of bowling just outside leg stump in an effort to choke the Indian batsman. "He (Hussain) wanted to make the Indians scrap for every run, and there was no better vindication of our tactics than at Bangalore where Sachin Tendulkar was stumped for the first time in 89 Tests," Fletcher wrote. England still lost 0-1 and Tendulkar scored 307 runs at 76.75. And when Tendulkar scored a wondrous hundred chasing 387 against England in Chennai in 2008, Fletcher was mighty impressed. "Tendulkar played so well he probably would have scored a hundred against any attack," he wrote.

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