'Even now, I go back and watch him play the straight drive': Uthappa calls Sachin Tendulkar's trademark shot 'beautiful'
- Sachin Tendulkar possessed one of the best, if not the best, straight drives in cricket, and CSK batsman Robin Uthappa recognizes that.
Very few batsmen in the world played the straight drive as elegantly and effortlessly as Sachin Tendulkar. 'The Little Master', over the course of his illustrious 24-year career, made this shot his trademark. The bat coming down as straight as an arrow with considerable foot movement, meeting the ball close to the body and middling the ball past the bowler with supreme hand-eye coordination, just made it look that much more beautiful.
Once Tendulkar connected, there was no need to run; the ball would run to the fence 9/10 times. That's just how good his straight drive was. In the words of famous tennis commentator Rob Koening, who uses the phrase to describe Roger Federer's backhands, it was an "oil painting of a straight drive." That's because Tendulkar's straight drive was truly a work of art.
The likes of Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Hashim Amla, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Marnus Labuschagne, and even Robin Uthappa possess a staggering straight drive. They are good but just not the best and that is why Uthappa chose Tendulkar's straight drive while building his perfect batsman.
Chennai Super Kings batsman Uthappa, while speaking to ESPNCricinfo, was building his 'perfect batter', when asked about the straight drive, he gave an answer without thinking for a split second.
"Even now, there are times when I go back and watch him play the straight drive. Just to kind of see the set-up for the ball. It's just so beautiful, so pleasing to the eyes," Uthappa said.
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Regarded as one of the best batsmen to have ever graced the cricket field, Sachin Tendulkar has been the most prolific run-scorer of all time. In ODIs, he amassed 18,426 runs, most by any batsman so far. In Test cricket, he scored 15,921 runs. Again, the most by any batsmen in the longest format so far.
He has a plethora of records to his name. He became the first batsman to score 100 international centuries (51 in Tests, 49 in ODIs). Against South Africa, in February 2010 in Gwalior, he became the first batsman to score 200 runs in an ODI innings. The list is mammoth, just like his stature in this game.