Sachin Tendulkar weighs in on what it takes to be a Test opener
IND vs SA: As Rohit Sharma showed signs of fitting into Indian team management’s ‘Virender Sehwag Model’ with a hundred in his first Test as opener, Tendulkar spoke about the bigger picture of facing the new ball in traditional format.Updated: Oct 02, 2019 20:51 IST
Even as Rohit Sharma silenced his critics with a century as opener on Day 1 of the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam, legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar expressed his views on the role of an opener in Test cricket, saying that it requires a different philosophy and mindset, where the ability to translate talent and intent into consistent performance is paramount. As Rohit Sharma showed signs of fitting into Indian team management’s ‘Virender Sehwag Model’ with a hundred in his first Test as opener, Tendulkar spoke about the bigger picture of facing the new ball in traditional format.
“It’s all about the mindset. If somebody wants to open the innings, then he needs to have a different kind of mindset,” Tendulkar said.
Talk about Sehwag, Tendulkar reminded that along with the mindset, it is also about ability, which Sehwag had in abundance.
“Sehwag had that different mindset. Be it a ODI or Test, he would more or less play in the same manner. That aggressive nature was always there. Again, it boils down to the capability and the potential of that particular player,” said Tendulkar.
“There are number of guys, who want to be aggressive but to able to use that ammunition (aggression) consistently enough is something that Sehwag had been able to do. That number (opener) suited him. One needs to wait and see how it pans out (for Rohit),” said Tendulkar, whose world record of 200 Test appearances is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.
Talking about philosophy, Tendulkar recalled that along with stupendous success, Sehwag also encountered rough patches but never changed his style.
“Like for Sehwag, he opened for the first time in England and got a hundred. It brought him success but there were occasions, when he also had his share of rough patches. So it’s not the numbers that always really matter but what you bring to the table does,” he explained.
Security and a sense of belonging is something that also brings the best out of any player, opined the all-time highest run scorer in Tests and ODIs.
“I think security has to be there. If you look at any number, there has to be that security and one needs to feel that he belongs to the team. Players go through ups and down, but if they know that management is backing them, they tend to think differently,” he feels.