Tendulkar should bat like Lara: Akram
The former left-arm speedster said now that Tendulkar had nothing to prove, he should take bowlers to task by his attacking strokeplay.india Updated: Nov 28, 2006 16:14 IST
Legendary Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram has suggested Sachin Tendulkar to show the same aggressive approach to his batting as West Indies' great Brian Lara.
The former left-arm speedster said now that Tendulkar had nothing to prove, he should take bowlers to task by his attacking strokeplay.
"I have been watching Sachin. He has achieved everything. Now he should be toying around the bowling like Lara does. People say he has responsibility but so has Lara," he said after India's massive defeat in the third cricket one-dayer in which Tendulkar scored 2.
"Sachin should come out and play his shots, especially in one-day cricket. When he goes back in his shell, leaving deliveries outside the off stump, then the bowler gets to him. When Lara comes, it is totally opposite. He looks for two or three balls and he then starts playing everywhere."
Akram, here as part of the TV commentary team, said he had noticed that Tendulkar had lately become conscious about adopting the correct technique.
"Tendulkar, I have noticed in the last year or two, that he is very conscious when he comes out to bat. He wants to be proper, leaves the ball around," Akram said.
Akram compared Tendulkar's aggressive batting in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa to his present form to drive home his contention about a certain tentativeness in the approach of the Mumbai batsman.
"I remember the game in Centurion during the last World Cup when Sachin was in a mood to dominate. If I bowled up he would come on the front foot, I pitch short and he would be punching it through. That's when I get worried," Akram said.
"When Abdul Razzaq dropped him, I told him he has dropped the match not Tendulkar. I knew what the wicket was doing, there was no swing and he wanted to punch every delivery. But when he is defending and blocking every delivery, I know that unless I bowl a really bad one, I would be on top of him."
Akram was highly critical of India's performance so far on the current tour and suggested the inclusion V V S Laxman and Sourav Ganguly in the team.
"Your batting is looking below average, they are looking out of it. For the first time in last five years, the year since I retired, I am seeing an Indian batting line-up below par," Akram said.
"Everybody looks average. They are not even coming behind the ball. Your team is inexperienced, bowling too. It appears in shambles. Five years ago we used to say winning against India in India is impossible. It is totally opposite now. Your batsmen never used to get out," he said.
"There is no aggression, no passion. Body language is not positive. It seems they are praying 'allah kare tour khatm ho' (God willing may the tour end early)," he said.
Akram said the selectors should have followed the horses for courses philosophy and brought in Laxman and Ganguly for such an important tour.
"You have dropped key players, Ganguly and Laxman are missing. Please ignore them if somebody is better than them. But if you want the World Cup, this is the tour to practice and experiment," he said.
Akram also did not spare the Indian medium-fast bowlers including Irfan Pathan, who had taken tips from him earlier.
"Look at your bowlers. Agarkar is average, so is Irfan. Munaf Patel looks like 124 and not 24 years old to me. The way he was bowling the second spell in the second game, somebody should tell him with such performance he would be dropped."
He said Pathan's action had gone "bad" and he was not using his front arm at all.
"His action has gone bad. He is not using his front arm at all. He is not pivoting and coming sideways. He has three or four major issues with his bowling. It can only be told by a bowling coach," Akram said.
He said India's coach Greg Chappell could only tell Pathan certain things about bowling. "But somebody has to tell him the finer points," he said.
Akram appeared disappointed that Pathan did not come up to him to seek his advice this time around.
"I am here but he hasn't come up to me. If I am struggling, I will go up to anyone. I spoke to Marshall, Hadlee, Kapil everyone. Irfan wouldn't learn unless and until he asks people around. I am not going to go to him."
First Published: Nov 28, 2006 16:14 IST