Can't block and block in Tests anymore: Sachin Tendulkar

India’s cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar said Twenty20 has made the game innovative and asked youngsters to learn a few shots for Tests since it is no more just “block and block, which was the norm earlier.” “T20 matches have brought innovation to the game. When it comes to Test cricket you need to adjust and no two players are similar, technique wise.

Sachin Tendulkar
Masterclass: Sachin Tendulkar drives during Day Four of the second Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 6, 2012. Pic/Getty Images

Players have to stick to their basics, that is important,” Tendulkar said here on Saturday night during the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka State Cricket Association. The batting maestro said a player can become an instant hero in Twenty20. “T20 is the only format where you can become a hero in three or four deliveries. You have to learn to play a few shots in Tests these days. You just can't block and block, which was the norm earlier,” he said.

He stated that cricket is he only game that is played across three formats and its getting exciting not only for cricketers but also for spectators. “Cricket is the only sport to have three formats and its only getting more exciting not only for players but also for spectators. There is creativity and more results are coming by (in longer version of the game).

The batsmen are willing to take chances,” Tendulkar said, adding that good players adapt to all the formats easily because they have the right basics. “Good players learn to adapt and players like Chris Gayle, Michael Hussey or AB de Villiers dominate in all formats. So, we need to have our basics right,” he said. Tendulkar also backed the implementation of technology saying it has benefited the sport.

“I wondered how this technology would help us learn cricket, but over a period of time figured out its importance. It helped us plan our innings.” Asked what would he do if given the role of a selector, Tendulkar said he would analyse whether a player had the potential to withstand pressure, despite failures.

“Selection is not about looking at the scorebook. A selector can pick players who have scored heavily. But that does not always work out. For the past many years that I have been part of the Indian cricket, I have seen players who were exceptionally good at domestic level, somehow could not replicate it on the international stage,” he said.

Worked for Dravid...
Meanwhile, former India captains Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Gundappa Viswanath and Tendulkar felt that selectors must look beyond statistics, especially on skills and ability to absorb pressure, when they pick fresh talent. Dravid said watching seniors and a desire to learn could help a youngster bridge the gap between domestic and international cricket.

“Hitting it off the middle in the nets is well and good, but it’s different out in the field and under pressure,” he said. “Watching the seniors helps. Sachin and Laxman and Sourav, the way they approach the game, the kind of shots they play, the kind of shots they don't play, the way they build an innings...”

Dravid, however, felt that youngsters should not lose their individuality. “Individuality is important. Everyone has unique skills. You need to build on your game and keep improving. I was never going to succeed if I batted like (Virender) Sehwag,” he said.

Viswanath said hard work is an ally to talent. “When you look at four or five players, there will be somebody a little better (than the others). But you can't just sit on your talent. You have to practice. You have to learn from your seniors. You have to keep working hard. Even Sachin did not become who he is overnight and I'm sure he is still working hard to stay on top of his game,”  he said.

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