Another legend becomes Tendulkar fan
Published: Monday, October 8, 2001, 23:03 [IST]
India's South African Safari
Johannesburg: As Sachin Tendulkar announced his return to international cricket with a century after an injury-induced two-month lay-off, a batting legend of yesteryears has joined his ever-growing list of admirers. Graeme Pollock's international career was rudely interrupted by apartheid which isolated South Africa's cricket team for nearly two decades, but in a relatively short Test career, he made a name for himself. He scored 2,256 runs in 23 Tests with seven centuries at an average of 60.97, second only to Sir Donald Bradman's 99.94 in the game's history. Declared South Africa's Cricketer of the Century, Pollock, an uncle of the current national captain Shaun Pollock, is now a national selector. "You know when he is playing, the Indian side is hell of a lot better side," Pollock said on Monday referring to Tendulkar with whom he shares a special bonding - both figure in the Don's 'All Time Best XI'. Describing him as "fantastic", Pollock says Tendulkar is "certainly the best player in the world at the moment". Pollock said he was keen to watch the Indian champion in action on the fast, bouncy pitches here but "I was just concerned that his injury would keep him out of the tour". "Why I've always liked him (Tendulkar) is that batsmen tend to be negative at times and I think batting is not about not getting out - it is to play positively. I think you got to take it to the bowlers and Sachin is one such player," he said. "When you do so, you change game, you change bowlers because they suddenly start bowling badly, because they are under pressure. "Sachin has certainly done that. He has done so many times where he has changed games, by scoring at a good rate," Pollock said. The South African legend said the one thing that he has observed about Tendulkar is he keeps batting so simple. "One of the key factors about batting is that you got to be balanced on your feet and you keep your head still. If you do these two things correctly, it goes a long way towards playing well. "Some batsmen get too technical. I don't think batting needs all those technicalities. It is pretty simple. The simpler you keep it, I think more successful you are going to be."