~~Hard to understand fans heckling Sachin~~

Published: Sunday, March 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England opener Andrew Strauss still can't understand the behaviour of some of the spectators at the Wankhede Stadium and found their taunts directed at Sachin Tendulkar particularly hard to believe.

''I just can't imagine a guy who's made more than 70 international centuries turning up at Lord's and getting booed,'' Strauss said in an interview to Daily Telegraph.

Strauss said Sachin did not deserve to be heckled at home after having been the most successful batsman to play for the country. He was also perplexed as to why the crowd hurled abuses at Andrew Flintoff.

''The first thing to say is that I couldn't believe the reaction of some parts of this crowd to a lot of things in this Test and especially to Sachin.

Meanwhile, former England captain Mike Atherton said Sachin has built a wall around him which makes him immune to such hostility.

''I think his greatness has been in the way he has coped with 17 years in a goldfish bowl. There's never been a story in the papers about him losing his temper,'' he told the daily.

Speaking of the master blaster's recent poor form, Atherton said the way he and some of the other Indian batsmen, including Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, hold their bat, they are bound to find it tough against seamers.

''If you see how some of their batsmen hold the bat - like Sehwag, Sachin and Dhoni - with a strong bottom-handed grip, they will always struggle against bounce,'' he pointed out.

Atherton was particularly critical of Dhoni's approach to the game. He said the swashbuckling wicketkeeper would do well to understand that every ball is not meant to be hit out of the park.

''Dhoni got a rude awakening in this series. Before the Nagpur Test I watched him smashing every ball in practice off the front foot, and he must have thought he could do that to England's bowlers.'' ''I think a few of them got a wake-up call,'' he said.

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