London, Jul 26: Sachin Tendulkar has played more international Cricket than anybody else on earth, and with no offence to Sir Don Bradman he is the best batsman the game has ever seen. But still there is something, which by the look of it appears to be away from his knowledge and that is his ways of batting out time.
Anyone who knows Sachin's game, can tell that despite his humongous talent he is not gifted enough to bat out time defensively. But still he tries to do that and fails like he did in the second innings of the Lord's Test.
It is not the first time that the maestro has played in such a fashion and failed. There are atleast two more instances of him getting bugged by the thoughts of playing time instead of trying to score. The one that comes to mind instantly is the match againt Pakistan at Bangalore during the 2005-06 series.
In that match at Bangalore, India needed 383 runs to win with a little more than three sessions. Once the openers Gambhir and Sehwag departed, the onus was on the favour to either tie or win the match.
But as Tendulkar stood his ground, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman all departed giving Pakistan a sniff of victory and that is where the problem started. The maestro got bugged down and started to block balls instead of trying to score.
After seeing off 98 deliveries for his 16 runs, Sachin fell to Shahid Afridi.
His innings stint in the second innings at lords was a fall-back to those days when he overestimates his powers of defence and looks to stave off time. The world knows that Sachin is Sachin because of his run scoring ability.
There is no doubt about his defence, but just like everyone else he has his weaknesses too. And the most glaring of the chinks in his armour is his inability to block deliveries for long period of times.
He should have tried to score without bothering to see of the match. Had he done that then he would not have been such an easy prey for Anderson instead, he could have forced England to opt for defensive fields and who knows he might have gone on to get his century thus enforcing a draw.
If anybody would like to differ then please go back to his first century in international cricket, when under similar circumstances he had batted more positively and thus had not only got to his 100 but also ensured that India did not lose the match.
98 international centuries later, Sachin needs to relook his strategy in such situations and then decide what holds good for the team and himself.