Tendulkar naturally slowing down due to age: Crowe

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Published: Friday, September 7, 2012, 10:38 [IST]
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Tendulkar naturally slowing down: Crowe

New Delhi, Sep 7: With Sachin Tendulkar's current form initiating a hot debate on whether it is time for him to retire from international cricket, Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe also expressed his views on the same as he said the Indian legend was 'naturally slowing down' due to age but can definitely sort out these issues.

"Hand-eye reaction is not Tendulkar's problem; he probably is better and faster with his hands than he was in 1992. But the one thing that he can't escape from is that the body is naturally slowing down," Crowe said.

The former New Zealand cricketer, Crowe was one of the finest players the country had ever produced who has scored 5444 runs in 77 Tests, said that due to age, body would not be as flexible as a youngster, and it is a fact that he is not as quick as he was earlier which also affects feet movement.

"Firstly, the back and hamstrings are probably 10 percent less flexible, and his agility and speed down by 10 percent too. Tendulkar will naturally find that he is not as quick as before."

Martin Crowe also added that Sachin might not find it difficult to tackle spinners but facing fast bonwlers would pose a threat to the master blaster as he needs to be very quick.

"In particular, it is against fast bowling that his feet and body will find it increasingly hard to move quickly enough into position," Crowe wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo.

"Against spin, he is absolutely fine and as good as anyone in the world. But despite batting brilliantly against Australia's fast men at the start of the year, a pattern began to emerge as to his dismissals: playing on, lbw, cleaned bowled.

"Now, nine months on, every team's analyst will tell every fast-bowling attack that, as New Zealand showed in recent weeks, anything over 135km pitched up full and his feet and body won't respond quickly or for long enough, anymore," Crowe cautioned.

Tendulkar has been successful in playing for 23 years now, due to his astonishing, insatiable love for the game.

"The hunger to continue to score runs for India, the desire to train just as hard as he used to, the mental toughness to put the unprecedented expectations aside - they are all phenomenal attributes," he wrote.

Though its not the problem faced by Tendulkar alone, as many cricketers have faced this problem, but hope the legend finds out a way to overcome the problem.

"The problem is, like many fine players before him, once it starts it can all come crashing down in a hurry if awareness is not first embraced. As Sanjay Manjrekar rightly pointed out, Tendulkar should work his way out of this hole he is in."

"Technically, his backfoot, and in particular his right heel, is planted to the ground. It is not moving with his frontfoot, it is arriving too late. His frontfoot moves and hovers forward as the ball is released, therefore both his feet point to the off side not straight to the ball, and then inadvertently he starts playing around his front foot and is either missing it or getting lbw."

Crowe further said that though the problem appears to be big, the master can fix it.

"...he can fix it. He can get up onto his toes more and he can start to move his back foot fractionally up and down to get it activated. This will help him to start to move both feet when the ball is closing in."


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