Regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time – Sachin Tendulkar battled anxiety for a major part of his 24-year-old glorious and achievement-filled career. During his cricketing journey, Tendulkar scripted several batting records and broke many. In an interaction, the batting maestro sheds light on the career span of a player and explains why it is natural for a player to experience the highs and lows. Also Read - IND vs NZ: Kevin Pietersen Takes Dig at ICC Over Scheduling of WTC Final in Southampton, Suggests Another Venue For 'Incredibly Important Match'
The 48-year-old also spoke about his eagerness to learn from anyone or everyone, which helped him reach the sport’s pinnacle. Highlighting the importance of learning, Tendulkar recalled an anecdote from his playing days when a hotel staff member helped rectify a glitch in his batting. Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar Shares Throwback Video With Sonu Nigam on World Music Day | WATCH
“That person got me dosa in the room and after keeping it on the table, he offered a piece of advice. He pointed out that my elbow guard was restricting my bat swing, which was actually the case. He helped me address that issue,” Tendulkar said in an interaction organized by Unacademy. Also Read - Sachin Tendulkar Helped Others Flourish as Captains With His Contributions: VVS Laxman
The incident dates back to 2001 when Australia toured India. Guruprasad, a resident of Perambur in Tamil Nadu, noticed a little glitch in Tendulkar’s flawless batting, which was proving to be a hindrance. He luckily able to point that out and Tendulkar also agreed to the same.
Guruprasad, who was working as part of the security staff in Taj Coromandel in Chennai then, himself narrated the incident in 2019, as reported by The Indian Express.
“I saw Sachin Tendulkar when he was about to take the lift. I wanted his autograph, but I didn’t have any special book or paper, so I got his autograph on my beat book. I wanted to say something about his batting, not once did I have second thoughts about whether I should say something like that to a star because I always admired Sachin’s humanity and down-to-earth personality,” Guruprasad was quoted as saying in the report.
“I told him he was wearing an elbow guard that was arresting his bat swing. He was surprised by my cricketing knowledge and asked me how I observed the game so deeply. I said I am his huge fan and watched all his innings repeatedly and that’s how I noticed this change in his batting technique. He said he would look into my suggestion,” he added.
Talking about mental health, which has gained significance in the COVID times with players spending a lot of time in bio-bubbles, Tendulkar said acceptability is the key.
“Over a period of time I realized that besides preparing physically for a game, you have to prepare yourself mentally also. In my mind, the match started long before I entered the ground. The anxiety levels were very high,” Master Blaster said.
“I felt the anxiety for 10-12 years, had many sleepless nights before a game. Later on, I started accepting that it was part of my preparation. Then I made peace with times I was not able to sleep in the night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable.”
That “something” included shadow batting, watching TV, and playing video games in the wee hours of the day. Even making his morning cup of tea helped him prepare for the game.