AB is ahead of his times: Tendulkar

The batting legend spoke about India’s performance; the kind of coach he expects for India; the recent rule changes in ODIs among other things.

Following AB de Villiers’ brilliant batting performance in the recently concluded India-South Africa ODI series, Sachin Tendulkar on Monday said the South African skipper batted “unbelievably well” and that he was ahead of his times.

The batting legend also spoke about India’s performance; the kind of coach he expects for India; the recent rule changes in ODIs among other things.

On AB de Villiers

“I felt that South Africa batted really well. I wouldn’t want to take away the credit away from Quinton de Kock, du Plessis and de Villiers. I thought de Villiers batted really well,” said Tendulkar after a net session at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s BKC ground, preparing for the Cricket All-Stars Series 2015 that starts next month.

“He has figured out how to pace his innings and he did it beautifully. I would give credit to the way he batted.”

Asked whether de Villiers is ahead of his time, Tendulkar said, “Yes, he is. Absolutely! Maybe he is possibly at the peak of his career. He is really, really batting unbelievably well and it seems that he has got more time than anyone else.”

On Wankhede’s wicket in the final ODI

Tendulkar didn’t delve into the controversy related to the preparation of the track at the Wankhede Stadium for the finale of the series that SA won by a whopping 214 runs. Indian team director Ravi Shastri had allegedly involved in a verbal spat with curator Sudhir Naik about the placid nature of the track prepared for the match.

“I don’t know what Ravi (Shastri) spoke to the curator,” he said.

On fans’ reaction to India’s performance

“We have a very good team. Each team will go through phases. There will be patches where you will play well and there will be tough phases where things will get really difficult and things won’t go to your plans. But that doesn’t mean that every weekend you pass a judgement on your team.”

“When they do well you say ‘wow they have done really well’ and following week if they don’t do well you start criticising them. I think we need to show more balance and we all are passionate about cricket and we need to be patient also.”

On whether India needs a foreign coach

“I believe that a coach should be a capable coach and it doesn’t matter whether he is a foreign coach or an Indian coach. The coach is one who keeps the team in a good space mentally and also conducts the practise sessions well.

From my experience I can say that a good coach is one who can treat you as a friend, who can be a guide for the team. He should be someone who can always come to your help when you have a problem whether with batting or bowling or something else, you should feel comfortable to go and discuss it with him, I like those type of coaches.”

On India’s batting order

“I am not involved so I am not one of those guys who would pass a loose statement not knowing the facts. I would be in a better position to say when I am involved in it.”

On recent rule changes in ODIs

“It is the rules which have made all the difference. When I played, I remember the four fielder rule was there throughout the 50 overs and in the Powerplay you could change your field, but here more or less all 50 overs the rule changed, you could only have four fielders outside and that definitely put more pressure on the bowlers, I felt.

With four fielders outside the circle the batsman has more option of scoring runs in boundaries, the batsmen who are prepared to take more risks. That is also to do with the T20 format, the batsmen have been practising certain shots which earlier nobody would play.

But if you are talking about totals, it’s definitely to do with field changes. The rules changed and that made teams set up higher totals. The statistics itself show that in the last three years, in the amount of matches played in Australia, you see the number of times the teams have gone 320—plus. I mean in the last 20 years they have not done that and in the last two years if you are able to do it then there is definitely (something) to do with the laws.”

On reverse sweep

“I still remember 15 years ago when Andy Flower started playing the reverse sweep in Test cricket I said he is possibly 10-12 years ahead of everyone else because in time to come everyone will start using that shot.

Today, if somebody plays a reverse sweep nobody is surprised because people expect the guys to go out and try all these shots. And that’s because the game is moving forward.”