The last Tendulkar run-glut I remember reading about was an account of his one-off game with a Cambridgeshire village team. Apparently, he more or less hit every ball for a nonchalant boundary. It wasn’t a Shahid Afridi onslaught, it was classic batting, or, in the words of an opponent,
“He just timed the pants off everything.”Of course, he did go after Brenda Hogg a bit in this match, but it wasn’t slogging. And that is the genius of Tendulkar. If you or I wanted to beef some quick runs, we’d leap around the crease, close our eyes and throw everything we had in the vicinity of the ball. Of course, we’d pirouette onto the floor and cause much mirth.
But we mortals have no other option. There’s blind battering or Ol’ Trusty: the forward defensive.
Tendulkar, on the other hand, is aloof to all this unseemly bat flying. If he wants to score, he twinkles his toes into the perfect MCC manual position, and caresses the ball with effortless, pant-removing timing.
It is as if his poise at the crease naturally makes the ball seem slower, and others rubbisher. Although, when facing Hogg, even Shaun Tait would look a more elegant.
Sadly, this style had rather abandoned the Little Master as late, he was reduced to gritty innings in an almost constant rear-guard. People started talking about his bowling ability.
But this innings was like re-finding an old pack of chocolate biscuits that you forgot about, that needed to be eaten immediately lest they go off and whose existence were unknown to anyone else. Joy upon joy, Sachin is playing like a pack of chocolate biscuits again.
Not only that, but the pants that these Tesco’s Finest Biscuits removed were none other than Australia's. Ha! Take that, pants of Australia! Take that!
Hilariously, and rather honestly, Hogg admitted that Tendulkar hit his best ball for six. Although, rather like the heavy-set Suave thinks he can have most of the England team in a one-on-one death match, I would fancy my changes against Hogg’s best ball. (That is the ball which isn’t a long-hop, right?)