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'A coach should be one in whom a player can confide'

Last updated on: November 18, 2013 16:06 IST

'Doesn't matter if the coach is foreign or Indian'

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For Sachin Tendulkar, the ideal coach is like a friend to the players, and it makes no difference if he is an Indian or foreigner, since only his performance is what matters.

"I don't think it is about whether it is a foreign coach or an Indian coach. It's more about how consistently one can bring about results. A proper coach is one who understands the players and is more like a friend," said Tendulkar.

"We all know how to play the cover drive, but when you have a technical problem, one should be able to sit and sort out with the coach. It's what you put between those two ears," he added.

In 24 years, Tendulkar has played under the managership of Bishan Singh Bedi, Abbas Ali Baig, Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil, Anshuman Gaekwad, John Wright, Greg Chappell, Chandu Borde, Lalchand Rajput, Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher, to name a few.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar and Duncan Fletcher


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'A coach should be one in whom a player can confide'

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He believes that a coach-player relationship should be sacrosanct.

"A coach is a coach. It doesn’t matter where he comes from. A coach should be one in whom a player can confide his feelings. Confidence is so important in a coach-player relationship; to know that there is nothing that is leaked out," Tendulkar stated.

For Tendulkar, guiding his juniors as well as learning from them is a process he finds enriching.

"Even before retiring, I spent a lot of time with the India U-19 players (in Bangalore). I never made them public. Sometimes there are problems also, but I have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them. I would continue to guide them but also keep a low profile," Tendulkar explained, when asked how he would like to help the up-and-coming generation of cricketers.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: BCCI

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'Have enjoyed sharing my experiences and observations'

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He feels that it's not only about giving advice to the juniors but also about listening to what they have to say.

"It's not that whatever I am saying is 100 per cent correct. I should also be prepared to listen to what they are saying in order to become a better student.

"Someone like Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) wasn't even born when I started playing for India. I would joke that 'say good morning Sir', when I enter the dressing room. Sharing my experiences and observation is something that I have always enjoyed. I would love talking and breathing cricket till the last day of my life."

As always, Tendulkar refused to make comparisons when asked whose success among the current generation of players he enjoyed the most.

"I have enjoyed each and everyone of their success. It's a team sport and it doesn't matter which individual performs. It's not that all guys would deliver in the same match. There would always be two to three good performers and others would rally around them. It's about maintaining the consistency."


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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'My first Test century at Old Trafford is special'

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A British journalist asked about his memorable performances against England, and Sachin replied: "My first Test century at Old Trafford and my century in the 374-run chase against England at Chennai."

Tendulkar said it's very difficult to fight injuries as he has a lot of times in his career.

"I think one should respect and not fight with nature. When I had tennis elbow, the doctor told me that I won’t be able to play competitive cricket for four-and-a-half months. I tried playing earlier but simply couldn't.

"You need to respect time also. It was a time when I wasn't even able to lift Arjun's plastic bat. I went to the field and tried to hit a ball against 10-12-year-old kids and the ball refused to travel more than 10-15 yards. It was a difficult phase and, at times, I felt that I won't be able to play cricket again."

Someone asked how he felt that all those who belong to his generation feel that they have lost their childhood with his retirement.

"Well, I have heard people say that 40 is the new 20 and feel like a 20-year old if it works for you. Cricket brings that child-like exuberance in me when I have been on the field. You should have that energy and bubbliness in you," he concluded.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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