Sachin clean bowled: Is age really catching up with the Little Master or is it just another case of misjudgement or a brilliant delivery by the bowler?

Moments after Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed by Doug Bracewell at Chinnaswamy Stadiium on Saturday, up in the commentary box, the tongues began to wag between former India and Mumbai batsmen, Sunil Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar, says a report in The Indian Express, adding that apparently, one blamed his age (and with it his poor eyesight), the other his footwork. How then, did neither footwork nor age restrict him from playing the shot of the middle session off the previous ball?

“A second before he was dismissed, Tendulkar was busy holding his trademark pose that fraction longer for the crowds at the Chinnaswamy to go rapturous about, having just driven Bracewell ever-so-gracefully down the ground for a straight boundary. Bracewell bowled the same ball again, but only this time, Tendulkar looked to open the face of his bat and steer it to mid-on. In a matter of one ball, he had gone from ‘Tendulkar of old’ to simply ‘old Tendulkar’,” says the report, adding that to be fair to Tendulkar, the factors could be anything from fresh season rust to plain misjudgment.

“Also, and a lot more importantly, it could just simply boil down to those deliveries being great ones. Maybe the bowlers were just not given their fair share of credit, considering everyone from Allan Donald and Wasim Akram in the 90s to Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Asif in the 2000s to someone as recently as Mitchell Starc in the 2010s have dismissed Tendulkar with the incoming delivery,” adds the report.


Meanwhile The Times Of India writes that Sachin Tendulkar has been bowled 50 times in his career. There have been times when he has been beaten all ends up and castled by absolutely unplayable deliveries, and there have been times when a minor error led to his exit in this fashion. However, it is the way he was 'cleaned up' by New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell on Saturday, the second day of the second Test at Bangalore, that even provoked batting legend Sunil Gavaskar to say on air that "it is a worrying sign." Gavaskar was concerned about the "big gap between the bat and pad" in that dismissal.


Tendulkar was bowled by a beauty by another Kiwi fast bowler, Trent Boult, in the first Test in Hyderabad but the reason Saturday's dismissal is being talked about more is that it was nothing more than an innocuous 'fuller ball' that the maestro succumbed to.


Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, discussing Tendulkar's dismissal, made a point about the ageing batsmen having a problem against fuller length deliveries. He cited the example of India devising a tactic to bowl fuller lengths to Javed Miandad to get his scalp early during the Pakistani batting great's last days in international cricket.


According to media reports, the Bracewells of New Zealand can boast of an unique achievement as two cricketers from the family have now dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in Test cricket over a span of 22 years. On Saturday, seamer Doug Bracewell bowled Tendulkar through the gate for 17 after lunch, under overcast conditions in Bangalore.

Interestingly, it was Bracewell’s uncle and former off-spinner John, who also had the distinction of dismissing Tendulkar in a Test match almost 22 and a half years back.
John, who played 41 Tests for New Zealand during the mid 80’s to early 90’s, dismissed Tendulkar for 24, caught by wicketkeeper Ian Smith. The match was played between February 2-5, 1990 at the Lancaster Park in Christchurch, and India lost the Test by 10 wickets.