'Change in stance can help Sachin Tendulkar play pacers easily'

Sachin TendulkarSachin Tendulkar, who has now retired from ODIs, has been bowled eight times and trapped leg before wicket 10 times in his last 37 Test innings. (PTI)

Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin reckons that the ageing Sachin Tendulkar could opt for a more open-chested stance to counter quick incoming deliveries which has accounted for his bowled dismissals in recent times.

Azhar said a chest-on stance will give Tendulkar just that little extra time to cover the swing of the ball and such a change may help the batsman on the bouncier tracks of South Africa where India will play their next Test series.

"To each his own, but I believe that Tendulkar can opt for a chest-on stance which will enable him to play the pacers easily. With age reflexes get slower but you can wriggle out if you have the technique like Tendulkar has," Azharuddin told PTI in an exclusive interview today.

Tendulkar, who has now retired from ODIs, has been bowled eight times and trapped leg before wicket 10 times in his last 37 Test innings.

Azhar, a veteran of 99 Tests and 334 ODIs, further explained, "With side-on stance, you can see the delivery with only one eye but chest-on stance helps you observe with both eyes. This also helps one to cover the swing. I have a feeling that Tendulkar will find it easier to play the inswinger. Once he scores a few runs, he can again revert back to his side-on stance."

Azhar, known for his silken wristy strokes during his playing days, cited his own example of having sought Zaheer Abbas' advice on changing his grip during India's tour of Pakistan in 1989 which helped him regain lost touch.

"Initially, I found it painful as it hurt my thumb and my right hand would come off the handle. It took time but I was open to suggestion and it worked for me," the 50-year-old former cricketer, who is now an MP from Moradabad, said.

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