Former India coach Greg Chappell feels the cricket phenomenon called Sachin Tendulkar the world saw could have turned out a bit different had he grown up in the current scenario influenced by the advent of Twenty20 cricket.
“The big difference I guess from when Sachin was growing up is that back then he would have largely been watching Test cricket, and even one-day cricket as it was played had similarities to Test cricket in a lot of ways,” Chappell said.
The former Australia captain, who was the coach of the Indian team from 2005-07, said Tendulkar’s heroes would have been different had he been growing up in India currently as a cricketer instead of the mid-1980s.
“His heroes, and the heroes of the guys he was playing against as a teenager, would have been the players who had established themselves primarily as Test cricketers. But as a young cricket fan today, particularly in India, you would be watching a lot of 20-over cricket.”
“And that in itself promotes the glamour and excitement of batsmen clearing the fence, and playing those sorts of innovative, higher-risk shots,” said Chappell, who is currently Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager.
“I have no doubt Sachin could cope with whatever form of the game he set himself for because of his incredible talent, but I guess the bigger question would be ‘whose game would he choose to model himself on?’,” asked Chappell.
Tendulkar, who celebrated his 41st birthday on Thursday, retired from all forms of cricket after turning out for a record 200th time in the second and final Test against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium last November.
He also played in 463 ODIs, the highest by any player, but featured in only one T20 International during his 24-year-old career stretching from 1989 to 2013.
In all, the prolific batsman amassed a staggering 15,921 and 18,426 runs in Tests and ODIs, respectively with 100 centuries in both forms of the game.