The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin’s is a case of mind over matter: Ex-players

New Delhi: Is it sheer bad luck or the Nervous 90s Syndrome' For a batsman of Sachin Tendulkar’s class and calibre, it may appear unthinkable that he could be dismissed in the 90s six times in a span of 19 one-dayers since January this year. The jury, however, comes in with their verdict: it’s a case of mind over matter.

While former India Test batsman and coach Aunshuman Gaekwad has advised Sachin to “concentrate a little more in the 90s”, other former players like Kiran More and Abbas Ali Baig feel he should not allow these dismissals to play on his mind.

“Definitely, the luck factor comes into play. But the way he got out in Gwalior, I feel there was a slight lapse in concentration. Having played so well, he should not have got out in this fashion,” Gaekwad said.

“Getting out in the 90s so frequently could have something to do with a lapse in concentration. He has to be a little more careful in the 90s now and concentrate harder,” he said.

Gaekwad, who himself took a long time to score his maiden Test century, said that these kind of setbacks often happen even to the best in the business. “It does happen that things don’t always go your way. He just has to talk to himself and be a little more determined when he is in the 90s. Concentrate on taking singles and get over that period,” Gaekwad said. “I think it is just a matter of time before he breaks the jinx.”

Former selection committee chairman More described Sachin’s string of dismissals in the 90s as “sheer bad luck” and felt there was nothing wrong with him.

“Someone who has scored 78 centuries cannot be nervous in the 90s all of a sudden. It is simply a fact that things are not going his way at the moment,” observed the former India wicketkeeper. “I think he should just play his natural game and things will fall in place again,” More said.

According to Baig, the maestro is in a rather tricky position. “I think it all started because of bad luck but now it must be playing on his mind. He needs to concentrate during that phase but at the same time, he will become more conscious that the century is around the corner,” Baig said. (PTI)

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