Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sachin's hunger for runs unnerving : Jayasuriya | Interview

CAPE TOWN: One is on the brink of his 40’s and the other is still four years away from the wrong age. Both have their bags full with experiences and achievements and both of them are all praise as it comes to describe the other. The other day, it was Sachin who poured out his heart in admiration of the Sri Lankan ace; today it is Jayasuriya who, opens up to a TOI correspondent and returns his compliments for the master blaster.

When you speak to a cricketer who’s 39, has 110 Tests and a whopping 432 ODIs under the belt, nostalgia is bound to creep into the

You’ve watched him play for so many years, admired those thunderous drives on both sides of the wicket and secretly hated his guts because he brought the Indian attack to its knees on so many occasions. Sanath Jayasuriya is still going strong, and Mumbai Indians must be thanking their stars that the dashing opener in on their sides.

On Tuesday, Tendulkar spoke to TOI in an exclusive chat and explained what makes Jayasuriya special. On Wednesday, it was Jayasuriya turn to return the compliment.


Tell us something you’ve learnt about Sachin Tendulkar over the years...

When you talk about the gentleman’s game, he’s the perfect brand ambassador. Sachin is one of the calmest players in the game. He is so grounded, cool-headed and immensely talented.

What makes Sachin special?

Don’t ask me to start explaining what Sachin is like with the bat in hand. I don’t have words to do that. He’s the master, technically the best. His hunger for runs, the hunger for success, is unmatched.

But is it just about the runs or is there more to it? His attitude towards the game...

Yes, that makes him that more special. His approach to batting is simple and yet so dominating. Over the years, I’ve seen Tendulkar improvise, learn, adjust, dominate... just about everything. And he’s gone about doing it so quietly. He has always wanted to be the best; his hunger, the appetite can be very unnerving if you’re playing against him.

Have the two of you given yourselves particular roles as openers in IPL?

We decided that I’d go after the bowlers while he’d play the anchor role. We want one of us to stay out there for close to 15 overs and if we can do that then either one of us has the ability to change the face of the game. If you see the Cape Town match, we didn’t panic. Sachin was there and he went on.

That gives the team the option of any of the guys walking out and playing around us. If either me or Sachin stays around, someone like Abhishek (Nayar) can come and play a few big shots towards the end. It helps immensely.

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