Remember the century Sachin Tendulkar made at Sydney on our last tour to Australia?? After that century, he confessed the he had cut down a particular shot complete from his armoury and that was the reason he made that century..
We all know that he is always in pressure to perform every time he walks to the wicket but is really he in pressure. There was a time when India used to win only when Tendulkar made runs. But those days are gone. Batsmen like Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Virendra Sehwag and many others have time and again proved that they are also capable of making runs. Indian batting is called as the best one in the whole world not because of Sachin Tedulkar. Or at least, not just because of him. There are other run makers as well now..
Going back to that Sydney century, he said that he was determined not to drive the ball. He thought that cover-drive that he was playing was causing him edge the ball to the slips. He wanted to play any other shot but not the off - drive. Result - A century at Sydney but a ugly bowled at Karachi...
You must have played cricket in your life and can easily imagine that if you decide to avoid one particular shot, it stays in your mind. Every time the bowler pitches the ball up, you want it to go away from stumps - as you are predetermined to not to play it... that's exactly what Abdul Razzaq did on that delivery at Karachi in the first innings. The ball was pitched up and it swung in. Tendulkar was very late to decide either to defend it or go for the natural off - drive. Result - ball banged into the stumps.
I am no where near Tendulkar's ability to play the shot, but all those years of watching cricket has proved to me that if you aren't clear in your mind while batting and play the ball on its Merritt, you will struggle. No cricket coach in the world will tell you to predetermined the bowler. And that is what Tendulkar is doing.
I hate to say this, but life is getting tougher and tougher for Tendulkar. He better start becoming the Tendulkar he used to be.. cause that Tendulkar made runs, current one doesn't!!