Where were you when Tendulkar smashed a six off Shoaib Akhtar in the World Cup 2003? I was sitting in front of my tv with family members around. I was nervous, shaking my legs too much and rubbing the palms after every 4-5 seconds, a usual activity whenever Tendulkar batted.
Shoaib bowled the second over of the Indian innings, and Tendulkar was on strike, the much-awaited contest about to start. 4th ball of the over, short and outside the off stump, Tendulkar just smashed it in the air to the third man boundary. I was scared and in awe at the same time, scared because there was a third man placed, in awe because the little man anticipated it so well.
On Sunday, Rohit Sharma has hit a similar six against Pakistan’s Hasan Ali at the third man boundary. So who played it better? Let’s first watch the six hit by both the batsmen.
Sachin in 2003 or Rohit in 2019 – who did it better? pic.twitter.com/M9k8z5lLQd
— ICC (@ICC) June 16, 2019
Now let’s compare the two sixes. Tendulkar’s six was better than Rohit’s (I am biased for Tendulkar on many occasions, but this has nothing to do with it). There are reasons to put Sachin’s six over Rohit’s and many would accept this.
The pressure of chasing a target, that too when you’re playing Pakistan in a World Cup contest was tremendous, and with the likes of Waqar, Wasim, Shoaib, and Razzaq steaming in to defend 273, the score looked more than 300. In Rohit’s case, he was playing batting first, probably in lesser pressure situations.
Tendulkar’s was facing just the second over of the innings, his feet have just started to move swiftly, the bowler was fresh and of course fast and furious. Rohit was at 85 and had already batted for 25 overs, eyes set, bowler tired with less pace, it was easy picking for him at that time.
Also, in the case of Tendulkar, there was a fielder placed at the third man boundary, Rohit has a luxury with no fielder out there.
Though both the shots look similar, the pressure, the situation was quite different. This does not mean to demean Rohit’s effort; he scored a marvelous hundred for his team.
80% of the voters in Cricinfo poll feel the same (still few hrs to go for the final result).
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 17, 2019
Tendulkar’s reaction on the shot was quite sporting. He tweeted that both he and Rohit are from India and played for a similar domestic team (in Ranji and IPL).
We both are from INDIA and in this case, AAMCHI MUMBAI as well….So heads I win, tails you lose! ? https://t.co/doUMk1QU2b
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 17, 2019
What’s your pick in case you have to decide?