Manjrekar stands by Tendulkar criticism

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar stands by the comments he made last year, calling the batting great an "elephant in the dressing room".

updated: September 17, 2009 14:26 IST
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New Delhi:

Sanjay Manjrekar is happy to see Sachin Tendulkar in vintage form but the former India batsman stands by the comments he made last year, calling the batting great an "elephant in the dressing room" after a lean patch.

Manjrekar had based his case over 51 ODIs, in which Tendulkar's batting average was 62.10 in 24 innings when the side batted first. The same average was as low as 26 in 27 innings in which India batted second and Manjrekar wrote in his column that this was hurting the side.

The cricketer-turned-commentator said Tendulkar got away with it because of his stature and felt the batsman had become an elephant in the dressing room that no one wanted to talk about.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Manjrekar said he would not disown the statement because Tedulkar indeed was struggling in that phase.

"That was a phase when he was too cautious and tension could be seen on his face. He was afraid of failure and getting out. That seems to have disappeared now and he is playing with more freedom," Manjrekar said.

"I stand by the comment I made at that phase. He is a great player but he is also a human being. I have seen him from close since he was 14 and I could see he was afraid of failure and getting out," he said.

"Great players have gone through such phase. There was a time when Viv Richards went through a lean patch and started doubting his own greatness," Manjrekar argued.

According to him, Tendulkar of now is altogether a different player, thoroughly enjoying his game.

"His last innings (in the final of the tri-series in Sri Lanka) was refreshing. When he plays backfoot cover drive or front foot drive in front of the pitch, you know he is relaxed. Now he seems to have gone back five years and enjoying his game," Manjrekar said.