Mumbai:Cricket legend Gary Sobers on Thursday emphasised that youngsters should learn proper defence techniques to be better batsmen.
"What is technique? When the choice is between hitting the ball and having your feet positioned in proper place you know what should it be. But youngsters should learn the proper technique while defending," the all-time great West Indian cricketer said here on Thursday.
Sobers, who has come down from Barbados to be the chief guest at the function to felicitate the 1971 epoch-making Indian squad which was led to away twin series wins over the West Indies and England by Ajit Wadekar, regaled the large audience with his anecdotes.
When the six sixes he had hit for Nottinghamshire off Glamorgan left arm bowler Malcolm Nash was shown on the screen, he brought the roof down saying, "Nash made more money than me by going for talk shows in England as the bowler who was hit by me for six sixes."
He also rated India's leg-spinner Subash Gupte as the greatest bowler he had faced and narrated how he showed Wesley Hall from the non-striker's end how to read Bhagwat Chandrasekhar's unorthodox leg spin bowling with sign language during the 1967 series in India.
Sobers also complimented Sachin Tendulkar for scoriong one-day cricket's first double hundred. Tendukar was in the audience at the Nehru Centre auditorium in Worli along with India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and speedster Zaheer Khan.
"You have touched me by your presence. It never seems that you are going to give up cricket or cricket is going to give you up. I would like to say, you are great and congrats for your double hundred," the West Indian legend said to Tendulkar.
Sobers also recalled Tendulkar coming up to him during his last tour of the West Indies and wondering why he was not scoring as heavily in the second innings as in the first.
"I told him you are doing so well in the first innings, you are not thinking about the second. Just think more and you will get it. I am glad things have changed and you are scoring in the second," he said.
"Thanks for what you said about me," Tendulkar said. He told the audience that he had always admired the older lot of cricketers for their courage in playing without modern protective equipments for the batsman.
"It is a special privilege to be here. Players of that era played without protection on uncovered pitches. I can't imagine batting in the net without protective gear," Tendulkar said.
Sobers also praised dashing Indian opener Virender Sehwag for the same way he plays the different formats of the game. "I like his approach and attitude. He plays the same way whether it's Test, one-dayers or T20s," he said.
Zaheer Khan also got a special word of praise from Sobers who said, "I like the way you bowl, your control and the look you give to the batsman on your way," Sobers said.
He also gave first-hand account of what happened in the last seven balls of the famous tied Test against Australia in Brisbane in 1960-61 and said it was the greatest-ever series he had played in as all five matches went to the wire.
Apart from honouring the members of the 1971 Indian squads to the West Indies and England, the organizers also felicitated former Test cricketers Chandu Borde and Bapu Nadkarni.