Mumbai: Square-cut? Upper cut or perhaps the pull shot? How about the trademark Sachin Tendulkar straight drive? One just could not ask enough questions to the Little Master as the gracious cricketer revealed the secrets of his trade to children from all over the country, as part of NDTV Coca Cola Support My School Campaign.
Brand ambassador for the campaign, Sachin on Sunday, did not just field against questions from children from across the country but replied with patience that he has showcased in scores of Test innings - smiling all the while much like he often does after smashing a boundary. "How do we play a straight drive with as much precision as you have?" asked a boy in the studio. The batsman with over 15000 runs in the longest format, promptly picked up his bat and explained exactly how. "Keeping your head straight and balanced is the key. Tilt it towards off and you will probably hit on the leg-side. The other way and you will hit on the off. Get the bat down straight and meet the ball at the right time."
While the straight and cover drive were the chapters which needed the most attention from 'Sir' Sachin, there was also the perennial question of balancing studies and cricket. "Follow your heart. That is very important. While studying, study and when playing cricket, just play cricket. I always found it tough to balance the two but one must. Both are equally important," said Sachin while ansewering to a query from a child in Kolkata.
The batsman who recently helped Mumbai claim the 40th Ranji title, said the key to success is to remain determined. "You can be a cricketer, actor or whoever. You must be determined to be what and who you want to be."
As part of Sunday's show, Sachin played with several school children. He even invited Aishwarya Rai, present for the event, to join him in 'Sachin's Paathshaala' but the actress politely refused. Children present though, grabbed the opportunity repeatedly, whenever asked by the skilled yet modest 39-year-old.