Sachin Tendulkar not only made a name for himself but also his childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar, who recently died. The 45-year-old Sachin Tendulkar along with former India batsmen Vinod Kambli and Pravin Amre on Thursday, fondly recalled the first few memories of their childhood coach at a condolence meeting in Mumbai. In the meeting, Tendulkar remembered how Ramakant Achrekar had advised him to go back to his original grip after observing him for the initial few days.
“I still remember when I started playing cricket, we had just one bat, which belonged to (my brother) Ajit (Tendulkar). It was a little bigger and my grip was low on the handle.
“Sir observed this for a few days and then took me aside and told me to try and hold the bat a little up,” the batting legend reminisced at the gathering organised by the Shivaji Park Gymkhana.
The 45-year-old former Team India captain said Achrekar’s advice was meant to convey the message that coaching doesn’t always mean making changes.
“Sir observed me play and said it wasn’t working because I was not having (the same) control and my shots were not coming off.
“After seeing that I didn’t have the same control, Sir told me to forget whatever he had said and asked me to go back to the original grip,” Tendulkar said.
“And (with this) Sir gave a big message to not just me and to everybody that coaching doesn’t mean making changes.Sometimes it is important not to coach.
“If my grip would have changed then I think I would not have played so long. But Sir had vision on how my game would be better and what suits me,” said the legendary batsman, who played 200 Tests in his career spanning 24 years.
Achrekar’s adopted son Naresh Churi narrated an anecdote on how the departed coach used recycled balls.
“Sir always used to preserve worn out balls, and had abag full of such balls, which nobody would have liked to use.However, Sir did what no coach has done even now back then –recycling of balls.
“We all used to peel off the outer surface of the ball and send the inner portion (small ball) to the factory in Meerut (Uttar Pradesh). He used to purchase the recycled ball sat half price,” recalled Churi.
Kambli remarked that he would take Achrekar’s legacy forward by coaching students.
(With PTI inputs)