May 26, 2020
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Dr Arunachalam Kumar

The professor of sports biomechanics predicts the end of Sachin’s Test career

Dr Arunachalam Kumar
What's the basis of your research finding?
I was perplexed at the sudden spurt of sixes that flew off Sachin's bat during the Aussie tour here. It made me look for changes in techniques. Stance? Guard? Footwork? I noticed some oddities and wrote about it last September.

What made you focus on Sachin?
His end-of-stroke foot position is a golfer's tee-off stance, something that's a biomechanical disaster. The abrupt arrest of a heavy bat and torso pivot on an anchored left foot has to disrupt the torque.

How did you conclude that this would happen before the end of the year?
With his recent penchant for playing the lofted on-drive and increasing end-product sixes, it's easy to deduce that given the same calendar and performance level and a score of 2-3 sixes per match, Sachin would have a physical problem by the year-end.

Why do you feel Sachin's Test career is almost over?
The strain of long innings, with requirements to shore up the middle order with a big score, puts his Test career more at stake than his one-day excursions.

How does wearing a wrist watch help a bowler become faster?
Any weight, no matter how minuscule, appended on to a pace bowler's bowling arm, should augment the centripetal forces and tangential velocity of the delivery.

Would wearing a watch help a batsman as much?
For a batsman though a heavier bat should help, especially for the sloggers.

Is Sachin's condition unique?
Though not too common in cricket, Botham did suffer a similar back problem, in my view, related to the same causative factors.

What's the ideal correlation between a batsman's weight and his bat's?
I'm unaware of any body weight-bat weight ratio but I infer most backfoot batsmen prefer lighter blades. Sachin is a predominantly frontfoot player.

How overweight is he?
For his height, he needs to reduce by 15 kg.

When did you first notice Sachin's stance?
During the Aussie tour of India, I noticed him altering his usual guard position.

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