Having beaten his outside edge a few times and induced one inside edge, Haryana pacer Mohit Sharma must have wondered what he needed to do to get Sachin Tendulkar out in the second innings. As luck would have it, he got his answer after the game, as Tendulkar dropped by to talk to the losing side.
When Mohit floated the query, Tendulkar\'s words were both comforting and insightful. Haryana opener Rahul Dewan, recalling the meeting, said: "He told our bowlers that they bowled really well and always pitched in the right areas and did pretty much all that they could. He stressed that sometimes things don\'t work out; sometimes you get edges but they don\'t carry to the fielders."
Tendulkar had further words for praise for the bowling unit of Mohit, Harshal Patel, Ashish Hooda, Sachin Rana, Joginder Sharma and Jayant Yadav. "The fact that you bowled 90 overs (Mumbai needed 93 overs to chase down 240) shows how tough it was to score," Tendulkar said at the meeting.
The man who has broken most records and survived the longest on the rollercoaster called Indian cricket put the game in perspective to the bunch of eager listeners. Those in the dressing room say that the crux of the talk was: the result of the game or success on the field cannot be guaranteed in this team game of endless uncertainties; the only things in a cricketer\'s control are being an honest trier and preparing meticulously.
Dewan, who had scores of 5 and 44 in the game, asked Tendulkar how he prepared before matches. "His answer was an eye-opener. He spoke about how he tries to get his basics right on the eve of the match. He also keeps in mind what the pitch will be like, what strokes he might have to play and the opposition he will be against. But the one thing he stressed was that he doesn\'t think about the result of the game," Diwan says, before joining his teammates.
Within minutes he is back, saying he wishes to add just one more line. "It was really overwhelming," he says, shaking his head.