A few days ago, a video of Australia’s training session in Alur went viral. To prepare for the Border-Gavaskar Test series, they skipped the tour matches, which they criticized as being “irrelevant,” held a training camp at the KSCA stadium with doctored conditions, and brought in an unknown Indian bowler from Gujarat who has uncanny similarities to Ravichandran Ashwin. While some cricket analysts and some Indian fans laughed it off, a former India player remembered that the legendary Sachin Tendulkar had done something similar before his famous match with Australia’s Shane Warne.

The rivalry between Warne and Tendulkar was the focus of the 1997–1998 Test series between India and Australia. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, an Indian leg-spinner, was invited to a camp by Sachin a week before the first Test of the series in Chennai in March 1998 to practice Warne’s deliveries.

“The majority of individuals consider the precise intent of such training sessions. I never intended to be a carbon copy of Shane Warne. However, having large leg breaks was what I found to be effective. No bowler can ever be exactly like another, “In his interview with the Times of India, he remembered.

Laxman acknowledged that they did not have many videos of Warne, so the entire practice session and the recreation of Warne’s actions were based on the “vivid descriptions” he received from Sachin. In contrast to the modern era, where video analysts play a significant role for a cricket team in studying the various techniques of the opposition player, they did not have many videos of Warne.

“Back then, you didn’t have access to video analysts or the variety of videos that you have today. We had a lot to say. He shared his thoughts with me after his encounter with Warne. Warne’s ability to create speed off the field was noted by Sachin. He also helped me understand how Warne varied his speed, trajectory, and angles. Sachin was watchful to that extent. I merely attempted to put it into action “said he.

Laxman said that Sachin had placed a special emphasis on thwarting Warne’s attempts to take advantage of the rough spots outside the leg stump.

“Sachin had purchased brand-new sneakers with pointed spikes. He made the rough by making extremely strong scratches on the surface. The groundskeeper disapproved of our strategy. Therefore, we decided to just utilize one pitch over the week-long practice. The pitch becomes quite difficult to bat on by the third or fourth day “Added he.

He aimed to expand his arsenal of strokes to include anything from fine-leg to mid-wicket. He thus desired the slog sweep, the general sweep, and the paddle sweep. Back then, hitters from all over the globe played a single sweep. The forceful sweep toward the square leg was what it was. The paddle sweep came to Sachin’s mind as a way to reduce the hazards associated with playing from the rough. He played baseball for an hour. The quality of your practice is more important than the amount.”