Sachin Tendulkar is an institution of batsmanship, and it is not just his run-scoring records that make him so -- his technique and discipline is a shining example to cricketers young and old.
The former India batsman had a teammate in Virender Sehwag whose only coach in formative years was the example of Tendulkar on the television screen. India's first triple-centurion modelled his own technique on Tendulkar's and enjoyed a successful career.
So it was quite unusual when a waiter in a Chennai hotel walked up to him and gave his honest suggestion about improving the master batsman's bat swing. And it did wonders, by Tendulkar's own admission.
“If you have an open mind, you can develop so many things. In Chennai it was a waiter who came up to me and said 'if you don't mind and don't get offended I want to tell you something.' I said 'go ahead.' He said my elbow guard restricts my bat swing. And he was 100 per cent right,” the Hindustan Times quoted Tendulkar as saying.
The owner of 100 international centuries then followed the waiter's advice.
“I knew I was feeling uncomfortable but I never thought of doing it myself. A few years down the line I got hit a couple of times on my elbow guard and it hurt. That's when I realised that the padding on my elbow guard is inadequate,” he said.
“I instantly redesigned my elbow guard. I needed to re-open it and work on it, get the fibre and cushion on either side to absorb the impact. In our country everyone from a panwala to CEOs will give you advice. But one should still be open about ideas.”