Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar's dominance in batting is well known, but what makes him a genius and separates him from other batsmen in world is his ability to perform the basics in a better manner, and that too also in pressure conditions, according to Australian legend Dean Jones.
"Tendulkar is a freak, a pure sporting genius. I have seen a few in my time, such as Viv Richards, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting, players who had something different to others," Jones said.
"What makes a genius? To me, the difference between a genius and mere mortals is that their defence is better. They perform the basics better. When athletes or teams are under pressure and momentum goes against them, it is their defensive skills that stand out the most," he writes in The Age.
"For a mortal to aspire to something higher, he needs to know this. Take Andrew Symonds, whose defensive game was non-existent when he started playing Test cricket. He learnt to defend and became a better player," Jones said.
Commenting on the Australian players slide in form during the Test series in India, Jones said that spinner Nathan Hauritz was struggling because he forgets the basics of bowling under pressure.
"He simply cannot bowl six balls in a shoe box when he is under the heat. For Marcus North, his problem is that he does not read the length early enough and doesn't play straight early. Therefore he struggles with inconsistency. Our top-line bowlers do not bowl straight enough, particularly to new batsman at the crease. Just basics, really," he said.
Jones further asked Australia to take a few lessons from Tendulkar in the way he goes about his game, and added that never mumbles to himself when he is batting, never curses or gets rushed or irritated.
"Tendulkar is 37 and showing everyone up; making runs at will. He has about six gears in his batting, but for a while he was boring to watch as he never got out of third. Now, his attitude has changed and he is bringing some fun into his batting by hitting sixes. His current bat has made 13 Test centuries," Jones said
"He is meticulous about the way he prepares for a series or a game. When India is training, you never see him sitting down, he is always busy. Tendulkar hates running and is not keen on the gym. But he works hard on the stationary bike and watches what he eats. He plays enough cricket and makes enough runs to keep himself in top condition," he added.