The rising delivery provoked in the early Tendulkar a brutal response. The ball is still climbing towards him and Tendulkar is already waiting to uncoil - the weight has shifted to the backfoot and the bat is beginning an arc that would take it up and across. The power behind the shot bordered on ferocity, lifting the front leg clear off the ground. The climbing ball would have a little more climbing to do. Later in his career, the shot became more domesticated, a smooth swivel replacing the carefree whirl. But occasionally, he still brought out the full blooded pull, with the effects undiminished. As Michael Kasprowicz found out in Sharjah 1998. As Andy Caddick did in Durban during the 2003 World Cup.
The straight drive
A few years into his career, Tendulkar had so perfected his game that it felt like he possessed more shots than there were names for. The straight drive, a stroke he played through his career, could now be played off the front or back foot, with a follow-through that was truncated, exaggerated or non-existent. At its refined best, it was the most compact of shots. It begins with little prelude. After an imperceptible trigger movement of the feet, the bat comes down straight and stops almost immediately on contact with the ball. It is hardly even a push, just the bat completing a natural and necessary motion. It ends with the bowler rubbernecking to track the ball as it scuds down the ground.
The upper cut
Whether it was an unconscious acknowledgment of the need to preserve himself, or just Tendulkar continuing his investigation into the mechanics of batting, the focus in his later period shifted to efficiency and improvisation. If not the foremost, then at least the most spectacular of his additions was the uppercut, most famously employed against Shoaib Akhtar in Centurion. The short ball outside off stump is a restrictive delivery, forcing the batsman to let it through or risk the drag to the leg side. The upper cut side stepped these choices to guide the ball up and over the slips or into the stands beyond thirdman.