|Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, at the Kotla, on Wednesday.
Picture by Prem Singh
Calcutta: Cricket fans who thronged to the fortress-like Kotla in New Delhi on Wednesday got their money’s worth as legends Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar walked down the memory lane and shared priceless moments with the crowd.
Lara recalled Tendulkar’s super show at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the 2003-2004 series, even as the latter recalled the many innings when the Trinidadian had the best of bowlers at his mercy.
“I remember the series against Australia when Sachin didn’t play a single cover drive till the time he reached the double century. It was superb... outstanding,” Lara said, when asked about one Tendulkar moment he just couldn’t forget.
Tendulkar went on to score 241 as the Test, which was Steve Waugh’s last, ended in a tame draw at the SCG.
“Sachin was always different... the Indian team had many great batsmen like (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman,” the 44-year-old Lara said.
Tendulkar recalled the days when Lara toyed with the opposition bowling.
The West Indian legend made no bones about the fact that Twenty20 is not a format he would have fancied.
“I don’t think I would have been too successful in T20 cricket as I was a batsman who needed time to settle down. I believe guys like Sachin, Ricky (Ponting) were suited to this format,” he said.
Tendulkar went on to say: “The first time I met Brain Lara was in Toronto. We have become very good friends. We do keep in touch and share our experiences on various topics, not just cricket.
“Right from the time I came to know him, I knew he would eventually go on to become the kind of player he became. Our friendship aside, I knew he was a special talent. I remember the innings he played against Pakistan, again in Toronto, in 1994.
“I would have liked to play more cricket with him, and not against. Having said that, it was nice to see him bat.