‘Sachin best batsman of my generation’
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- Published 11.11.13
Calcutta: Legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne feels Sachin Tendulkar is the “best batsman” of his generation and said that there won’t be another player like the retiring Indian great in years to come.
“Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman of my generation and it will be a privilege to be in Mumbai this week to commentate on the first two days of his final Test,” Warne wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph.
Warne, the second highest wicket-taker in the history of Test cricket, had many interesting duels with the Indian legend and feels that Tendulkar was the “best in all conditions against all types of bowling” and also possessed a wonderful temperament.
“The pressure he was under from the India public was immense but he handled himself on and off the field in a way that was respected by all,” Warne wrote.
Tendulkar, who is all set to become the first man to play 200 Test matches, has almost all the records in his kitty, including highest number of runs in both Tests and ODIs as well as 100 International centuries. But for Warne, Tendulkar’s feats can’t merely be measured by a few numbers.
“There will not be another Sachin Tendulkar. I always teach young players that cricket is not about averages even if it is a stats-based game. It is about how and when you score runs or take wickets. The great players deliver when the team is up against it and statistics do not tell you the truth about such things. Sachin is far more than a man with great numbers to boast about,” Warne wrote.
Warne termed the phase between 1994 and 2000 as the best years of Tendulkar in international cricket.
“His best years were between 1994 and 2000 when he was just brilliant. He is still a very good player but it is hard to compare the Sachin of today to the man of 15 years ago.”
“In the mid-1990s, he was phenomenal against the quicks and spin. He judged the length of a ball so quickly, which enabled him to have a lot more time to play the right shot or let it go.”
According to Warne, Tendulkar kept the basics of batting pretty simple. “Sachin also kept it very simple. He was still at the crease so, if it was pitched up he drove it, if it was short, he pulled it. It was his judgement of length and clarity in his head with shot selection that made him so dominant against all opposition bowlers in all sorts of conditions.” Warne wrote.
As per Warne’s assessment, next to Tendulkar would be West Indian Brian Lara, who according to the leggie was “more destructive than Sachin”.
“Second on my list would be Brian Lara. We all used to love watching Lara bat except when you had a ball in your hand and he was probably more destructive than Sachin. A third pool of players would include Jacques Kallis, Graham Gooch, Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh and Kevin Pietersen but there is a fair distance between those guys and Lara and Tendulkar.”
For Warne, the two stand-out Tendulkar innings were his 155 on a difficult Chennai track in 1998 and 241 in Sydney in 2003-04 when he didn’t hit a single cover drive for almost 10 hours.