Indian cricket has enjoyed a great pedigree of batters throughout different eras in the sport. In the 70s and 80s, Sunil Gavaskar enjoyed a brilliant batting dominance as he ended his career with the highest score by a player in Test cricket; right after he retired, a 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar broke into the scene as he made his debut against Pakistan in 1989. Tendulkar broke several records during his 24-year-long international cricket career, and even though he retired in 2013, the ‘master blaster’ – as he is fondly known – continues to hold the record for most runs in Tests and ODIs.
Tendulkar had numerous batting rivals – one of them being former West Indies captain Brian Lara. Widely regarded as one of the greats of the game, Lara is the highest-scoring Windies batter in Tests and seventh overall. And during a chat with FOX Cricket, Lara paid a glorious tribute to Tendulkar as he spoke about India great’s contribution to the game. Lara said that Tendulkar dominated oppositions irrespective of what condition he played in, that made him “special.”
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“I’m not taking anything away from pre-Sachin time in Indian batting, they had Sunil Gavaskar, Mohammad Azharuddin… (but) when you talk about Indian players in India, there are a number of them who will score a lot of runs against you. When they leave India, there are few who would survive and acclimatise to conditions… that’s the first thing I saw with Sachin,” said Lara.
“Doesn’t matter where you took him, doesn’t matter the pace of bowler or spin, he had the technique capable of handling everything. I think the Indian public also recognised that. It was his first Test match against Pakistan, where he actually got hit from a short delivery. But he got up, he was bleeding as well, he stood up there and he batted. And that’s something… that not only Indian batsmen but a lot of batsmen around the world would go to pavilion for treatment. I think he showed a lot of guts.”
Further talking about the India star, Lara stated that everything about Tendulkar was “picture perfect.”
“His talent, ability, and technique was something that was picture perfect. He just blossomed into one of the greatest batters of all time. From the age of 16, 24 years of international cricket… that’s something very special,” said Lara.
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