Sachin and Warne

Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar topped the list of the world’s best hundred test cricketers in Warne’s book called Shane Warne’s Century. Coming from arguably the best bowler in the world, it is indeed a great honour for the Indian cricketing fraternity.

The little master may have hundreds of records under his name, but getting appreciated from a great fellow, is indeed a matter of pride. Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar have always had a cordial and yet an extremely competitive relationship. They have had great respect for each other and have often lauded each other’s performances and achievements.

Sachin and Warne’s rivalry goes back to the nineties, when a young inexperienced batsman had the courage to step out to the best spinner in the world and hit him all over the park. Warne had once said that he used to get dreams of Sachin stepping out and hitting him straight back over the head.

This is when their rivalry began. Both Sachin and Warne have been amongst the best cricketers to have ever played test cricket. Warne may no longer be the highest wicket taker in tests, but he is still remembered for his guile and deception.

Warne has gone on to describe Tendulkar as a genius. He has added that Sachin could pick the length and the spin of the ball really early and would either come on the front foot or rock back on to the back foot completely in order to play his strokes without ever being caught in two minds.

Warne’s list of the hundred great test cricketers includes ten other Indians, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Mohammad Azharuddin, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri. Ganguly comes in 96th in the rankings though Warne and Ganguly have often had acrimonious interactions with each other with the latest being in the IPL tournament match held this year.

Two Aussie greats made up in the top five, with Allen Border coming in fourth and fellow team mate Glenn Mcgrath coming in fifth. Brian Lara was on the second place whereas pace bowler Curtly Ambrose came on third place. The list also comprises nine cricketers from Pakistan and ten others from Sri Lanka.

At a time when there are questions on Sachin’s form and his retirement, this recognition could not have come at a better time.

He may have not been at his best against Sri Lanka and got out on several occasions to the combination Murali and Mendis, yet he continues to be one of the greatest cricketers playing now. It is said, form is temporary whereas class is permanent and that is the case with the master blaster, who is itching to go out against the Aussies.

Warne in particular has always been appreciative of Sachin’s batting prowess, rating him as the best in the world. He even acknowledged the fact that Sachin carries the passion and pressure of a billion plus population every time he goes out to bat.

Once Warne was asked as to who are the best batsmen he has bowled to. His reply was ‘Daylight’. Sachin’s the best, daylight is second and then come the rest and that perhaps sums up his feelings for the little master.

Shishir Shrivastava

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