Indian Cricket January 17, 2008

Tendulkar's bid for immortality

The way Tendulkar is batting in Australia, that part will be his to play for years yet, at the end of which he might well stand on the pedestal that Bradman chose for him and which Cricket reserves for her most durable geniuses
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This explanation of late-period Tendulkar suggested a batsman using his formidable skills to adapt to circumstances instead of bending circumstances to his will as he had done in his first half of his career. Even his big innings this century seemed to bear witness to a once-great batsman adapting magnificently to the physical toll of a long career.

Take his double century at the SCG in the last Test of India's previous tour of Australia. It was a crucial innings, one that allowed the Indians to press for a victory that eventually eluded them, but that's not why we remember it. We remember it for its freakish aspect: Tendulkar scored 241 runs without once driving through the off-side. He had suffered a string of dismissals trying to drive through cover, so he just put away the shot and worked everything through the onside. His signature shot throughout his career had been that cover drive hit off the back foot standing on tip-toe and he was showing the world that he could limit his repertoire and thrive.

But the change in style was also accompanied by a secular decline in both his batting average and the frequency of his centuries. These things are relative: Tendulkar's 'decline' would constitute success for the merely very good. From the very high fifties, the average dipped to under fifty-five. At the same time the achievements of other batsmen eclipsed Tendulkar's efforts.

Brian Lara reversed a slump that saw his average plunge to into the forties and salvaged his reputation by dragging that figure up into the fifties as he ended his career in a blaze of brilliance and Ponting's career graph read like the opposite of Tendulkar's: he raised his game to such heights in the second half of his career that there were seasons when his results were Bradmanesque. A new generation of batsmen led by Michael Hussey and Kumar Sangakkara produced passages of such consistency and flair that they made Tendulkar look grizzled and tentative.

Then, in 2007, Tendulkar began his bid to rehabilitate himself. In South Africa, in Bangladesh, in England, in India and finally in this series in Australia, he emerged from the cocoon of conservative caution that had marked his batsmanship for more than five years and gave himself permission to play his whole repertoire of shots. The results were mixed: 2007 was a decent year, not an annus mirabilis: some seven hundred runs with a clutch of fifties and a couple of centuries against Bangladesh. Its real importance is only now becoming apparent: it was the necessary run up to his return to vintage form in Australia.

He has hit two fifties and a big, unbeaten 150 in five innings against the best team in the world, one that was aggressively seeking a record sequence of Test wins. This would be reassuring in itself for Tendulkar, when you consider that his last century against respectable opposition came in 2005. But the real significance of this brief Australian purple patch has been the manner in which he has scored his runs. For the first time in years he has played with intent and without inhibition. Every shot from the paddle sweep to the off-side force, to the pull and the improvised upper-cut has been taken out of storage and played. He has taken the fight to the opposition, on and off the field. I don't think it's a coincidence that after the ugly Sydney Test, it was Tendulkar who forced the Harbhajan issue and compelled Sharad Pawar to stand up for his team-mate.

Having put the mirage of captaincy firmly behind him, Tendulkar has stepped into the role he should have claimed years ago: not the senior pro of the Indian team (an NCO's role, meant for lesser men) but its grey eminence, its elder statesman. The way he is batting in Australia, that part will be his to play for years yet, at the end of which he might well stand on the pedestal that Bradman chose for him and which Cricket reserves for her most durable geniuses.

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in New Delhi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ali on April 20, 2008, 9:34 GMT

    GOD first created Brian Lara.

    That was for practice. Then he created Sachin Tendulkar.

  • eddy on March 25, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    Philip John Joseph!!!!To say Bradman was rubbish is tripe. 99 average rubbish? We may agree that Lara is the greatest greatest modern player but we couldnt be further apart when it comes to Bradman. Only one player even comes close to Bradman in my book and thats Sir Viv. No helmet!All of today's batsmen, and i mean ALL couldnt and wouldnt bat without a helmet. Thats why its Bradman, Viv, Lara/Tendulkar, in that order.

  • d p on March 23, 2008, 0:34 GMT

    @ Joseph what you talking about? you need to go back in 90's and 2000's and start watching games most people remember how sachin got out on zero, how he got lbw by pace bowlers or how he got bowled human tendancy is to point out the faults do you remember Sachin playing some WELL BALANCE SHOTS? i bet you dont greatness is not measured by number of number of sixes or fours its all about playing some fantastic shots and long innings when others fall short of it

  • Philip John Joseph on February 17, 2008, 2:45 GMT

    Well I would say that Lara is better than Tendulkar. I would also say that Don Bradman is rubbish because as Douglas Jardine said, Bradman was "yellow" with cowardice. The idea that a batsman who cowered in fear against the likes of Larwood, who doesn't even figure in the list of all-time great bowlers; that such a batsman could be considered the greatest batsman of all time, is the absolute defintion of sheer poppycock and balderdash.

  • Nagen on February 15, 2008, 15:24 GMT

    There's no doubt that Sachin is the greatest among the contemporary cricketing idols. He's not just a cricketer for millions, but is a role model for the youngsters who are in pursuit of the greatness. Whether you begin it from the Titan cup or Sharjah cricket or cricket in Australia there isn't any part of the world Sachin hadn't left his momorabilia. I feel a bit unclear when the people raise the issue of comparing a man who set so many standards to be achieved by future generations with the ones who can't even reach his shadow.

  • Manoj on February 11, 2008, 10:14 GMT

    TENDULKAR is undoubtedly the best. Someone earlier said Lara fans conveniently forget the countless failures and remember only the highlights.

    With Lara even at his best there was always a lot of playing and missing, getting hit on the head,awkardness with the real fast short pitched stuff,getting rapped on the pads numerous times,etc.

    With Tendulkar on,it reminds you of Gavaskar's defence,Richard's attack and Azhar's artistry.

    TEndulkar has more shots too. With the ball say around off, Tendulkar can cut,off drive,straight drive,on drive ,whip it through midwicket,hit over infield..

    With Lara it was almost always the cut.

    With Tendulkar on it was like the ball always hit the middle of the bat or a perfect leave,whether outside off stump or the short pitched stuff. With all the time and in no trouble whatsoever. If the ball did beat the bat, it was considered an incredible achievement! At times the bowler would appeal just for that! and an equally stunned ump. give it

  • Salim Mian on February 8, 2008, 10:55 GMT

    Ive been laughing myself silly over the past three weeks reading the dedate that has arisen from 'Eddy's' lone mission to prove Lara was the greater batsman against many, many Tendulkar and India fans. Cant you see guyz that you will never be able to say who was better, its like comparing apples and oranges. Both are/were too different to compare. Yes they were two great batsmen and both of their wonderful efforts hardly changed their teams results but there the simuilarties end. There can be no denying Lara's ability to construct huge ininngs like no other (Bradman included). No one can deny Tendulkars ability to score hundred after hundred in both Test and ODI arena's. Tendulkars dominance in both forms of the game make him close if not definately the greatest international batsmen ever. But then we look at Lara, he has played ininngs no one before or after him has.

    The ability to aproach a new match or inning with the same vest and importance is what has kept Tendulkar scoring international tons for close to 20 years. All of the talent in the world cannot keep you at the top for that long without a love and joy and respect for the game. With Lara i think it was slightly different. He was distracted for a part of his career and sometimes threw his wicket away. But let me also say this, when Lara was in, and set no one could get him out. 9 double tons (includes a 300, 400) is testament to this fact. Tendulkar is more of a ton man, with 150+ quite often and a rare double ton (only two of his double tons came against grade A opposition).

    So when i look back at the careers these two greats have played i come to this conclusion... Tendulkar has been the greatest international batsmen we have ever seen, more hundreds in both forms of the game than anyone. Although a certain R Ponting is only 5 test match tons behind him having played 44 less innings!!!! Pontings ton per inning ratio is better than Tendulkars but the reverse can be said for ODIs. Will Ponting be regarded the greatest when/if he overhalls Tendulkars test ton record?, many Aussie fans and ex pros think he's the best already! Thats what i THINK 'Eddys' point is. Does scoring the most tons make you the greatest player? I do slightly agree with him there, Lara scored more tons than Richards and Sobers but many WI fans dont think he's as good.

    Now Lara. Both Tendulkar and Lara played in average to poor teams for most of their careers. they share this fact. The difference is Lara didnt have a Dravid or Ganguly or Laxman. He had Chanderpaul. Lara's thirst for runs kicked in when he moved past 100, thats when Tendulkar's was nearing it's end. Scoring huge, massive tons is much much harder than scoring single 100's, although you may think it would get easier the longer you batted. There have only been a handful of players that have scored 300 in a test. Viv didnt, Sunny didnt, Waugh didnt, Ponting hasnt Chappell didnt, miandad didnt, Abbas didnt, Boycott didnt, Border didnt, Dravid hasnt, Kallis hasnt, vengsarkar didnt, azza didnt, compton didnt, hobbs didnt....get the point? Only Bradman and Lara did it twice. Lara the only one in 131 years of test cricket to score 400. Add on top the 153* (regarded the finest innings ever by many), 375 and the maiden 277 v Aus and you make quite a picture of Lara.

    My verdict????

    Tendulkar - the greatest overall international batsmen ever. Lara - the greatest modern test batsmen.

    Salim

  • Roman on February 8, 2008, 7:46 GMT

    TENDULKAR is undoubtedly the best. Someone earlier said Lara fans conveniently forget the countless failures and remember only the highlights.

    With Lara even at his best there was always a lot of playing and missing, getting hit on the head,awkardness with the real fast short pitched stuff,getting rapped on the pads many times,etc.

    With Tendulkar on, it reminded you of Gavaskar's defence ,Richard's attack and Azhar's artistry.

    TEndulkar has more shots too. With the ball say around off, Tendulkar can cut,off drive,straight drive,on drive and Azhar like whip it through midwicket.

    With Lara it was almost always the cut.

    With Tendulkar on it was like the ball always hit the middle of the bat or a perfect leave,whether outside off stump or the short pitched stuff. With all the time and in no trouble whatsoever. If the ball did beat the bat, it was considered an incredible achievement! At times the bowler would appeal just for that! and an equally stunned ump. give it!!

  • Vikram on February 8, 2008, 2:24 GMT

    Some guys like "eddy" in here sound more like accountants than fans of the art of batting.

  • Akash on February 7, 2008, 23:07 GMT

    Mr:Eddy...all the way through you are tryinmg to show Lara is better than Sachin... I am fan of Sachin but respect Lara too. Both have their own quality.

    But there is bug diffrence that is call pressure from fans. 1 bn people watch when sachin is playing , if Sachin do not make ruyns there are programms all over TV, but in case of Lara if he got out on zero no one care and you will spot him some night club on same night.

    Second thing Sir Don Bradman include just Sachin in his team it shows again Sachin have slight upper hand.

    Third thing..We have to consider number of ODI Sachin played when you compare record.

    One more thing Sachin played for country not for himself...When Lara made 400 it was for him not for country , if he want that time he should declared and try to win match vs Eng.

    When Sachin was on 192 vs Pak Indian declared..Sachin did not said anything against Dravid...How many people think Lara can do such thing....well not that many.

  • Ali on April 20, 2008, 9:34 GMT

    GOD first created Brian Lara.

    That was for practice. Then he created Sachin Tendulkar.

  • eddy on March 25, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    Philip John Joseph!!!!To say Bradman was rubbish is tripe. 99 average rubbish? We may agree that Lara is the greatest greatest modern player but we couldnt be further apart when it comes to Bradman. Only one player even comes close to Bradman in my book and thats Sir Viv. No helmet!All of today's batsmen, and i mean ALL couldnt and wouldnt bat without a helmet. Thats why its Bradman, Viv, Lara/Tendulkar, in that order.

  • d p on March 23, 2008, 0:34 GMT

    @ Joseph what you talking about? you need to go back in 90's and 2000's and start watching games most people remember how sachin got out on zero, how he got lbw by pace bowlers or how he got bowled human tendancy is to point out the faults do you remember Sachin playing some WELL BALANCE SHOTS? i bet you dont greatness is not measured by number of number of sixes or fours its all about playing some fantastic shots and long innings when others fall short of it

  • Philip John Joseph on February 17, 2008, 2:45 GMT

    Well I would say that Lara is better than Tendulkar. I would also say that Don Bradman is rubbish because as Douglas Jardine said, Bradman was "yellow" with cowardice. The idea that a batsman who cowered in fear against the likes of Larwood, who doesn't even figure in the list of all-time great bowlers; that such a batsman could be considered the greatest batsman of all time, is the absolute defintion of sheer poppycock and balderdash.

  • Nagen on February 15, 2008, 15:24 GMT

    There's no doubt that Sachin is the greatest among the contemporary cricketing idols. He's not just a cricketer for millions, but is a role model for the youngsters who are in pursuit of the greatness. Whether you begin it from the Titan cup or Sharjah cricket or cricket in Australia there isn't any part of the world Sachin hadn't left his momorabilia. I feel a bit unclear when the people raise the issue of comparing a man who set so many standards to be achieved by future generations with the ones who can't even reach his shadow.

  • Manoj on February 11, 2008, 10:14 GMT

    TENDULKAR is undoubtedly the best. Someone earlier said Lara fans conveniently forget the countless failures and remember only the highlights.

    With Lara even at his best there was always a lot of playing and missing, getting hit on the head,awkardness with the real fast short pitched stuff,getting rapped on the pads numerous times,etc.

    With Tendulkar on,it reminds you of Gavaskar's defence,Richard's attack and Azhar's artistry.

    TEndulkar has more shots too. With the ball say around off, Tendulkar can cut,off drive,straight drive,on drive ,whip it through midwicket,hit over infield..

    With Lara it was almost always the cut.

    With Tendulkar on it was like the ball always hit the middle of the bat or a perfect leave,whether outside off stump or the short pitched stuff. With all the time and in no trouble whatsoever. If the ball did beat the bat, it was considered an incredible achievement! At times the bowler would appeal just for that! and an equally stunned ump. give it

  • Salim Mian on February 8, 2008, 10:55 GMT

    Ive been laughing myself silly over the past three weeks reading the dedate that has arisen from 'Eddy's' lone mission to prove Lara was the greater batsman against many, many Tendulkar and India fans. Cant you see guyz that you will never be able to say who was better, its like comparing apples and oranges. Both are/were too different to compare. Yes they were two great batsmen and both of their wonderful efforts hardly changed their teams results but there the simuilarties end. There can be no denying Lara's ability to construct huge ininngs like no other (Bradman included). No one can deny Tendulkars ability to score hundred after hundred in both Test and ODI arena's. Tendulkars dominance in both forms of the game make him close if not definately the greatest international batsmen ever. But then we look at Lara, he has played ininngs no one before or after him has.

    The ability to aproach a new match or inning with the same vest and importance is what has kept Tendulkar scoring international tons for close to 20 years. All of the talent in the world cannot keep you at the top for that long without a love and joy and respect for the game. With Lara i think it was slightly different. He was distracted for a part of his career and sometimes threw his wicket away. But let me also say this, when Lara was in, and set no one could get him out. 9 double tons (includes a 300, 400) is testament to this fact. Tendulkar is more of a ton man, with 150+ quite often and a rare double ton (only two of his double tons came against grade A opposition).

    So when i look back at the careers these two greats have played i come to this conclusion... Tendulkar has been the greatest international batsmen we have ever seen, more hundreds in both forms of the game than anyone. Although a certain R Ponting is only 5 test match tons behind him having played 44 less innings!!!! Pontings ton per inning ratio is better than Tendulkars but the reverse can be said for ODIs. Will Ponting be regarded the greatest when/if he overhalls Tendulkars test ton record?, many Aussie fans and ex pros think he's the best already! Thats what i THINK 'Eddys' point is. Does scoring the most tons make you the greatest player? I do slightly agree with him there, Lara scored more tons than Richards and Sobers but many WI fans dont think he's as good.

    Now Lara. Both Tendulkar and Lara played in average to poor teams for most of their careers. they share this fact. The difference is Lara didnt have a Dravid or Ganguly or Laxman. He had Chanderpaul. Lara's thirst for runs kicked in when he moved past 100, thats when Tendulkar's was nearing it's end. Scoring huge, massive tons is much much harder than scoring single 100's, although you may think it would get easier the longer you batted. There have only been a handful of players that have scored 300 in a test. Viv didnt, Sunny didnt, Waugh didnt, Ponting hasnt Chappell didnt, miandad didnt, Abbas didnt, Boycott didnt, Border didnt, Dravid hasnt, Kallis hasnt, vengsarkar didnt, azza didnt, compton didnt, hobbs didnt....get the point? Only Bradman and Lara did it twice. Lara the only one in 131 years of test cricket to score 400. Add on top the 153* (regarded the finest innings ever by many), 375 and the maiden 277 v Aus and you make quite a picture of Lara.

    My verdict????

    Tendulkar - the greatest overall international batsmen ever. Lara - the greatest modern test batsmen.

    Salim

  • Roman on February 8, 2008, 7:46 GMT

    TENDULKAR is undoubtedly the best. Someone earlier said Lara fans conveniently forget the countless failures and remember only the highlights.

    With Lara even at his best there was always a lot of playing and missing, getting hit on the head,awkardness with the real fast short pitched stuff,getting rapped on the pads many times,etc.

    With Tendulkar on, it reminded you of Gavaskar's defence ,Richard's attack and Azhar's artistry.

    TEndulkar has more shots too. With the ball say around off, Tendulkar can cut,off drive,straight drive,on drive and Azhar like whip it through midwicket.

    With Lara it was almost always the cut.

    With Tendulkar on it was like the ball always hit the middle of the bat or a perfect leave,whether outside off stump or the short pitched stuff. With all the time and in no trouble whatsoever. If the ball did beat the bat, it was considered an incredible achievement! At times the bowler would appeal just for that! and an equally stunned ump. give it!!

  • Vikram on February 8, 2008, 2:24 GMT

    Some guys like "eddy" in here sound more like accountants than fans of the art of batting.

  • Akash on February 7, 2008, 23:07 GMT

    Mr:Eddy...all the way through you are tryinmg to show Lara is better than Sachin... I am fan of Sachin but respect Lara too. Both have their own quality.

    But there is bug diffrence that is call pressure from fans. 1 bn people watch when sachin is playing , if Sachin do not make ruyns there are programms all over TV, but in case of Lara if he got out on zero no one care and you will spot him some night club on same night.

    Second thing Sir Don Bradman include just Sachin in his team it shows again Sachin have slight upper hand.

    Third thing..We have to consider number of ODI Sachin played when you compare record.

    One more thing Sachin played for country not for himself...When Lara made 400 it was for him not for country , if he want that time he should declared and try to win match vs Eng.

    When Sachin was on 192 vs Pak Indian declared..Sachin did not said anything against Dravid...How many people think Lara can do such thing....well not that many.

  • Anonymous on February 7, 2008, 23:07 GMT

    Mr:Eddy...all the way through you are tryinmg to show Lara is better than Sachin... I am fan of Sachin but respect Lara too. Both have their own quality.

    But there is bug diffrence that is call pressure from fans. 1 bn people watch when sachin is playing , if Sachin do not make ruyns there are programms all over TV, but in case of Lara if he got out on zero no one care and you will spot him some night club on same night.

    Second thing Sir Don Bradman include just Sachin in his team it shows again Sachin have slight upper hand.

    Third thing..We have to consider number of ODI Sachin played when you compare record.

    One more thing Sachin played for country not for himself...When Lara made 400 it was for him not for country , if he want that time he should declared and try to win match vs Eng.

    When Sachin was on 192 vs Pak Indian declared..Sachin did not said anything against Dravid...How many people think Lara can do such thing....well not that many.

  • ravi on February 7, 2008, 15:59 GMT

    @eddy firstly, i am great fan of dravid and not sachin... i always felt dravid is more team man than sachin is (i dont want to start another tide of comments on this.. i wrote "i felt" and not otherwise)...

    but topic is comparision between sachin and lara.. a single point which can differentiate lara and tendulkar is weight of expectations.... when more than one billion people want you to perform and that too consistently you can imagine the pressure... and i am floored by sachin in this aspect.. the way he handles the pressure and the way he handles his personality is impeccable.

    lara is said to be a little eccentric.... but in the twilight of lara's career by becoming WI team captain... he lead the team from shambles to some respectability... in this aspect lara beats sachin...

  • Nandi on February 7, 2008, 14:22 GMT

    Tend.was hitting his peak when injuries ruined him. Just IMAGINE what he would have otherwise achieved!

    The only thing about Lara with a few bigger (& unbelievably selfish) scores is that he doesn’t get "bored” after a big hundred. They both have the similar amount of 150+ scores. Heck if tendulkar behaved like Lara (when tend was Capt.)and decided to keep on batting selfishly on small grounds with featherbed tracks simply to achieve some records he could easily have.

    it is a testament to his incredible mental strength that he has even managed to even keep scoring......with back,shoulder,hand,elbow,etc,..i.esurgeries to practically every body part!

    To me that makes him that even more of a legend than Lara!

    Infact tendulkar has all the shots that lara has and many more! when did you last see lara hit the ball back past the bowler for four off the back foot with casual ease?

    ive seen tend. face donald and it seemed like he was almost "waiting" for the ball!soo much time!

  • Darius on February 7, 2008, 13:36 GMT

    Dear besotted,obsessed "eddy"for some reason can't stomach the fact that lara is second best.

    lara himself admits tendulkar is the best. lara doesn't say tendulkar is his "idol"...that would be a different thing. you may idolise someone without that person necessarily being the best.

    Lara categorically states that tendulkar is the BEST. and so does Ponting. Most people would accept that tendulkar,lara and ponting are the 3 best batsmen of the era. if tendulkar is the best as far as both lara and ponting are concerned, then.... well,lets just say that lara and ponting should know just a touch more about the art of batting than "eddy" here!

  • eddy on February 7, 2008, 13:23 GMT

    Funny that Sanjeev would use a analogy of Tendulkar and Napoleon!!!!!! HA both were/are barely 5 foot, both dominated their fields, although one was humble and great, the other a megalomanic. If any batsmen is going to be remembered by his glorious failures it will be Lara not tendulkar.

  • Madan on February 7, 2008, 10:56 GMT

    eddy: Also since the Don died in 2001 Lara scored 6 double tons and 18 overall, compared to Tendulkars 2 double tons 15 overall. Are you so sure that Bradman would have the same view if he was watching cricket today 'Dara'?

    Very good point Eddy....it began in the 99 series against Aus, Lara slammed an unbeaten 150-odd in the company of tail-enders to sail a heroic WI victory. After that, he seems to have had a second coming. But the way Sachin is batting now, he may well rewrite the script to this battle...two home series on featherbeds offer him a chance to get that elusive triple century, who knows?? He has regained his hunger and attacking instinct and also has vast experience and near-infallible judgment (Re: lofting Hogg with the wind rather than into it) to go with it now, so I wouldn't put it past Sachin to indeed bid afresh for immortality.

  • eddy on February 7, 2008, 10:24 GMT

    Its true many ex pros consider Sachin slightly better, but there are many ex pros how think Lara is better. Out of bradman,richie benaud,sunil gavaskar,shane warne,allan donald,wasim akram,attapatu,jayasuriya,bill lawry,neil harvey,dennis lillee,mark and steve waugh,john woodcock,ricky ponting, i would only take three or four of these opinions as worthwhile. Warne yes, Lillie yes Donald yes and Arkram yes. And as for Bradman saying Tendulkar was better...hmmm..im not so sure. Ive seen the video of Bradman saying Tendulkar was the batsmean that most reminded him of his own batting (high praise indeed) but he did go on the say that Tendulkar and Lara were they best players of their time. Also since the Don died in 2001 Lara scored 6 double tons and 18 overall, compared to Tendulkars 2 double tons 15 overall. Are you so sure that Bradman would have the same view if he was watching cricket today 'Dara'?

  • ashish on February 7, 2008, 10:02 GMT

    This is what i mean by our crazy fans, they become blinded that they dont even read blogs properly. i think ive made it quite clear that i believe Tendulkar is slightly above lara....read my previous blogs 'Dara' and 'steven' and you will see that i was just agreeing with certain points Eddy was bringing up.

  • Darius on February 7, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    "Sanjeevs" point is valid.

    Sachin's failures stand out like lighthouses and he is castigated about them non stop.

    For example, the 2003 world cup. The Tendulkar baiters will conveniently only remember the failure in the final but they forget the following:

    1)The team was under extreme pressure after the first match,with fans going nuts at home. 2)Tendulkar almost singlehandedly got India to the final with a string of fighting knocks which lifted the team. 3)Among them was the one against Pak( which arguably boasted one of the best bowling lineups in history: Akram,Waqar,Akhtar,Razzaq..etc) 4)The Indian bowlers gave away 360 (YES 360!) runs away to the Aussie batsmen. 5)Tendulkar was in good form and could have easily played for a steady hundred, but he went down swinging selflessly to try and give the team the sprint start required to chase HUGE totals. 6)In the '83 final West Indies only required to make 180 odd(i.e half of 360),but i dont remember fans screwing VIV.

  • Heat on February 7, 2008, 1:54 GMT

    I just turn the tv off when tendulkar gets out because rest of the team just cant play right. by the way he is the best of all

  • Sanjeev on February 6, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    Though i love watching lara when he's on but i'd have to go for TENDULKAR as the best. Its undefineable but there's just that extra layer of finesse and polish with tendulkar.....

    also Lara has always been allowed to fail, so he could go out there swinging. If he does fail the fans simply go "Its only a game and the ball round ,maan". Fans like "Madhav Ajjampur " rave about the 153*, but I also remember that lara was hit hard flush on the head by Mcgrath and Healy dropped an absolute sitter in that inn.! So,essentially lara fans conveniently remember only the good bits, and conveniently drop the umpteen failures.

    With Tendulkar ,its almost the otherway around with all going at him for his failures .As they say the truly great are remembered for their failures, the avg. by their successes. I guess the great are so successful almost all the time,so the failures realy stand out as against the rest. For eg. a Napoleon is remembered more by "Waterloo" than his numerous successes.

  • GG on February 6, 2008, 0:46 GMT

    Can any one please compile statistics on how many times in Test and ODI's has Sachin Tendulkar been a victim of contentious decisions (umpiring errors) ??? Eddy ? Anyone else ? IF statistics really matter and put a sportsman's greatness in perspective It would be very interesting to find out and then maybe re-think the numbers ? I can guarantee Tendulkar has been the most victimised player in terms of contentious decisions/ umpiring errors in both forms of the game not only because of the sheer number of games he has played but also because of his profile. I think in that case we should also factor in the expectation pressure as a valid parameter

  • Adonis on February 5, 2008, 16:43 GMT

    Class can't be examined by way of certain parameters. That is subtle and can only be felt and thats why people adore Tendulkar so much... If stats or techniques are to go by, even Dravid could have got the similar mention.

    But fortunately or unfortunately, that isn't the case. Basically its the Charisma and aura of Tendulkar that sets him apart from the rest, and believe me such theories have found endorsements not only in india but world over.

    So lets not parameterise a greatness, it can come in any form. What only defines it is the impact of an individual on the game and its almost a concensus reached by all those who are playing as well as not playing (including those who have not ever played the game) that Sachin is a treat to watch and worth his weight in gold.

    Even the purists of the game would agree to the notion floated by me.

    And comparing two genius whether of the same or different time, to me is a crime & injustice as that way u question a hard earned reputation

  • Steven on February 5, 2008, 15:39 GMT

    "Ashish" and other assorted cynics forget that this is sport we are talking about,not some mathematics which necessarily call for "sensible arguments and discussion".

    Surely even Tendulkar baiters must wonder why he engenders such awesome and incredible passion. There are other good Indian players: Dravid,Ganguly,VVS,Kumble.....but none can even approach the BUZZ which Tendulkar brings to cricket.

    Why is this so?

    This cannot be so easily and rationally explained. With Richards,Lara and other flamboyant batsman ,it can be explained as people love to watch their flair.

    But what is about Tendulkar that gets people(amazingly not only in india but the world over) so excited?

    IT IS THE ELECTRICITY OF GENIUS. Nothing can quite explain it.It can be seen and experienced but it is almost impossible to "rationally explain".

  • DARA on February 5, 2008, 14:56 GMT

    TO "ASHISH"....... well ,bradman,richie benaud,sunil gavaskar,shane warne,allan donald,wasim akram,attapatu,jayasuriya,bill lawry,neil harvey,dennis lillee,mark and steve waugh,john woodcock,ricky ponting, not to mention LARA himself, etc.etc.etc. ......all consider TENDULKAR to be the BEST.

    I guess,as per your logic they are all just "rabid fans" who are "ranting" too?

    Get over it.Lara is second best. BEST doesn't only mean flamboyant.It means consistent,mentally tough,technically sound,etc etc........flair and flamboyance are just one part of the whole PACKAGE which you lara rabid fans keep harping on.

  • Ashish on February 5, 2008, 10:15 GMT

    More of the sensible arguements and discussion from Eddy and Adonis are welcomed, not the rants of so called 'cricket fans' such as 'Firdosh'and 'Ronit' These are the kind of Rabid fans the burnt the stand in the world cup when we were losing against Sri Lanka.

  • Robin on February 5, 2008, 8:18 GMT

    Tendulkar is definitely the superior batsman.

    batsmen in general are categorised as "attacking" or "defensive".( broadly)

    so you have the swaggering,dashing,swashbucklers: the carib batsmen,richards,lara,jayasuriya or even hayden etc.

    then the "solid" ones: boycott, gavaskar,dravid,kallis,atapatu..

    very rarely do you have the "classic" batsman who can also destroy attacks.

    Tendulkar manages to merge both styles seamlessly. He's just got to be the most" polished" batsman ever.

    With richards it was the swagger,arrogance,power. lara the frantic ,excessive windmilling of practically every limb. with tendulkar its like watching a zen master.perfect poise,balance,economy of movement.

    Lara's great when on song, but for some "unknown" reason you simply can't take your eyes off Tendulkar when he's batting.

    It's like GOD took him aside, sanded him down,polished him and slapped on a dozen coats of premier paint and then sent him to bat.

    SACHIN'S SIMPLY A WORK OF ART.

  • Madan on February 5, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    I believe somebody referred to Lara's high backlift as a weakness..true, but his footwork and reflexes were extraordinarily fast, which compensated for it. We all must also agree that mystifyingly, Sachin hasn't quite had the same impact in Tests as he did in ODIs...vice versa for Lara. Save the late 90s, I don't remember Sachin completely wresting a Test match out of the rival team's hands the way Lara did every once in a while. And on the same count, VVS Laxman too has more feathers on his cap than Sachin and as an unabashed Laxman-fan, I would say that the best innings of the whole India-Aus series was his century at Sydney. Sad that the controversy surrounding the match has marred the sheer magical quality of that innings. Sure, Laxman has weaknesses against the short delivery and is more prone to fishing outside off-stump early on than say Sachin...and yet on, when he is in his zone, his batting is as fluent as batting can possibly be.

  • Adonis on February 4, 2008, 23:16 GMT

    in the earlier blog, i was talking about the Impact of tendulkar as a player on Indian Cricket as well as world cricket.

    The current Indian Team is a bi product of the new age cricket in India that Tendulkar has brought along with him. He raised the bar and all the new age greats like Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, sehwag, Yuvraj started pouring in and he must be feeling happy to see India start winning over-seas so consistently. On the contrary, the plight of West Indian Cricket is for every body to see. Lara couldnot mobilise the cricket in his own country and the cricket kept losing to other sports [i dont have any stats to prove that], but the sides performance and potential can be taken as some indicator.

    Tendulkar is loved and respected rather say worshipped not only for the contribution in terms of making run but also in terms of taking the cricket to a new level that can best be followed.

    Lara is certain for his place among greats but Sachin has been a phenomenon.

  • Adonis on February 4, 2008, 23:06 GMT

    Eddy is correct in some ways that Lara had displayed a natural and exceptional talent through out his carrer and clearly has an edge ahead of Tendulkar when it comes to Tests. His uncanny ability to score big runs, ability of making runs at faster rate by way of exquisite stroke play makes him the best batsman to watch in Tests. But the table turns in Sachin's favour in the same way when in comes to One Dayers. And to add to that he stands on equal terms in Tests as well as he has more number of centuries than any body and its just a matter of time before he claims the lara's throne as the highest run getter in test cricket.

    But as every one says, Stats doesnot always do justice to assessing the imact of greatness. Its the impact on the game that matters the most...

    Contd...

  • eddy on February 4, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    thanks Ashish, at last an Indian and sachin supporter willing and able to discuss the great batsmen with a level head. Not simply ranting rubbish about Lara and grandure about sachin. i believe its this...and please dont take offence to what im about to write. The sachin supporters are more desperate to call their man the greatest because he is the one true superplayer india have produced. i hear the indian fans screaming about DEV AND Sunny. They were great players but not on the same level as Bradman, Warne ,Sobers, Viv, Lara, Lillie, Marshall, Khan and of course Sachin. do you agree?

  • Firdosh on February 4, 2008, 16:50 GMT

    I'd have to agree with "ronit" and "iskar"

    Tendulkar "IS" a far superior batsman. I think the infrequent Lara innings when he's swinging away with the high backlift and big flourish merely camouflage very obvious weaknesses..

    AS far as who I'd watch: Obviously SACHIN TENDULKAR!!! with lara i know im going to get a long string of low scores and then some big hundred.waste of money. With Tendulkar sustained brilliance and genius under the most unimaginable pressure! perfection,poise,balance,allround shotmaking whoooooo hoooooooo (instead of the cut,cut,cut,cut,coverdrive,cut,cut......zzzzzzzzzzzz) from lara! The only shot which Lara plays which is on par with or better than tendulkar is the CUT. Everything else the MASTER is better at. SO when all is said and done it's got to be TENDULKAR alllll the way!

  • Madan on February 4, 2008, 15:47 GMT

    It is only in the last few years with tendulkar fading that he has got hit on the head- never during his prime. With Lara it was almost a regular occurence.

    Right said..that was the hallmark of this India - Australia series...Tendulkar was the only batsman on either side barring the inhumanly huge Matthew Hayden :P to have never really been shaken off-balance or caught off-guard by the short ball. He got out in Adelaide to a short-pitched ball, but that probably had to do with his injury and the subsequent lapse of concentration. His ducking/weaving technique was immaculate and in Perth he feasted on the Brett Lee snorters, guiding them well over the slips for four. For that innovation alone, I would rank it as one of his best innings, though it wasn't the big century that it was probably meant to be. :(

  • Madan on February 4, 2008, 15:41 GMT

    I very nearly agreed with the very first comment on this thread, but then look into the records...only one Indian batsman - Virender Sehwag - has ever got to the triple century mark and surely Gavaskar, Sachin and Laxman among many others are closer to a bid for immortality than him!!

  • Ashish Patel on February 4, 2008, 14:32 GMT

    I must agree with 'Eddy' we do remember style and grace and attitude more than lust the stats but i must say that its all relative. Some people may like the more solid, classical text book stlye of Sachin's over the more flamboyont, riskyer play of Lara. I will agree with Eddy about the batsmans helmet, no one today, including Sachin would, could play without it. Thats why V Richards is still loved and respected today, as much for his destructive batting as his bravery. As an Indian supporter Kapil Dev, Azza and Ravi all played the game in such a way that we will remember them more foundly than Dravid or Manj. Tendulkar, i believe, is a exception to this rule. Not as exciting as Sehwag or attacking as Viv or as flamboyant as Lara but something special hard to describe. There is a genius in able to keep on going 20 years later, still scoring 100, after 100. Eddy clearly prefers Lara and thats fair enough but Sachin is unlike any batsman before him. Lara reminds me of Sobers on steroids.

  • eddy on February 4, 2008, 10:25 GMT

    I as trying to throw up a debate about the two great batsman of the past 15 years. Ive heard some very interesting comments from Sachin and Brian fans. Then you get people like 'Ronit'who say they have been watching cricket for forty years and that Lara couldnt hold a candle to Tendulkar. Now he either knows NOTHING about cricket/ batting or he is so blinded by his love of Tendulkar that logic and reason have gone out of the window. And answer me this, if wearing a helmet is a statement about how good or bad a batsmen is then NONE of todays players could compare to the players of the 40s 50s 60s and of course,Sir VIV. Come on guys dont let your heart blind you from seeing the truth and reading the stats. There is a cigarette paper between the two batsman. One is the greatest hundred maker of all-time and the other the highest inning maker. Both carried the team on their shoulders, both werent good captains, both played the game in the right spirit, both are record breakers.And my last And my last word on this matter. Answer me this.... Who would most watchers of cricket world wide rather watch? Gower or Border? Gavaskar or Greenidge? Dev or Haddlee? Viv or Miandad? Warne or Kumble? Lara or Tendulkar?

    All of the players i have mentioned ARE/WERE great. But what remains in the cricket watchers memory long after the players have gone is how the players played the game. iTs a lot more than just scoring runs and taking wickets, isnt it?.

    As a friend of mine once said 'Did i entertain?' 'Yes' the crowd shouted back.

  • sumit kumar sahu on February 4, 2008, 5:35 GMT

    i am a die hard fan of sachin.EAST OR WEST SACHIN IS THE BEST.even now i stop watching the rest of the match once sachin gets out.it was sachin who took INDIA single handedly into the semis of 1996 wc & finals of the 2003 wc.critics are always there to say something,but everytime he has proved them wrong.i hope that sachin's journey continues till 2011 wc.CHAK DE.....

  • Iskar on February 2, 2008, 7:54 GMT

    Tendulkar's "bid" for immortality?? He's already immortal! He's simply the "greatest" to zillions of fans.

    Just the other day Richie Benaud went on to say that Tendulkar's the best batsman he's seen since 1948! He ought to know.....

    As far as Lara is concerned , it's basically the high backlift and few big scores(most of them reaking of extreme selfishness). Tendulkar is a far superior batsman.

  • Ronit on February 2, 2008, 3:20 GMT

    ive been watching cricket for 40 yrs. lara can't hold a candle to tendulkar. its one thing tonking hapless spinners aroung. lara against super fast bowling( not the medium pace of mcgrath) is a joke. he has never dominated donald,akram,akhtar etc. tendulkar has dominated all of them at some point. Lara is very much a player of the modern age,he simply wouldn't have survived in the pre-helmet age. It is only in the last few years with tendulkar fading that he has got hit on the head- never during his prime. With Lara it was almost a regular occurence.

  • tg1 on February 1, 2008, 7:20 GMT

    JB - Immortality doesn't have anything to do with averages, stats, how long one was captain or any such thing. It comes from the number of people who think you are immortal, and on that count, Sachin would always be streets ahead of the likes of Lara and Hussey. Ricky though I am not so sure of as there would be billions of Indians willing to immortalise him for the stupid arrogant and dishonest excuse for a sportsman that he is...

  • JB on February 1, 2008, 4:44 GMT

    Tendulkar is a good batsmen but is not even close to immortal. There are numerous other batsman floating around with higher averages.

    At the moment Tendulkar can be compared say to a Matthew Hayden or Allan Border. I mean Tendulkar has played 50 more tests than Hayden, but only 7 more centuries, please gimme a break.

    And then there comes Don Bradman. To have Tendulkar mentioned in the likes of the Great Don is an insult in itself.

    Brain Lara, Ricky Ponting possibly with Michael Hussy with be the next echelon under the great Don. I am sure Lara would have scored a lot more runs, but it was a pity to see him start at such an age compared to many other cricketers.

    With Allan Borders average, it was made when Australia was at a low point, so he was always against better bowlers.

    Ponting, Border and Lara all captained longer than Tendulker did, without their averages suffering. Tendulkar will be remembered as good batsmen, but please do not mention immortal in the same line.

  • greg on February 1, 2008, 2:36 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is the most overated cricketer in the world, never has he scored on any pitch that favours fast bowling, the current series was played on 4 pitches dulled by the drought in Australia. I also found him a most unattractive player to watch, to compare him to Lara is farcical, the little master is a little imposter, I for one cannot wait to see the back of such dirges in pads as the likes of Dravid and Tendulkar

  • Hanif Gul on January 31, 2008, 19:02 GMT

    The greatness of Sachin has never been in doubt. But what is doubtful is his superiority over his rival Brian Lara. For an Indian it is hard to accept that Lare was slightly ahead of Tendulkar. But the fact is that Lara was the most entertaining, attacking and Versatile batsman of his generation. To say that Status guru is flawed is simply a reluctance to accept the fact. Tendulkar always struggled against the like of Wasim, Waqar, Donald, Ambrose, Mcgrath. Lara dominated the proceeding even against the best. To say that Tendulkar handled pressure better than him is again ridiculous. Tendulkar had the support of really able and consisten batsmens but Lara on the other hand singlehandedly tackled the oppositions. He scored runs in matches where rest of the batting was struggling. I must say that Indian fans should not make it a question of ego and recognize the genious of Lara. Surely Tendulkar is right there with him at the top. But on individual comparison Lara is better.

  • Shaurya Kumar on January 31, 2008, 16:45 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar...is god's child..who defines greatness..He is the deefinition of cricket and has taken batting to another level..Yes..dravid..lara..are great batsman as well..however Sir sachin is incomparable..god bless

  • raj on January 31, 2008, 14:56 GMT

    This is true both sunil and sachin is the greatest player in our indian cricket but there is more like vengsarkar and other and now with sachin rahul and saurav. and also in world there is lara who always batted good for his country but we have to know one more thing we dont have fast bowler like they have and they play againest always slow bowler and one more thing like DON BREADMAN was great batesman as well as he is a great man also but we have to remmber one more thing body line was start with him and now see compare with lara and sachin we can see much difference with them cherecter also u can see lara in pubs after day off but u cant see sachin as those kind of place both r great player but as a human i can say SACHIN IS THE BEST IN ALL OF THEM

  • Philip John Joseph on January 31, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    With all due respect to Tendulkar, and I am not claiming that mathematical ratings are the only things that count, because I certainly don't consider Bradman to be a great batsman, even though he has the best all-time rating; seeing as Douglas Jardine referred to Bradman as "yellow" in cowardice compared to other batsmen of his time; but Tendulkar's all-time highest rating according to Cricinfo is only 898 points, versus Brian Lara's 911 and Sunil Gavaskar's 916 which means that Tendulkar is neither better than Lara, nor is he the best Indian batsman ever. I think Gavaskar was better and the ratings would support that conclusion.

  • Prar on January 31, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    TO PRASHANTH: RE:"God first created Lara,Sachin was an afterthought". YOU bet!! HE then removed all the numerous flaws and produced a much better and finer product.

  • Binuja on January 29, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    Don't u think Rahul Dravid also deserves to be called one of the greatest Indian batsmen? Cricket os always about Sachin isnt it? This was evident yesterday, when they gave the Man of the Match award to SAchin rather than Sehwag who was the one who truly desewrved it (he single handedly saved the match, yet SAchin gets the award)!!

  • vigu on January 26, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    Tendulkar,Gavaskar,Don Bradman and Lara.One word to describe them is GREAT

  • George Bush on January 25, 2008, 13:12 GMT

    People say that no player is greater than the sport, might be true. But sometimes i wonder if the game will remain so glorious without greats like Sachin. Today in Adelaid we saw a high class contest between Sachin and Lee.Last year after the world cup i was also one of those who believed sachin should retire from one day cricket at leat, but now i want to see Sachin play will next world cup and next Aus tour. But..it just might not be possible. what pity..

  • eddy on January 25, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    25 th Jan

    A follow up to the Tendulkar, Lara debate. when i wrote my piece on Tendulkar's 232 inning (Lara's retirement inning) there was a arugement from some Sachin fans. Lara had several hundred more runs but Tendulkar had 4 more tons. The Sachin follows noted Lara'a huge run making in 'dead rubbers' i.e. 375, 400*. tendulkar score a 150 in the 2nd test and in the 4th test in the current series in Aus. which of these two tons were more valuable to him or the team. The second test century was when his side were only one down in the series and the second ton was scored after the series could not be won and the Chapple Gavaskar trophy already retained by Aus. 'Dead rubber' runs spring to mind? His first ton scored at a more valuable time did not prevent defeat, his second helped India amass 500+. As i have said before, a test run is a test run, even when they are scored at more important times of the game or the series they do not asure victory or prevent defeat.

    eddy, london

  • poor old bowler on January 25, 2008, 1:06 GMT

    the aussies are giving him to much respect again here in adielaide.

    i have seen tendulkar hit at least 15 shots in the air off his hip behind square,why not put a catcher in thier aswell as dry up the singles.if he wants to score he will have to hook and pull.

    it will also help get him out lbw because he will have to aim left or right of the catching square leg gully and if he misses his out lbw or maybe not with these umpires in charge of the game.

  • Ashok on January 24, 2008, 16:19 GMT

    A good read and even more relevant given Sachin's Adelaide century now. Here's to hoping he can go on, on day 2 and give India a platform for victory.

  • SAIF ZIA(DELHI) on January 22, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is a big burden on Team India.He never wants to try hard to score runs.He should be dropped in both forms of the game.Rahul Dravid 1 of the greatest batsmen of the game was dropped for the pakistan odi series .But actually Tendulkar should have been axed.Dravid was dropped for the tri series in Australia too.But Tendulkar retained his place in the squad.But Ganguly was dropped . That will save 75-125 runs in the match.

  • george koshy on January 21, 2008, 23:17 GMT

    People only ever talk of Sachin's batting. What they forget is that he was a handy bowler-with more than 100 ODI wickets-a feat unsurpassed by any of his competitors. Even if Ricky Ponting makes more test runs(and that is a big if and lets not compare Ponting's feeble ODI runs compared to the Little Master's and lets forget that Ricky will never deserve an epithet like Sachin's), he cannot be compared because where he falls pitifully low is his character. The Don was a great man and a cricketer, so too with Sachin. Ricky, Lara and the rest are one step below.

  • Santhanam on January 21, 2008, 7:55 GMT

    Sachin's contribution to Cricket (worldwide) is immense. Contribution by sachin todf Crickt is not just his game where records speak for themselves, but has palyed a larger role to cricket itself. I would think it may not be inappropriate to say that his consistent pre-eminence meant a stupendous flow of finance to the game from India as he had captured the heart and soul of most of India. In fact this finance has spilled over to other countires. Given that investment of these monies goes to development of the game in other parts of the world (20/20 could attract many new countries), one cannot fathom the facilitation role played by Sachin. Thanks Sachin and the team and people behind him. Santhanam

  • Rajeev on January 21, 2008, 5:28 GMT

    And we just forget how many times he was out not because of any virtue of bowler or opposition team but by the neutral gentleman in ground & gentleman like walk back to pavilion...He carries with himself The Grace of Great Game , to see him, fans of 8 to 80s comes to cricket ground forgetting their nationalities...pls don't make him mortal or immortal and let him be Sachin, It is he who has kept faith in Cricket after all the shabby business by bookies, it is he who has kept flag of puritan cricket & parallelly it is he who is showing the sparkling spontaneous cricket as well. Sachin is Just Sachin

  • Madhav Ajjampur on January 20, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    I would really like to know why my posts have never appeared on this blog. i've posted thrice now--in a fashion I consider pretty appropriate--and yet, they have all been summarily deleted. Could I please know why? Maybe it would help if I were told what I needed to avoid so that I could do that the next time around. After all, if you say that this is a cricket "forum" and then reject a post, surely the poster has a right to know what he did wrong. And I am a member of Cricinfo's online community too. Thank you.

    P.S: I have looked at the guidelines for posting too. And it seemed to me that nothing I wrote came across as inappropriate or offensive.

  • Mayur on January 20, 2008, 16:36 GMT

    Great Article, Mukul. I think that, contrary to what many think, Tendulkar's greatness will not be measured by his statistics, even though his ODI records are untouchable in the foreseeable future. Right or wrong, he will be remembered for his popularity, the way he held (and probably holds) the attention of the nation while he bats, for being the one-man army in the late nineties. In that sense, Sachin was immortalized by Indian cricket fans when he was 25. I am sure there will be better Indian batsmen in the future, but I doubt there will be another Sachin Tendulkar, if you know what I mean

  • Guru on January 20, 2008, 11:00 GMT

    Is it just my assumption or this eddy guy is really a maniac? He has pulled out some strange stats from somewhere to prove his point. eddy dude do you know Pontings average against Harbhajan? it is 9.5

  • Mahesh on January 20, 2008, 10:09 GMT

    One fact everyone forgets is that if people like Don Bradman, Shane Warne,Glen McGrath,Chris cairns, Ricky Ponting,Sunil Gavaskar,Viv Richards and many other greats of the game think Sachin is, if not the best,one among two of the best batsmen the world has ever seen, then there has to be something about this guy that lesser men like us do not understand. No one has bribed these greats or put a gun to their heads to make them pick Sachin as the best. And at the end of the day, if a young kid has to be shown videos of perfect drives,defense,cuts and pulls, I do not think you will try to get Poting's video for pull,Dravid for drive,Laxman for flick,Martyn for backfoot drive and Gavaskar for defense. It just needs to be be a few of Sachin's videos.

  • Senthil on January 20, 2008, 8:49 GMT

    Tendulkar has a shot at immortality only because of money hungry media. The way Tendulkar batted in that century innings at Sydney, it was crystal clear that he was so selfish to go unbeaten at the cost of scoring some precious run for the team. He actually gave Brad Hogg a maiden when the field was spread before Ishant got out next over. I find it extremely disheartening to see the lavish praise heaped on Tendulkar's innings when few more quick runs towards the end of the innings could have helped India save the test! Remember we lost the test by 7 balls and 7 minutes. Despite all the Sydney brouhaha I'd lay the blame at Tendulkar's feet. It's high time Tendulkar did some soul searching and retire for the benefit of Indian cricket.

    P.S: Entire media knew why India played the way they played at Melbourne, but no one dared to speak out in public. Shame that money is robbing India of fabulous victories!

  • kumar on January 20, 2008, 7:59 GMT

    Mukul, U are jumping from topic to topic, u are going with emotion that prevails at the current situation, hope every different thing is given its due importance and there is a lot of things that can spoken about. I read, Mike Colman writing, "In the space of a week the Australians got civilised...So instead of a confident, arrogant, winning team, we get a nice, civilised one. Maybe a losing one," it rued. It means a lot

  • Chris Burge on January 19, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    I think it is fantastic that Lara and Sachin will always be linked together. As an Aussie they always lifted against us (along with VVS) and I can only judge them on this. I think statistics are meaningless as cricketers now play so many tests (hats of to the 'Don though) so the records of cricketers pre 1990 really pale statisticly to our modern hero's. Cricket in general isn't remembered for overall statistics and averages but for great innings and efforts. Bob Massie took 16 wickets on debut and never really did much after and is a great of cricket. Lara and Tendulkar are the pinnicales of the modern game and the opinion of anybody won't change the fact that there legends. Enjoy the springs of talent while they flow stong. By the way, I always thought Lara did more in a inferior team. Burgeo

  • Karthik on January 19, 2008, 2:09 GMT

    Who of you agree with me that the change in Tendulkar from the dominant-Tendulkar to the mellowed-Tendulkar was brought about by the back-pain he sustained a few years back which limited the strokes he could play. Remember the down-the-track loft shot, he used to play so frequently in the late nineties? he was forced to stop playing this shot, ever since he developed the back pain. I feel that was the turning point.

  • rajendar on January 19, 2008, 1:06 GMT

    good comments ppl by far I been a tendulkar fans since I have noe cricket even tho. I am a guyanese he has a great status wen tendulkar bat I wud be glue to da tv,espically I odi I love watchin tendulkar n sehwag bats becuz der r two of the world best entertaintin bastman dey go after the bowler n dats the way u suppose to bat don't make da bowler trouble u,u go after dem n let dem n der skipper do the tinkin n tendulkar n sehwag r two person who does dat either dey get u or da bowler get u fair enough.tendulkar has a mind blowin record in odi n I don't tink anyone cuz break dat record.

  • Gunjan Indrayan on January 19, 2008, 0:18 GMT

    The article is well-written but I don't understand the motive behind it. You can't expect a man who has devoted more than half of his life so far to Indian cricket to play like a genius everytime. Its a truth that many of us do not expect anything less than a century from Sachin whenever he walks out. Is that reasonable? Have we forgotten those days in 90s when he single-handedly carried the Indian team towards a victory. We should also give him credit for his calmness and modesty despite all the success. Noticed the relief in his eyes when he scored 100 in Sydney recently? That was a fitting 'in your face' reply to all his critics. In the current era, Sachin is the best in both forms of the game and that is enough to make him immortal. There is no question of a bid. I am sure many of us still switch off our TVs/laptops when he gets out. All I request the Indian cricket fans is this... LEARN TO RESPECT YOUR HEROES. We should feel lucky to be around in an era when Sachin has played.

  • PJ on January 18, 2008, 22:36 GMT

    there was a good point made by some one that both the batsmen have played under a lot of pressure. but we r not discussing a pressure of a different kind. HOME EXPECTATION. While both played in pressure, West Indies in the late 1990s did not have that much of a pressure from the Home audience as no one expected heroics from then. on the other hand Sachi has always been and aways will be till his last day, play under the pressure of the crowd. Another great acpect of this player is the way he has handled this immense pressure and expectation of 1 Billion people. he is i my point of view way ahead of any one in the world in this respect, which adds to his greatness. Your Thoughts Guys

  • vta on January 18, 2008, 22:34 GMT

    Have you completely run out of topics to write about? Why not just pick up a non-issue, write a lot of drivel and pass it in your blog as journalism? How long are you going beat the same dead horse? This whole thing gets even more nauseous when you take into account the 40 odd jokers (that shamefully includes me now) commenting on what you vomited on your page; all this because you have because you have an obligation to write 1300 words. I am tired of your ilk, which is incidentally why I felt obliged to comment. And to all you posters, feeling like experts, get a life. You are nothing but a glorified back seat driver.

  • PJ on January 18, 2008, 22:30 GMT

    Eddy has some solid comments and there is no doubt that lara is the king of scoring big hundreds. we must not forget though, that these modern players are not just playing for their countries, but also un-contracted mentors for the younger generation. while Lara was flamboyant and a stylish player to watch, technically he was very vulurable to swinging and seamig ball. not to mention, he was very unstable on the crease. stats are just there to back player's ability but do they fit the so called term of modern player. Sachin is one of those complete player. he has been aggressive, has a sound technique, has the right attitude towards the game, and has proven his worth in both forms of the game. the only other player that fits this category is Ricky Ponting, who has been as good in both forms of the game. Lara no doubt one of the greats of the game, but his Technique and his ODI stats do not back the claim of him being the greatest. i think it has to be sachin and ponting and then rest

  • Vic on January 18, 2008, 20:07 GMT

    i personally think this is a very average article. You just used the name 'Tendulkar' to get some responses.

    He has been and always been a great player. In 2007 he averaged 56, which if I am not wrong is quiet good- even in your books. If a player scores the same no. of runs in a slightly diff. style doesn't make him a lesser player.

    Moreover, in this series he has played brilliantly- much better than most if not all indian players and better than ricky and hussey.

    he has attacked, played aggressive and was out in a unfortunate fashion at times- so please don't come up with this articles about what he once was and how he has changed...

  • Nobody on January 18, 2008, 20:02 GMT

    To be in the limelight for so long and to perform so consistently during that entire period puts him in the greatest of all time top 5 without a shadow of a doubt. He is a joy to watch and he has undoubtedly carried himself as professionally as one can throughout this life and career. However he may fare from here on in, neither he nor his dedicated service to India will ever be forgotten. We can only hope that he can use his reputation and stature for the betterment of his people once he does decide to retire.

  • shivan on January 18, 2008, 18:05 GMT

    Tendulkar is indeed one of the greatest batsmen to ever play the game.One must remember the immense pressure he is under every time he goes out to bat.We must also realise that the latter part of his career has been plagued by injuries.A batman's greatness should be measured by his ability to dominate the best-Gavaskar did it with the West Indies and Tendulkar is doing it with Australia.He is simply the best ever in BOTH forms of the game and this is where he has the advantage over Lara.He is an immoratal.Simply a talent to behold,ask Shane Warne!

  • jaspreet on January 18, 2008, 17:58 GMT

    I second Ravi's thoughts above - 'Get over individual brilliance guys'. And yes Sachin is brilliant.

    There are 2-3 of batsman I'd count on when going get tough in 2nd inings of a test. Sachin is one but not the top of my list for that.

  • Vik on January 18, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    With all due respect your article is a bunch of rehashed tripe.

    Right from the assertion that great batsmen should dominate and play with the same greateness, not to mention physical agility as when they were much younger men, to the downright jaded and repeated phrase that Tendulkar's last century against quality opposition came in 2005.

    You base your entire premise on ONE example of Gavasker played great throughout his career? What about the dozens of other greats that didn't dominate throught their career and altered their game? You conveniently leave out their example because that doesn't fall in line with the premise of your blog.

    Just like you parrot the oft repeated, but never really understood figure that Tendulkar's last century against quality opposition came in 2005.

    You're clever enough to look up or repeat that part of it yet you're obtuse enough to ignore the various 90s Tendulkar made against England away and other such great knocks?

    What rubbish.

  • Andy on January 18, 2008, 16:00 GMT

    If stats is the parameter to compare Greatness, then After the Great Don, it would be Hussey. Move on people. We are talking about two legends here. One was brilliant right hander and the other was a majestic left hander. It is a big crime to compare the two modern greats. Reading in the comments, Ponting's name crops up. Where does Ponting fit in? He is nowhere close to Sachin and Lara. Remember both Sachin and Lara carried their teams expectations. They were under constant pressure. Ponting has never really experienced the pressure to perform as experienced by Sachin and Lara. It is easier to perform when one is under the radar and then stake his claim to greatness. Sachin and Lara have proved time and again that they are masters of the big stage. So lets sit back and enjoy the little master for now. After his retirement, the game will definitely move on but it will never be the same again for most cricket loving folks. Stats??? Lets leave it to the commentators and the critics.

  • niranjan on January 18, 2008, 15:58 GMT

    sachin is greatest batsman only you have doubt

  • claptoni on January 18, 2008, 15:06 GMT

    its merely cosmetic that tendulkar didnt dominate in some of his post 2000 innings. compare this with lara who people say continued his blazing ways till the end...lara hardly made big runs in australia when the team started off in a test series. In this era playing in the 'den' would be making good runs against australia. while tendulkars 241 was dour and utilitarian in comparioson..it came when the test series could still be won. unlike lara who usually made heavy runs when team was down in the dumps in aus.(this is post 1992). Also i doubt dominating the opposition is a prerequisite for 'immortality'...otherwise how would gavaskar have achieved it?

  • Abhinav on January 18, 2008, 14:41 GMT

    Sachin is still the best player around and you can judge it merely by the fact that almost 60% ppl still stop watching the match when he gets out (me included in dat- although in the 90s, the percentage was above 95%), to sustain it over 20 yrs and still going is a testament to his commitment,he was, is and will for ever be the GOD of cricket, he by a long margin is still the most worshipped cricketer in the world, the person who carries billion hopes, and has done so for the past 18 odd yrs, mere mortals wudnt have survived, let alone flourish under such pressure , keep going GOD

  • Andrew Connolly on January 18, 2008, 14:23 GMT

    You can only compare batsmen with their contemporaries. And none of Bradman's contemporaries averaged more than 60 either ... the lack of science was balanced by uncovered wickets etc. etc.

    Tendulkar and Lara may be best to watch of this generation - although Ponting, Kallis & even Dravid statistically compare favourably (Ponting particularly so), but Bradman is a level above everyone for the best of all time.

    To suggest otherwise is to ignore history.

  • armchairjohnny on January 18, 2008, 13:21 GMT

    A lovely thoughtful piece by Mukul. A true measure of a batsmen is more than mere stats (cannot believe people have wasted time to analyse Lara v Tendulkar yet again... what time people must have on their hands!)...

    Greatness is both a state of emotional rapture and dignity. Yes there are other cricketers who have enraptured us in the way Tendulkar has... the Lara's, the Warne's etc ... BUT when it comes to dignity and humility Tendulkar makes them all appear mortal. Hence, Tendulkar's obvious genius along with his unsullied dignity is what makes him truly special. That, and the fact that Shane Warne, the greatest bowler who ever lived, agrees with me.

    PS -

    Lara may have been a marginally better test batsmen than Tendulkar, but Tendulkar was the better over-all batsman, a better cricketer, and BY FAR a better person :-)

  • Niraj on January 18, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    It would be blasphemy to question Sachin's credentials. However I honestly hope for his sake that 2008 shall be the beginning of this epic - volume 2. I also wish that he adds a few more 2nd innings masterpieces to his Test resume, like the 155 not out vs Oz and the 136 vs Pak (both at Chennai)

  • Ramesh Narayan on January 18, 2008, 12:27 GMT

    A very good article. Tendulkar will not read this, but I would like to say, I have seen him in his youth, and in his pomp. I have seen him play as though India's future depended on it, in recent times. All I say, is play the way you are capable of, it is time others played those long grinding innings. Or they will never learn. Mr Tendulkar, you and VVS Laxman have rare gifts.Don't let both your legacies be of passion denied on the one hand, of filling a hole others are better suited to doing, and then leaving none to fill it.

  • Darth Vader on January 18, 2008, 12:20 GMT

    Firstly, an excellent piece from Mukul. And, a pretty good analysis by Eddy, not withstanding the relevant comments from Beware Eddy Boy.

    Two things:

    1. It doesn't make sense to compare people across generations because you introduce too many variables. The best endorsement of a player is what his peers think about him. And, both Sachin and Lara have had their share of fans from amongst the playing fraternity.

    2. On the arithmetic of Batting Average computation: Not Outs - one should apply an average not out % to be fair to the batsmen being compared, or simply divide Number of runs by number of innings. (as Eddy has done).

    Otherwise, we will have Bevan like anomalies.

    We ought to be able to separate "exploits" against particularly weak oppositions like Bangladeshs or Zimbabwe from the rest of the record - it is simply not fair to include mammoth, average boosting scores against either of these nations.

  • Steve Alpress on January 18, 2008, 12:18 GMT

    Excellent remark by Beware Eddyboy Even I was surprised when Eddy mentioned the stats of Tendulkar and Lara against Aussie bowlers. Against Warne/Mcgrath, the cumulative number of runs scored by Tendulukar is more than double that of Lara's. Just check the espn score stat

  • vineet Gupta on January 18, 2008, 12:03 GMT

    I can't understand one thing why in the GOD's name people dish out so many statistics whenever a topic comes about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. I haven't understand what they want to prove with these numbers. I mean, seriously I have never seen this kinda scrutiny on any other player. If Sachin fails thats a problem, if he scores then he did't score fast enough, he did't score with cover drives blah blah..Ponting failed in 4 of the 5 innings against India, no body is questioning but with Sachin we have to analyze every shot every inning, thats ridiculous. And as someone said, his immortality was never in question and never will be.

  • R.P.Panday on January 18, 2008, 7:42 GMT

    TEndulkar should have scored some runs today.He has just dissapointed his fans and shuttered the millions dream.Although I am from Nepal I have loved the Sachin way of scoring run and his discipline.There should be one award announced By ICC,naming the most discipline player of the era or lets say of the decade.Anyway I am sure that this superb talent,amazing strokes making ability and hunger of runs will never be stop.Lara has played till in his late 30s,Sachin should do the same.I admire those who entertained me,who is entertaining me and will enterain in the future.Sachin increase the weight of your bat,Please!!!!!!!!

  • Pradeep on January 18, 2008, 7:33 GMT

    Everyone seems to b interested in Sachin,a batsman & not Sachin a Cricketer & a Humble Human.Can anybody tell me any 1 cricketer who can bowl both offspin & legspin & also medium pacers?Is there any player who had never fielded in the Slips during better part of his career but later on transformed himself into a Slip fielder after almost 17 years of Intl Cricket? How can one question his Commitment even after knowing this.He's probably the only Sportsperson who has ever been criticised even after Splendid Performance! Nobody can forget how the media spread stats that when he scored a 100,India loses.This might b a co-incidence but it's not the way u treat a great player who has dedicated more than half of hs life to Indian Cricket(He's just 34 & has represented India in Intl Cri for more than 18 years i.e 53% of his lifetime)Well done Sachin.Keep playing for India until u feel that u must retire.U r d Best judge of ur Ability.Never care for these useless critics. Good Luck Team India.

  • Cric Lover on January 18, 2008, 6:28 GMT

    Sachin is awesome. There is no question of his position is world cricket. He is Number 1 always. Hoping to see many more glorious innings from the Little Master. Sachin U ROCK.

  • rup on January 18, 2008, 5:57 GMT

    I would take this opportunity to draw your attention to a couple of issues in the hope that cricket is played in the best interests of all stakeholders. In resolving these items, you may have to wear the board cap and preferably that of an elder statesman.

    1. You will recall that the Pakistan captain Rashid Latif was banned for five ODIs by South African match referee Mike Procter for claiming an illegal catch in a Test match against Bangladesh. The incident occurred on September 6, 2003 during the third and final Test of the series in Multan when Latif claimed a dropped catch against middle-order batsman Alok Kapali and the umpire upheld the appeal of the fielding side.

    Television

  • Longmemory on January 18, 2008, 5:16 GMT

    I can't quite put my finger on what is wrong with this piece by MK, and in many responses to it as well. We're told the "real story" of the last year from an "Indian" POV is Tendulkar's bid for immortality. I don't think it is. The real story is we have never understood that cricket is a team game and about team victories and defeats. I don't know what's cause and what's effect here. Are we obsessed with individual performances bcoz our sorry record in cricket leaves us no choice? Or is it that we have such a sorry record bcoz of our obsession with individual records? I don't know. I do know the tenor of the piece lends itself to statistical "proofs" that various respondents offer to show X player is better than Y. I fear we are missing the forest for the trees. The Windies reigned supreme in the '80s coz they were the best team - not bcoz Richards was a very good batsman or Holding a great bowler.

  • Prashanth on January 18, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    God first created Lara, Sachin was an afterthought.

  • raman on January 18, 2008, 3:09 GMT

    Just on the Lara note.....

    Lara is still going strong, though not at national level. The last first class game he played (carib beer series inside west indies)....he scored 123 in the 1st inning and 57 (from 23 balls) in the 2nd innings with 3 6's...hmmm!

  • eddy on January 17, 2008, 23:53 GMT

    So i believe the statsguru gives us a false view of Tendulkars performences against the aussies. please correct me if im wrong, is that not the same for lara? Oh i remember lara only has 6 not outs and tendulkar has 25. if fact of the top 60 to 70 top test scorers of all time lara has the lowest not out figure 6 (along with Gooch,Kanhai,and beefy. Leaving the nitty gritty of stats behind perhaps my second piece on this blog is more to the indian fans liking. i find the indian fans very passionate about Tendulkar, their one true champion of all time. i myself love tendulkar as a player and gentleman although there was somthing special about Azharuddin.

  • Vivek Samdarshi on January 17, 2008, 23:21 GMT

    Tendulkar vs Lara.... Lara had the expectations of maybe a few million people, the interest of maybe a few more million and the interest of a country whose national sport is probably basketball(I.e. west indies).... For one thing, when Sachin goes out to bat i have to hold my breath and cant even watch him bat. Thats how much i want him to do well. Thats the sort of pressure i feel when he bats. There is no comparison of the pressure that man has had to bear and the expection which he carries for others. When i say other i mean a billion people..... The biggest test...When you ask an Aussie who is the greatest in the modern era they generally say Sachin...Thats compliment !! The biggest shame has been that the BCCI has focused Indian cricket on ODI's. Pointing has almost played the same no. of tests as Sachin now. But Tendy has been playing for another 5yrs more. Does that make sense 2u? If India played a lot more test cricket i think u wud hav seen that it wud be a different story !

  • poor old bowler on January 17, 2008, 23:16 GMT

    tendulkar is batting well but the umpires refuse to give him out lbw,he should have been out twice lbw in sydney to micheal clarke and andrew symonds should of had him out lbw for 40 in this test both its cost australia extra runs,if you get a extra life thiers no excuse not to score a 100.rahul dravid was plumb lbw for 70 and he went on to score another 20 runs.whats the point in bowling if the umpire wont give out lbws.i bet if the don had a extra life he would of scored a big hundred.

    the aussies are showing tendulkar to much respect,they had two men back for the hook and tendulkar didnt play one hook shot,i would take one of these men and put him in short cover and stop all the singles sachin was hitting and keep him on strike for more balls and make play a rash shot,make him hook or make him look for singles in another area.his scoring to many easy singles in cover.

    australia were too soft in this test match and let india play easy cricket,stuff the spirit of cricket

  • Josephus72 on January 17, 2008, 23:15 GMT

    I'm thoroughly enjoying watching Sachin thoroughly enjoying his time in the middle during the current tour of Australia. He appears a man relishing the all-too-rare opportunity of battling the undisputed world champions on their home turf and in the most beautiful and meaningful format of the game. To me, it's clear that in the later stages of his career, only the truly big challenges really get Sachin's juices flowing and focuses his concentration levels so sharply. Sachin has already booked his place (regardless of how he performs for the remainder of career) in the rarefied air of the hall of the greatest bats in history and with Hobbs, Richards, Sobers, Hammond and (as is looking increasingly likely) Ponting. Bradman is of course in a golden tower adjacent to the hall, an average of about 40 steps further up. Fans therefore, should delight in this swashbuckling and elegant Tendulkar now for I he will ease back once the ultimate prize of an Aussie scalp is no longer on offer.

  • Scott on January 17, 2008, 23:14 GMT

    LARA undoubtedly has a larger stomach for scoring runs than Tendulkar. But the difference here is that Sachin played under the UNSURMOUNTABLE PRESSURE of a billion fans who expect a century from him in every innings. You have to give it to him for getting the runs he got under this pressure. Anyways, great article Mukul.

  • Aman on January 17, 2008, 22:58 GMT

    Kallis will break all records as a batsman and allrounder. Unbelievably consistent player.

  • Akhilesh on January 17, 2008, 22:53 GMT

    In 1998, he had around 6,500 runs in one-dayers. In 2008, he is about to cross 16,000 runs in one-dayers and people have been saying that his second half of the career hasn't been as good as his first half. People also say that he is not a match-winner. Could someone tell me how do you get most no. of 'man-of-the-match' awards without being a match winner?? Shane Warne once said that you can't please everyone.

  • Vijay on January 17, 2008, 22:27 GMT

    When are we going to stop swooning over tendulkar's brilliance and talk about winning matches ? It is highly ludicrous to suggest that this austrlian tour is about tendulkar's immortality and not about Winning the series. I am a big Tendulkar myself but these sort of articles are in really bad taste. He played very well as he has done in the past and will continue to do well in the future. But what abt our team ? This kind of hero worship is actually preventing our team to do well. Talent wise, the sub continent teams match the Australians but this level of adulation is what prevents us from being the No 1 team in the world. Sometimes I wish if we stopped watching cricket then Our team will start playing like the Australians :)

  • Jamie Dowling on January 17, 2008, 22:25 GMT

    You can make stats argue whatever case you want to. Greatness is something that is measured with emotion too: there are players whose presence and play makes people emotional in ways that other players can't. Lara? Good player. Doesn't get much emotional response from me. Ponting? Same. Kallis? Now here's someone who gets my emotions going - he is a great player (but could be even better!). Sachin? When I read about his recent comeback and his driving through the covers off the back foot, tears ran down my cheek. Nobody else has ever achieved that.

    Then there's the way the player has conducted himself over the years. Lara? Ponting? Gavaskar? Not a touch on Sachin.

    It's emotional, a gut thing beyond computers and stats. It's joy, admiration, thinking "now there's someone who embodies the Spirit Of Cricket".

    Try another question: As a person (not a star batsman), would you want them in your family? Stats can't answer that question for you!

  • Omer Admani on January 17, 2008, 21:53 GMT

    Watch Lara on song and watch Sacin on song. There shouldn't be any doubt that Lara is the greater of the two. Also, Dravid, Laxman, Mohammad Yousof, Kallis are also equally great players. Sachin's record in 4th innings, the toughest conditions in which to bat, is dubious. I suppose that should also be a major consideration in judging the best test batsmen. Another thing to note is that a 20-year career hasn't produced a match-tunring knock like Laxman's at Calcutta. Dravid, on the other hand, has performed in most of India's major away wins and draws. However, Tendulkar is the greatest one-day batsman along with Adam Ghlicrist.

  • Dunald Dock on January 17, 2008, 21:39 GMT

    Eddy, your stats about batsman v bowler, derived from stats guru's stats, are seriously flawed. It only considers the average when the batsman got out. Lara scored many runs agains the two great bowlers, but he also got out many times to them. Tendulkar got out to these two on very few occations. When he did not get out to them, he scored very highly. If you have been following Australian cricket for long enough, you would know that his REAL AVERAGE (especially against Warne) is a log higher than what you think it is)

  • valvolux on January 17, 2008, 21:38 GMT

    It's incredible reading the indians respones and support for journalism blinded by patriotism like that of Gavaskar. Clarke waited to see the finger even though it was clearly out. No rules broken, indian uproar. Ricky Ponting went forward on an agreement made between him and the indian captain. No rules boroken, indian uproar. Symonds refused to walk when the umpire failed to give him out. No rules broken, indian uproar. Harbhajan racially abuses Symonds - rule broken,india threatens to pull out of tour. Simply because millions of indians think Tendulker is the more trustworthy does not make him a million times more trustworthy than Roy. The illogical indian response has given the rest of the world every reason to dislike them. I rmemeber after 05 when we aussies were accusing england of some unsporting tactics...which was dismissed as sour grapes. Our response - we went back and trained harder than we ever had before and smashed them 5-0 a year later - sure felt better than whinging.

  • legspin on January 17, 2008, 21:29 GMT

    continued from my previous post When these guys were at thier peak no centuries to the "If he gets his mind right" Lara except Australia.Tendulkar i think 11. 2) All the new greats and including Lara has been more consistent from 2001 the Haydens,Gillys,Pontings,Laras,Kallis have scored from 2001 on when the bowling is at its worst.All these AUstralians cant play swing.Lara is a genius against sping and medium pace not real pace proven by my 1st point.Kallis poor against the best team Australia which is the only country with a decent attack.Tendulkar is a complete player.Attack and Defence immaculate. 3) I see a guy called Eddy has posted with averages comparing Tendulkar and Lara.Against McGratth Tendulkar in 99 & 2001 more than 500 runs.Against Warne night mares to him. 4) and last but not the least the mirror Tendulkar looked into says He is the Great one and again i dont care what anyone says.

  • legspin on January 17, 2008, 21:28 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is the GOAT.Bloody let anybody dispute this i dont care He is my Greatest Hero. 1) Crazy Expectations as Warne said people expect 2 wickets to go down quickly to see the Great One bat. 2) All the endorsement/money in cricket is primarily due to the "Great One".Now every Tom,Dick & Harry endorses from undi to lungi. 3) Level headed individual/Great family man a role model for all.Is that what superstars are for? is it not.Not some weed smoking ,dame screwing kind 4)Most important of all is the amount of happiness he has given by his exploits.Even if there is a great despair in our Nation one Tendulkar ton was enough to lift the spirits.I dont remeber any player giving such a satisfaction. Dont belittle by saying he does not play in the crunch situation and all such crap and even if anybody does i give 2 hoots.

    Now to Cricket. 1) From 90's on no good bowlers to left handers.Only Akram,Waqar,Donald,more SA's and definelty Ambrose and Walsh and the australians.

  • Madhav Ajjampur on January 17, 2008, 21:03 GMT

    And yes, Eddy above might have misinterpreted some these stats but he gets right at the heart of the debate when he avers that Lara's fewer not outs indicate his immense burden all through his career. He WAS the WI team; and my goodness! what a team he was! Innings like the 153* againsy Aus, the 196 against SA, the 213 against Aus, the 277 against Aus are immortal innings replete with such breathtakingly staggering strokes; vicious cuts and glorious caresses through cover, devastating pulls and finer-than-silk-fabric late cuts, he played them all with a serene languid grace and brought joy to the millions those who witnessed them. True, he too might have had this unfortunate tendency to attempt flashy cuts to wide balls, but he MORE than made up for it with his virtuosity. To alter that famous Churchill apophthegm is to describe him: "There goes God".

  • Ram on January 17, 2008, 21:00 GMT

    To all those who are becoming emotional about supporting Sachin's value and position in the annals of cricket history, calm down & take a deep breath. Sachin is great and no one can deny that. He is disadvantaged to a large extent as the support cast in his team was so mediocre, that he often ended up on the losing side. Till Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman and Saurav arrived on the scene, he battled alone. When he retires, his biggest disappointment will be that he was never part of world cup winning team, though he richly deserves this. He had an opportunity in 2003, but squandered it foolishly. I still remember how he was set up fr that dismissal. I also agree with the popular notion that he generally fails when India desperately needs him to fire. Did you ever wonder that even debutants are not worried when they are bowling to him. I wish to see Sachin so aggressive that Brett lees/Shaun Taits should refuse to bowl, as he almost threatens them with his presence. I know, it wont happen.

  • Ankur on January 17, 2008, 20:52 GMT

    kesavan you say gavaskar's claim to greatness was that he resigned on a high. Well if that's a valid claim to greatness then almost every non-Indian player is a genius. They don't have to be asked to go, they leave on their own, unlike our selfish desis.

  • ashok on January 17, 2008, 20:50 GMT

    shows how typically one sided we are when we say the highlight is not Australia winning 16 tests on a trot, but an individual batsman making 60's and 70's in a lost cause. Especially after the same batsman was once accused of selfishness when he complained of being declared out of a double century

  • balwinder on January 17, 2008, 20:46 GMT

    only in cricket do we have such silly meaningless comparison articles. And only by Indians

  • Ramdurai on January 17, 2008, 20:41 GMT

    It's quite clear how pathetically biased we Indians are.

  • Madhav Ajjampur on January 17, 2008, 20:31 GMT

    True, Tendulkar is playing very well, but to jump on the bandwagon of people who are falling over themselves to slather praise on his 'return' is going to far. For one thing, there really never was too much 'old glory' . True, he did play those stunning innings in Australia in 92-93 and against SA in 96;especially praiseworthy given that he WAS the Indian batting then. But, to say that he is a non-pareil genius is just going to far. For one thing, I believe that he has never been a very technically proficient batsman. He has this incorrigible tendency to fish outside his offstump and that he played his Sydney innings of 241 by eschewing this stroke tells all. And to add my $.02 to the Lara-Tendulkar debate, let us just focus on the emotional impact viewing their batting has; and in that aspect Lara's majesty lies stratums above. He is pure, unadulterated GENIUS. And the Don's words and yours regardless, Tendulkar shall NEVER ever approach that sublimity of strokeplay. Never.

  • ravi on January 17, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    how can you rank a batsman who made such a noise when his captain declared when he was on 194, as a great batsman. Isn't this pure jingoism on our part.

  • Andymonkey on January 17, 2008, 20:03 GMT

    How about the bad decisions going against Tendulkar, no umpire in this world has spared Tendulkar. How many wrong decision Pointing got none on the top of it he gets more chance to bat even though he his out. So if you include this into the stats, Pointing would be around 52 and if you take out all the unfair decisions to Tendu, his average might be clsoe to 65. Also do not forget about the stupid sledging about Aussies calling mental disintegration.

  • Andymonkey on January 17, 2008, 20:01 GMT

    How about the bad decisions going against Tendulkar, no umpire in this world has spared Tendulkar. How many wrong decision Pointing got none on the top of it he gets more chance to bat even though he his out. So if you include this into the stats, Pointing would be around 52 and if you take out all the unfair decisions to Tendu, his average might be clsoe to 65. Also do not forget about the stupid sledging about Aussies calling mental disintegration.

  • tonyblair on January 17, 2008, 19:52 GMT

    sachin is one of the gods of cricket. no one will ever come close to carrying on the torch of humility and flame of regality as he has done throughout his career. give obeisance u stupid aussie team

  • Hariharan on January 17, 2008, 19:46 GMT

    Sachin will remain as the best batsman in both forms of cricket as long as cricket is being played in future. There is little doubt if his records would be captured considering the fact that there are many and many more to come. His close contender would be Ponting but it is highly unlikely that he would achieve this given the fact that the Aus selectors have the reputation of axing any players on performance, age and consistancy. Sachin may play for the next 2-3 years but i doubt if Ponting would sustain upto that many years.

  • Hariharan on January 17, 2008, 19:45 GMT

    Sachin will remain as the best batsman in both forms of cricket as long as cricket is being played in future. There is little doubt if his records would be captured considering the fact that there are many and many more to come. His close contender would be Ponting but it is highly unlikely that he would achieve this given the fact that the Aus selectors have the reputation of axing any players on performance, age and consistancy. Sachin may play for the next 2-3 years but i doubt if Ponting would sustain upto that many years.

  • Vekram on January 17, 2008, 19:18 GMT

    When did a 300 against Australia become the definitive indicator or everlasting genius? Gavaskar never scored a 250 even. Dravid doesn't have a 300 under his belt. Sehwag has a 300 against Pak, does that make him a shade lesser than a genius for eternity? Sachin's greatness is laid in stone due to the fact that he was 16, a mere schoolboy, when started out and has been playing virtually nonstop since then, barring a few injuries a couple of years. Add to the that the unrealistic hopes of a billion, and you have a burden even Hercules would have found difficult to bear. Lara played the big innings better, Steve Waugh saved more matches and Dravid consolidated the innings better. But Sachin carried a team single handedly through the nineties, inspired a whole generation and made every schoolboy cricketer a wannabe Sachin. Stats alone, favourable or unfavourable, do not do justice to Sachin's cricketing genius or influence.

  • Amar on January 17, 2008, 19:07 GMT

    What a great description of a batting genius like Sachin Tendulkar! I have always felt that his average does not reveal the flair with which he has played throughout his career. We have had a good share of great batsmen in this era - ganguly, dravid, & laxman, and some brave bulldogish batsmen like yuvraj and dhoni, but if I was to compare 50 runs made by tendulkar and 50 runs by some other batsman, I will enjoy tendulkar's knock more. I hope this is not a temporary phase in tendulkar's life where he is in kind of a mid-life crisis, but hope it stays til the day I dread to imagine - the day he retires.

  • Jay from San Diego on January 17, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    the last sentence in the column "..well stand on the pedestal that Bradman chose for him and which Cricket reserves for her most durable geniuses." says it all for the Little Master.

    Excellent write this was.

  • Aashish Mittal on January 17, 2008, 18:11 GMT

    Sachin is the reason i fell in love with the game..and he is cricket for me and millions of others all over

    However, I disagree on one point...the date of change in Sachin aura amongst people...

    It came not in 2001 but ironically while playing his greatest innings, the tragic hundred against pakistan at chepauk in 1999.

    During the match he battled back spasms, which lead to his first absence due to injury from the indian team.

    1998 was the year sachin transformed from the young kid who would be the greatest to the man who was greatest. He was in the best form of his life and mind boggling things were expected of him in the future. Unfortunately, injury put paid to all that...he returned, and there was something missing. since then, the aura of sachin has only been felt intermittently. he has had to eschew shots, use lighter bats, and think of himself as the senior pro.

    Sachin will still break all the records...he is still the best...but something was lost after 1999

  • BEWARE EDDY BOY 2 on January 17, 2008, 17:35 GMT

    Please read my earlier entry under BEWARE EDDY BOY Another example is the CHENNAI test 1998 india vs aus. Sachin got out to warne in 1st innings for 4. However in 2nd innings he made fabulous 155 NOT OUT and blasted Warne all over. But at the end of that test the average of sachin vs Warne is only 4 because till then warne had got sachin out only once and in that innings sachin had made only 4 runs, now if warne had got sachin out in the 2nd innings then STATSGURU would have put all of the sachin's runs (155 in this case) against Warne's name, whether a large of it was scored against other bowlers too. Now Poor Glenn Mcgrath got VVV Laxman Out for 281 in Kolkata, it doesn't mean that all runs were scored against his bowling, but STATSGURU states that, and if some other bloke would have got Laxman, Statsguru would not have taken into account that innings while doing MCGRATH Vs LAXMAN analysis..which means Laxman didn't score any runs against Mcgrath during that epic 281.

  • BEWARE EDDY BOY 1 on January 17, 2008, 17:33 GMT

    EDDY you stated (using STATSGURU) that TENDULKAR MADE ONLY 117 RUNS AGAINST Warne and 122 against Mcgrath. However there is a serious flaw in it. While comparing the BATSMAN vs BOWLER stats, the statsguru takes into account only those innings in which that particular bowler has got that batsman out and doesn't count the runs if the batsman was got out by some other bowler or remained notout. While doing so it takes into account the all the runs that batsman scored in that innings, whether it was scored against other bowlers. For example at the end of the Melbourne Test between india and australia, Stuart clark had got tenduljkar out once and that happened in the first innings of that test, Sachin scored 62 runs in that innings, so that stasguru stated that sachin's average against stuart clark is Runs scored/no. of outs which is 62/1=62 now many of those runs were scored against other bowlers but since Clark got sachin out it put all of runs in front of his bowling.read rest in EDDY 2

  • BEWARE EDDY BOY on January 17, 2008, 17:24 GMT

    Mukul again a nice piece....i wonder how i have turned into your fan from a vocal critic of yours till the start of this series, when you criticized Yuvi; but that's a typical indian fan for you.....blow hot and cold...However, can you please contact this EDDY guy who has been mislead by the shortcomings of Statsguru. He states that TENDULKAR MADE ONLY 117 RUNS AGAINST Warne and 122 against Mcgrath and has a averahe of 39 and 22 against them respectively, actually this is what statsguru says. However there is a serious flaw in it. While comparing the BATSMAN vs BOWLER stats, the statsguru takes into account only those innings in which that particular bowler has got that batsman out and doesn't count the runs if the batsman was got out by some other bowler or remained notout. While doing so it takes into account the all the runs that batsman scored in that innings, whether it was scored against other bowlers. For example at the end of the Melbourne Test between india and australia, Stu

  • VTrumper on January 17, 2008, 17:22 GMT

    Sachin has proven himself often enough that I don't need to come up with yet another reason why he is one of the best batsmen to have ever played the game. What I would add is that it's splitting hairs to look at batsmanship without considering the context in which a particular innings occurred. There's nothing wrong with a batsman batting according to the situation. Let's not forget a good many people consider the Don a technician rather than an artist -- meaning he was an accumulator more than someone who regarded batting as a form of "self-expression." Presumably, then, Mark Waugh (for example) was a better "artist" but no-one (not even Mark Waugh) would ever say he was a better batsman than the Don.

    I take issue with the statement that a batsman can only possess "greatness" by having scored a triple-century against Australia. Whose definition is that? In that case, the Don fails! Given that this conlusion is ridiculous, the proposition is therefore the same.

  • Ravi on January 17, 2008, 16:52 GMT

    Get over individual brilliance guys. You always root for individual idiots and as a team we always suck. Just winning one or two matches here and there. We haven't won the world cup from past 25 years and still every time we go (and fail, ofcourse) we still carry the false hope. Encourage other sports. Don't get me wrong here. I was one of the guys who was sachin-out-TV-off and also I play cricket every season too. As a team, we always fail.

  • kinshuk on January 17, 2008, 16:34 GMT

    someone has mentioned tht mukul once rated gavaskar better than sachin..nd tht he was wrong in doing so.. both were special because they changed the way the indian cricket team was seen....gavaskar showed to the world that we could handle fast bowling while sachin showed them that we could dominate them as well.. but i wonder if sachin'ld have been as successful against the west indian pace battery nd other genuinely fast guys like lillee nd thompson...he's a wonderful batsman, but, apart frm warne, there isn't one legendary bowler he's been consistent against...i still remember how he'ld get delightful 30's against donald, akram or waqar, nd then get out..against the pak and south african attacks his average is still very poor..which is why i personally rate gavaskar a little higher..because he scored against better attacks in more trying circumstances, in the company of fragile batsmen and incompetent bowlers nd i rate ponting lower than sachin bcoz of similar reasons...

  • Ashwin on January 17, 2008, 16:15 GMT

    it's not only the Runs or Records which makes Tendulkar a better player than others... But also his behaviour ON and OFF the field.. He has never been into the wrong books of ICC... No controversy.. He always reacted positively to the N no.of wrong decisions given against him.... He is the Best and Will remain the best...

  • nikhil on January 17, 2008, 16:00 GMT

    After reading these comments there is this pertinent question that comes to my mind. How do you compare sportsman across eras? Is Tendulkar better than Gavaskar? Is Federer better than Sampras? Is Schumacher better than senna? What parameters do you pick to compare them - is it stats? is it there popularity? is it how ahead they were compared to other greats of their times? Obviously the answer lies in the combination of many parameters. Though, on second thoughts is there really an answer. Can we really compare across eras? The other thought is - is it a question of "can we" or "should we". But at the end Sachin is and will be the greatest cricket hero for me (over Bradman) - because he is the man who has given me so many happy moments in my growing up days.

  • Arun on January 17, 2008, 15:35 GMT

    Just one question, Mukul! Don't you think that Rahul Dravid also deserves to be up there with Sachin and Sunny as the best from India?

  • Amit Mulay on January 17, 2008, 15:31 GMT

    I believe, some of the best batsmen of all times were known for their great and favourite shots. A recent example would be sehwag, if its short and wide AND he connects chances are you will not see the ball till it stops at the fence. A feat he cannot stop himself from repeating. This according to me, is instinctive cricket. Playing at the highest level still does not take the trigger action away from them.

    The sheer ability to read the game and take some of your favourite shots out of it is pure genius. Especially for someone like Sachin whose confidence in those shots must be enormous. He has also bought some shots to the game. The near vertical paddle sweep and the shot over slips, a leg glance to a ball outside off stump are all his inventions. It not only upsets the bowler but it changed fields to what was suitable for him.

    Another thing being, even in his leanest of patches, the man has never been out of ideas like other fine players. He always got out trying to score.

  • eddy on January 17, 2008, 14:49 GMT

    thanks for the feedback on my favourite two modern players. the pressure these two greats played under is something that can never be put into stats, even though Sachin had better batsmen around him, the pressure was always on him. With Lara it was him, and sometimes Shiv. i must agree that Sachin's record in ODI's is remarkable seeing that he has such a great test record also. it appears that lara didnt pay as much attention to the shorter form of the game, he is of course the master at making the biggest scores (bradman included). And if we for 4get for a moment, if that is possible, all of the 100's they have scored, the match winning knocks(not that many between them)the way they played the game, their inspiration to others, fair play, they are the same. tendulkar has the greatest longevity of modern batsmen and that means something. holding on to his place for 20 years is remarkable. i believe lara jumped before he was pushed and thus we were denied watching the most spectacular batsman of our time.

    This is my personal opinion, Tendulkar would avgerage 100 if he played when the Don did. his technique is almost perfect, his is a machine, a hundred making machine. He scores runs all over the world and remains humble.

    Lara is different. the bright lights and early records (375, 501) went (for a while) to his head. i dont think i have ever seen a batsmen that had as many shots as lara, all round the wicket. i still do not truly understand the argument that Lara was less consistant than Sachin. If you mean that he had dips in form, then yes i agree, but so has sachin. Lara scored more runs than anyone ever and quicker than anyone, with a healthy 53 odd avg and 34 tons. when they both reached 232 innings i wrote my first piece. tendulkar had more tons, lara had more runs. that is a fact.

    dead rubber runs? believe me a test run is a test run. ask any pro. i will leave you with this thought. Tendulkar will no doubt go on to get 40 odd test tons. as i believe ponting will. that is something that is believable. To score 375 is a once in a lifetime achievement as was the 501* but to scorescore 400* ten years later, tens years older against Hoggard,Harmison,Flintoff and Jones is (in my opinion, even though the 375 was a better knock) the single greatest batting feat ever achieved. the desire, strength, concentration and skill have never been matched. thats why even though tendulkar will score more and more runs, more and more 100's he and ponting, will never match lara's freakish ability to score huge runs quickly, or for that matter even dream of doing so.

    eddy 2008 PS im no west indian supporter or indian. i love AUS.

  • Deepak on January 17, 2008, 14:33 GMT

    Bid for immortality??? 2 average years out of 19 and he has to prove his immortality??

    He "might" stand on the pedestal? Hahaha... do you even read your articles before posting it, but then again the title of your blog says it all "scenes from a spectator's life"... short-sighted and mediocre.

  • absar on January 17, 2008, 14:21 GMT

    Besides, he batting like that does not do any good to my weakended heart.. :) Go sachin go... you're still the man...

  • Absar on January 17, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    Firstly interesting article Eddie... 2ndly i think sachin and lara are on the same pedastal... some would argue sachin is better.. ssome say lara is better.. in my view both are about equal. the only thing in sachins favour is that he is still playing, so he may surpass him when he hangs up his booth. coming to sachins revival, well i agree with most, i think its too early for anyone to comment on t his since its just one series. But i think it was preconcieved that sachin will be aggressive coz thats the only way we can ever challenge the aussies. and trust me - aussies still fear him a lot. as much as VVS. Watching this new sachin has reminded me of the old sachin.. and i remember how i used to feel so nervous when he was batting.. like he could get out any ball. Its a refreshing change, i think sachin should bat really aggressively only sometimes, i dont think we can afford to have him get out to rash shots. particularly overseas when his runs are worth their weight in gold.

  • eddy 2 on January 17, 2008, 14:06 GMT

    Today (14th January 2008) shall be a day long remembered. Why? Today Sachin completed his 232 inning in test cricket and a day to remember.A brilliant 150 against world champions Australia.Brian Lara retired on 232 test match innings. Only now I believe you can make some general comparison between the two great batsmen.

    A couple of things stand out straight away. Although Tendulkar has scored 4 more tons in the same about of innings as Lara, (both have 48 half-centuries) he has scored 433 runs less than Lara. 11520* compared to Lara’s 11953.We can also see that Lara batted in more of the matches he played in than Tendulkar has131 against 144 and counting. What does this tell us? Tendulkar wasn’t needed to bat as often as Lara was. Does this not say as much about their respective teams as it does about the individual players but this also suggests that Tendulkar was denied the chance to complete 25 of his innings A further example of this can be seen in the ‘not outs’ each player earned in their careers. Very rarely did Lara come to the crease having just 20 or 30 runs to knock of to win the match.Lara’s not out total (6) is closer to that of an opener than it is to a middle order batsman. People may say that when Tendulkar and Lara were batting with their respective tails Tendulkar’s and Lara’s attitude may have been quite different i.e. Lara – let me get as much runs as I can before number 11 gets out, or Tendulkar – number 11 will get out soon so why should I lose my wicket?. That is debatable and not formed of any facts only conjecture.

    There has always been this great debate about who was the better batsman. Pundits have often stated that Lara’s genius is blighted by dips in form and that Tendulkar is by far the more consistent player. The cold hard stats do not suggest this is so cut and dry. Lara score 34 tons in 232 innings, Tendulkar the masterbater scored 38. That’s a hundred every 6.8 innings for Lara and 6.1 innings for Tendulkar. They both scored 48 half-centuries, that’s one every 4.8 innings. When you remove the not outs from each player’s stats you get the true picture of how many runs each batsman actually made per inning. Lara made 51.52 runs per inning, on average, in his Test career. Tendulkar the masterbater has so far made 49.66 per inning.weak opposition? Tendulkar the masterbater has played 9 test matches against Zimbabwe making nearly a 1000 runs and three tons, one of them a double. Lara played 2 matches against Zimbabwe making 200 runs with 1 ton. Tendulkar the masterbater has played 5 test matches against Bangladesh scoring 550 runs with 3 tons , one of them a double. if I write about tendulkar masterbater then i am allowed not just 1000 characters but ten thousand characters with loads of bullchit on this foking website and get away with it, Lara played 2 matches against Bangladesh scoring 170 runs with one ton. So against these weaker teams Tendulkar has played 14 matches scoring 1550 odd runs picking up 6 tons. Lara played 4 matches scored 370 odd runs two tons. Now that’s not Tendulkar’s or Lara’s fault but Tendulkar the masterbater has played over 3 times as much cricket against these weak teams as Lara did. Strong opposition!!! Tendulkar has played 23 matches against world champs Australia scoring 2090 runs making 8 tons (one double) and averaging 55. Lara played 31 matches against Australia scoring 2850 runs making 9 tons (3 doubles) and averaging 51.And how did our two champion batsmen fare against the world champions finest bowlers? Lara averaged 41.40 against Glen McGrath scoring 621 against him, Tendulkar averaged 22.16 scoring 133. And against the greatest leg-spinner of all time? Lara averaged 54.57 scoring 635, Tendulkar averaged 39 scoring 117. so it would appear that Tendulkar has faired slightly better against Australia as a team, but Lara performed much better against Australia's champions.

    And what if we were to throw in their respective battings records? Lara has broken the test record high score twice 375 and 400*. He holds the record for the most runs test runs scored ever. He has scored more runs in one over than any other in test history ,28.He is the only player to hold all three high score records at the same time i.e. most runs in test, high score in test, high score in first class cricket. Tendulkar has scored more tons than any other player in test history, 38 and more hundreds in international cricket than any other. for a more detailed look at the records of these players Wikipedia is recommended. Tendulkar is the undoubted king of one-day cricket and in the top 4 or five in test cricket history. He will no doubt go on to break Lara’s most runs in test cricket total. But Ricky Ponting will go further than him. Will, can, either of these batsmen break the 400* or score match winning knocks like the 153* or single handily carry their team for years on end?

    Added 17th January 2008. i kept the analysis to test cricket for obvious reasons. Tendulkar is by far the greatest batsmen in that field and also u cannot compare two players that have played 100 odd games more or less than each other. One last stat that i must bring to light is the Hundreds' record that Tendulkar holds at the time. In test cricket when you score a hundred it is classed as a hundred scored on that particular inning. A double ton does not count as 2 tons. This seems mightly unfair on a player who has scored twice as much but is only awarded a ton for his efforts. i believe there should be a double ton category for such events or why not count a double ton as 2 hundreds (which it is!) This would leave Tendulkar having 42 test tons, Lara would have 46 test tons and the Don with 43! i am eddy the sucker on 18th jan 08

  • ram prasad panday on January 17, 2008, 14:01 GMT

    I urge all the fan of Sachin tendulkar to be patience.I should be the greatest of all although it has't been a long time I have started watching the Gentlemen game.I would be very thankful towards Sachin if he could regain his mid and late ninties flawless form.Also it would be a great gift to us if tendulkar could give us double and triple centruies in ODI and Test for atlest once.I want to see Saching playing for ever,making the new record;the oldest playing cricketer ever.Good luck Sachin! Go we are with you.

  • Abdul kader.k.a.from kadayanallur,TN,INDIA. on January 17, 2008, 13:55 GMT

    Sachin really was a best player till 2003 worldcup, but in the period of 2004 to 2006,he wasn't even a good player,but he was an averag player, ya,it is true.In that period of time he really struggled for runs barring one or two matches. He didn't scored a hundred for more than two years aginst tough opposition till sydney 2008 from delhi 2005,it clearly shows his bad form. You couldn't&can't see from a batsman of his ability to be like this. Even jaques can score atleast a hundred per year. But in 2008 till now he looks like a old sachin(in batting but in look he s like young). We will wait and see to completly judge him wheather he becomes his real touch or not.

  • ram prasad panday on January 17, 2008, 13:51 GMT

    I urge all the fan of Sachin tendulkar to be patience.I should be the greatest of all although it has't been a long time I have started watching the Gentlemen game.I would be very thankful towards Sachin if he could regain his mid and late ninties flawless form.Also it would be a great gift to us if tendulkar could give us double and triple centruies in ODI and Test for atlest once.I want to see Saching playing for ever,making the new record;the oldest playing cricketer ever.Good luck Sachin! Go we are with you.

  • Davesh Manocha on January 17, 2008, 13:36 GMT

    & one should not forget that all these 39 centuries have come of the wooden bat unlike Ponting who has used graphite strip in his bat only to be reprimanded by ICC. Well we will never know out of those 33 centuries that Ponting has scored how many have come of graphite. Well Done Sachin..

  • Biju on January 17, 2008, 13:30 GMT

    I found lot of comaprisons between Lara & Sachin.I like Sachin to Lara not because of I am an Indian.If you look at their commitment we will find that for Sachin Cricket is his way of life.For Lara I felt like its a means to make money and power and he was not as dedicated like Sachin.If observe the body language of Sachin even at this age he enjoys the game like a school kid.He could have retired long time back but he doesn't want to because he loves cricket too much .

  • Shivendra on January 17, 2008, 13:13 GMT

    Sachin is undoubtedly the greatest ODI batsman the world has seen.But as far as test cricket goes,to me,he is only after Sir Don Bradman. Many players come n go,retaining their distinctive styles n remembered for one particular way of batting or bowling....but when Sachin goes,how would u remember him?When I posed this to my frnds n family everybody had different answers....my father will remember him for his booming straight drives n leg flicks,my mother for his on n off field behaviour(strange!!),my brother for his lofted strokes over mid-off n on and most of my frnds for his ferocious pulls for six....now that is all round the park!this goes to show his class n versatality...n probably because of this he has so many pet names. n that coupled with his 20 yrs long career is as solid as it can get....n still Sachin's not tired...getting runs consistently for the team! we as humans dont value things when they are around n when Sachins gone then we'll come to know about his greatness.

  • Adi Mehta on January 17, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    I still turn off the tele when Sachin gets out...

  • Subramani on January 17, 2008, 13:05 GMT

    Some years ago Mr Kesavan, you had in Cricinfo magazine , compared Gavaskar and Tendulkar and had put the former higher in your assessment. I am glad that you have now come around to the universally accepted view that Tendulkar has indeed been the greatest batsman ever to have played the game even if Gavaskar was also a modern day phenomenon. The fact that Tendulkar has lasted almost 20 years, playing in far off lands against the best bowling attacks over this period, sustaining a batting average of 55 tells us the whole story.During this period, technology would facilitate a closer view into a batsman's weaknesses which many believed great players of yesterday were unable to match. Bradman too lasted 20 years. But most of his cricket was played in England and Australia at a time when there were no technological inputs which bowlers could use. The only time Bradman's greatness was questioned was when he appeared only slightly more than an ordinary mortal in the bodyline series.

  • shanks on January 17, 2008, 12:39 GMT

    stats dont reveal all eddy.lara's runs hides few significant facts. in aust'ia his avg is much lower.against donald & co at their fastest in SA he came a cropper. later when SA was bereft of great fast men he did well and improved his avg. similarly against wasim& waqar.in aus his centuries were scored when wickets had little bounce& pace.one 100 at perth was against a raw Mcgrath with no supporting fast men. he was never comfortable against real fast bowling. after tendlya suffered his back injury he became less attacking against spin and Lara emerged a heavier scorer against spin.But Sachin is daylights ahead of Lara against pace. No doubt on the greatness scale there is the Don and Sachin at the top. some floors below u have IVA Richards. several floors below IVA u have Lara,sunny and the rest!

  • Shashhank on January 17, 2008, 12:39 GMT

    Very Good article.......To say in a word Brilliant.Tendulkar notched over 100 runs in ODI's last year and this was a new beggining of Tendulkar.He did not seem to be under any pressure,nor was he intimidated about the opposition he faced..He played with the ease of batsman who enjoys playing his cricket!He bid for immortality will only be completed if he retires as No.1 in both forms of the game!

  • Sidharth on January 17, 2008, 12:29 GMT

    Some poor analysis by Mr.Eddy with stupid stats , he says agaisnt mc grath and warne Sachin made 133 runs in tests , how is that possible , he made 116 at melbourne and 126 at chennai itself , against mc grath and warne he has amde over 700 runs , pls dont post false stats in this post Mr.Eddy.

  • Arpan on January 17, 2008, 12:25 GMT

    Saying that Sachin would not be remembered in the annals of cricket as a genius is frankly, just shoddy mate. Ricky may be remembered as one of the greatest captains (thanks to an indomitable team), but ranking him in the same breath (of immortality) as Lara or Sachin isn't really plausible. If statistics were any indication of genius, Sachin would be there and beyond already. He has borne the expectations of a billion people on his back for close to 15 years now. That in itself is grounds for immortality. I don't believe his bid begins now. The question that shoudl eb asked is who comes next?

  • Mukund Rajan on January 17, 2008, 12:02 GMT

    I tend to agree with most of what you are saying Mukul...but the only problem is whether this resurgence of Tendulkar to his old "supermanly" free-flowing self is based on any sort of permanence or is just another passing phase like it's been over the past few years...remember world cup 2003...or the series in Pakistan in '04 when he made a blistering hundred....they were interspersed with his typical dour and "humanly" high scoring knocks at that time....i think there's only one way we'll know whether tendulkar is back to his cavalier 1990's style of play - if there are butterflies in your stomach consistently for every ball Tendulkar faces you know he's the real Tendulkar and not the pretender that he's been in the past decade.....

  • amit on January 17, 2008, 11:55 GMT

    i just think the way he is batting now he could probably carry on till another 2-3 yrs.its vintage tendulkar.its scary to know imagine indian team without his services after dat.not much time left guys!enjoy & savour it while itlasts.I personally think india cud whip sum serious ass in the next 2 matches.cheers mate

  • pr3m on January 17, 2008, 11:47 GMT

    i think the upper-cut is gettin very less amount of attention. for a player like gilly, who pretty much invented & perfected the stroke, to play da shot is pretty well amazing. but not to forget, he is from perth & is used to playin on fast pitches where da bounce has to b gotten used to since the beginning, while sachin who is from the sub-continent playin it to lee, on a perth wicket, is somethin outstanding. i'm surprised as how less attention it's getting.

    having said dat, i'm juss so glad dat sachin is returnin to his old self. mayb he lost confidence in the team or of his place in the team, but now when he bats, it seems like he is tryin to tame the bull, instead of juss movin out of da way

  • AJ on January 17, 2008, 11:32 GMT

    i totally agree. His batting v australia has been refreshing. Hopefully he continues to bat this way, and is not just playing with this intent because it is against Australia, and he feels to do well against them you have to attack. I hope he plays like this against all teams. It has proved he has still got the ability to dominate against good teams - especially this match at Perth, where there were no easy runs v Brad Hogg.

  • satish on January 17, 2008, 11:31 GMT

    Tendlya is something else baba. It is v difficult for me to choose my favourite Indian player but the best way I just discovered is whom would you like off strike when the last over of the day is being bowled. That guy is your favourite. In such hours of trial, I have always discovered it is Tendlya. :)

  • murali on January 17, 2008, 11:27 GMT

    I think the genius of Tendulkar was never in question and neither his position in the annals of cricketing history. Even if he had retired a decade ago, he would have been a legend. But what makes him the most special cricketer of this era is the way he has handled criticism and pressure. Its a fact of the day that no sportsperson in history has been subjected to the amount of pressure this man has had to live with. And add to it the 'headlines hungry critics' he had to face in the later half of his career. But never has there been a cathartic moment and he saved them all for his on-field exploits. Another venerable thing about him is his profound love and understanding of the game of cricket. Its his passion which has kept him unwavering throughout this 18 year journey. Sachin's cricketing career is a lesson in life and a tribute to the greatness of human spirit. Hail the Little Master!

  • satya on January 17, 2008, 11:14 GMT

    Tendulkar is probably the best batsman of his generation. Lara fans may disagree but they omit the fact that Lara scored over 2000 test runs in dead rubber matches. He would often fail when the series was undecided and chip in with a big century in the final test e.g. vs England 2004 and vs Australia 2005. Sachin scores his runs when the series is undecided. Against Australia, the best team in the world, he averages 58 in Australia vs lara's 41. Lara was not as good away as at home. Tendulkar averages 55 at home and away. Finally commenting on Eddy's figures regarding averages against the best bowlers there is a major flaw in that- these are for innings ending in dismissal and doesn't include runs from not out innings. That's why Sachin has a poorer average against McGrath and warne.

  • Ralph on January 17, 2008, 10:58 GMT

    My goodness, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are better players, not to mention Brian Lara.

  • Vivek on January 17, 2008, 10:39 GMT

    Good comparisons Eddy... Only thing you forgot is that Lara and Tendulkar were not playing ONLY Test matches or ONLY ODIs. They were playing in the two forms of the game at the same time. And if you want to take an retrospective, take it including both. I think Lara was not as consistent as Tendulkar in ODIs. So overall Tendulkar was more consistent. I am not StatsGuru, but somebody needs to compare on these aspects, too. While Tendulkar plays at Number 4 in test, he has to play at Number 1 in ODIs. There are advantages and disadvantages of these positions, too. We Indians consider that Gods are immortal, and we believe three Gods in our religion. I think that The Don, Sachin and Brian are the three immortal Gods of the Game of Cricket...!!!

  • eddy on January 17, 2008, 9:54 GMT

    Today (4th January 2008) shall be a day long remembered. Why? Today Sachin completed his 232 inning in test cricket. A brilliant 150 against world champions Australia. Brian Lara retired on 232 test match innings. Only now I believe you can make some general comparison between the two great batsmen.

    A couple of things stand out straight away. Although Tendulkar has scored 4 more tons in the same about of innings as Lara, (both have 48 half-centuries) he has scored 433 runs less than Lara. 11520* compared to Lara’s 11953. We can also see that Lara batted in more of the matches he played in than Tendulkar has. 131 against 144 and counting. What does this tell us? Tendulkar wasn’t needed to bat as often as Lara was. Does this not say as much about their respective teams as it does about the individual players but this also suggests that Tendulkar was denied the chance to complete 25 of his innings A further example of this can be seen in the ‘not outs’ each player earned in their careers. Very rarely did Lara come to the crease having just 20 or 30 runs to knock of to win the match. Lara’s not out total (6) is closer to that of an opener than it is to a middle order batsman. People may say that when Tendulkar and Lara were batting with their respective tails Tendulkar’s and Lara’s attitude may have been quite different i.e. Lara – let me get as much runs as I can before number 11 gets out, or Tendulkar – number 11 will get out soon so why should I lose my wicket?. That is debatable and not formed of any facts only conjecture.

    There has always been this great debate about who was the better batsman. Pundits have often stated that Lara’s genius is blighted by dips in form and that Tendulkar is by far the more consistent player. The cold hard stats do not suggest this is so cut and dry. Lara score 34 tons in 232 innings, Tendulkar scored 38. That’s a hundred every 6.8 innings for Lara and 6.1 innings for Tendulkar. They both scored 48 half-centuries, that’s one every 4.8 innings. When you remove the not outs from each player’s stats you get the true picture of how many runs each batsman actually made per inning. Lara made 51.52 runs per inning, on average, in his Test career. Tendulkar has so far made 49.66 per inning.

    Weak Opposition??? Tendulkar has played 9 test matches against Zimbabwe making nearly a 1000 runs and three tons, one of them a double. Lara played 2 matches against Zimbabwe making 200 runs with 1 ton. Tendulkar has played 5 test matches against Bangladesh scoring 550 runs with 3 tons , one of them a double. Lara played 2 matches against Bangladesh scoring 170 runs with one ton. So against these weaker teams Tendulkar has played 14 matches scoring 1550 odd runs picking up 6 tons. Lara played 4 matches scored 370 odd runs two tons. Now that’s not Tendulkar’s or Lara’s fault but Tendulkar has played over 3 times as much cricket against these weak teams as Lara did.

    Strong opposition!!! Tendulkar has played 23 matches against world champs Australia scoring 2090 runs making 8 tons (one double) and averaging 55. Lara played 31 matches against Australia scoring 2850 runs making 9 tons (3 doubles) and averaging 51.

    And how did our two champion batsmen fare against the world champions finest bowlers? Lara averaged 41.40 against Glen McGrath scoring 621 against him, Tendulkar averaged 22.16 scoring 133. And against the greatest leg-spinner of all time? Lara averaged 54.57 scoring 635, Tendulkar averaged 39 scoring 117. so it would appear that Tendulkar has faired slightly better against Australia as a team, but Lara performed much better against Australia's champions.

    And what if we were to throw in their respective battings records?

    Lara has broken the test record high score twice 375 and 400*. He holds the record for the most runs test runs scored ever. He has scored more runs in one over than any other in test history ,28.He is the only player to hold all three high score records at the same time i.e. most runs in test, high score in test, high score in first class cricket. Tendulkar has scored more tons than any other player in test history, 38 and more hundreds in international cricket than any other. for a more detailed look at the records of these players Wikipedia is recommended. Tendulkar is the undoubted king of one-day cricket and in the top 4 or five in test cricket history. He will no doubt go on to break Lara’s most runs in test cricket total. But Ricky Ponting will go further than him. Will, can, either of these batsmen break the 400* or score match winning knocks like the 153* or single handily carry their team for years on end?

    Added 7th January 2008. i kept the analysis to test cricket for obvious reasons. Tendulkar is by far the greatest batsmen in that field and also u cannot compare two players that have played 100 odd games more or less than each other. One last stat that i must bring to light is the Hundreds' record that Tendulkar holds at the time. In test cricket when you score a hundred it is classed as a hundred scored on that particular inning. A double ton does not count as 2 tons. This seems mightly unfair on a player who has scored twice as much but is only awarded a ton for his efforts. i believe there should be a double ton category for such events or why not count a double ton as 2 hundreds (which it is!) This would leave Tendulkar having 42 test tons, Lara would have 46 test tons and the Don with 43!

    eddy 8th jan 08

  • P.K.Ganesh on January 17, 2008, 8:25 GMT

    Mukul, His genius and obvious talent was never in doubt ever since he scored that tripple hundred as a school boy.But the way he has carried himself over a span of 20 years is remarkable and for this alone he is a living legend and an inspiration to millions. The respect and awe he has commanded all over the world is not only because of his cricketing skills. ADAPTING has been the key word for him and has done so facing varying times,roles conditions,pitches,bowlers etc not to mention the unimaginable and surely unreasonable expectations we all have every time he goes out to bat. Such has been his aura. A sparkling 71 against the world's best pace attack and arguably the fastest pitch in world still left me yearning for more!Body permitting, I dont see him fading for at least the next 2-3 years although we would want him to go on and on and on....

  • manoj on January 17, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    who sayz sachin is a gr8 batsman...who ever sayz he is jst a gr8 batsman has gone out of his mind...coz he is da greatest...itz jst tat ppl r not satisfied with what he does...der is no cricketer in da history of da game who has played so consistency for soo long...when he came into intl cricket he was compared to guyz like inzy n lara, later on it was da waughz, now i with the pontings n kallis...batsmen will come n go but only da classy ones survive for long...dravid had a purple patch for 3 yrz which has come to an end..same thing will happen to da pontings n kallis, but sachin will go on as usual n make more runs...itz high time we treat our greatest champion wid some respect n give him his dues for wot he has done...v seem to question his greatness after every second failure, tatz not fair on him...he has won more matches for india than any other cricketer for any nation, no wonder he has 65 man of da match awards in intl cricket which is much more than any cricketer in da world..

  • Rish on January 17, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    Mukul, I think we've been spoiled by the clutch of very very good, and great, batsmen our country has produced this last decade and some.

    I shudder to think of cricket without VVS' elegance, Dravid's grit, Sourav's drives, and Sachin's...well, genius.

    Ricky Ponting's batting has an ugliness to it that is hard to explain; Brian Lara was never quite as consistent. Sachin Tendulkar's immortality is not an event in question. It's never been.

  • Charu on January 17, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Sachin is, was and will be the greatest batsman ever. I think we are being too harsh on him for his form in 2005 - 2006. I guess part of it could be due to injury and part of it due to Greg Chappels interference. The coach probably did not help him recover from his injuries well and made him feel insecure. Anyway I'm a die hard fan of Sachin. There is NO WAY I can accept that Ricky or anyone else can play as glamorous and elegant an innings as Sachin does. He is a delight to watch. I hope he plays this way for a long time to come. But a good article Mukul. I just dont agree that he came down from being great to good. He will always be great and a genius.

  • Naresh on January 17, 2008, 6:29 GMT

    I think its a little early to say "he is back" - we should wait another year for that. Nevertheless its a real joy to watch him play this way. You can accuse me of thinking I am Carl Jung, but I think the caution earlier was a result of losing his pre-eminent position in the Indian line-up (forget the world). Let's hope he has finally worked around that. Let's also hope there is enough in his body to endure and give us all plenty of great batting. Because Sachin is not bigger than the game, Sachin IS the game. (And you can throw whatever you want at me for saying that).

  • Supratik on January 17, 2008, 6:18 GMT

    Good to get away from the controversies and back to cricket! Never agreed more with you (and with your book on this issue). In this modern age of ultra nationalism & jingoism (sometimes both) we tend to look too much into 'match winning' knocks, spells, etc. But the key is to look beyond and to the quality of batsmanship itself. The danger is also to look too much into stats. Delving into the works of a Gavaskar/Tendulkar/Lara would take a book itself. These 3 played for major parts of their career for a poor batting team and against better attacks (atleast the first 2), hence whatever anyone may say, truth is that all these bloated averages and run-sprees of the Haydens, Pontings, Dravids, Kallises, etc. have come in the 21st century where fast bowling has been on its knees (amongst other circumstances that aid the batsmen). One thing heartening about Tendulkar though is the fact that Sachin Mark II has finally a rounded form and one hopes that continues till the end.

  • smale25 on January 17, 2008, 5:05 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is definitely one of the great batsman of this era in cricket. But, any bid for immortality would have to begin with a triple century against Australia, and there are at most three innings left for him to do that, assuming that this is his last test series against them.

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  • smale25 on January 17, 2008, 5:05 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is definitely one of the great batsman of this era in cricket. But, any bid for immortality would have to begin with a triple century against Australia, and there are at most three innings left for him to do that, assuming that this is his last test series against them.

  • Supratik on January 17, 2008, 6:18 GMT

    Good to get away from the controversies and back to cricket! Never agreed more with you (and with your book on this issue). In this modern age of ultra nationalism & jingoism (sometimes both) we tend to look too much into 'match winning' knocks, spells, etc. But the key is to look beyond and to the quality of batsmanship itself. The danger is also to look too much into stats. Delving into the works of a Gavaskar/Tendulkar/Lara would take a book itself. These 3 played for major parts of their career for a poor batting team and against better attacks (atleast the first 2), hence whatever anyone may say, truth is that all these bloated averages and run-sprees of the Haydens, Pontings, Dravids, Kallises, etc. have come in the 21st century where fast bowling has been on its knees (amongst other circumstances that aid the batsmen). One thing heartening about Tendulkar though is the fact that Sachin Mark II has finally a rounded form and one hopes that continues till the end.

  • Naresh on January 17, 2008, 6:29 GMT

    I think its a little early to say "he is back" - we should wait another year for that. Nevertheless its a real joy to watch him play this way. You can accuse me of thinking I am Carl Jung, but I think the caution earlier was a result of losing his pre-eminent position in the Indian line-up (forget the world). Let's hope he has finally worked around that. Let's also hope there is enough in his body to endure and give us all plenty of great batting. Because Sachin is not bigger than the game, Sachin IS the game. (And you can throw whatever you want at me for saying that).

  • Charu on January 17, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Sachin is, was and will be the greatest batsman ever. I think we are being too harsh on him for his form in 2005 - 2006. I guess part of it could be due to injury and part of it due to Greg Chappels interference. The coach probably did not help him recover from his injuries well and made him feel insecure. Anyway I'm a die hard fan of Sachin. There is NO WAY I can accept that Ricky or anyone else can play as glamorous and elegant an innings as Sachin does. He is a delight to watch. I hope he plays this way for a long time to come. But a good article Mukul. I just dont agree that he came down from being great to good. He will always be great and a genius.

  • Rish on January 17, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    Mukul, I think we've been spoiled by the clutch of very very good, and great, batsmen our country has produced this last decade and some.

    I shudder to think of cricket without VVS' elegance, Dravid's grit, Sourav's drives, and Sachin's...well, genius.

    Ricky Ponting's batting has an ugliness to it that is hard to explain; Brian Lara was never quite as consistent. Sachin Tendulkar's immortality is not an event in question. It's never been.

  • manoj on January 17, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    who sayz sachin is a gr8 batsman...who ever sayz he is jst a gr8 batsman has gone out of his mind...coz he is da greatest...itz jst tat ppl r not satisfied with what he does...der is no cricketer in da history of da game who has played so consistency for soo long...when he came into intl cricket he was compared to guyz like inzy n lara, later on it was da waughz, now i with the pontings n kallis...batsmen will come n go but only da classy ones survive for long...dravid had a purple patch for 3 yrz which has come to an end..same thing will happen to da pontings n kallis, but sachin will go on as usual n make more runs...itz high time we treat our greatest champion wid some respect n give him his dues for wot he has done...v seem to question his greatness after every second failure, tatz not fair on him...he has won more matches for india than any other cricketer for any nation, no wonder he has 65 man of da match awards in intl cricket which is much more than any cricketer in da world..

  • P.K.Ganesh on January 17, 2008, 8:25 GMT

    Mukul, His genius and obvious talent was never in doubt ever since he scored that tripple hundred as a school boy.But the way he has carried himself over a span of 20 years is remarkable and for this alone he is a living legend and an inspiration to millions. The respect and awe he has commanded all over the world is not only because of his cricketing skills. ADAPTING has been the key word for him and has done so facing varying times,roles conditions,pitches,bowlers etc not to mention the unimaginable and surely unreasonable expectations we all have every time he goes out to bat. Such has been his aura. A sparkling 71 against the world's best pace attack and arguably the fastest pitch in world still left me yearning for more!Body permitting, I dont see him fading for at least the next 2-3 years although we would want him to go on and on and on....

  • eddy on January 17, 2008, 9:54 GMT

    Today (4th January 2008) shall be a day long remembered. Why? Today Sachin completed his 232 inning in test cricket. A brilliant 150 against world champions Australia. Brian Lara retired on 232 test match innings. Only now I believe you can make some general comparison between the two great batsmen.

    A couple of things stand out straight away. Although Tendulkar has scored 4 more tons in the same about of innings as Lara, (both have 48 half-centuries) he has scored 433 runs less than Lara. 11520* compared to Lara’s 11953. We can also see that Lara batted in more of the matches he played in than Tendulkar has. 131 against 144 and counting. What does this tell us? Tendulkar wasn’t needed to bat as often as Lara was. Does this not say as much about their respective teams as it does about the individual players but this also suggests that Tendulkar was denied the chance to complete 25 of his innings A further example of this can be seen in the ‘not outs’ each player earned in their careers. Very rarely did Lara come to the crease having just 20 or 30 runs to knock of to win the match. Lara’s not out total (6) is closer to that of an opener than it is to a middle order batsman. People may say that when Tendulkar and Lara were batting with their respective tails Tendulkar’s and Lara’s attitude may have been quite different i.e. Lara – let me get as much runs as I can before number 11 gets out, or Tendulkar – number 11 will get out soon so why should I lose my wicket?. That is debatable and not formed of any facts only conjecture.

    There has always been this great debate about who was the better batsman. Pundits have often stated that Lara’s genius is blighted by dips in form and that Tendulkar is by far the more consistent player. The cold hard stats do not suggest this is so cut and dry. Lara score 34 tons in 232 innings, Tendulkar scored 38. That’s a hundred every 6.8 innings for Lara and 6.1 innings for Tendulkar. They both scored 48 half-centuries, that’s one every 4.8 innings. When you remove the not outs from each player’s stats you get the true picture of how many runs each batsman actually made per inning. Lara made 51.52 runs per inning, on average, in his Test career. Tendulkar has so far made 49.66 per inning.

    Weak Opposition??? Tendulkar has played 9 test matches against Zimbabwe making nearly a 1000 runs and three tons, one of them a double. Lara played 2 matches against Zimbabwe making 200 runs with 1 ton. Tendulkar has played 5 test matches against Bangladesh scoring 550 runs with 3 tons , one of them a double. Lara played 2 matches against Bangladesh scoring 170 runs with one ton. So against these weaker teams Tendulkar has played 14 matches scoring 1550 odd runs picking up 6 tons. Lara played 4 matches scored 370 odd runs two tons. Now that’s not Tendulkar’s or Lara’s fault but Tendulkar has played over 3 times as much cricket against these weak teams as Lara did.

    Strong opposition!!! Tendulkar has played 23 matches against world champs Australia scoring 2090 runs making 8 tons (one double) and averaging 55. Lara played 31 matches against Australia scoring 2850 runs making 9 tons (3 doubles) and averaging 51.

    And how did our two champion batsmen fare against the world champions finest bowlers? Lara averaged 41.40 against Glen McGrath scoring 621 against him, Tendulkar averaged 22.16 scoring 133. And against the greatest leg-spinner of all time? Lara averaged 54.57 scoring 635, Tendulkar averaged 39 scoring 117. so it would appear that Tendulkar has faired slightly better against Australia as a team, but Lara performed much better against Australia's champions.

    And what if we were to throw in their respective battings records?

    Lara has broken the test record high score twice 375 and 400*. He holds the record for the most runs test runs scored ever. He has scored more runs in one over than any other in test history ,28.He is the only player to hold all three high score records at the same time i.e. most runs in test, high score in test, high score in first class cricket. Tendulkar has scored more tons than any other player in test history, 38 and more hundreds in international cricket than any other. for a more detailed look at the records of these players Wikipedia is recommended. Tendulkar is the undoubted king of one-day cricket and in the top 4 or five in test cricket history. He will no doubt go on to break Lara’s most runs in test cricket total. But Ricky Ponting will go further than him. Will, can, either of these batsmen break the 400* or score match winning knocks like the 153* or single handily carry their team for years on end?

    Added 7th January 2008. i kept the analysis to test cricket for obvious reasons. Tendulkar is by far the greatest batsmen in that field and also u cannot compare two players that have played 100 odd games more or less than each other. One last stat that i must bring to light is the Hundreds' record that Tendulkar holds at the time. In test cricket when you score a hundred it is classed as a hundred scored on that particular inning. A double ton does not count as 2 tons. This seems mightly unfair on a player who has scored twice as much but is only awarded a ton for his efforts. i believe there should be a double ton category for such events or why not count a double ton as 2 hundreds (which it is!) This would leave Tendulkar having 42 test tons, Lara would have 46 test tons and the Don with 43!

    eddy 8th jan 08

  • Vivek on January 17, 2008, 10:39 GMT

    Good comparisons Eddy... Only thing you forgot is that Lara and Tendulkar were not playing ONLY Test matches or ONLY ODIs. They were playing in the two forms of the game at the same time. And if you want to take an retrospective, take it including both. I think Lara was not as consistent as Tendulkar in ODIs. So overall Tendulkar was more consistent. I am not StatsGuru, but somebody needs to compare on these aspects, too. While Tendulkar plays at Number 4 in test, he has to play at Number 1 in ODIs. There are advantages and disadvantages of these positions, too. We Indians consider that Gods are immortal, and we believe three Gods in our religion. I think that The Don, Sachin and Brian are the three immortal Gods of the Game of Cricket...!!!

  • Ralph on January 17, 2008, 10:58 GMT

    My goodness, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are better players, not to mention Brian Lara.