October 14, 2010

Australia in India 2010

Bradman first, Sachin second

Peter English

Ron Reed writes in the Herald Sun that there is now no doubt that Sachin Tendulkar is the game’s second-best cricketer of all-time.

Tendulkar's most ardent fans - and no sportsman in the world is worshipped by more people - are now starting to give voice to the ultimate sacrilege by suggesting Sir Donald Bradman is not necessarily out on his own any more. That debate has been revived again this week as Tendulkar put Australia to the sword, yet again, relentlessly moving further and further past all of the The Don's numbers except the one that stands as the noble old game's greatest icon - his batting average, 99.94.

Tendulkar's is now 56.96, so Bradman is just as uncatchable as always, and as always will be. But by just about every other statistical measurement - and by less tangible methods of recognising genius, such as aura, style and dominance - the pride of India is leaving all other challengers behind.

Ricky Ponting’s captaincy is being questioned again, but the Sydney Morning Herald’s Jamie Pandaram says it’s “crazy talk”.

You could not drop Ponting as the skipper unless you were also dropping him from the side. He is the strongest character in the team by far, he cannot be captained by someone else - imagine what that would do to the dynamic of the dressing room?

On Back Page Lead, Jon Pierik says, "Ponting remains the right man to lead Australia into battle against England this summer, for, let's face it, there are few options."

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Peter English is former Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

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