Throughout the history of the sport, Indian cricket has benefited from having some of the best batters in the world. Sunil Gavaskar had stellar batting supremacy in the 1970s and 1980s, finishing his career with the best score by a player in Test cricket. Shortly after Gavaskar departed, 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar made his debut against Pakistan in 1989, igniting his career. The “master blaster,” as he is affectionately called, smashed numerous records during his 24-year career in international cricket, and even after retiring in 2013, he still holds the record for most runs in both Tests and ODIs.
Former West Indies captain Brian Lara was one of Tendulkar’s many batting rivals. Lara, who is recognized as one of the all-time greats of the game, is the Windies hitter who has scored the most runs overall and in Tests. In addition, Lara offered a magnificent homage to Tendulkar when speaking with FOX Cricket about the Indian great’s contributions to the game. Lara claimed that Tendulkar’s ability to crush opponents in any situation made him “unique.”
“I’m not taking anything away from pre-Sachin time in Indian batting, they had Sunil Gavaskar, Mohammad Azharuddin… (but) when you talk about Indian players in India, there are a number of them who will score a lot of runs against you. When they leave India, there are few who would survive and acclimatize to conditions… that’s the first thing I saw with Sachin,” said Lara.
“Doesn’t matter where you took him, doesn’t matter the pace of bowler or spin, he had the technique capable of handling everything. I think the Indian public also recognized that. It was his first Test match against Pakistan, where he actually got hit from a short delivery. But he got up, he was bleeding as well, he stood up there and he batted. And that’s something… that not only Indian batsmen but a lot of batsmen around the world would go to the pavilion for treatment. I think he showed a lot of guts.”
Further talking about the India star, Lara stated that everything about Tendulkar was “picture perfect.” “His talent, ability, and technique were something that was picture perfect. He just blossomed into one of the greatest batters of all time. From the age of 16, 24 years of international cricket… that’s something very special,” said Lara.