Ahmedabad: Former England off-spinner Vic Marks is amazed at the lifestyle that Sachin Tendulkar leads, under constant expectations and scrutiny of fans. And he places the batting maestro, set to play his 191st Test match, in the uppermost tier of cricketing greats.
“Looking from afar, it’s amazing that his career, which is over 20 years now, has been so serene and how he copes with the level of expectations. He’s almost like a deity in India and yet he copes with it like it’s the most natural thing in the world. And that’s been an amazing thing to observe,” Marks, who toured India in 1984 as part of David Gower’s English team and a few times later as a journalist, told Mail Today.
“However, he’s not a deity; he’s a mortal. At some point, the eyes and the reflexes start to wane. We don’t know whether that will come to a pass in this series or it’s around the corner. As you approach your 40th year, as we all know, things start to slow up.”
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On the four-match Test series, starting on Thursday, Marks said India are overwhelming favourites to win as they are playing in home conditions.
“Obviously, India are expected to win because of their record at home and they are used to the conditions. But I think England could at least draw the series, if they get a reasonable start here in Motera,” said the articulate former player who shared the Somerset dressing room with Sunil Gavaskar in 1980.
“I think England will be happy to be the underdogs; they are comfortable in that. But there are a few questions marks in the Indian set- up, compared to England, with a few players coming to the end of their careers.”
On the chances of Alastair Cook’s team, Marks said: “England have had some good practice but they haven’t had much quality spin bowling to play. That’s a slight worry. But they have got batsmen in form, and they are going into the match quite confident. They would have liked to face more quality spin bowlers because that’s what would get in the Test match.”