He said it before and he said it again now. Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne paid his tribute to Sachin Tendulkar by tagging him as the “best batsman” of his generation and said that there won’t be another player like Tendulkar in years to come.
“Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman of my generation and it will be a privilege to be in Mumbai this week to commentate on the first two days of his final Test,” Shane Warne said.
The Aussie spinner is expected to be present in Mumbai as a commentator for the iconic batsman’s 200th and final Test match. The duo of Warne and Tendulkar has had many memorable duels with Tendulkar coming out on top in most. Warne made his debut in Sydney back in 1992 and Tendulkar welcomed him to the Test arena by smashing a hundred.
However, it was the 1998 series between Australia and India that saw the rivalry at it’s peak. Warne came to India as one of the best spinners of the world but Tendulkar tore him into pieces throughout the Test series and during the ODI series in Sharjah.
“The pressure he was under from the India public was immense but he handled himself on and off the field in a way that was respected by all,” Warne wrote in his column for the ‘Daily Telegraph’.
Warne rated Tendulkar above any other batsman because according to Warne, Tendulkar was the “best in all conditions against all types of bowling” and possessed a wonderful temperament.
“There will not be another Sachin Tendulkar. I always teach young players that cricket is not about averages even if it is a stats-based game. It is about how and when you score runs or take wickets. The great players deliver when the team is up against it and statistics do not tell you the truth about such things. Sachin is far more than a man with great numbers to boast about,” – Warne wrote.
Warne loved most innings of Tendulkar but for him, the two best Tendulkar innings were his 155 on a turning Chennai track in 1998 and his 241 in Sydney in 2003-04 when he didn’t hit a single cover drive during the entire innings.
“I saw Sachin play some great innings but two stand out. In the 1998 Test in Chennai I dismissed him fifth ball in the first innings. In the second, he hit me for six second or third ball and went on to make 155 in tough conditions to set up India to win the Test.
“Six years later at the Sydney Cricket Ground he made 241, his first Test double-century. I was injured at the time so was commentating but I had a great view of his innings from the box. He had been dismissed a few times in that series by Australia bowling full and wide. He nicked off to slip and the keeper and went into the Sydney Test on the back of scores of 0, 1, 37, 0 and 44.”
Shane Warne has been one of Tendulkar’s toughest rivals yet one of the most vocal admirers. They shared a great off field relationship and both the geniuses were invited by Sir Don Bradman on his 90th birthday.