Mumbai: When you talk about a man with 100 international hundreds, there is a lot of scope for debate as to which of his tons was the best.
For cricketers, Test matches are the pinnacle of the sport and it was no surprise that his teammates and opponents picked his longer format tons as his best work, though even in this case, there was no consensus on one ‘best’ knock among 51.
Javagal Srinath, who played for more than 11 years in the company of Tendulkar for India, said he had two favourites.
“One was the Perth hundred in 1992. It was a very fast wicket, with good fast bowlers in the opposition. Then, just six months later against South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg (111). It was made against the fastest bowlers and was magnificent,” Srinath told MAIL TODAY.
Elaborating on the Perth knock (114), Srinath said: “There was a big crack on the wicket. That innings stands out. He was a changed player after the ton at Perth.”
Former India wicket-keeper Kiran More concurred. “It is the best knock I’ve seen in my cricketing life. With the pitch and the quality of the attack, the fact that he was a teenager playing in Australia and the shots he played — it was terrific. In the slips, we had the likes of Allan Border and David Boon and they didn’t say much on the day. But the looks they gave each other and the body language just gave it away — they were silently appreciating how he was playing. I could see that from the non-striker’s end,” he told MAIL TODAY.
For legendary Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis, though, Tendulkar’s valiant 136 in India’s narrow defeat in Chennai stands out.
“The Chennai Test match sticks to mind. It’s the first thing that pops up when I think of Sachin. That was one special innings. I haven’t seen anyone play as good a knock in Test cricket,” he said.
Tendulkar’s contemporary great Brian Lara of the West Indies, though, begs to differ.
The unbeaten 241 Tendulkar scored in Sydney in 2004, when he didn’t play a single cover drive, is the greatest knock.
“Sachin showed so much discipline during that innings and went on to get 241 not out. That was something out of the world. The greatest player was curbing himself for the cause of his team,” he said.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
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