In a career spanning across two decades, Sachin Tendulkar enjoyed fiery duels with numerous bowlers. For any new bowler, Sachin’s wicket was a prized possession. For premier bowlers like Glenn McGrath or Shane Warne or Wasim Akram amongst others, getting the better of Sachin was a litmus test of their expertise and craftsmanship.
At the turn of the 21st century, two speedsters who took the cricketing world by storm were the Aussie pacer Brett Lee and Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar.
Both Lee and Akhtar fancied taking on the ‘Master Blaster’. With Sachin, these pacemen shared a fiery rivalry built on a perfect blend of aggression, drive and mutual respect.
In fact, no bowlers in the history of the game dismissed Sachin on more occasions than Lee. In contrast, even Lee was on the receiving end of Sachin’s brutal, ruthless assault on numerous times.
However, both of them shared a healthy relationship and always had respect and mutual admiration for each other.
While speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, Lee was asked about his favourite innings of Sachin against Australia.
The 43-years old picked Sachin’s knock in 1999 Boxing Day as the best he has ever seen. The batting maestro, albeit in a losing cause, scored 116 in first and 52 in the second innings.
“Which one? He always scored a hundred against Australia, didn’t he? The Boxing day Test, I have played a few Boxing Day Tests against Sachin but any time Sachin gets a hundred, it’s almost like it’s a different level. And I have played against some of the great cricketers and I have always said that Sachin Tendulkar in my opinion is the best batsman ever,” said the veteran pacer.
“He got a lot of hundreds against us and it was almost like that when Sachin got a hundred, you would just clap and say too good mate. And then try and knock him out next ball,” Lee concluded.