Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and worshipped cricketers in the world. He has single-handedly inspired millions of youngsters across the globe to join the fascinating game.
When Tendulkar had decided to hang his boots, he was the leading run-scorer in Tests as well as in the ODIs. The ‘Master Blaster’ also finished as the highest century scorer in both red-ball cricket and 50-over format.
But when it comes to modern-day cricket, who match the aura and skillset of Tendulkar? Well, former West Indies fast bowlers Ian Bishop and Curtly Ambrose expressed their views and revealed their picks during a chat session with celebrity anchor and cricket presenter Karishma Kotak.
Before naming the players, Bishop explained how Tendulkar was different from the rest of the cricketers and termed him as all-time greats like Brian Lara and Viv Richards.
Bishop admitted that Tendulkar was the most difficult batsmen he had faced in his career as the Mumbai lad had the ability to punish the good deliveries on either side of the field.
“I’ve always said this is on public record that the times that I played against Sachin Tendulkar, I found him to be the most difficult batsman to bowl to because he could put away your good balls. Deliveries that I would use short of a length at a batsman to tuck him up into dry up runs, Sachin could punch it off the back foot down the ground through the offside or pull it through the on the side, so to me, he was the most difficult guy that I bowled against,” said Bishop.
“I think Sachin Tendulkar cut his great niche player. I think we have to park him in that great hall of fame position with the likes of Lara (Brian Lara), Richards (Sir Vivian Richards),” he added.
When it comes to picking modern players, Bishop went on to mention Virat Kohli as the best white-ball batsman at present. While for the Tests, he named Kane Williamson, Joe Root and Steve Smith.
“There are so many good players around the world; I mean, you look at what Virat Kohli has done. I don’t think there’s a better white-ball player than Virat Kohli in one-day international cricket. He will go down as perhaps the greatest one-day batsman ever simply because of his consistency. And if you’re talking red-ball cricket, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Joe Root, those are the guys up there.”
Bishop also talked about Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and said he is a good player as he is so consistent in white-ball cricket. The former Windies international picked David Warner and Nicolas Pooran as the two most destructive stroke makers.
“If you’re talking guys who are destructive, you’re talking about someone like David Warner. If you’re talking white-ball cricket, I mean there are several really good options worldwide, Babar Azam, for example, for his consistency. From the Caribbean, I think Nicholas Pooran is going to be potentially an outstanding player in the world game in the shortest format. How he transcends, formats is going to be something to behold,” Bishop added further.
Like his former teammate, Ambrose also heaped praises on Tendulkar and explained how the Indian batting phenom was different from other cricketers. Ambrose reckoned that modern players often give bowlers a chance to dismiss them, but Tendulkar never did.
“I can say that what probably separates Tendulkar from the other great players is that he was so compact; he never give you a chance to get him out; you have to really get him out. Most of the great players nowadays do give you a chance because they will come after you more often than not. Tendulkar doesn’t do that. I never show any signs of weakness either you know it doesn’t matter how much you play and miss some balls, and you get frustrated. But he hardly ever showed emotions, so you never know what he’s thinking, and that to me separates him from the others,” said Ambrose.
Ambrose agreed with Bishop and felt the ‘Fab Four’ of the modern era has to be there along with Babar, who has shown consistency as well.
“Like we said, we can’t compare, but just to name a few, I have to agree with him (Bishop) talking about Joe Root, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, you know, all these guys have been so consistent. Babar Azam has also been quite consistent. And of course, there is Virat Kohli as well, who is good in all formats,” added Ambrose.