Sachin Tendulkar plays a shot during his innings of 241 against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2001 © Getty Images
New Delhi: Oct 2, 2013
The many heads totting the stands at the fortress-like Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi on Wednesday, got more than their money’s worth as Brian Lara recalled Sachin Tendulkar’s masterpiece at the Sydney Cricket Ground even as the Indian walked back to the time the Trinidadian would have the best of bowlers at his mercy.
It was a sight any cricket fan would die for as the two masters of modern-day cricket stood together for a few moments, literally leaving the the crowd at the Kotla in a state of ecstasy.
“I remember the series against Australia when Sachin didn’t play a single cover drive till the time he reached the double century,” Lara said when he was asked about one Tendulkar moment he just couldn’t forget.
Tendulkar went on to score 241 as the Test, which was Steve Waugh‘s last, ended in a tame draw at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground a little over a decade ago.
“Sachin was always different… the Indian team had many great batsmen like [Rahul] Dravid and [VVS] Laxman,” the 44-year-old Trinidadian who still holds the record for the highest score in Test and first-class cricket said, amid huge cheers from the packed stadium.
Tendulkar was not left behind as he too, recalled the days when Lara would literally toy with the opposition bowling, saying they [opposition] would be left thinking which was the best place to land the ball while bowling to the left-handed batsman.
The two greats met just before the Champions League Twenty20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Trinidad and Tobago.
Lara also had a word of praise for young Sanju Samson, who has been a revelation of sorts for the Rajasthan Royals in the Champions League Twenty20.
The West Indian legend made no bones about the fact that Twenty20 is not a format he would have fancied.
“I don’t think I would have been too successful in T20 cricket as I was a batsman who needed time to settle down. I believe guys like Sachin, Ricky [Ponting] were suited to this format.”
All in all, after the barrage of fours and sixes they witness from the blades of Rohit Sharma and Dwayne Smith, the coming together of the two legends on the same platform meant the Delhi crowd couldn’t have asked for more.