Sachin Tendulkar gave me a pair of signed gloves during my debut series: Michael Clarke

Sachin Tendulkar (L) and Michael Clarke © Getty Images

Mumbai: Apr 21, 2013

It must be an incredible high when your own team-mates and some of the best players in the opposition the world over look up to you. It’s something few players in the game can hope to achieve. Sachin Tendulkar is definitely one.

Michael Clarke, without any questions, is today one of the greatest batsmen in world cricket, arguably the greatest. Yet the awe he has for the legend of Tendulkar is exemplified in the anecdote he related to Boria Mazumdar for Outlook magazine’s special on the maestro upcoming 40th birthday: “Not many know that during my debut series in India in 2004 Sachin had presented me with a pair of his gloves. He had signed them for me and they have a pride of place in my trophy cabinet maintained by my grandfather in Sydney.”

Clarke lauded Tendulkar’s efforts and achievements on a cricket field. He opined, “Anyone who has achieved what he has and has continued to perform at the highest level for the amount of time he has will be remembered as one of the special people to have played cricket. He is the best cricketer of our generation and it has been a privilege playing with him and aga­inst him. Longevity and consistency, I have always main­t­a­ined, are hallmarks of greatness and Sachin best exe­m­pli­fies both of these qualities among contemporary cricketers.”

“When you have achieved the amount Sachin has, it is very easy to let your guard down. Sachin’s uniqueness is his ability to keep the intensity going even after 24 years of international cricket. He still chases every ball hard, runs every single with intensity, appeals with great passion and celebrates like a youngster. Such passion for the game is unprecedented and I think every youngster should learn from him,” he added.

“To conclude, it has been a privilege playing against him and I wish him all the very best for his 40th birthday. Hope he keeps going for as long as he wants to, for he has enri­ched Test cricket, the pinnacle of our much-loved game,” Clarke said.

Australia’s young opener David Warner also had a few words to say about the batting legend.

” As a youngster growing up in Australia and dreaming of scoring international centuries, I used to look at Sachin Tendulkar with a sense of awe! A hundred international hundreds and 34,000 plus runs in international cricket! It does appear surreal on occasions. In fact, as I have said on many occasions, if one has a career which is half as good as his, one should be delighted. I’d go a step further and say if one has a career a third as good as his he’d have done his country proud.”

Warner also reiterated that Tendulkar was the best batsman he had ever seen.

“To be able to survive at the top of the game for close to two-and-a-half decades and play under the kind of pressure Sachin has, there is little doubt that he is the best most of us have seen or are likely to see in the near future. He is perhaps the only non-Australian cricketer who is given a standing ovation in all Australian cricket grounds. The Australian public just loves everything he does, which, I must say, is a tribute to his achievements over the last 24 years.”