Friday, November 20, 2009

Murali: ‘Next Sachin? Nonsense!’

“I read in the newspapers somewhere recently that a boy in Mumbai scored 400-odd runs. The papers said he’s the next Sachin. What? How can anyone say that? There’ll never be another Sachin!’’

This was world’s highest wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan’s immediate comment when asked what he thought of Sachin Tendulkar completing 20 years in international cricket.

A blank stare greeted this reporter when he sought Murali’s reactions on the batting great: “What can I say that has never been said about him before? It’s a privilege for those who have played during his (Sachin’s) time and so got associated with him. Personally, for me, bowling to him has been a privilege...’’

“Lara and Sachin,’’ he continued, emphasising on both the greats before going on to describe the latter as a “technical genius’’ which is why “he’s more special than anybody else’’.

“If he is fit, his eyesight remains the same and mentally he keeps himself as tough, I don’t think why he won’t bat the same way even when he’s 44! I just don’t understand it when you all (media) describe just about anybody as the next Sachin. There’ll never be another!’’ Murali added.

The offie finds it difficult to zero in on his favourite Tendulkar innings. “That double century in Melbourne? The one in Chennai? His century in Perth? It’s tough!’’

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