Sourav Ganguly, under whose captaincy Tendulkar played for five long years, says he often benefited from Sachin’s wisdom
What can I say about Sachin Tendulkar that has not already been said or written about? Isn’t it enough to say that players of my generation have been lucky to share the dressing room with him?
Having known him from very close quarters right from our days we used to play under-15 cricket, I have marvelled at the manner in which he has built his career, admired his single-minded approach to batting and the way he has handled fame and fortune.
After I took over the captaincy from him in 2000, I have often benefited from his cricketing wisdom. In my book, there are three aspects to being Sachin Tendulkar: the batsman, the person and the superstar.
The batsman: Simply put, he is the best batsman that I have seen or played with or against. He is head and shoulders above the rest and there is no comparison. Having opened with him in over 200 ODIs and been at the other end of the wicket on hundreds of occasions, I’ve marvelled at his ability to play shots that lesser mortals would not even think of attempting. With a cricket bat in hand, Sachin is supremely confident. There is no better sight in cricket than Sachin in full flow.
The person: The best thing about Sachin is that despite scaling new peaks of popularity, he has both feet planted firmly on the ground. That’s the reason he has not only survived for 20 long years as a top-level athlete but continues to prosper in all walks of life. In life as well as in cricket, Sachin always strikes the right balance. I have no doubt in my mind that he will continue to do the country proud with the bat for as long as he chooses to play.
The superstar: In a cricket-crazy country where everyone wants a piece of him, I have never seen Sachin throw tantrums, on or off the field. He is a role model for the youth and carries himself with dignity. He also has very deeprooted values and stands by them. He is easily India’s biggest sporting icon of his generation.