Image courtesy of: The Guardian
“I believe Sachin has done a tremendous job, not just for Indian cricket but for world cricket”
In an emotional tribute to his long-time friend, legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara has announced that “Sachin Tendulkar has definitely had the best cricket career out of any cricketer that I have known”.
Tendulkar will bring the final chapter of his illustrious 24-year career to a close after playing his 200th Test match against the West Indies in his hometown of Mumbai on November 14.
“I believe Sachin has done a tremendous job, not just for Indian cricket but for world cricket,” Lara told Sky Sports News Radio. “If there’s any accolade I can place on him it’s that, although everybody has their opinion about who is the best, but Sachin Tendulkar has definitely had the best cricket career out of any cricketer that I have known.
“The amount of people he has affected, the amount of matches he’s played – it’s the greatest cricket career that anyone has ever played out.”
Lara also revealed who he believes are the best three batsmen in international cricket as of right now.
“I don’t like to meddle in it too much, but looking at the new version of the game and trying to place somebody who is on top in all forms of the game – I would think (AB) de Villiers is someone who has held their own, (Kevin) Pietersen has had a few injuries but he’s someone I have great respect for as well,” he said. “Virat Kholi is definitely someone for the future and I’m a little bit worried about my scores in the 400 and 500 region with this young player! He scores quickly, loves all versions of the game and he’s tremendous for world cricket.”
The record-holding batsman also feels that Pietersen will play a crucial role in helping England win their fourth Ashes series in a row, a feat which they have not accomplished since the 1890s.
He added that former Australia spin king Shane Warne’s comments about England captain Alastair Cook being “negative, boring [and] not very imaginative” were totally unfair, especially considering what he has accomplished in the past 12 months.
“I’ve been criticised more than he has! I saw a bit of the Ashes, most importantly they won the Ashes, I know they had a tough time in the Middle East against Pakistan but it’s always up and down with captains,” Lara said. “It’s going to be closer than in England, there were a few matches when Australia were involved for some time before losing momentum.”
Meanwhile, Lara also conceded that the West Indies will struggle to beat India in their own backyard.
“We’re very good in the shorter version of the game, but still struggling in Test matches, let’s see what happens in India – I believe there will be two batting paradises for Tendulkar to get lots of runs so let’s see if we can stave off defeat over there,” he said.