Bradman’s compliment is the best I’ve ever got: Sachin

Don Bradman would have turned hundred on Tuesday, and his name has been reverberating in the cricketing firmament since the last 80 of those years. But the last 20 years, another player’s name has been mentioned in the same breath as that of The Don.
Indeed, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, who Bradman referred to as “The Little Bonzer,” has been the only batsman to have comparably captivated people.

Bradman had told his wife that he found this ‘Little Bonzer’ playing just like him and referred to the incident when he invited Tendulkar to his home in Adelaide in 1998.

On the occasion of the birth centenary of the former Australian great, Tendulkar willingly dived into his pool of nostalgic memories. In fact, on India’s last tour to Australia in December 2007, Tendulkar was also invited for a first look of the Bradman Museum, to be unveiled at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

“It was fabulous to visit the museum. The icing on the cake was to get to hold Bradman’s bat. It felt terrific. It was a very different experience, completely unique. After all, how many people have actually held a bat which Bradman actually played with?” said Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, one among 12 players to be named in the International Cricket Hall of Fame captained by Don Bradman, brushed aside suggestions that there were similarities between their styles of play. “I don’t think so. All the talk about similarity between him and me and our styles of play came from him and it obviously was a great compliment. It makes it even bigger coming from him. But that compliment was by far the best I’ve got.”

Tendulkar has received enormous adulation Down Under in each of his four sojourns there and every time there are comparisons with the great man. The Indian great, while talking about Bradman, also doffed his hat to the Aussie crowds.

“The first time I went to Australia was in 1991 and the last time in 2008. I have toured Australia a lot and do have some connection with the people there. They have been watching me for a long time and they respect the sport, something that I truly treasure and value. It has been great playing in front of the Australian crowds, they understand the game and also value different sessions of Test cricket. They respect me as a player and I respect them as spectators.”

Given the comparisons made between him and Bradman, did Tendulkar ever try to study the former great’s batting through videos? “I haven’t done that. I have stuck to my own style. I have never tried to copy players and done only whatever my coach (Ramakant Achrekar) and brother (Ajit) told me. I have always focused on what I needed to do.”

Tendulkar missed the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka because of an injured elbow, but he looked cheerful and said he was following India’s good progress in the One-dayers with deep interest. About reports of he meeting Dr Andrew Wallace in London, Tendulkar said, “Not true. I have been making most of my time with family and am working on getting fit.”

Courtesy : TOI

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