Greg Chappell and Sachin Tendulkar may not send birthday cards to each other, but the Australian, who reportedly had an icy relationship with Tendulkar towards the end of his coaching term in 2007, has acknowledged Tendulkar’s greatness in more ways than one.
In a column for The Hindu newspaper, Chappell wrote: “It is hard to imagine that Tendulkar played Test cricket at the tender age of 16. That he played for 23 years is astonishing, because I believe everyone has a finite number of significant performances in them. To think that he has carried the hopes and expectations of more than a billion people each time he batted, set him apart, even from Bradman.
“He also played in many more countries and varied conditions than Bradman. Along the way, he compiled a batting record that may never be challenged. This can be credited to an awesome talent, a unique grounding and an ability to switch off from the distractions around him.”
Chappell credited Tendulkar for cricket being viewed as a career option these days.
“Travelling with the Indian cricket team was like travelling with The Beatles. People lined the streets waving and shouting as the team bus drove by and crowds jostled at airports and hotels just to get a glimpse of the members of the band. And, Sachin was the Indian team’s John Lennon! Everybody wanted a piece of him; a look, a touch, a photograph or an autograph,” Chappell continued.
Tendulkar has endured a highly forgettable series against England in which he had just one 50-plus score. There is a huge talk over his retirement, but Tendulkar has survived similar scenarios.