Firstly, may I say I have the very highest regard for Sachin Tendulkar. Anyone who has achieved what he has and has continued to perform at the highest level for the amount of time he has will be remembered as one of the special people to have played cricket. He is the best cricketer of our generation and it has been a privilege playing with him and against him. Longevity and consistency, I have always maintained, are hallmarks of greatness and Sachin best exemplifies both of these qualities among contemporary cricketers.
Not many know that during my debut series in India in 2004 Sachin had presented me with a pair of his gloves. He had signed them for me and they have a pride of place in my trophy cabinet maintained by my grandfather in Sydney. Though he has scored a lot of runs against Australia and has played some of his best knocks against us, I have always enjoyed seeing him bat. Competing against the very best offers a different level...