19 September, 2020

The Butcher Of Bandra

At 25, Sachin is the best batsman to have played the game, but for the peerless Bradman

The Butcher Of Bandra

IS Sachin Tendulkar the greatest 25-year-old to have played the game? That's an easy question to answer. Yes. No other great—Don Bradman and Gary Sobers included—has stepped on the escalator of international cricket at 16, as Sachin did, and gone only one way, up, every year for nine years. No other great, Bradman and Sobers combined, has played as many Tests—61—or even a fraction of the one-dayers (196) by the time he was 25. And, as a result, no other great has managed to score 33 international centuries, 61 fifties and 11,622 runs so quickly.

And if your random access memory is a mere 8 MB (months per batsman) it gets even more easy to get the adjectives flowing: 446 runs of emphatic arrogance against Shane Warne's Australia; five centuries, six fifties and 1,235 runs in 23 one-dayers this year; a century apiece in all the big finals—in Sharjah, Calcutta, Colombo—and at Lord's for those who had missed. And already the leading ton-getter (17) in instant cricket alongside Desmond Haynes.

These eight months of...



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