A salute to Sachin Tendulkar provided a welcome distraction from the unedifying sledging debate which lowered the tone of the Ashes contest as it headed for rarefied air on the eve of the Boxing Day Test match. And, inevitably, Sachin’s achievement in scoring his 50th Test match century prompted another series of comparative studies and analyses with Don Bradman, and begs the question whether this modern master may even be the greatest batsman of all time.
There was a time when such a claim would have been considered intemperate—even blasphemous. But no longer. After all, Bradman admired the way Tendulkar plays, believing he could see something of himself in the little master’s technique and temperament.
Tendulkar, the most self-effacing of men, is flattered, but deeply embarrassed by comparisons with Bradman. He is of the opinion that there can be no argument, as Bradman possesses the most fantastic statistic in cricket if not in all sport—a Test batting average of 99.94.
Of course, this is...