When Sachin Tendulkar traveled to Pakistan to face one of the finest bowling attacks ever assembled in cricket; Michael Schumacher was yet to race a F1 car, Lance Armstrong had never been to the Tour de France, Diego Maradona was still the captain of a world champion Argentina team, Pete Sampras had never won a Grand Slam.
When Tendulkar embarked on a glorious career taming Imran and company, Roger Federer was a name unheard of; Lionel Messi was in his nappies, Usain Bolt was an unknown kid in the Jamaican backwaters. The Berlin Wall was still intact, USSR was one big, big country, Dr Manmohan Singh was yet to “open” the Nehruvian economy. It seems while Time was having his toll on every individual on the face of this planet, he excused one man. Time stands frozen in front of Sachin Tendulkar. We have had champions, we have had legends, but we have never had another Sachin Tendulkar and we never will.
Sachin Tendulkar has often reminded me of a veteran army colonel who has many medals on his chest to show how he has conquered bowlers all over the world.
To get his wicket better not prepare. Atleast you won't regret if he hits you for boundaries.
During our team meetings, we often speak about the importance of the first 12 balls to Tendulkar. If you get him then you can thank your stars, otherwise it could mean that tough times lie ahead.
I have delayed my shoots many times to watch Sachin bat
'To Sachin, the man we all want to be.'
-Andrew Symonds wrote on an aussie t-shirt he autographed specially for Sachin.
There are 2 kind of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar. Two all the others.
I am fortunate that I've to bowl at him only in the nets.
I can be hundred per cent sure that Sachin will not play for a minute longer when he is not enjoying himself. He is still so eager to go out there and play. He will play as long as he feels he can play.
-Anjali Tendulkar, Sachin's wife
You get him out and half the battle is won
Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives.
You might pitch a ball on the off stump and think you have bowled a good ball and he walks across and hits it for two behind mid wicket. His bat looks so heavy but he just waves it around like it's a toothpick.
Sachin is a genius. I'm a mere mortal.
You know genius when you see it, and let me tell you, Sachin is pure genius.
He has been in form longer than some of our guys have been alive.
For Sachin the balance is there. He is quick to complete his shot. He covers the crease much better than mere mortals.
If he is not the best then I want to see the best.
If I'm to bowl to Sachin, I will bowl with my helmet on. He hits the ball so hard.
No Michael, as long as you walk off with your pride that's all you can do.
-Dennis Lillee to Michael Kasprowicz, when the latter asked if Lillee could see any weaknesses.
I saw him playing on television and was struck by his technique, so I asked my wife to come look at him. Now I never saw myself play, but I feel that this player is playing much the same as I used to play, and she looked at him on television and said yes, there is a similarity between the two... high compactness, technique, stroke production... It all seemed to gel!
-Sir Donald Bradman, widely regarded as the greatest batsman in the history of cricket.
Technically, you can't fault Sachin. Seam or spin, fast or slow nothing is a problem.
The joy he brings to the millions of his countrymen, the grace with which he handles all the adulation and the expectations and his innate humility - all make for a one-in-a-billion individual.
Tendulkar is the best in the world at the moment. Why I've always liked him is that batsmen tend to be negative at times and I think batting is not about not getting out - it is to play positively. I think you got to take it to the bowlers and Sachin is one such player. When you do so, you change the game, you change bowlers because they suddenly start bowling badly because they are under pressure.
I'd like to see him go out one day and bat with a stump. I tell you he'd do OK…. I just get the feeling because of his mental strength that Sachin will be definitely the best player of his era and probably the best 2-3 of all time.
He is a perfectly balanced batsman and knows perfectly well when to attack and when to play defensive cricket.He has developed the ability to treat bowlers all over the world with contempt and can destroy any attack with utmost ease.
For every ball Sachin has two shots in his mind. And he gets out when he plays the third one.
-Harsha Bhogle, cricket commentator and journalist
I had to remind Gary Kristen often that he was in the covers to field against Sachin not to applaud him.
Nothing bad can happen to us if we're on a plane in India with Sachin Tendulkar on it.
-Hashim Amla as he boards a flight.
Whenever I see Sachin play I am reminded of the Graeme Pollock quote of Cricket being a 'see the ball, hit the ball game.' He hits the ball as if it's there to be hit.
It did dawn on me at the end of the series that he was something special.
-Ian Healy after Tendulkar's tour to Australia in 1991/92.
I know that the new ball is due, but I am saving it for that "Chotu" (Sachin) who is coming next.
-Imran Khan (captain) of Pakistan to Javed Miandad (vice captain) in Sachin's debut test series (1989).
"Chotu" is a subcontinental term for the one who is lean and short.
He loves cricket and with his hard-work, focus and commitment he has truly become a outstanding ambassador for the sport at a time when commercialism is so rampant.
-Former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad
The way he has taken on the role of India's greatest sporting ambassador... He has, among other things, inspired a generation and more to play cricket.
-India's 1983 World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev
He continues to give more than 100 per cent and his schoolboy-like enthusiasm for the game is something I envy and admire. For the team he is the best available coaching manual.
-Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
We did not lose to a team called India... we lost to a man called Sachin.
-Mark Taylor, during the test match in Chennai (1998)
The pressure on me is nothing compared to Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin, like God, must never fail. The crowd always expects him to succeed and it is too much pressure on him. But, he rarely disappoints them.
Sachin was so focused. He never looked like getting out. He was batting with single-minded devotion. It was truly remarkable. It was a lesson.
-Martina Navratilova - Tennis legend joins the Sachin Tendulkar fan club after watching him bat at Sydney.
I have seen God, he bats at no. 4 for India.
'This little prick's going to get more runs than you, AB.'
-Merv Hughes to Allan Border after an 18-year-old Tendulkar scored a century in Perth. Tendulkar now has scored more runs than Border.
Don't bowl him bad balls, he hits the good ones for fours.
The more I see him, the more I want to see him.
There will never be another Sachin Tendulkar.
Sachin cannot cheat. He is to cricket what Gandhiji was to politics. It's clear discrimination.
-NKP Salve, when Sachin was accused of ball tempering
What we (Zimbabwe) need is 10 Tendulkars.
On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was a halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for few minutes as usual. Sachin was nearing century, batting on 98. The passengers, railway officials, everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This genius can stop time in India!
-Peter Roebuck, Aussie journalist
He is one of the rare few who don't boast after scoring a 241, rather comes back to pavilion just to see the replay of his dismissal and rectify it in future.
Sachin has been sent by God to play cricket and then go back.
I never get tired during umpiring whenever Sachin is on crease
Sachin made 9 centuries in one year but many cricketer did not make 9 centuries in their whole career.
There was a big party where stars from bollywood and cricket were invited. Suddenly, there was a big noise, all wanted to see approaching Amitabh Bachhan. Then Sachin entered the hall and Amitabh was leading the queue to get a grab of the genius!
-Shahrukh Khan in an interview when asked who he thought the most important celebrity was.
You have to watch India in India truly to appreciate the pressure that Sachin Tendulkar is under every time he bats. Outside grounds, people wait until he goes in before paying to enter. They seem to want a wicket to fall even though it is their own side that will suffer. This is cricket as Sachin has known it since the age of 16. He grew up under incredible weight of expectation and never buckled once – not under poor umpiring decisions or anything else. I place him very slightly ahead of Lara because I found him slightly tougher mentally.
I'll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six. He was unstoppable. I don't think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar. He is just an amazing player.
You have to decide for yourself whether you're bowling well or not. He's going to hit you for fours and sixes anyway. Kasprowicz has a superior story. During the Bangalore Test, frustrated, he went to Dennis Lillee and asked, "Mate, do you see any weaknesses?" Lillee replied, "No Michael, as long as you walk off with your pride that's all you can do".
Sachin Tendulkar. Then daylight.
-Shane Warne when asked who he thought the greatest batsman in the world was.
Don't sledge Sachin, rather befriend him.
It was one of the greatest innings I have ever seen. There is no shame being beaten by such a great player, Sachin is perhaps only next to the Don.
-Steve Waugh after being defeated in the Coca-Cola Cup finals in Sharjah.
We won with ten, but lost to one.
The last time I watched Sachin was last week when he was on his way to a spectacular 175 and once again I felt that I was watching a player who comes but once in a century. It can be said that he is the Bradman of our times and I do feel privileged to have played a lot of cricket against him,”
I have never seen Bradman but heard people talk about him. But I tell you what, if Bradman could bat like this man does then he was dynamite. Players like Sachin deserve to be preserved in cotton wool.
He can play that leg glance with a walking stick also.
Today, he showed the world why he is considered the best batsman around. Some of the shots he played were simply amazing. Earlier, opposing teams used to feel that Sachin's dismissal meant they could win the game. Today, I feel that the Indian players, too, feel this way.
-Wasim Akram after game at Hobart, CUB series, 1999.
I don't know what to bowl at him. I bowled an inswinger and he drove me through covers of the front foot. Then I bowled an outswinger and he again punched through covers of the backfoot. He is the toughest batsmen I've bowled to. He should live long and score lots of runs, but not against Pakistan.
Tujhe pata hai tune kiska catch chhoda hai?
Do you know whose catch you've dropped?
-Wasim Akram to Abdul Razzaq when the latter dropped Sachin's catch in 2003 world cup and later played an unforgettable innings of his life.
Cricketers like Sachin come once in a lifetime, and I am privileged he played in my time.
Sometimes you get so engrossed in watching batsmen like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar that you lose focus on your job.
I Will See God When I Die But Till Then I Will See Sachin Tendulkar
-A banner in Sharjah
Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting. They will go unnoticed because even the Lord is watching.
-A placard at the Sydney Cricket Ground
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