'Sachin Tendulkar is the best batsman ever' - Brett Lee

Kartik Iyer
·4-min read

Sachin Tendulkar scored his maiden Test century at Old Trafford in 1990
Sachin Tendulkar scored his maiden Test century at Old Trafford in 1990

Former Australian pace bowler Brett Lee has opined that Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest-ever batsman to have graced the cricket field. He added that the Master Blaster's knocks were of a different level from any of the other great batsmen he played against.

Sanjay Manjrekar and Brett Lee talked about the speedy growth of Sachin Tendulkar as a cricketer and the quality of his batsmanship during an interaction on the Star Sports' show Cricket Connected.

Sanjay Manjrekar was asked about his memories of Sachin Tendulkar's century during the Old Trafford Test of 1990, the latter's maiden Test ton that helped India save the match.

Manjrekar, who had played a 93-run knock in the first innings of the same Test match, responded that his fellow Mumbaikar's knock had not come as a surprise to anyone. He pointed out the growing maturity that Sachin Tendulkar had shown with each passing series, after starting off a little hastily in his maiden series against Pakistan.

"Those signs were there. It wasn't that we were astounded by the effort. Because this is a guy whose climb at the international level from the age of 16, who started playing in Pakistan with a few good innings there but there was a certain amount of looseness, impetuous kind of batting outside the off-stump."

Sanjay Manjrekar observed that Sachin Tendulkar had ironed out all his flaws by the time the England series started while adding that he had not seen anyone have a more meteoric rise in international cricket.

"In New Zealand, he had one 80 and he had become a little tighter. But come England, he had sealed all his weaknesses. So that hundred was just a recognition of the growth of this man and I have never seen anyone come to international cricket so quickly."

Manjrekar highlighted the 1991-92 Test series in Australia where the young Sachin Tendulkar smashed a couple of centuries in Sydney and Perth to herald his dominance on world cricket.

"And then in Australia immediately after England, he went there and dominated international cricket as a batsman."

Brett Lee on his encounters against Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar and Brett Lee have been involved in some memorable encounters
Sachin Tendulkar and Brett Lee have been involved in some memorable encounters

Brett Lee was asked to pick his favourite Sachin Tendulkar knock against Australia. The speedster responded jovially that it was difficult to pick one as the Indian batting genius always scored a century against the Aussies.

"Which one? He always scored a hundred against Australia, didn't he."

On a serious note, Brett Lee opted for Sachin Tendulkar's century in the Boxing Day Test of 1999 as his favourite Test ton while adding that all of the little man's hundreds were a class above the rest of the batsmen.

"The Boxing day Test, I have played a few Boxing Day Tests against Sachin but any time Sachin gets a hundred, it's almost like it's a different level."

Brett Lee labelled Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest batsman to have ever wielded the willow.

"And I have played against some of the great cricketers and I have always said that Sachin Tendulkar in my opinion is the best batsman ever."

Brett Lee signed off by stating that Sachin Tendulkar's centuries always drew applause from him, although he tried to get rid of the latter off the very next delivery.

"He got a lot of hundreds against us and it was almost like that when Sachin got a hundred, you would just clap and say too good mate. And then try and knock him out next ball."

Sachin Tendulkar had played a 116-run knock in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test of 1999. Although the then-Indian captain also scored 52 runs in the second essay, he could not prevent the team from losing the Test match by 180 runs.