'Lara was great and Ponting was brilliant, but Sachin is the greatest' - Sourav Ganguly reflects on Master Blaster's greatness

India's cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar has turned 50.

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Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav GAnguly
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav GAnguly (Photo by Samir Janavia and Bhushan Koyande via Getty Images)

Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar turned 50 years old on April 24, 2023, and to mark the special occasion, a book titled ‘Sachin@50 Celebrating a Maestro’ has been launched to commemorate 50 years of the greatness of the ‘Master Blaster’. The book features quotes from several big names of the cricketing world describing Tendulkar’s splendours.

Hailed as the greatest cricketer after the legendary Sir Don Bradman, Tendulkar rose in stature in the cricketing fraternity with his splendid performances all around the globe in his 24-year-long career. In the book, former India captain Sourav Ganguly called his former team-mate and opening partner the greatest cricketer he’s ever seen for his insatiable hunger for runs.

“He is the greatest cricketer I have ever seen. I haven’t seen Bradman, but he is as close to perfection as you can get. His insatiable hunger and incredible talent made him an absolute genius. When people say things about him, I point to them the 100 international hundreds. Can you imagine the hunger and motivation of a player who has achieved that?” an excerpt from the book reads.

Tendulkar played in an era which also featured two other great batters of his generation namely Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting. The 49-year-old ruled the ODI format after a few initial quiet years as Lara and Ponting were always chasing him in the overall ODI runs tally. In the Test format, he surpassed Lara’s record of most runs after the latter's retirement and set a new record finishing with 15,921 runs to his name in the longest format.

Throwing light on the difference between Tendulkar and other great players, Ganguly further said that the Mumbai-born batter never took things for granted and would never play a loose shot in the second innings even after scoring a hundred in the first one.

“The difference between Sachin and a really good player is that the latter, if he scores a hundred in the first innings and has once again scored a fifty in the second, will, in all likelihood, play one loose shot after that. It happened to us all. Sachin, however, will leave nothing to chance and will get the second innings hundred as well. That’s why I always say that Lara was great and Ponting was brilliant, but Sachin, without hesitation, is the greatest.”

Tendulkar broke several records in his illustrious cricketing career and set high standards for the batters of future generations to follow. He has the most number of runs in both ODIs and Test formats with 18426 runs and 15921 runs to his name respectively. He further has a staggering 100 international hundreds to his name, a landmark which is expected to remain untouched for a long time. 



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