His basics are strong, he thrives on that: Kambli

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2001, 18:23 [IST]
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Mumbai: Vinod Kambli, a Capricornian, is very close to Sachin Tendulkar (a Taurian). Both came to lime light with a record 657-run partnership in an inter-school match at Mumbai. Cricket pundits had then predicted that both would play for India. While Sachin has carved a special niche for himself, Kambli has had a chequered cricketing career. Kambli has scored four Test and two One-day International centuries during the time he has been in and out of Indian cricket.

But, the southpaw was more than willing to talk about his dear friend - Sachin Tendulkar - when Thatscricket.com caught up with him at his Pune residence over the phone.

What do you think of Sachin the cricketer?

Sachin is number one. There is no doubt about it. He is a top class batsman, a useful part time bowler and takes his fielding seriously. It is a pity that he had to leave captaincy. Had he continued with it, he would have become number one there also.

Do you specially remember any of his innings?

Yes, I remember his first One-day century scored against a top class Australian team during the Singer Cup in Sri Lanka in 1994. Sachin scored eight boundries and two sixes in that match. Mind you his first century came in his 79th match. This goes to show that how perseverant a cricketer he has been.

He has never been in a hurry. His basics are strong and he thrives on that. He is always calm and cool , but at the same time does not allow the bowlers to prevail over him. He is very gutsy.

I also remember his Test innings against Australia in Chennai 1998. In the first innings he got out to Warne's delivery rather cheaply but in the second innings his batting was an epitome of all concentration. He scored an unbeaten 155 runs, which included a number of boundaries and sixes. During that innings he developed cramps and still he managed to score. It shows that even under pressure he is irrepressible.

What do you think of Sachin the person?

I have known him since he was 10 years old and also would like to tell you that I know him better than anybody else. He is a gem of a person. He is always helpful and co-operative. He is responsible and always finds time to spend with the family. He has maintained his friendship with one and all. I don't see any change in his behaviour. He is the same Sachin whom I met years ago. Success has not gone into his head. He is down to earth.

Would you like to say something special to Sachin on his Birthday?

He has become the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in One-day cricket. In the coming days he is going to create many more records. Today he is number one and after 10 years from now he will still remain as number one. During the period he will double his achievements. He is boundless and runs will keep flowing from his bat even after 10 years.

I wish him prosperity on his birthday.

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