Thatscricket - News - Steve better batsman than Sachin: Sunny
Published: Saturday, June 9, 2001, 23:09 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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New Delhi: India's cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar said on Friday that Australia's Steve Waugh was a better Test batsman than Sachin Tendulkar for his ability to deliver in tight situations.Gavaskar, writing in his widely syndicated column, slammed Tendulkar for throwing away his wicket in the second Test against Zimbabwe at Harare this week, which the hosts won by four wickets to square the two-match series.Tendulkar slashed a widish delivery to point after making 69 as India collapsed from 197 for three to 234 all out, leaving Zimbabwe a modest victory target of 157."It's time to listen to the Australians who rate their captain as the best Test batsman in the world for his ability to either win or save matches for his team outside his home environs," Gavaskar wrote.Tendulkar was the mainstay as India chased its first series win outside the sub-continent in 15 years after winning the first Test at Bulawayo.But brittle batting by an outstanding line-up-at least on paper - ruined India's hopes at Harare after scoring 237 in the first innings and 234 in the second."It was the batting that let the team down," wrote Gavaskar, the first batsman to complete 10,000 Test runs and the scorer of a record 34 centuries."When batsmen who are set, have done all the hard work, throw their wickets away to loose shots, then the team is never going to put enough runs on the board."Why blame Venkat Sai Laxman when the best batsman in the universe (Tendulkar) gets a half-century and then gets out, when a big score from him is the crying need of the team."This was, however, not the first time Tendulkar had disappointed his fans.Tendulkar could score just four runs when India, chasing 120 to win, was bowled out for 81 by the West Indies in the Barbados Test in 1997.Against Pakistan at Chennai in 1999, Tendulkar failed to complete the job despite scoring 136 as India succumbed by 12 runs.In contrast, Steve Waugh has the reputation of producing runs when it matters most. His 110 against India in the second Test at Kolkata early this year came after his team slid to 269 for eight in the first innings.Brian Lara of the West Indies and Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq are the other batsmen renowned for playing match-winning knocks under pressure.Australia was at the receiving end when Lara scored a robust unbeaten 153 to mastermind his team's one-wicket victory at Bridgetown in 1998-99.Inzamam, rated by his Pakistani colleagues as the best batsman in the world, made a brilliant 114 to set up his team's series levelling win against England at Old Trafford earlier this month.