Sachin~~s batting display bowls over admirers

Published: Friday, June 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:As awestruck Cambridge University bowlers tried hard to bounce him, the local Asian community, including former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, came out in numbers to watch Sachin Tendulkar's comeback innings and left mesmerised by the Little Master's effortless strokeplay.

''He is 33 but is still the most dangerous player in cricket right now and I love to play with him,'' Rashid Latif said after watching the Master Blaster.

The former Pakistan captain said age was no factor in Tendlkar's career and the 33-year-old could continue as long as he wanted.

''Great batting talent never dies. Steve Waugh played until 38 and Graham Gooch too played great cricket late in his career. Sachin was the top-run-scorer in the last World Cup - maybe he can be the top run-scorer in the next one,'' he added.

However, Latif has been witness to Sachin's talent many a times while facing him on-field while for the Cambridge students, who got a chance to play against him for the first time were left completely mesmerised by his skills.

''From about ball one there wasn't one ball he didn't time the pants off and smash to the boundary,'' said Ben Jacklin, a veterinary student who ultimately got Sachin out at 155.

''He was pretty awesome,'' the 22-year-old said.

The batting maestro was returning after a shoulder surgery in March and was tentative at the start to the delight of Cambridge students, who tried bouncers to unsettle him but as they later found out, Sachin was only having a feel of things before he launched an all out attack.

''One thing I've really noticed is that with any ball on his legs he's known exactly where fine leg is and he's put it either fine of the man or straight of the man for four,'' said Jacklin.

But it was former England all-rounder and Lashings 12th man Phil DeFreitas, who best summed up Sachin's performance.

''He looked like he had been playing all summer really,'' he said.

''He's a world class player. He's been out through injuries but touch and class never go away and he's shown it today,'' he added.

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