Wellington: Rated as the greatest batsman by Kiwis legend Richard Hadlee, star Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said the accolade was a pleasant surprise for him, coming from a player of such unquestionable credentials.
Hadlee recently rated Tendulkar even higher than Don Bradman, considering the Indian's staggering success in both the long and short formats of the game.
Tendulkar said it was a rare honour, especially coming from Hadlee, one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the game ever.
"Nobody has ever said like that before. I am happy and satisfied," an elated Tendulkar said.
"This comes as a pleasant surprise and it comes from a personality whose credentials cannot be questioned. I am happy that I played with him on my first tour to New Zealand in 1989," the Indian told a website.
Hadlee had earlier pointed to Tendulkar's mind-boggling achievements while rating him the greatest batsman ever.
"Sir Donald Bradman has been regarded as the greatest player ever. He played just Test cricket. He hasn't played any other forms of the game. Clearly that is understandable.
"But to see Sachin and other players actually adjust to different forms of the game and different conditions all around the world, even though the average is fractionally more than half of the Don's is in itself incredible. You got to respect it," Hadlee had said.