Wellington:Sachin Tendulkar may not boast a Bradmanesque average but his ability to adjust to all formats of the game makes him the greatest batsman ever, legendary New Zealand all-rounder Richard Hadlee said here on Friday
Hadlee, who was inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame today, was in absolute awe of the Indian run-machine and said he had no doubt that he was the greatest batsman ever to grace the game.
"I played against Sachin on his tour here in 1990 when he got that 80 or 90-odd at the McLean Park in Napier. You could see then as a youngster he was a player of immense ability and talent.
"We didn't see at that time and you cannot visualise 20 years down the track what the player is likely to do in the context of the history of the game. He clearly he has been phenomenal," said the 57-year-old, arguably one of the finest all-rounders of all time.
Justifying his high regard for the Indian, Hadlee said, "When you score as many runs as he has in Test and one-day cricket and score as many centuries and half centuries as he has done, it makes him arguably the greatest player ever in the history of the game. Statistics speak volumes of his contribution to Indian and world cricket. He is a phenomenal player."
Asked if it meant Tendulkar was greater than even Don Bradman, Hadlee said, "Well, 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 and write those performances," he explained. Hadlee also felt comparisons should drive a player.
"At the end of the day it doesn't matter who are compared with. It is what you actually do yourself. I don't think anyone can dispute the contributions that Sachin and (Rahul) Dravid have made. The contributions of these players have made to Indian cricket are outstanding."