Brian Lara says the Mumbai Test starting on Thursday will find out how Sachin Tendulkar motivates himself ahead of a big event. Saying India will never ever produce another Tendulkar, Lara said the Test at Wankhede will see how the retiring 40-year-old motivates himself ahead of his 200th and final Test in front of his home crowd. India lead the two-match Test series 1-0 after thrashing West Indies by an innings and 51 runs at Kolkata's Eden Gardens last week.
"If I was in his shoes I would be thinking that I don't need to prove anything...it will be wonderful if I can get a big score in my last game and I will prepare for that ...put myself in the best place to get that. Not put myself in undue pressure because there is nothing more to prove," said Lara to NDTV. (Watch full interview here)
With more than 35,000 partisan fans expected to chant "Sachiiin, Sachiiiin," Lara feels the Mumbai Test will see how Tendulkar motivates himself. "Most important thing is that he must find out what motivates him. If it is to put him under pressure, let him do it...if he want to relax, let that be. I am here to see (Sachin score) runs and to see West Indies win," said Lara.
Lara said he will be happy to see Tendulkar score a century, but won't give him a free run. "I will make sure he fights for his runs and he will like to fight to get that one run for his hundred," said Lara. The 44-year-old Trinidadian, who has scored 11,953 Test runs, said Tendulkar was a once in a life-time cricketer. Lara didn't see any Indian coming anywhere close to the master blaster in the next five years.
"No Indian will achieve what he has. In terms of stats, you can have players with better stats... Virat Kohli in the one-day game is exceptional, but in sport there are some individuals, no matter in which era, who can't be replaced. When you speak about cricket, I will speak about Sachin," said Lara. (Also read: Sachin is Michael Jordan of cricket)
Another Indian legend Sourav Ganguly said that Tendulkar timed his retirement to perfection. "When you are 39-40, in the modern era with everything happening so quickly, you don't realize the drop (in form). Suddenly it feels that it's (all) going past me. It's a fantastic decision," said Ganguly.
The former Indian captain said retiring in front of his home fans was a good decision. "When he looks back at his career, he will think that he has done himself proud. There is nothing that he has not achieved. If he had extended his career by six months it would not have helped him or cricket," said Ganguly.