Sachin Tendulkar, during his playing days, was often compared to Australian legend Don Bradman, who was the best the sport had seen before the Indian's arrival on the scene. In his career that lasted 24 years, Tendulkar broke records at will, amassing 34,357 runs, thus achieving a demi-god status in Indian cricket. Now, with his meteoric rise, Virat Kohli's comparison with Tendulkar is obvious. In an exclusive conversation with NDTV, Sachin Tendulkar said that he is not a fan of comparisons but thinks Kohli's achievements are fantastic. Moreover, Tendulkar, whose signature straight drives were a treat for the sore eyes, said that he is a big fan of Kohli's flawless cover drives.
"I've never liked comparisons but what he has been able to achieve is fantastic. I am fond of his cover drives. What I like the most is his balance and the full stride out. Each batsman is recognised with one shot and cover drives belong to Kohli," Tendulkar said.
Following his record-breaking spree in the recently-concluded ODI series against the Windies, Kohli has been rested for the three-match T20I series. His next big challenge will be when the 29-year-old will lead his team on their much-awaited tour of Australia.
Australia was always a happy hunting ground for Tendulkar and when he was asked about India's chances Down Under, he said that the visitors will have an edge over the struggling hosts.
"Australians are known to be competitive but I don't see much of depth in their batting. The bowling side is decent. So, it all boils down to the surfaces they provide us. If they are going to be normal falttish surfaces which they have for some time, then I can say it's going to work in India's favour. We've got quality spinners as well. The way I see it, the batters need to contribute more and things will change," Tendulkar said.
In July this year, Tendulkar joined forces with Middlesex Cricket to launch an academy for budding cricketers.
The first camp of the academy, with aspiring cricketers between 7 to 18 years participating in it, began at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday.
Talking about his initiative, Tendulkar said that he thinks it is his responsibility to give back to the sport.
"With my 24 years of international cricket experience, we have come together. We have jotted down a plan. It's not completely different and basics will never change."
"The idea is to have a camp. This will be a 4-day introductory camp where we have got level 1,2,3 coaches. There's also a Level 4 coach. Not many Level 4 coaches around in the world I would say. So, some real high standards of coaching. The first camp is here at DY Patil stadium, the next one is at MIG in Bandra east. We have 2 camps in Pune from 12th to 20th November. Beyond that idea is to have acadamies, tie up with schools and colleges, also to have big clubs. I have always been quite vocal about supporting all other sports," Tendulkar said.
(With inputs from Rica Roy)