“...there was one batsman I couldn’t get out: Sachin Tendulkar. He got a century in the first innings and a 50 in the second. I was amazed at how good he was. When he came out to bat I felt the energy lift in the field and crowd. Any fans of the comedy movie Spinal Tap might understand my efforts against Sachin in this way: you have a volume level of one to 10, 10 being the loudest, but then you have an 11, which is for super loud.
I found I tried to do the same when I bowled to Sachin; I looked to find an extra notch that I didn’t know I had. I don’t really know how it happened, but it just did. I did the same against Brian Lara later in my career. Extra notch or not, it made no difference against Sachin.
No matter how fast I bowled, he seemed to have all the time in the world, and he had incredible wrists that could turn the ball on any angle, especially from outside off through midwicket and backward square leg. There was simply no margin for error in my bowling. I had to pitch on a good length on a fourth and fifth stump line in that corridor of uncertainty. Anything away from this was generally runs. He was just too good.”
On VVS Laxman
“I’ve already spoken about Sachin’s brilliance, but on his day VVS was every bit as incredible. Like Sachin, his wrist work meant he could place balls to a number of different spots in the field, and his timing and ability to hit the ball on the up were as good as any player in the game, and surely throughout history too.”
Image: India's star batsman Sachin Tendulkar is given a send-off by Australian paceman Brett Lee after being clean bowled during one of their numerous encounters