Centurion: India coach Gary Kirsten on Sunday paid rich tribute to Sachin Tendulkar for scoring a historic 50th Test ton, describing him as professor of batting.
Terming Tendulkar's feat of scoring a half century of centuries as incredible, Kirsten credited his unmatched success to his sound technique, ability to play almost all the shots in the book and diligent preparedness.
"It is an incredible feat. It must be a special one and he deserves it. He has the techniques to play almost all the shots in the book. He is the professor of batting," Kirsten said, praising Tendulkar on becoming the first cricketer to score 50 Test tons.
Tendulkar becomes first batsman to score 50th Test century
"The key to his success is his approach to the game, his humility to learn and try to do better all the time. He diligently prepares for every match. For him, a Test match begins two days earlier, preparing for it. I am privileged to have associated with him for the last three years," Kirsten said.
"His success at the top level under the huge expectations in India is remarkable. It is quite different in India than other countries and the adulation he got there is amazing. At any time, Tendulkar will be surrounded by 300 people," he said.
Kirsten said despite the senior-most player in the team, Tendulkar was the one who spends most time at the nets and faces maximum number of balls.
"He wants to face the maximum number of balls at the nets. You will not see him play a loose shot at the nets. He is focused all the time, he wants to do better all the time," said Kirsten.
"He has been phenomenal this year. I think he is playing better than ever. He is enjoying his cricket at present," he said.
The former South African opening batsman said despite his personal achievements, Tendulkar was a perfect team-man who wants to do his best for the team's cause.
"He is a perfect team-man and he always gives his best every time he goes out to a cricket field. He has been a huge motivational factor in the side in the past three years I have been associated with the team," Kirsten said.
About India staring defeat in the Test, Kirsten admitted South Africa are in a strong position.
"We have a lot to work tomorrow. South Africa are in a strong position. But let us see what happens tomorrow. May be there is help from rain also," he said.
"But, the players have done well in the second innings. They have shown we can also play on equal terms. The strong batting display in the second innings will boost the confidence of the players in the series," he added.