Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis. (Getty Images)
CHENNAI: Sachin Tendulkar might have achieved several milestones in his glorious international cricketing career spanning over 24 years but it is his humility which sets him apart from the rest, feels former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis.
“Tendulkar is not only a great player, but a great human being also. I mean, keeping aside his Test records and one-day records, as a human being and because of his qualities, people of all ages like him,” Waqar said during a chat show for Q20, GloFans.
The former Pakistan coach also lauded the Indian batting legend for the way he handled his career. “He is a very humble man and everyone has seen his achievements and has seen him performing on the field. Overall, full marks to him for the way he has handled his career,” Waqar added.
Interestingly, both Waqar and Tendulkar made their international debut in the same Karachi Test back in 1989 when India was touring Pakistan. In fact, the former Pakistan pacer had bowled Tendulkar in the first innings. It eventually gave birth to a storied rivalry between the two legends.
Reflecting on their rivalry, Waqar singled out Tendulkar’s innings of 98 against Pakistan during the 2003 World Cup for praise. Chasing a target of 274, Tendulkar hammered the fiery Pakistani bowling attack comprising Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram and Waqar himself. His efforts also helped India notch up a six-wicket win.
“Tendulkar’s innings against Pakistan in 2003 is hard to be described in words because he played so well and especially because India was under pressure on that day and we were good at bowling. So that innings! Probably even if you would ask Tendulkar about this he might also say the same thing, that it was probably one of his best. The way he faced Shoaib, Wasim and me under pressure and the way he attacked and got early runs, I think it was amazing and one of the best innings I’ve seen,” Waqar concluded.