'Tendulkar was better than Viv Richards'
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe rated batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar higher than the West Indies legend Vivian Richards, saying that he admired the Indian veteran's footwork and his ability to keep things simple.
"Viv [Richards] was the best batsman I saw in my 14 years of playing Test cricket, along with Greg Chappell and Sunny Gavaskar. Since I have retired, I have seen someone better and that is
Sachin," Crowe said at the ESPNCricinfo awards in Mumbai on Friday night.
"What I have seen is that Sachin had two things. He had footwork. While Viv Richards' footwork lasted 15 years, Sachin went a decade longer, almost. The greatest mind along with Sir Don Bradman's has been Sachin's, because he kept everything so simple.
"Simplicity was the hallmark of his game and his footwork was poetry in motion and that is why he stood out against all the players and he is someone whom we would revere for a long, long time," the former Kiwi great said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar (left) chats to Viv Richards
'Footwork was the hallmark of scoring runs'
Crowe said when he first saw Tendulkar in 1990, he felt it was unfair for a 16-year-old to face Richard Hadlee, one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game.
"This 16-year-old came out and I thought how is he going to cope with the world record holder Richard Hadlee. I just thought it was unfair. Sachin didn't have to worry about that because he nicked the first ball from Danny Morrison and got his first duck in Test cricket," he said.
"In Napier, he scored a beautiful 88. The thing that caught my mind was his footwork. I knew that footwork was the hallmark of scoring runs. I watched this 16-year-old move his feet like I had never seen before another 16-year-old doing. He dealt with Hadlee fine and everyone else fine and it was a bit of a shame that he fell 12 short.
"I did have an inkling, just by the way he moved, that it was going to be a phenomenal Test career. I just didn't know it was going to be over 24 years," Crowe admitted.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar in action against Pakistan during a Test match in Lahore in October 1989.