Former Indian World Cup winning cricket captain Kapil Dev has said once again that Sachin Tendulkar was an 'underachiever' and added it was a compliment to the 'master blaster'.
It was only last week the 1983 cricket World Cup winning skipper told a Dubai newspaper that the 'little master' â€“ who hit 51 centuries in his test career â€“ didn't do justice to his talent and wasn't as 'ruthless' a batsman as Virender Sehwag or Vivian Richards.
Dev reiterated it this week and said the media have blown the entire thing out of proportion.
"Needless [media making a hype on my comments] is the word. Sachin, I've always said, was a fabulous cricketer and more talented than Viv (Richards). He had the calibre to be as ruthless, or more, but did not deliver as much as I had expected," Dev was quoted by The Hindu as saying.
"He got 100 international 100s but his potential was greater.
"How else could I have described him? He was an underachiever and that I maintain was a compliment. He could have done better. Am I wrong?," the former all-rounder asked.
"He [Tendulkar] was just about making waves and I was up against him. He drilled me over mid-off for a six. I was stunned. He hit me as if I was an off-spinner and I marvelled at his talent.
"Sachin was clearly ahead of his time but he did not grow as I wanted him to grow. I loved the Sachin of Sharjah 1998 when he clubbed the Australians.
"His dominance was complete and stroke-play so imperious. He made good bowlers look ordinary, could hit boundaries at will but that Sachin was lost somewhere as his career progressed," Dev explained.
The Arjuna award and Padma Bhushan winner also said he respected for cricketers from Mumbai and that his earlier comments were misinterpreted.
"I respect Mumbai cricket and cricketers. They laid the base for the growth of Indian cricket but the game has changed and it is time we all realised and accepted it," Dev said.
Dev's comments on Tendulkar were criticised by Ajit Wadekar and other former cricketers from Mumbai, but cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said that Dev had the right to say what he wanted.