The debate over who is the better batsman between Indian Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and West Indian legend Brian Lara has been going on for nearly three decades. Different people have expressed different opinions, though, Sachin seems to have an edge in these comparisons. One man who bowled a lot to both these great batsman, Glenn McGrath, has now spoken on this issue.
He was prompted by a question in an interview with a newspaper. McGrath gave a diplomatic reply where he, nevertheless, put Lara above Tendulkar as far as the challenge of bowling to both is concerned.
"That was Brian. He never changed his game. I may have got him out 15 times, but he also scored big hundreds and double hundreds against us when both me and Warnie were playing together for Australia. When it was his day, he could do absolutely anything. Sachin was equally as good, but there was something about Brian where he could just keep going and he was slightly harder to bowl to than Sachin. He was more fearless," McGrath told Times of India.
Australia's bete noire
Both Lara and Tendulkar had great battles against the Australian team and especially against McGrath. Way back in 1991/2 season, Sachin, then just 18, played a five-match series against Australia in Australia and scored two hundreds in those matches. One of those two centuries came at Sydney where Shane Warne was making his debut.
In 1993, Brian Lara took the attention of the whole world when he scripted an incredible innings of 277 against Australia at Sydney. This was the knock that established Lara as a future great. Over the years, both Sachin and Brian toured Australia several times and had great battles against the Aussies.
Unfortunately, when India toured Australia in 2003/4, both McGrath and Warne were missing from the Aussie team due to various reasons. While McGrath was dealing with an injury, Warne was serving a ban for doping. As a result, Tendulkar had four less matches to score runs against a full-strength Aussie bowling line-up. Four years later, when India returned, they were both retired.
Interestingly, McGrath's great teammate Warne has often rated Tendulkar as the best batsman that he had to deal with. The Tendulkar vs Warne rivalry played out not just in Test matches but also in ODIs. However, another prominent Australian bowler of that time, Stuart MacGill, also thought Lara more difficult to deal with then Tendulkar.
One can safely say, this comment would draw a massive response from fans of both the players. The debate would go on.