For the longest time, there has been an ongoing debate in India about who is the better batsman – Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli. This is a question that has led to spirited and passionate debates across the country with a large number of people supporting one or the other. But one thing that everyone agrees with is this – Kohli is the successor to Tendulkar in terms of batting.
But just as Sir Don Bradman had said that Sachin's batting reminded him of the way he himself batted, Sachin has also made a comment about how a certain batsman, currently active in international cricket, bats a bit like Tendulkar.
The Master Blaster is currently in Australia to participate in a special match to raise funds for providing relief to those affected by the bushfires in Australia. While addressing a special press conference, he was asked by a journalist which batsman in present-day cricket reminds him of himself.
Tendulkar's reply was surprising, but only initially. The reason being that the one he named is not Indian but a player who has been extremely prolific in recent times. The honoured player is none other than the star of Australian summer – Marnus Labuschagne. Tendulkar said: "His (Labuschagne's) footwork was incredible, so he would be the one I would say."
Interestingly, Marnus Labuschagne was nowhere on the radar of cricket fans till the second Test of the Ashes series last year in England. He wasn't playing in that match but came in as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith. The right-hander walked in to bat in the second innings and played a defiant knock to help his team avoid defeat.
After that, the 25-year old didn't look back and ended up scoring four half-centuries in that series. But this was just the beginning, he stacked up more than 800 runs in the Australian summer with hundreds against Pakistan and New Zealand. He ended up with more than 1000 runs in the calendar year.
He had his recent initiation in ODI cricket also when he played in the three-match ODI series in India. His half-century in the second game was also quite impressive.
Sachin would be the official coach of a Ponting XI side that will take on a Warne XI team. He was also asked who, between Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Smith, is the better batsman. Sachin gave a very diplomatic reply.
"Let's not get into comparisons and let us enjoy what both those individuals are doing. They are entertaining the entire cricketing world, and it's a joy for us to watch. I don't like getting into comparisons. People have tried comparing me to a number of guys, and I've said, 'Just leave us alone.'"