Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has been voted as the ‘Greatest Men’ Test Batsman’ of the 21st century by the panel of commentators and fans on Star Sports. The iconic batsman faced a stiff competition from Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara but the panel, which included VVS Laxman, Irfan Pathan, Aakash Chopra and more, went ahead with Tendulkar for his contribution to Indian cricket.
“This was a tight one. Both Kumar Sangakkara and Sachin Tendulkar are icons of the game but the vote, the winner of the greatest Test batsman of the 21st century, is my fellow Mumbaikar Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar,” Gavaskar said in a video uploaded by Star Sports.
It’s a great achievement for Tendulkar who has played alongside many legends of the game including Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Alastair Cook and more. Tendulkar, who retired from the game in 2013, is leading the charts of most Test runs with 15921 runs to his name. He also holds the record of most centuries (51) in Test cricket. Tendulkar is followed by South African stalwart Jacques Kallis, who has 45 hundreds to his name while Sangakkara, with 38 tons, is fourth on the list and sixth on the list of all-time leading run-scorers in Tests.
Tendulkar made his Test debut against Pakistan at the age of 16. A year later, he scored his maiden Test century and became the youngest Indian to reach the three-figure mark in Tests. His career took off and Tendulkar scored centuries in challenging conditions of Australia and South Africa as he stepped onto the path of greatness.
In 2002, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack ranked Tendulkar the second-greatest Test batsman of all time, behind Don Bradman, and the second greatest ODI batsman of all time after Viv Richards. He also won the 2010 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the ICC awards. Tendulkar has also received India’s greatest honours, including the Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – India’s highest sporting honour – the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan and the biggest of them all – the Bharat Ratna.