Now this is a recreational analysis from a relative layman’s point of view and should be taken with a pinch of salt. This is written with due and adequate respect to some of the greats of our world. No disrespect whatsoever is intended towards anybody mentioned herewith:
Why Brian Lara is the best batsman in the world.
Now to judge the strength of a batsman, if you need one yardstick, it would be how well you handle Glen McGrath on an Oval pitch, on a cold winter morning in London, with 4 slips in place. To be able to do that, from an observational and logical point of view, you would need three skills: Hand-Eye Coordination, Bat Control, and Leg Movement. So lets rank Lara and Sachin in terms of these three skills to get a better picture.
Lara(out of 10)
Sachin(before injury, out of 10)
Bat Control:9.5(Deep backswing with the wrist and not with the arms like Lara’s)
Sachin(after injury, out of 10)
Surely, this analysis is self-explanatory. Needless to say it is tougher BEING Sachin Tendulkar because Indians were never known for great leg movement. We were never great footballers, and we were never great dancers. But anyway, that aside, I think both batsmen always knew that they had just two ways to be recognized as the best, ever:
1) Get a Test 400 and get to be considered by the likes of @SunilGavaskar as the best ever.
2) Get 200 International Centuries and get to be considered by the masses as the best ever.
Lara I think made the choice early on. Sachin, I think, was not lacking that smartness. He just was never given the first choice after the back injury. He could have only taken the second choice, which he did. Anyway, ultimately, to be considered the best batsman ever, it doesn’t matter how many hundreds you get; what matters is whether Sunil Gavaskar thinks you are the best ever or not! 😀