Tendulkar-Ganguly played some best fast-bowling combinations: Ian Chappell
Melbourne, Dec 22: Declining to compare the batting duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli with former India captains Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, former Australia captain Ian Chappell has said that the latter pair played some of the best fast bowlers during their time.
"In fact, an argument could be mounted that Kohli and Sharma are India's best ever one-day batsmen. The obvious challengers would be the feted combination of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, who tormented international bowlers for 15 years. They spent the bulk of that time opening together and they did so against some of the best fast-bowling combinations," Ian Chappell wrote in his column for 'ESPNcricinfo'.
"Facing Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis from Pakistan; Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh of West Indies; Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee in Australian colours; Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock for South Africa; and Lasith Malinga and Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka was a serious test of a batsman's skill," he wrote.
"The one indisputable argument is, Kohli and Sharma are the best ever white-ball combination. Their combined ODI and T20I records are excellent, with Kohli - averaging over 50 in both formats - at the unbelievable level. To be fair, Tendulkar played very little T20I cricket and Ganguly's career was finished by the time the format blossomed," he further wrote.
"Like he did for the bulk of his career, Tendulkar led the way in being the first batsman to score an ODI double-century. Since then Sharma has fine-tuned the art by scoring three doubles, with his monumental 264 against Sri Lanka sending the fans at Eden Gardens into a frenzy."
Chappell observed what all four batsmen have in common is their "watchability" while batting.
"The one thing all four players have in common is their watchability. With Tendulkar it was his all-round mastery of the art but he never ceased to amaze with his back-foot forcing shots on bouncy pitches for a man short in stature.
"There were many times when he excelled but I haven't seen two better innings than the back-to-back centuries when he single-handedly took apart a very good Australian attack in Sharjah. That was batting excellence complemented by sheer bloody-minded determination."
Without wanting to pick between Kohli-Rohit and Tendulkar-Ganguly, he concluded by writing: "Like all debates about players from different eras, this one too is superfluous. Suffice to say Indian fans have been extremely fortunate to witness, close up, four of the best short-form batsmen of all time.