Kapil Dev defends comments about Sachin Tendulkar

Kapil Dev said the master blaster was ahead of his time but failed to make the most of his talent.

Updated: Nov 02, 2015, 12:50 PM IST
Kapil Dev defends comments about Sachin Tendulkar

New Delhi: A day after Ajit Wadekar slammed Kapil Dev over his remarks on Sachin Tendulkar, India's World Cup winning captain said the master blaster was ahead of his time but failed to make the most of his talent.

Speaking to The Hindu, Dev also said Tendulkar was more talented than even West Indian great Viv Richards.

"Sachin, I’ve always said, was a fabulous cricketer and more talented than Viv (Richards). He had the calibre to be as ruthless, or more, but did not deliver as much as I had expected. He got 100 international 100s but his potential was greater,” the former all-rounder said.

"How else could I have described him? He was an underachiever and that I maintain was a compliment. He could have done better. Am I wrong?

He was just about making waves and I was up against him. He drilled me over mid-off for a six. I was stunned. He hit me as if I was an off-spinner and I marvelled at his talent.

Sachin was clearly ahead of his time but he did not grow as I wanted him to grow. I loved the Sachin of Sharjah 1998 when he clubbed the Australians. His dominance was complete and stroke-play so imperious. He made good bowlers look ordinary, could hit boundaries at will but that Sachin was lost somewhere as his career progressed,” he added.

Kapil also recalled how a similar comment from Sunil Gavaskar had spurred him on to raise his game.

“Gavaskar used to say that I should have scored 5000 runs more than what I did. In hindsight, I agree I should have taken my batting seriously. But importantly, I didn’t take Gavaskar’s remark in the wrong sense. He challenged me and I accepted it,” said Dev.