Sachin could be batting even if he`s on crutches
Legendary West Indian opener Gordon Greenidge admires the hunger for runs in Sachin Tendulkar and feels the Indian cricket icon would even be batting if he is on crutches.
"He could be playing even if he is on crutches. He is the one I would pay to watch," said Greenidge.
"I don`t miss whenever he is playing. I don`t follow cricket but when he comes to bat I am glued to TV screen," said the former West Indies opener who made 7558 runs from 108 Tests at 44.72 average and smashed 19 centuries and 34 fifties.
Greendige also put his mind to comparing the different Indian batsmen of the present era which cricket experts believe is the `Golden Age` of Indian batting.
"I admire his (Tendulkar`s) craftsmanship. There is artistry in his batting. It`s the same with Dravid and Laxman. Sehwag is probably more attacking than all of them but to me, I would prefer Sachin over Sehwag," he said.
Greenidge and Desmond Haynes formed a formidable opening pair and were one of the prime reasons why West Indies cricket ruled the world cricket for 15 years.
"My stand with Haynes wasn`t a quick-fix success story.We batted well because of the longevity of our association. There was not instant chemistry or anything," revealed Greendige.
Greenidge and Haynes opened in 148 innings together and scored 6482 runs between them. They had 16 centuries and 26 fifty stands at an average of 47.31 with the highest partnership of 298 runs. It has not been battered by any other opening pair till date.
India`s Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have so far put on 3551 runs from 63 innings with 10 century and 19 half century stands at an average of 59.18.
Greenidge jocularly said he does not keep Haynes number because the latter tried to teach him all the bad things during their cricketing days.
Greenidge was a devastating opener who believed in taking the leather off a red cricket ball. The Barbadian revealed his attacking style had more to do with his instinct not to hang around.
"I was probably not good enough to hang around. I had to be flamboyant and dominate the bowlers. If I attacked, it made the bowlers go awry and it further allowed me to plunder runs at ease," he said.
Greenidge does not feel himself blessed that he did not face the fearsome fast bowling quartet of West Indies of 70s and 80s which terrified the rest of the world.
"I don`t count myself lucky. It`s because we faced more of them at the regional level. In first class cricket, they bowled faster to prove a point to each other.
"It made us face a barrage of quick, short-pitched bowling. But then it probably made us better equipped to play fast bowlers across the globe."
Greenidge presently is involved with the educational programme of University of Trinidad, trying to put a system in place where the upcoming cricketers are also not losing out on education.
His one lament is that there is not enough attempts made in the Caribbean to bring all the legends of the game together.
"We don`t have an organisation which unites all the legends of the game. We don`t have a common forum to work out what`s ailing West Indies cricket," he said. "There`s no reunion among mates who were together for 15 years, shaping the destiny of West Indian cricket. We meet on and off but we should have a forum where we come together once a year and chalk out a strategy for the betterment of West Indian cricket."