New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar is by far the best batsman of his era, according to West Indies` batting legend Brian Lara who said it was an "honour" to rub shoulders
with the champion Indian batsman during his playing days.
"Tendulkar is the best batsman of the world," Lara said on the sidelines of a cricket clinic at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
Asked if it was Tendulkar or Don Bradman, Lara added, "Respect his average (of 99.96) but haven`t seen the Don batting. And making comparison is very difficult for all of us."
"It`s an honour to be talked about in the same breath, and to have rubbed shoulders with him during my playing days," There is no superlative for Sachin," Lara said.
For over a decade, the world watched in awe as Tendulkar and Lara rewrote records after records.
Asked if an Indian victory in the upcoming World Cup would make Tendulkar bigger than him, Lara said, "It doesn`t really matter. The records he has set, I don`t think they are going to be surpassed."
Lara also believed that Tendulkar could one day surpass the West Indian`s world record Test score of 400 not out. "It will soon be broken. I think Sachin is there, and there is Sehwag, Gayle; they may have the opportunities and they are all very attacking players. The top three in the batting order have the best chance," Lara said.
With cricket becoming more and more competitive, Lara said that the era of invincibility doesn`t exist anymore.
"You can`t really tell who is number one now," he said.
"Ashes shows every country will have their time. It`s going to be very competitive."
"Sports is a cycle. West Indies had their team, we were an invincible team once. Then Australia dominated for a long while. Now, the time of invincibility has gone," the stylish left-hander said.
Lara was full of praise for the current Indian team, ranked number one in Tests and two in ODIs.
"Indians are producing results we were not accustomed to. They have been on the top of their game, they will be a very tough team to beat (in the World Cup). They have a well-balanced team that can compete with anyone in the world," he said.
Talking about India`s tradition of producing quality batsmen, Lara said, "India batting has always been very good. The likes of (Mohammad) Azharuddin, Ravi Shastri, Navjot Singh (Siddhu), (Sanjay) Manjrekar, there were also world class batsmen, and Sachin was also there."