Gavaskar is best Indian batsman ever: Salahuddin

Karachi: Former Pakistan Test cricketer and chief selector, Salahuddin Ahmed has described Sunil Gavaskar and BS Chandrashekar as the best Indian batsman and bowler, respectively of his times in his autobiography.

"I rate Gavaskar as the best Indian batsman ever because technically he was flawless and he had the courage and endurance to carry the Indian batting at a time when the world`s fiercest fast bowlers were operating everywhere," Salahuddin has written in his book.

The autobiography -- Sallu my story -- was launched at a glittering ceremony here this week with top names of Pakistan cricket, bureaucracy and media attending the function.

Salahuddin, who has the distinction of having remained a member or heading the national selection committee for a record 12 times, toured India as coach of the Pakistan under-19 team in 1989 and was also present on the 2007 tour by the senior team.

The former player also heaped praise on Chandrashekar in his book, stating that the Indian leg-spinner was a phenomena of his times leading India to many famous victories with his action.

"He emerged as the best bowler for India despite deformity of one arm due to polio. He was a shining example of courage for players of his generation," he said.

Talking about Sachin Tendulkar, Salahuddin reckoned that he was one of the world`s greats and said that players from other countries should consider it an honour if they were given the sobriquet of "Australian or English Tendulkar".

Stating that he always had fond memories of touring India, the Salahuddin wrote, "I remember seeing this tall and lanky leg spinner named Anil Kumble in 1980 who played for the Indian juniors. I watched him bowling from behind the nets and I knew he was destined to become a world class player."

Salahuddin also recalled how he had insisted on having a plastic coated ball for the under-19 series as he felt that Kumble would be less of a threat to the Pakistani team.