It doesn’t happen every day that the game’s most successful player says you remind him of himself. Well, that is exactly what happened with Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne on Friday when the “God of Cricket” Sachin Tendulkar paid him the ultimate compliment – the player resembles Tendulkar.
Labuschagne has come out of nowhere to become one of Australia‘s best exports in the Test cricket format. Ever since making a debut, the batsman went on to become Test cricket’s leading run-scorer with 1,104 runs. This included the 896 since November which beat the great Neil Harvey’s (834) record for the most runs scored in a five-Test summer by an Australian.
However, the youngster wouldn’t have been able to achieve all this was it not for an unfortunate concussion injury to another Test Great Steve Smith during Australia’s Ashes campaign in England last August and Labuschagne came on as a substitute.
He made the rare chance count by scoring four successive half-centuries before finishing the Ashes with 353 runs at 50.42. He then followed it up with a string of incredible performances in the series against Pakistan and New Zealand.
"Hey Sachin, it's Brett here. Got a minute?" ?
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 7, 2020
Tendulkar was at the Lord’s to witness Labuschagne come up as the Test cricket’s first-ever concussion substitute. He was immediately impressed.
“His footwork was incredible, so he would be the one I would say,” Tendulkar said at an event in Sydney when quizzed if any modern-day cricketer reminds him of himself. He is in Australia to be a part of the charity match in Melbourne on Sunday to raise funds for bushfire relief.
“I saw Marnus getting hit (on the helmet) off the second ball from Jofra Archer and post that, the 15 minutes he batted, I said ‘this player looks special, there is something about him’.”
“Footwork is not physical, it’s mental,” he added.
“If you’re not thinking positively in your mind, then your feet don’t move. That clearly indicated to me that this guy is mentally strong because if you’re not, your feet will not move.”
Tendulkar has 15,921 runs to his name from 200 Tests, besides smacking 51 centuries, the most by any player.