Lawson: ‘I’m surprised Sachin did not bowl left-handed’

Tendulkar’s first tour of Australia coincided with Lawson’s last season (1991-92) in First-Class cricket.

Geoff Lawson (above) said that Sachin Tendulkar made a fine impression on the Australians.   -  Special Arrangement

While Sachin Tendulkar was busy with a book launch event, in Bandra, on Monday, and talked about his `desert storm’ knocks in Sharjah – 143 and 134 against Australia on April 22 and 24, 1998 — the Legends Club celebrated his 45th birthday, in the presence of former Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson and statistician Sudhir Vaidya.

The Club felicitated the 79-year-old Vaidya, for completing 60 years as a scorer/statistician. Devendra Prabhudesai’s book “Winning like Sachin, think and succeed like Tendulkar”, was also released by former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, Club president, Madhav Apte and Lawson.

Tendulkar’s first tour of Australia coincided with Lawson’s last season (1991-92) in First-Class cricket. “I have played against Sachin. I was captaining New South Wales (NSW) and Sachin was 18 at that time. We played India in a country town (Oakes Oval, Lismore). I cannot say I knew him that much, because we were too busy with our analytical minds to set three mid-wickets for Mohammad Azharuddin.”

READ: Sachin Tendulkar: 'I will personally take 50 bottles of champagne to Virat'

Lawson, though, said that Sachin made a fine impression on the Australians. “I think, with Sachin as a teenager on that series, and actually doing well at such a tender age, there was a feeling that he was going to be at least a very good Indian player, if not a great player. Obviously, the pursuant years, as was certainly borne out in that era, it seemed one of Sachin’s struggles was trying to get his 100th international hundred.

"It took him a while, but I don’t think he had too much to worry about. The one current player who reminds me of Sachin, a bit of him, is, of course, Virat Kohli. On his first tour of Australia, he was the one who took the fight back to the Australians.”

The 60-year-old Lawson said that he liked Tendulkar as a bowler, who did send down seam ups, leg breaks, and quite often, got a wicket. “To me, that indicated just how competitive he was. Sure, put the pads on and bat on forever… that’s a given for him. However, throw the ball and he would joyfully come and bowl. He enjoyed what he did, those loopy leg-breaks.

"I am surprised that he did not bowl left-handed at some stage. I admired his focus on his purpose when he was at the crease. One of the great joys of watching as a commentator was “watching Warne versus Tendulkar”. It was one of the great battles of the 1990s in Test cricket.”

Among the audience was the Sydney-based 15 member Elite Cricket Academy team (12-17 age group), owned by former off-spinner Jason Krejza.