Sachin an amazing player, says Ponting

Australian skipper joins Tendulkar, Jayasuriya in the elite 12,000-run club in ODIs

The little big man of Indian cricket made his Test debut on November 15, 1989, against Pakistan in Karachi when he was 16 and a half years old; he will turn 20 at the highest level immediately after the one-day series at home against Australia ends on November 11.

During that seven-match shoot-out, Tendulkar will come face to face with the only man seriously threatening at least his record Test centuries, Ricky Ponting. On Friday night at SuperSport Park, the Australian skipper became only the third batsman to top 12,000 one-day international runs, then played glowing tributes to the Indian legend.
“Sachin is an amazing, amazing player,” Ponting gushed. “You look at his stats and his records, and they are quite incredible.

“And to think that someone can stay in the game for 20 years is pretty remarkable as well.”

Tendulkar leads the one-day list with nearly 17,000 runs while Sanath Jayasuriya – who will also complete 20 years of international cricket on December 26 -- has 13,000-plus runs. Ponting made it clear that all he and the rest of the world’s leading batsmen could do was merely chase the 36-year-old’s towering records.

“I have always thought of him as the guy that sets the benchmark as far as batting is concerned, and guys like me and the rest just chase and get as close as we can to him,” said Ponting, also the third highest run-getter in Tests behind Tendulkar and West Indian great Brian Lara. Ponting trails Tendulkar by nearly 1400 runs, and has 38 Test tons to the Indian’s 42.

Reflecting on Tendulkar’s 20-year journey, the 34-year-old Aussie great went on, “There are a number of innings of his that I have been able to sit back and watch over the years. Congratulations to him for 20 years in the game.

“If I stay in the game for 20 years, I will probably be batting in a wheelchair by then, so there you go!”

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