All things considered - longevity, domination in more than one format, stamp on more grounds in more countries around the world, pressures of travel and media - there is an argument for placing Sachin Tendulkar above Don Bradman in the pantheon...... as a batsman, Tendulkar, both orthodox and creative, explored deeper and in greater detail the possibilities inherent in playing a leather ball with a wooden implement. – Suresh Menon, ESPNcricinfo 22 April 2013
(Suresh is currently Editor of The Wisden India Almanack)
Wittingly or not, as far back as 1950, Bradman prepared a template to assist our judgement. In Farewell to Cricket, one of his five books on the game, he observed: "Figures are not entirely conclusive, especially short-term figures, but it is difficult to avoid their significance if a man produces them year after year against every type of opponent and under all conceivable conditions." Visionary he may have been but not even Bradman could have imagined the dimension and complexity of cricket's New World and that the rival for his mantle as the game's pre-eminent batsman would hail from the Indian megatropolis of Mumbai. – Mike Coward, ESPNcricnfo 22 April 2013
For close to 80 years, the world has revered Donald Bradman as the greatest batsman in cricket history. In this first-of-its-kind forensic study, find out why Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, not Bradman, is the greatest.
How is the book unique?
It is the first and only book that offers a detailed comparison between Sachin and Bradman, as batsmen.
It is the first and only book to claim that Sachin is the greatest batsman in cricket history; many books on Sachin agree that he is the greatest contemporary batsman or the greatest of the modern era but go no further.
The arguments in this book represent a unique way of assessing enduring greatness in cricket.
It is not merely the usual compilation of views or anecdotes on Sachin or Bradman. It is a 'closer look' at the cricket field where the two men made their name.
There have been several books on Sachin and many on Bradman; not one of them meets these criteria.
My book is an analysis of batting greatness in cricket. It is not a biography; there are too many of those already. It is not a hagiography; there are even more of those. It is an unprecedented analysis – an attempt, to set the record straight. It aims to prove that a boy who once played for Yorkshire (Sachin Tendulkar) is the greatest batsman in cricket history. It does that by offering a detailed comparison with Donald Bradman.
65 years since Bradman retired, I invite the cricket world to ask - is Bradman still the greatest? Now that Sachin has retired after being the face of batting supremacy for a quarter of a century, my book invites the cricket world to weigh afresh his place in cricket history.
The book uses illustrations from science, history, sport and the martial arts to challenge the unanimous popular position. It uses cricket statistics from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries to debunk myths about Bradman’s enduring greatness by placing his achievements in context.
The book questions traditional measures of greatness that revolve around statistics while offering a more honest approach that respects a batsman’s “figures” but places them against the backdrop of his playing environment. It argues that an accurate portrait of a batsman’s greatness is impossible without the frame - the growth of cricket as a global game, the evolution of cricket legislation and the emergence of more muscular on and off-field play scrutiny.
The book uses behaviour theory to compare relative mastery and to demonstrate why Sachin is, by far, the superior player. Drawing on the Bradman ‘case study’, the book introduces a new concept called the 99.94 error and explains how it has been responsible for the injustice to many great batsmen from the late 20th century.
The book’s forensic approach lifts ‘the veil’ on the Bradman era of cricket. It calls for a new, more holistic approach to recording and measuring greatness on the cricket field. It calls for a fresh look at many great batsmen who have, like Sachin, unjustly been rated far below Bradman.
The author says, ‘This book is....not a biography of Sachin.....or Bradman. It is an attempt to set the record straight. I have not dwelt on Sachin’s enviable contracts, his early life, his training, his family, his hobbies, his tax obligations or his apparent lack of statesmanship in matters beyond the field. I do not share the mania of his fans, eager to write out his name in their blood. I have not studied his rise to fame or his apparently unimpressive stint as captain.’
'But this is not a hagiography either. Like the rest of us, he is entitled to his character flaws. I have no intention of defending his every move. Long may he make mistakes that remind him that he is not the god his crazed fans say he is. My focus has been on the field, where both men staked and won their claim to greatness. My intention is to ask readers to see anew.’
‘This book is not about Sachin being the greatest batsman in 1998 or the greatest batsman in 2010. It is about him as the greatest batsman in cricket history. So you will need to take your eyes off the TV screen playing last year’s ODI or replaying last year’s Test, to appreciate the arguments here.’
As far back as 2003, Rudolph Lambert Fernandez challenged the status quo – Bradman’s undisputed rank as the greatest batsman in cricket history – by arguing that Sachin was in fact far greater. Ten years on, his book invites readers to a detailed comparison – the first of its kind.