Speaking at the ESPNcricinfo awards on Friday night after being voted Cricketer of the Generation, Sachin said the best thing about Kallis was that he kept reinventing his game. (JPN/Agencies)
“I first saw him in 1996. He looked an okay player to me and I thought this guy can become a decent all rounder. He bowled medium pace, nothing alarming. But over a period of time, he changed his batting technique and bowling ability,” he said.
“Kallis used to walk and look down at the wicket all the time. I used to jokingly tell our bowlers that the moment he figures out which way the blades of the grass are going, he is going to make us field for a long time, so make sure that before he figures out that, get him out. His strength has been his focus, his concentration,” he added.
"With Kallis, his bowling I thought, sometimes it helps to be a good batsman, because you can actually read what is going on in batsman's mind. You can figure out what the batsman is trying to do. He invariably did that (thought as a batsman). He pretended that he was tired, but I knew the special ball was always going to come. That effort ball where he got a lot of bounce and this was all part of his planning,” he said.
Sachin described Warne as a fierce competitor and a fabulous cricketer.
“I first played against him in 1992 in Sydney. You could make out that Shane was talented because of the deliveries that spun big and off the wicket and he also had that zip, but he wasn't consistent I felt and he ended up giving loose deliveries,” said Sachin.
“I think my next encounter with Warne was in Sri Lanka in 1994, we were playing a tri-nation series. Warne bowled to me and I was beaten by his flight. But I decided to go for the big one. I picked the length and fortunately that one went for a six. But Warne being a tricky character he walked up to me and tried to instigate me. My habit was to play the ball and walk over towards the square-leg umpire, and that was part of my preparation - not that I didn't want to hear what Warne said,” he added.
“But I caught him after the game, he came to our dressing room to congratulate because we had beaten Australia. And that time I asked him 'Warnie, what were you trying to tell me? Now you can say’,” he added.
“He didn't say anything but from that moment we became good friends. We enjoyed our competition against each other. We started respecting each other much more and he has been a fabulous player... Playing against him was always challenging. He was a fierce competitor,” he further said.
Speaking at the ESPNcricinfo awards on Friday night after being voted Cricketer of the Generation, Sachin said the best thing about Kallis was that he kept reinventing his game.