Cricketer turned politician, Imran Khan said, that he cannot rate any other player, above Sunil Gavaskar.
When Imran was asked in an interview, to compare Sachin and Gavaskar, he said, “Sachin never played an innings like Gavaskar did. Look, Gavaskar faced a West Indies attack that had four world class fast bowlers. His record does not tell his actual contribution. I always felt sorry for him when he, alone, used to face a range of fast bowlers when there were none in his own country before Kapil Dev arrived on the scene.”
He further added, “Sunny played in an era when Dennis Lillee, arguably the best fast bowler, played. Zaheer's (Abbas) timing was impeccable. Majid (Khan) was also the best at his peak and then there was Javed (Miandad). But I do not want to undermine Sachin's achievements and believe comparing players from different eras is not fair.”
In the same interview, Kapil Dev, who is beside him said that, Anil Kumble as a spinner in their all-time XI, Imran immediately countered Kapil saying, “Don't underestimate Abdul Qadir. Qadir bowled at a time when no leg-spinner got an LBW on the front foot. Shane Warne got so many LBWs on the front foot. So imagine the number of wickets Qadir would have had if he would have played in today's times.”
Imran thus rated Abdul Qadir and Shane Warne above Anil Kumble. He even did not mind to praise Kapil in the same show, saying, “When Kapil arrived, I saw a bowler bowl a bouncer for the first time and that was an exhibition match. He was also a flamboyant batsman and a genuine all-rounder.”
Imran even applauded Dhoni, saying that, he is the player, one can count on, in the tough times.
Speaking about the struggle, Javed Miandad takes on the field, Imran said, “Javed fought till the last ball. That was his strength. So I considered his strengths and weaknesses, which all of us have, and utilized them. He was a great asset to have.”
By Phani Ch