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Online poll marks Sachin Tendulkar as best Test player of 21st Century

After missing out a chance to play, Sachin Tendulkar’s role turned out to be just a ball boy in 1987 Cricket World Cup. Earlier that year, the then 14-year-old Tendulkar was heartbroken for not winning the “Best junor cricket award” of Mumbai Cricket Association. But a certain Indian star who was dominating the nation’s cricket then gave Tendulkar a pair of his ultra light pads that cheered the young man. It was none other than Sunil Gavaskar.

Two years later, at 16, Tendulkar commenced his Test career, playing for India against its arch rivals, Pakistan in Karachi. Unfortunately, he was bowled over at 15 runs by his Pakistani debutant counterpart, Waqar Younis – but his mastery in handling the occasion and the way he endured the balls earned him massive appreciation.

The rest is history. In a career where he played 200 Tests, the Little Master (as Tendulkar is known to his fans) achieved the top spot in the all-time list of scoring most runs in both Test and ODI. He also became the only player to complete 30,000 runs in international cricket besides being the sole player to score 100 international Test centuries as well as an ODI double century.

Tendulkar is an icon of the sport not just in India, but everywhere in the world too. And proving that right, an online poll conducted by Cricket Australia’s (CA) website voted the Little Master to be the “Best Test Player” of the 21st Century.

CA released the results of its online poll of 100-best Test player since 2000 on their website cricket.com.au after more than 16,000 fans participated in the poll.

Tendulkar grabbed the top spot with 23 percent of votes while Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara followed him in the second spot with 14 percent votes. Adam Gilchrist came in third in the list that featured four Ausies, three Proteas and two Lankans in the top-ten list.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at the Giants International Awards in Mumbai, on Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at the Giants International Awards in Mumbai, on Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)

“After 10 days of counting down and no end of deliberations, cricket.com.au released its final countdown of the 100 best Test players since 2000 a couple of days ago,” an official statement of cricket.com.AU stated.

The website added that “Tendulkar, the Little Master” was a “runaway winner” as he jumped four places from where CA had placed him. It also said that Australian Ricky Ponting and Proteas Jacques Kallis had a close battle with the “Australian just edging out his Proteas counterpart.”

Sachin Tendulkar might have retired from International cricket in 2013, but his contributions to the sport keeps him as the iconic figure even now.

Here are the Poll results:

  1. Sachin Tendulkar (India) – 23 percent,
  2. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) – 14 percent,
  3. Adam Gilchrist (Australia) – 13 percent,
  4. Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 11 percent,
  5. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) – 11 percent,
  6. Ab de Villiers (South Africa) – 10 percent,
  7. Shane Warne (Australia) – 9 percent,
  8. Glen McGrath (Australia) – 5 percent,
  9. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) – 3 percent
  10. Dale Steyn (South Africa) – 1 percent

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