Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Friday chose Australian Marnus Labuschagne as the player who most reminded him of himself, and described the fast-growing batsman as a special talent with flawless footwork.
Tendulkar was asked to name the player he thought was closest to him in his prime when he was coaching a team at Sunday's fundraiser for the devastating bushfires in Australia.
"I happened to see the second friendly at Lords between England and Australia. When Steve Smith was injured, I saw Labuschagne's second inning," said Tendulkar.
“I was sitting with my father-in-law. I saw Marnus hit by the second ball from Jofra Archer, and after the 15 minutes he hit, I said, "This player looks special," he recalls.
"There's something about him. His footwork was precise. Footwork is not physical, but mental. If you don't think positively, your feet won't move, ”he added.
The 25-year-old Labuschagne became Test Cricket's most successful scorer last year with 1,104 runs. He broke into the scene after replacing Steve Smith during the Ashes last August.
Labuschagne took his chance with both hands and made four half centuries in a row to get 353 runs at 50.42 in the ashes.
According to Tendulkar, Labuschagne's good footwork is also a sign that he is a mentally strong player.
"… because if you're not, your feet won't move. His footwork was incredible," he said.
Labuschagne collected 896 runs this summer of testing, covering four centuries.
"Let's not compare"
However, Tendulkar declined to be included in the debate over who should be considered the better among Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.
"I don't like making comparisons. People tried to compare me to a number of people and I said," Leave us alone, "said Tendulkar.
"Let's not make comparisons and enjoy what these two people are doing. They entertain the whole world of barbecuing and it's a pleasure for us to watch," he said.