Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was named the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T) batsman in Tests of the 21st century leaving behind the likes of Jacques Kallis, Steve Smith, and Ricky Ponting by an exquisite 50-member jury put together by Star Sports, India’s leading sports broadcaster, ahead of the ICC World Test Championship Final. Sri Lanka’s spin bowling wizard Muttiah Muralitharan was picked the GOAT among bowlers pipping legends Shane Warne, Dale Steyn, and Glenn McGrath.
Tendulkar, who called time on his illustrious Test career in 2013, notched up 15,921 runs at a phenomenal average of 53.78. Muralitharan, on the other hand, pocketed a whirlwind 800 Test wickets and remains the highest wicket-taker in the longest format.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports’ show Cricket Live, during the ICC World Test Championship Final, English cricket legend Nasser Hussain speaks after Sachin Tendulkar was picked as the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) Test batsman of the 21st century, “There are some great candidates and any of these (GOAT nominees) would be worthy winners. I mean, it’s not just the stats between those hundreds you get. I think it’s sometimes too driven by stats. This occasion has shown it – here today in the final – it’s about how you handle pressure; how you cope with pressure. Also, an ambassador for the game, Sachin, was a great ambassador for cricket from India. When he speaks, people listen.”
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports’ show Cricket Live, during the ICC World Test Championship Final, former Team India batsman VVS Laxman spoke on why Sachin Tendulkar is the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) Test batsman of the 21st century, “I’ve played alongside him for so long. Sachin played under different captains. I think in 2000 he decided that he is not going to captain anymore. And such a senior player, such a legend of the game. But to adjust & contribute to the progress of Indian cricket under different captains, and to help them flourish as captains, is something only a role model and inspiration like Sachin can do – which he did really well. The legacy that he left-back is not only scoring hundreds, double hundreds, 100 hundred, but also the way he inspired the younger generation of Indian cricketers and the world cricketers. I still remember, Kane Williamson in his debut Test match in Ahmedabad; chatting with Sachin, understanding the game. As recently as the IPL, which just finished, we had a long chat with Sachin; talking about his tennis elbow injury. So, not only the Indian cricketers got inspiration from Sachin, but all the cricketers from all over the world got inspiration from him and that’s why he is the greatest.”
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports’ show Cricket Live, during the ICC World Test Championship Final, former Indian batsman Sanjay Bangar speaks about Muttiah Muralitharan becoming the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) Test bowler of the 21st century, “I thought Anil Kumble would feature in the list because he’s somebody who’s won a lot of matches for India, 619 test wickets. And doing that without the ability of a Shane Warne or without variation and guile of somebody like a Muralitharan, it was a phenomenal achievement for Anil and for India. But I will have to give it to Muttiah Muralitharan purely for the reason that he didn’t have the luxury of some pressure being applied from the other end except for somebody like Chaminda Vas, he had to do it all alone. I think for that particular reason, for having the record alone for having shouldered the responsibility of an international attack, it has to be Muralitharan.”
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports’ show Cricket Live, during the ICC World Test Championship Final, former Indian batsman VVS Laxman lavished praise about Muttiah Muralitharan on becoming the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) Test bowler of the 21st century, “I was privileged to be against all these greats of the game. Steyn, for someone who could swing the ball, not only the conventional swing but also the reverse swing, used to suffocate you and get you out. The presence of Shane Warne had on the cricket field was just unbelievable. But for me, it has been Muttiah Muralitharan – the greatest of all time bowler of the 21st century – because he is one spinner who troubled all the batsmen around the world, not only in Sri Lanka, not only in the subcontinent conditions but apart from Australia, everywhere in the world. He has been the greatest of all time. It is not only about statistics, and also not just the number of wickets. He has got 800 Test wickets is a big achievement, the way he bamboozled batsmen. I could see the fear in the eyes of the batsmen when facing Muralitharan.”
To celebrate historic feats in Test cricket, Star Sports strung together a mammoth activity to pick the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T) of the 21st century in Tests from among Batsmen, Bowlers, All-rounders and Captains. The winners were chosen by an elite 50-member jury, which comprised of legends of the game like Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Bishop, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Scott Styris, Gautam Gambhir among others, renowned sports journalists and coaches. Star Sports also provided the fans with an opportunity to vote for their G.O.A.T.s’ through a Twitter fan poll, that was held between 15th and 17th June 2021. To ensure complete transparency, the broadcaster followed a stringent category-wise selection procedure. All the statistics considered for the nominees are from or after January 1, 2000, only.