He’s a bit like Sachin: Ian Gould on why the India batsman reminds him of Tendulkar
The Sachin Tendulkar-Virat Kohli debate simply refuses to die down. After a host of former and current cricketers, the latest lot of drawing parallel between the two is that of umpires. Weighing on the similarities between the two batsmen, former ICC umpire Ian Gould has said Kohli’s batting reminds him of his early days, and explains the India captain’s similarity with the great Tendulkar.
“He’s a funny man. Yeah, he batted like me a couple of times. I had to tell him off for slogging it. He’s a charmer,” Gould told ESPNCricinfo in an interview. “He’s one of those guys who’s got, a bit like Sachin Tendulkar, the whole of India on his back, but you wouldn’t know. You could walk into a restaurant and sit and chat with him for hours. He’s a very worldly boy. When you look at Virat, you’re thinking male model, pin-up boy, but he knows about the game inside out, the past, history. Lovely guy.”
Gould re-iterated that although Kohli had a nature of landing himself in trouble at times, he sees the India captain and his players in a good light. On Kohli’s run-ins with authority in the past, Gould pointed out: “I can see why. But he’s learned to be respectful. He could have continued his career like that and people could be talking totally the opposite about Virat. He’s a nice man and the India boys are very, very good people, very respectful.”
Gould has been part of many cricket matches that comprise both good and bad memories. He was the one officiating in the Cape Town Test of 2018, when the infamous Sandpaper Gate scandal broke out. However, India fans would mostly remember him for giving Tendulkar out to Saeed Ajmal during the 2011 World Cup semifinal against Australia even though the decision was eventually overturned.
“Don’t go down that road. I get teased about that. People send me pictures of my reaction after I was told in my ear by Billy Bowden that it was missing leg stump. It makes me laugh. It didn’t make me laugh at the time, I can assure you. But I’d give it out again with my back to the wall. It was dead. I don’t know what happened,” he said.
Having officiated in 74 Tests, 140 ODIs and 37 T20Is, Gould said the Tendulkar vs Steyn Cape Town battle in 2011 remains one of the most evenly-matched duels he’s ever witnessed.
“That was fierce but fair. That was as good as it got. I was stood there with a brilliant umpire, Simon Taufel, and the two of us came off and said, “Wow, we’d pay for that.” Dale bowled very quickly and Sachin just had the railway sleeper in his hand and kept patting it back at him. Fantastic,” said Gould, who retired from umpiring at the end of last year’s World Cup.