Lara backs Ponting to overtake Tendulkar's record

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Melbourne, Oct 22 (UNI) West Indian great Brian Lara has tipped Ricky Ponting to take over the record of maximum Test runs from Sachin Tendulkar and said there was no better person he could have passed the mantle on to than the Indian batting maestro who broke his record in the second Test against Australia at Mohali.

''I would think that he (Ponting) still has 30 or 40 Tests matches (left) under his belt,'' Lara said during his visit to Australian Institute of Sports in Canberra.

''He has already gone past 10,000 runs, so it is one of those records that if you play long enough and you score runs consistently, you are capable of doing it,'' he added.

Tendulkar surpassed Lara's record of 11,953 runs in the first innings of the second Test against Australia which the home team won by a whopping 320 runs.

Lara held the world record for nearly three years, having passed Allan Border's milestone in Adelaide in November 2005.

Tendulkar is nearly two years older than Ponting and is leading the Australian captain by almost 2000 runs.

The former West Indies captain further added that Tendulkar was the most deserving player to surpass his record and said the master blaster has been a great player for a long time now.

''(There is) no better individual or batsman in the world that could go past you, or maybe you can pass the mark on to, than Sachin Tendulkar,'' Lara said and added, ''He has been a great for so many years and is someone who is deserving of such a record. So I just want to wish him the best.

He said he knew it for sure that his record would not stand for a long time and he was happy to have held the feet for a period of two years.

''To have held it for a couple of years is good. (I have) a couple more records in the bag so I've still got a few to hold on to. But it's a feeling that I've had my opportunity. To get there first of all and to achieve it and hold that mark for a period of time is great in itself. There was no sadness at all,'' he added.

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