20 November 2009

Of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid...

Many people I talk to have an automatic assumption that my favorite Indian batsman ever is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Through this post, I say, 'No'.

If you'd see this blog, apart from that post on IPL, I have mentioned Cricket in only two other posts. Dravid-1 and Dravid-2. That will say it all.

Players like Sachin have become great because of a natural cricketing talent. No doubt he is among the greatest batsman in the history of the game, what with the drives and flicks in which the ball miraculously gains speed on its way to the boundary and a million other shots and records. The blistering 175, which under anyone else's name would be his personal best, was just another century in Sachin's cupboard.

Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh have been great too. They are amazingly stylish players who can wreck any bowling combination on their day; like a Kraken set on a merchant ship. Oh, I forgot. I am not writing this to talk about them. ( Just a special mention for Dada ) :P

Dravid, on the other hand, is where he is because of the passion and hardwork he puts in to his game. He's definitely not as much of a natural talent as the others are, but the hard work he put in to create the Wall that has been totally impenetrable over the years shows his passion, attitude and dedication. 'I want to play Cricket for life. I want to be the best in that.' is an attitude not many people in the side have. He is probably the only Indian cricketer who has had no problems with the short deliveries (any deliveries for that matter). :) In fact, very few people around the world have gone about their dream with a determination Rahul has shown. All of Jammy's shots are well practiced, right out of the textbook, with insane amounts of hard work behind them.

I've always had this feeling that Cricket fans in India have never been as supportive of Rahul as they've been about Sachin or Sourav, despite the fact that he has had greater successes at more crucial times for India. "He is too slow. Not at all the guy for ODI cricket.", "He is getting old and very slow. New faces like Yuvraj should get into the test side instead." "Useless player. Mattaya potu savadipaan". You sure must have heard statements like these from the same people who are currently cheering him for his amazing 177 that saved us from yet another collapse. Nobody questioned the decisions to drop Dravid from the Indian squad repeatedly. Remember the Bengal outcry for Ganguly? Sachin, despite poor performances at times, could never be treated like Dravid. That'll be the end of the Selectors' selecting days.

The cycle
Dravid misses out on a few innings.
He's dropped with a belief that the rest can pull India through.
We start collapsing slowly and steadily.
Selectors have no other option. They get him back.
He delivers.
History repeats itself.

I can't say he won us more matches than anyone else in his generation. That is probably not true. But he has definitely saved us from many more humiliating defeats than anyone else I know.

Every time I see him play, I get a feeling that in life, you don't have to do what you are naturally fit for. There will always be obstacles, like that Mervyn Dillon delivery in a Windies tour. Should that stop him from going on to hit an amazing century? No! If you want to be something, keep that as a goal; plan it and put in the effort. There's no way you will fail.

Rahul Sharad Dravid. He will always remain my personal favourite.

(Pic: Linked to wikipedia)

PS: Added this amazing article about RS Dravid.


  1. Dravid is a great batsman no doubt and comparing Dravid with Sachin and Sourav is silly cause all these players have a completely different game . Sachin is a supreme batsman... Rahul the WALL always there for pressure situations Sourav the Captain Ganguly.... These three with Lax formed the most formidable middle order in Indian Cricket.All these players are incomparable and are greats in their own respect.

  2. I agree that each batsman has a different game.

    My only point was that Rahul's achievement is so much greater than those of the rest.

  3. Also, by the way, all this is only from my point of view. Each one is entitled to his own opinion, yes?

    Some people believe Sachin is God. Literally. They can never come to terms with the fact that someone else from the same era could be better than him in any way.

    Rahul Dravid is the only Indian cricketer in the last 10 years to have inspired me in any way. Hence the post.

  4. Hey,

    If you look into all the test matches India have won abroad, you can have one thing in common, contribution from Dravid (I think except in the test against SA in SA where Sreesanth something unbelievable). He was slow in ODI's in his beginning of his career, but he has since picked up, I remember once in Canada against Pakistan, Waqar was running havoc, Dravid was the only player to give some meaningful contribution (he came one down adn I think in the 3rd over), We won that match, and Sobers picked Dravid for man of the match even his score was somewhere in the 40's. I still remember Sobers praising Dravid. No offence to Tendulkar, but as you said, Dravid has bailed them out lots of time.

  5. So I've got this 'How can you compare him with Sachin?' in my mailbox.



    No Indian can forget THAT series :)

  6. Amazing amazing article:

    What this blog post should have been and is sadly not.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Ponnuvel,

    You missed a very important point that I wrote and rewrote over the length of the post.

    This is about "Indian Cricket". This is about the veneration the Wall deserves to get from our population. That is why you don't see Dravid vs S Waugh in the post.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. That was a reply to the previous query on Sachin, Saurav and Laxman. Please read through properly.

    ...than anyone else in his generation.
    ...in the last ten years.

    I don't think you even read the post or the comments! As for Gavaskar & Dev, you can look into that article I added as a last line yesterday. That has a much better insight to this story than I can ever explain.

  11. Sachin is pure genius, legend and superhuman; yes. But this post is only about Dravid deserving more, and the fact that I like him better.

  12. http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/66032.html

    This is the match I was referring.
    I stand corrected, there were other contributions as well, but to face W and W in a seaming condition is difficult. How many times have a player who scored 46 was given the MOM ? We should listen to Sobers at the presentation which shows how good that knock was at that time.

    Sachin is a born genius.

    The whole point is giving much more recognition to THE WALL

  13. trust Ivan to come back with facts, statistics, and numerical proof :)
    heck, i thought there'd even be a video file attached :)...

    My two cents though....

    My strongest memory is of the Chennai Saeed Anwar 194 massacre.
    The solitary reaper who refused to roll over and die that day was the wall..

    A tuff as nails cricketer, the rarest of the rare breed in Indian cricket...
    "The nice guy who finished first" as a book about him puts it...

  14. "Always the bridesmaid,never the bride" - thus began a TOI article about RD during the 2002 England series. While he was scoring hundreds on the trot,entire India was obsessed with SRT's 100th test appearance. For me RD has always been a hero,a constant reminder that you need to accept whatever you have got and let hard work to carry out to further heights.
    Totally agree with . His two cents are worth a million!

  15. Great article. Dravid definitely did not get his due adulation due to him for his brilliant and often vital contributions to the team. Having said that, however, I feel compelled to say that Dravid has never had to bear the burden of unreasonable expectations as Sachin has. And to carry it for more than 20 years without complaint demands superhuman skill and efforts, and that is why Sachin, at least for me , trumps Dravid.

    On a side note, both of them are better than Ganguly, and the new players (Sehwag included) have a lot to show for themselves before the comparison shows any semblance of being a serious one.


  16. Aswin : Your tribute now appears on Google's search results for 'Rahul Dravid'!!!
    Delighted :)

  17. @bidisha Heh, awesome that it delights you :)