Opinion

Sach a duo

Updated on: Oct 11, 2013
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Both Tendulkar and Dravid were great but who stands taller?

Cricket will go on, but with a drop in dignity and stature. Two of the greatest batsmen to have donned whites and coloureds, have finally called it a day. It was joyful and sad to see Rahul Dravid have his last game a few days ago at the historic Feroz Shah Kotla. Now, the ‘little master’ has called it quits.

In the last two decades, it was a delight to watch these two masters play alongside each other. It was bound to get competitive and comparative.Let’s start with the similarities. Dedication, endurance and integrity are of a high standard in both. Passion for the game supersedes everything else. Both captained India at different points of time and also relinquished captaincy on their own.

Playing Styles

They were distinctly different. Sachin was more flamboyant and adventurous in the beginning of his career, whereas Dravid has always been copybook, dogged and authoritative. Sachin’s game was its dynamic best in the 2003 World Cup when he demolished Shoaib Akhtar in one innings. Sadly, after this World Cup, Sachin was never the same. He became more reserved and less exciting. It gave the impression that the daredevilry was bequeathed to more gifted players such as Sehwag.

Dravid, on the other hand, was as elegant as ever. Sachin has always been the ‘god’ of cricket; and Dravid has always been in the shadows. But to many the man is the ‘shadow prince’, who will always have his kingdom on and off the field. Irrespective of his having called it a day.

Do check out in the last decade the share of Dravid in India’s wins. He is head and shoulders above Sachin. Dravid let the ambience gag him. He stayed away from State politics, from hardliners, from tinsel town, and from the fourth estate. One cannot say the same about the other legend who is also a Rajya Sabha member; has got on the wrong side of the media on occasion. Dravid has been shy of big business honchos; the same cannot be said of the ‘little master’. Dravid has never let anyone else answer for him; which is again a sign of clarity, confidence and self-belief.

The Future

There are many options for the gentleman from Karnataka but fewer options for the ‘little master’. I love listening to Dravid commenting on the game. Do listen to Dravid delivering the ‘Bradman Memorial Lecture’ for cricketing and other insights. A classic mantra he mentions in the talk is that “Cricket should always adorn the back page and never the front page.” He was reacting to recent spot-fixing allegations.

While Sachin made his entry into Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member, Rahul will have many top corporates wanting him on their board.

So who would be a greater brand? Brands are about how many times you have genuinely and joyfully touched lives. Thanks for the memories, Sachin. Adieu Dravid. You stand tall.

(The author is CEO, Melon India.)

Published on March 12, 2018

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