Vantage point

Monday, February 13, 2006

God is after all God

This one is for all those people who keep saying Dravid is as good as, if not better than Tendulkar, especially in terms of technique. Hope you were watching closely the partnership between the two at Lahore today. Against a brilliant and challenging spell of quality seam bowling, Dravid looked absolutely lost during his 42-ball-22. Tendulkar on the other hand was supremely in command, displaying ample evidence of the magical touch which I surmised him as having regained a few days back.

Even Dravid, at the post-match conference, proclaimed God's innings as one of the best ever.

Remember, God is after all God.

P.S - I hope His Noodly Appendage will pardon this blasphemy.

Update 1 When the topic is Tendulkar vs Dravid, feedback is boudn to flow in. In a few hours after making the post I have received some great mails about the topic. Posting them here.

Gaurav Kanade writes - Btw why is everyone jumping on the bandwagon to show Dravid in a poor light ?? Cant we just appreciate a very good innings by SRT and leave it at that ?? OK, today SRT exhibited great technique while Dravid struggled but it is just 1 day out of so many. There have been any days in the past where it has been the same way or the other way round. The fact that SRTs die hard fans (and I assume you are one) feel the need to attack Dravid immediately after one innings in which SRT outshone Dravid is indeed a cause for concern and probably betrays a sense of ... what can I say ... envy, insecurity about a fact that someone other than your God had been the better player in recent times.

Jai Arjun writes - ref. your "God is after all God" post - some interesting thoughts there. I'm one of Tendulkar's biggest loyalists and defending him against all the criticism has become an increasingly difficult and painful task in the past 2-3 years. One part of me believes that there's a good chance he really is past his best - that the sheer physical and mental burden of carrying the team on his shoulders right from the time he was a teenager has taken a toll and aged him before his time (given that older players like Hayden, Lara, Inzamam etc have been going strong and are less injury-hit). But the best part of me wants to believe that even if he has only 2-3 years left in the game, he'll do a few spectacular things in that period. Let's hope, I guess.

That point you make about technique is a very valid one. I don't know whether it holds good today but I strongly believe that Sachin at his best was a more complete player in all kinds of conditions than Dravid at his best (with due respect to the latter). Dravid has grown enormously in stature post-2001 but if you look at his record before then you'll find he was averaging only 30 or so against the top bowling attacks (Aus/SA/Pakistan) and over 55 against the weaker ones.
In fact, in those dark old days Tendulkar was the only one in the Indian batting lineup who would perform consistently against the top teams. It's sad that his decline has coincided with the Indian team doing so well and all these youngsters (Yuvraj, Sehwag, Dhoni) performing so confidently. It makes it that much easier for people to scoff at his past achievements.

Chetan Deo writes - Completely agree with your views on ‘The God’ or ‘The One’, I must say, because there is no second ‘Sachin’. There is one thing I always say to my friends “I used to be an atheist until I saw Sachin Tendulkar”. Every now and then you come across the question “But why only Sachin” and the answer is ‘class’. Nobody puts more ‘music and rhythm’ into stroke making than the ‘master’. My second favorite, I think, is Mark Waugh. Just the ease of doing things. When he bowled he made breakthroughs, he took some of the most stunning slip catches ever and his batting was just sublime. As if he was born to do this and nothing else, like ‘Sachin’. Some people have a taste for remixes, the others for original classical singing. Time will tell, what will stay.
Congratulations for coming through all the heavy opposition coming from people who have no opinions of themselves but allow Moin Khan and Aaqib Javed to think for them. Class prevails, form dies and once again. You are absolutely correct in saying that ‘those test 20s’ had symptoms of a ‘comeback’. I am surprised actually how some of the experienced and senior cricketers couldn’t read the manner in which those runs were scored. Some anger arousing comments on ‘age taking Sachin’s reflexes’ were also made. I hope they do not repeat the mistake the next time they see Sachin bat this way. There is only one person who has a right to decide if ‘Sachin is finished’, the man himself.