Blog by: Renjith
Comparing Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar is like comparing Batman and Superman, the former was the hero the nation needed and the latter was the one it wanted.
While one was born to be a God, the other fought his way through the weaknesses to become a legend. Dravid and Tendulkar are arguably the best batsmen Indian cricket has ever produced. Yet there arises an argument – “who is better?”
The answer depends on what “better” means. If better means piling up individual records and squashing bowlers in style, then hands down I’ll pick Tendulkar. But it’s not about the records is it? It’s about taking every challenge that comes your way and still standing tall. I’m not saying that Sachin didn’t face any challenges but how many times did he come out of his comfort zone?
Dravid saw it all, he became a wicket keeper, a slip (with more than 200 catches in test cricket), he batted way down the order and way up, and he stood hours in the crease just to ensure that his team didn’t lose. He shone in every role the team gave him and the same fans who cheered Sachin to score runs would turn to Dravid when they felt the team was on the verge of a defeat, and that’s what Dravid was – the most reliable soldier in the team.
Throughout his career, The Wall was overshadowed by the sheer talent and brilliance of the little master. And one would’ve imagined at one point or the other that if Sachin wasn’t born, then what a different scenario it would have been.
Dravid mostly played the resistor part of the team; he would get stuck in the crease for 30 overs to get 12 runs. For a common cricket fan, it would sound like a boring innings but what he’ll be doing is something more deep. Dravid will be holding up against the hostile bowling attack and protecting the batsman at the other end by tiring the bowlers and frustrating the opposition and that’s something I’ll label as “contributing to the team.”
While the fans saw Sachin as an idol, Dravid was seen as the motivator who could bring the sense of struggle in the dressing room. Sachin was perfect, make no doubt about that but Dravid symbolized the common man who could make his way to greatness by conquering his imperfections.
Apart from being a great player, Dravid also showed the fans why cricket is called “the gentleman’s game”. Now, how many players in the current generation can you point out who have at least a bit of the aura Dravid had as a personality?
Dravid remained as the silent protector of the team, while he witnessed Tendulkar cast a shadow over him, and it’s that shadow that made him the player the nation “needed” rather than the player it “wanted”.
And to sum up things, everyone worships the God but you cannot become one and that’s the case with Sachin, you can only worship him and cannot be him. But with Dravid, he stood there and showed that through hard work and dedication you can be a soldier with a sheer bloody-minded refusal of admitting defeat. He stood for the symbol which Batman fans term as “Batman can be anyone.”