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Thursday, March 22, 2012

100dulkar - The Unconquered Emperor

All criticism, all discussions, all talks came to an end with Tendulkar's 100th international ton. The feat which no cricketer conquered in past and none will achieve in future. It was landmark which kept entire country in desperation for more than a year. Finally moment arrived and entire country enjoyed the moment with joy and felt relaxed barring few cricket experts and fans who criticised Tendulkar for the loss against Bangladesh which eventually resulted in India's exit from the Asia Cup.But let me tell you one thing 289 is not a small score to chase, if your bowlers don't bowl proper line and length than any target is achievable. Look at Pakistan which lost to India even after scoring 330. Whom to blame Mohammad Hafeez or Jamshed, who scored century in losing cause and put up opening partnership of more than 200 runs. If someone is not blaming Hafeez and Jamshed for Pakistan's loss than you don't have the right to blame Tendulkar as well, who has done something which is impossible to achieve.

When Tendulkar started his cricket nobody expected him to reach such heights, but this champion cricketer conquered the cricket world and now he is 'Unconquered Emperor' of cricket world. What makes Tendulkar so special. We all know he is genius with the bat but there are many players who were genius and were better than Tendulkar yet not achieved much.One such example is Vinod Kambli, the closest pal of the Master. Both Tendulkar and Kambli started their cricket together and Kambli was considered more talented than Tendulkar but we all know where Kambli is currently. Talent alone don't make champions it is constant focus, hardwork and dedication which makes champion and certainly Tendulkar don't lack any of these. 

These 22 years are like dream for the fans across the world especially for Indian fans who witnessed many great innings from a genius who is known as 'God of Cricket'. Tendulkar created end number of happy moments for Indians, for which Indians will be thankful to him forever. Cricketers came and gone but Tendulkar stood firm with his craftsmanship with his bat and spread the joy and that's what makes Tendulkar special. In these beautiful 22 years Tendulkar recieved lot of accolades but at the same faced equal criticism as well which I think is really disgusting. Man who has given so much to the country how can be criticised. But it happened and that is cruel reality. Tendulkar was blamed for losses as if he is the only player in the team responsible for the lossess. Always criticised that he is playing for his individual records and not playing in the interest of the team. Even after scoring epic ton he was blamed for the team's loss. But I believe it is really unjustice to the man who has done so much for the country. Each of his centuries which came in losing cause don't become less important because Master did his job but his other colleagues failed to perform their duties.

Remember cricket is a team game and one player can't change the fortunes, it is combined effort of 11 players which decides the results, so other 10 are also equally responsible. We must not forget that Tendulkar is our pride and we have to give him all the respect in the word and look towards his positive traits and approach and try to learn from it instead of criticising him without any reason. Tendulkar and Dravid are an institutions in themselves, both on-field and off-field. If Dravid is 'Wall' hard to get past than Tendulkar is 'Unconquered Emperor'.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rahul Dravid - The Master Technician

I don't have privilege of watching any of the Sunil Gavaskar's innings. Never watched Gundappa Vishwanath batting. Don't have any idea how Geoff Boycott and Vivian Richards batted as I never watched them batting. But I am lucky enough to watch Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Jacques Kallis and Virender Sehwag batting. All these stalwarts have class of their own and quite unique also in their way of batting. But one man who stands tall among all these stalwarts is Rahul Dravid, simply because of his great technique which made him one of the finest batsman of all time. Yet lost in aura of all greats. 

I can say one thing for sure, among all the batsmen I watched, I found Rahul Dravid far superior when it comes to technique. Tendulkar have all the records in the world, Kallis is great all-rounder, Sourav Ganguly finest Indian captain ever, Virender Sehwag the crusader, VVS Laxman the elegant right hander. But among all Rahul Dravid stands tall, yet always remained in shadow of all these greats and never got the credit for what he did for Indian cricket. He is player who holds the distinction of scoring highest runs in the test matches which India won. So he is easily the match winner. With the retirement of Rahul Dravid, Team India lost the biggest ever match-winner of all time. When he started his career he was labelled as test batsman but  with his sheer determination and dedication to the game, made him one of the finest ODI batsman as well who went on to score more than 10000 runs in ODIs as well, which is no mean achievement.

What makes Rahul Dravid, the champion? I think its his patience which  make him the champion. I have seen bowlers getting tired because of aggressive stroke-making of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, which is quite natural. But Rahul Dravid is unique. He weared down bowlers and made them  look vulnerable with his slow batting which was quipped with great technique. He never scored runs at rapid pace, yet he succeeded in murdering the bowling with his killer patience and cool temperament. There is more to Rahul Dravid, apart from is batting. His advices proved priceless for many cricketers of his era who came to him for tips. Ask Younis Khan, how Rahul Dravid's words helped him in coming out of lean patch. Ask West Indian Kirk Edwards, who scored century after talking to Dravid. Ask Rohit Sharma who learnt to put  price on his wicket after Rahul's advice. Ask Ricky Ponting whose career was saved after getting advice from Dravid and this list is endless. Cricketers across the globe one way or other way benefitted from Rahul Dravid. 

With the retirement of Rahul Dravid, an era has come to an end and it is impossible to replace someone like Rahul Dravid who did so much for Indian cricket and that too selflessly. Truly a great team-man and greater batsmen of all time. I rate him above Tendulkar when it comes to winning matches for India. Rahul is the encyclopedia of batting and any batsmen who wants to make it big in international cricket, must watch Rahul's batting videos. Even he is captaincy record is quite good and most of the matches India won abroad in his captaincy.Team India won series in West Indies, England and also won test match in South Africa. So truly a great captain as well.

I hope BCCI will use Rahul Dravid's experience for enhancing the quality of Indian cricket, so that we get many more great cricketers in future.