Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sachin vs Dravid

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and Rahul Sharath Dravid – The 2 legends of Cricket that India has produced.
Of lately, there has been words going around debating who among the two is the bette batsman. A third name is also usually added – that of Sunil Gavasker. He, no doubt was a great batsman but I would limit my views on the comparison of Sachin and Dravid as I have never seen Gavasker’s legendary batting except for some rare clips or match highlights.
So for me it is debating the greatness of Sachin – 14146 runs at an avg of 44.20 (ODI -353 innings ), 10469 runs at 55.39 (tests – 211 innings) and the Determination of Rahul – 9528 runs at 40.20 (ODI -271 innings) , 9049 runs at 58.75 (Tests – 176 innings).
Starting with stats.
In ODI’s Sachin has played around 70 matches more than Dravid. And scored around 5000 runs more. So if Dravid plays 70 more matches at his current avg of 40 – he would have 2800 runs more. Still around 2000 less than that of the master. Sachin wins that one.
Coming to Tests. Sachin has around 1000 runs more and he has played 35 innings more. If Dravid is brought to 211 innings at his enormous average of 58, he will have 1000 runs more than Sachin. So Dravid wins that.
The mumbaiker has an ODI avg of 44 and Test avg of 55 whereas the wall scores at 40 and 58 runs/match in ODI’s and Tests respectively. Hardly anything to choose the better of two.
So statistically we see that both are almost equivalent. The healthy averages and the enormous number of runs scored tells us that they are very good batsmen in both forms of cricket.
Now where is the difference now?
I think when Sachin scored the bulk of his runs, it was under a large pressure. He was considered the only one in the team and everyone used to rally around him most of the times. Usually, people used to switch off their TV’s when Sachin got out. So making that kind of contribution in the most entertaining manner that he has, in such pressure – that makes Tendulkar stand apart from any group of cricketers.
Rahul has had a good team around him but he is also no alien to pressure cooker situations. Coming one down in tests, he has been responsible for saving many a matches for India. Literally sticking to the pitch and grueling hard, frustrating the opposition with his unwavering concentration has been the style of Rahul Dravid.
Sachin, on the other hand, as we know is the Destroyer (Strike rate – 85.98). Ripping apart oppositions, marching down the wicket and hoisting bowlers over boundaries – he has been the entertainer – the crowd puller. He has that aura around him which pulls people to the stadiums- just to watch him play that cover drive on the up or the straight drive along the carpet or the pull shot that land outside the stadium.
Rahul (strike rate – 70.60) is honest to the cricket Batting Rule Book. If the definition of a cover drives says your foot should be 5 inches from where the ball pitches, then his foot will be exactly there – 5 inches from the ball. That kind of feat is really hard to achieve.
One result of these contrasting styles is that certain Tendulkar’s shots are etched in the mind permanently. E.g the pull off Andy Caddick, the jumping and hitting Shane Warne in the match at Sharjah, cutting Shoib Akhtar, in the air into the stands in last WC,
I guess I can go on and on.
But Rahul – there is no unique shot that comes to mind. All his shots are copy of each other. The drive would be same each time. As would be the pull, the cut etc.
Yes, you can say that it is more important to win matches than entertain crowds. But at the end what for we are playing cricket. For the crowd of course. Haven’t you seen matches where there has been no crowd. What does it look like. Though the players are trying hard but without the multicolored background in its place, it seems like they are just following a routine.

If I have to Pick a Dream Team – which one would I Pick?
I HAVE to pick both – one the flamboyant opener, the other a steady one Down.
If Sachin sticks, we are more or less sure to win the match. If we are in trouble, The Wall is there.
It is so hard to compare these two. The point is that each is a master in his own sense.

If you ask me, if I have a choice to become out of these two – whom wud I want to become?
My Answer would be Rahul Dravid.
He is the hardest batsman to get out. He has super patience, super cnocentartion, superb team player. He is Handsome too.
But the single most reason that stands out.
That is simply because I CAN’t become Sachin.
Why ?
Because Sachin is GOD!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The War

Evening Time – the usual Rush hour. Souls moving back home after a long day. A very normal day in a normal person’s life. Not on 11th of July in Mumbai. I can’t even imagine the horror which people went through. In our routine, even if see some accident on the roadside – some scooter fallen or some car scathed, we tend to think about it for some time- trying to forget but still mind wavering for the affected person. And when following a similar routine, if you happen to see body parts flying, deafening bombs going off and there is mayhem and bloodshed all around – I guess that transforms the being of the person.
But again, I wonder - in amazement and in disgust, that what kind of lives will be of those who think they have a right to change others’ lives. What is the motivation that is so strong that they are willing to be responsible for this kind of genocide? It is generally the case that such attacks are carried out by illiterate people who are coerced into it by the lure of money or the brain wash of freedom struggles or some other personal reasons.
But the ‘real ones’ whose identity is seldom revealed – the ones who plan and fund such kind of operations – it is really intriguing that what motivates them to do such things. It is hard to believe that everyone involved are religious fanatics – that doesn’t explain the attack on Mumbai where the diverse crowd from all over India is mingled together. So are these politically motivated? Again such kind of attack which lack religious, communal or caste flavor would hardly benefit any political party. Moreover, if there comes out any sign of its involvement, it won’t do any good to its image.
The option that remains is the notorious “foreign hand”. But still what a foreign nation would gain from such an attack. The motive is the most important factor of an action. And trying to figure that out gives me a headache.
Is it to disintegrate the people of the city, the nation? I don’t think so. Most of the times, tragedies have brought people together instead of disintegrating them. Be it 9/11 at US or 7/11 at Mumbai.
The ubiquitous news channels, who are many a times critically analyzed for the way they bring news to people, have to be lauded in their effort in this case. Despite the grief of tragedy, a positive energy seemed to be getting out of every news channel. Because, the media continuously reported about how in the time of need, people were helping each other at and around the site of tragedy. On one hand this motivated many others to do the same and on the other it didn’t let the spirits down as the focus got more on the surviving rather than dying. Who knows how many lives may have been saved by such initiative.
There is some strong, unknown motivation that is driving these terror cells. That may be unknown to us. But what is known to we – the people, is that it is an attack on our nation, our freedom. We fear for ourselves in our own street, our own city. Is that not a good enough motivation to unite together – not only in abnormal phases of tragedies but normally too. When we fight within ourselves on petty issues like caste and color and religion, we project ourselves prone to be attacked.
Are we safe from such inhuman activities in future – not at all!! We may not be able to fight the faceless terrorists who come with bombs packed to their belts. But we ought to fight the war which we can doubtlessly win – war against illiteracy. Against directing our energy at irrelevant issues (I had a group called Shiv Sainiks in mind while writing the last line). Against the demagogues who try to mislead us. Against forces that prevent us our freedom and the right to live in an atmosphere where we do what we deem is correct.
If we win these wars, then the war against terrorism is a miniscule acting of just blowing away the opposition.