Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman.

The God of Cricket is finally retiring.  And what will cricket be like for Tendlya fans, once he hangs his cricketing boots.

Close your eyes, and think of an important cricket match and then imagine that Sachin will no longer be playing, ever.  You will be opening your eyes immediately in disbelief. This, even when you know that Sachin has not been playing one day international cricket for quite some time now. It did not matter that he was scoring less runs over the past few games. The entire country was ready to forgive him, and smilingly approved his mere appearance.  That is the  power of Sachin Tendulkar and the sheer joy that he has given us over the past more than two decades. That is Sachin Tendulkar for you.

Why and how did this mass hysteria scale up to this level ? As a country, we have been a very poor sporting nation. Our sporting prowess has some how always dodged the correlation to our population and what we could have possibly done. It amazes us infinitely to know that how come such a vast country with such a huge population cannot  excel in sports. Seemingly miniscule countries with even smaller populations have generated great sporting results across various sporting disciplines in ratios that are shockingly disproportionate to their size or population sizes.  Mind you, we are not talking economies when we are saying smaller countries. Eg : Some countries and their Gold tally in 2012 Summer Olympics.  Hungary ( 8 Golds ), Cuba (5 golds), Ukraine ( 6 golds ), Ethiopia ( 3 golds. )

In such a medal starved country, in such a scenario where sporting recognition with such consistency was never seen ever before, Sachin has given India so much to celebrate about in Cricket for India. Like a true champion, he has held sway over every opponent and every cricketing situation.  In doing so, he has a plethora of records under his name. He has changed the way the world perceives Indian cricket.  Cricket is one of the very few sports where India is doing reasonably well.  And Sachin has had a mean role to play in it over the past two decades.  His immense contribution to Cricket brought us so much joy, it camouflages our joy to such an extent that we channelize all our sporting happiness to Cricket & to Sachin Tendulkar. This is one of the many reasons that India adores and fiercely lays claim to the legacy of Sachin Tendulkar. And rightly so.  He is a true champion.

However, he is said to be the best, but only next to Sir Don Bradman. Excuse me, Second best? It would be very interesting to find out how and why did this unfair comparison between Sachin and Bradman come up in the first place?  Was it an apple to apple comparison ? Was it a logical comparison? Who was the first to advise such a comparison ?

It is extremely difficult to compare two players from two different ears. Bradman played at a time when only test cricket was prelevant, ODI did not make its appearance then. Tendulkar has played all formats of the cricket and this makes his success more versatile.

Bradman played mostly only against England. Tendulkar has played against modern teams of almost all countries and has faced varied bowling attacks.

Tendulkar played in an era, where opposition had the advantage of modern cricket knowledge & techniques, which translated into many, precise & effective bowling attacks.  Tendulkar’s batting campaigns against such effective bowling makes his achievements even more credit worthy. To be fair, Tendulkar himself too would have benefitted from modern day cricket techniques, but then this was a scenario that was available to other batsmen from his era as well.

Bradman would have never faced a bowling attack above 150Kmph, but Tendulkar faced modern day bowling attacks much above the 150kmph mark.

Bradman has played 52 tests while Tendulkar would have played 200.  On the endurance side, Tendulkar wins hand down, and again across various formats.

When compared as a complete Cricket Package, I feel that Sachin Tendulkar should win this battle with Sir Don Bradman.  However, we have been consistently fed with information & comments & analysis that he is next best only to Sir Don Bradman.  We have started to think like the Australians and have given into this unfair comparison.  As a fiercely Sachin fan, I believe that a comparison between the two legends must be on a level field and as a complete package and after considering all the playing conditions in which the two operated. I will not be surprised if your analysis will be different than what is being circulated around.

Sir Don Bradman was a GREAT sportsman himself. There are no two ways about this and nobody has ever doubted it.  My initial assessment is that it was the Australians who started to compare Sachin Tendulkar in the early nineties. An early assessment of the immense talent that Sachin was, a comparison was logical. But, in the initial days, when Sachin did not have the records piled up as yet, he was obviously No2, next to Sachin, in temperament and in skill and in talent. However, the irony is that this No 2 comparison somehow remained stuck forever. Was it a deliberate or innocuous attempt to relegate Sachin to the second position forever, only time will tell.  For us Indians though, Sachin will be the BEST.

 


Mukund Mate
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Mukund Mate

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